Kettlebell Ground Series for MMA Part 2 - Hip Escape to Samurai Walks

Take Your Kettlebell Workouts Outside This Summer Reading Kettlebell Ground Series for MMA Part 2 - Hip Escape to Samurai Walks 4 minutes Next Try Kettlebell Workouts Before You Give Up On Your Resolution

This Part 2 of our Kettlebell Ground Series ties together two excellent movements for grappling and MMA athletes - Hip Escapes and Samurai Walks.

The ability for an athlete to have a variety of options when transitioning and moving from the back, up quickly to the knees proves beneficial in countless grappling situations. For instance, when done successfully it sets you up better to - defend, attack, or simply reposition and make key adjustments at precise moments. Repetition after repetition of this sequence utilizing a classic Hip Escape into Samurai Walks with a kettlebell will build the muscle and engrain these movements into your body that you can take directly into your training on the mats.


  • Lay on your back with your knees flexed and kettlebell resting on your lower abdomen/pelvis and using an L-Grip* on the kettlebell
  • Rotate your body to one side, and with the outside foot anchored to the floor, drive your hips away, lifting your hips slightly and extending the inside leg. Push the kettlebell down towards your feet during this phase.
  • Pull yourself back into the start position and repeat to the other side
  • Once you’ve completed both directions and are laying square on your back, begin rolling forward preparing to sit-up.
  • Tuck one knee under your glutes and sit-up quickly into the Combat-Position, while pulling the kettlebell into your hip
  • Transition into samurai walks by driving the front knee forward as you then sweep it in and step around with the opposite leg. Repeat and continue moving from one samurai walk to the next along a forward path.

Establish your rhythm transitioning from one samurai walk to the next so that the movement remains as smooth as possible throughout - think as if you are “floating” or gliding forward. It is recommended the you use a light kettlebell, +/- 8kg, and work on the fluidity of movement above all.



The grip used in this kettlebell technique sequence we are calling the “L-Grip”. The “L-Grip” is one which uses a hand position where the fingers (index to pinky fingers) fan out to the sides wrapping around the kettlebell, with the wrist being held in extension. The thumbs are driven through the inside window of the kettlebell. This grip carries a grappling specific application in order to avoid being wrist locked.


In Individual Training:

How: Used as a warm-up, or as one exercise sequence within in a longer circuit

Suggested Repetitions: 1-2 Hip Escapes Each Side + 5-10ft Samurai Walks

Rest Period: As little as needed (up to 30 seconds)

Sets: 3–6

In Partner/Groups:

Done for the repetitions suggested above in individual training, however now as a superset with a partner. In this type of training, one person performs this Ground Series, and the other performs a total body power-endurance kettlebell movement, such as a double kettlebell snatch. The person snatching would continue until the person performing the distance of samurai walks has completed. If performing a single arm kettlebell snatch, switch arms every set.

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Videography By: Eli Helfman


Performance Specialist

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