Why Clubbells Are Superior to Indian Clubs

posted in: Clubbells, Polls, Uncategorized, Videos | 5

I know what you’re thinking. Do we really need another Clubbell VS ______ debate? I wish we didn’t. I really do. But apparently, there are more people in this world that still don’t get it. So, for anyone who is still wondering…

clubbell

Yes. It’s true. Clubbells are superior to Indian clubs, and all other weight swinging tools, for that matter. When you look at the big picture – the whole shebang – you just can’t beat them because of all the reasons I mention in my comprehensive review of the clubbell (that I won’t reiterate here). Let it be known that I have maintained and will continue to maintain that clubbells are the world’s best weight swinging tool – and will remain that way until something better is invented.

Note: be sure to brainwash your children at an early age to make sure they know clubbells are the best (see left).

Now, what could possibly initiate such a spontaneous expression of praise and admiration? Well, not too long ago, a man who has a lot more training experience than I do commented on my Clubbell Review. He was kind and cordial, but I thought he held and shared some common misconceptions about clubbells, particularly concerning their relation to Indian clubs. So, I wanted to post our discussion here to clear up the confusion.

If you need even more reasons to invest in and use your clubbells, read on.

Here is the comment Jack Stanton left me…

Your presentation on Clubbells was well done. You appear to be quite a Clubbell enthusiast. I watched your two videos, and as said your presentation was outstanding. Unfortunately it was very biased and followed Scott Sonan’s questionable statements regarding Indian Clubs etc. Before I specifically comment on some of yours and Sonan’s erroneous statements here is my experience in physical training. I have trained with barbells, dumbbells, swingbells, and kettlebells for over 53 years. I have also been using British style Indian Clubs as well as heavy Persian and Indian Clubs for around 10 years. Also I have an undergraduate minor in physical education. That being said, I do not have a problem with the use of Clubbells as a training tool. My problem is the distortions of the facts relating to Clubbells.

Ok so here I go: The protective coating on Clubbell will minimize injury if you hit yourself with the club during training. This statement is not true. Given the same force of impact the resulting damage (injury) will be significantly the same. This is to say a 10 pound Clubbell, a 10 pound Wooden Indian or Persian Club, or a 10 pound steel club will result in a similar injury or damage.

You said the tether on the Clubbell is a safety feature preventing the club from flying into the air and damaging property or hitting another person. First, tethering any relatively heavy weight to your arm, wrist, and or hand is foolish at best. Assuming the tether works as intended you are looking at potential shoulder, elbow, and wrist damage if the club goes flying. Second, I have noticed most people who use Clubbell do not use the tethers.

Both you and Scott Sonar have stated or implied that the in effect the larger size of heavy wooden clubs have very limited use or are almost impossible to swing. Here is what you neglect to mention. There are basically two styles of clubs that are swung in more or less a circular motion. These styles are British Military Indian Clubs and Persian / Indian Clubs called Meels / Jori. British Style Clubs range in weight from a ¼ pound to upwards of 100 pounds. Generally the lighter clubs (under 7 pounds) are often swung simultaneously while the heavier clubs usually are swung with one hand and passed to the other hand to complete the movement. Meel(s) and Jori (s) are normally swung into the ready position and then swung alternately in a circular pattern. The circular movement patterns are similar for metal clubs (solid or loadable).

On one of Scott Sonar web pages he comments on the superiority Clubbells to wooden and other clubs. Since this post is somewhat lengthy I am not addressing his comment here, but I will be more than happy to respond to any of the statements. The link is: http://www.clubbell.tv/superior.php

To conclude I personally do not care for Clubbells, that does not make them a bad tool. But contrarily to the implications in your video that wooden clubs are inferior to Clubbell is simply not true. In fact from a physical training standpoint heavy wooden clubs are superior. It quite simply takes more grip, wrist, arm, and should strength to swing and control a heavy wooden meel or jori of the same weight as a Clubbell. If you question this statement try, shield cast your 24 inch long 15 pound Clubbells then shield cast a 31 inch 15 pounds meels or jori(s).

-Jack Stanton

And here is my response to him…

Hi Jack,

Thanks for your detailed comment and for your kind words. I’m glad you spoke up and shared your perspective, and although we disagree on a few points, we’re on the same team.

you wrote:
“Your presentation on Clubbells was well done. You appear to be quite a Clubbell enthusiast. I watched your two videos, and as said your presentation was outstanding. Unfortunately it was very biased and followed Scott Sonan’s questionable statements regarding Indian Clubs etc…”

If I am biased, it’s not for clubbells or Sonnon’s work specifically, it’s for finding and supporting the best solution to a particular problem. Regardless of who or what we’re discussing, I want what is best for my clients, my readers, and myself. Given that the clubbell fills a unique void in the fitness and strength and conditioning world like no other tool currently does, I am biased in that, it is currently the best tool that I’ve found to serve a specific set of needs that my clients, readers, and myself are facing. It is not because I’m attached to that tool or the training systems or people behind it – emotionally or otherwise. In the same breath, it could be argued that everyone is biased in some way or another – even if we strive not to be. So, this may be a moot point.

noodlesyou wrote:
“Given the same force of impact the resulting damage (injury) will be significantly the same. This is to say a 10 pound Clubbell, a 10 pound Wooden Indian or Persian Club, or a 10 pound steel club will result in a similar injury or damage.”

But Jack, what about a 10 pound pool noodle?

All joking aside, I never took physics, but I completely disagree with that statement. Even if all three of those 10 lb tools were identical in dimensions (and thus, force production), which is extremely improbable due to their mass to weight ratio, that statement still wouldn’t be true.

Otherwise, why would one use a rubber mallet rather than a steel hammer, or vice versa? You use a rubber mallet because you want to impart less force than a steel hammer. Rubber will absorb more of the impact. Whereas, steel will impart more of the impact.

But that only concerns one type of impact injury (blunt force trauma). There are others that are possible with the many types of club swinging tools, and having a rubber coating helps to protect against those, too. Please also note that I never said it will eliminate the risk of injury – just reduce it.

you wrote:
“First, tethering any relatively heavy weight to your arm, wrist, and or hand is foolish at best. Assuming the tether works as intended you are looking at potential shoulder, elbow, and wrist damage if the club goes flying. Second, I have noticed most people who use Clubbell do not use the tethers.”

You’re right. I don’t use them, and most clubbell athletes don’t either. It’s a decision regarding the level of risk and danger present in your training environment. Assuming you are in a safe training environment (e.g. alone in a field), then I agree with you that using the lanyard is foolish. That said, if you are unskilled in the use of clubbell swinging and there are other people nearby who could be hit by a stray clubbell, then that is a high risk, high danger situation that probably warrants use of the tethered lanyard. If that was me, then personally, I’d rather risk an injury to myself rather than to others. It’s a judgment call, and there’s no absolutely right or wrong solution that applies to everyone and every situation. But I hear what you’re saying.

you wrote:
“Both you and Scott Sonar have stated or implied that the in effect the larger size of heavy wooden clubs have very limited use or are almost impossible to swing. Here is what you neglect to mention. There are basically two styles of clubs that are swung in more or less a circular motion. These styles are British Military Indian Clubs and Persian / Indian Clubs called Meels / Jori. British Style Clubs range in weight from a ¼ pound to upwards of 100 pounds. Generally the lighter clubs (under 7 pounds) are often swung simultaneously while the heavier clubs usually are swung with one hand and passed to the other hand to complete the movement. Meel(s) and Jori (s) are normally swung into the ready position and then swung alternately in a circular pattern. The circular movement patterns are similar for metal clubs (solid or loadable).”

Well, I never said they were impossible to swing. What I did say and still purport is that larger wooden clubs are less versatile than the more compact clubbell. It’s simple. The wider the girth is, the further away from your body you’ll have to swing it – resulting in less efficient, less effective, and ultimately suboptimal movement. Also, the longer it is, the fewer exercises you’ll be able to perform with it.

Clubbells can be very heavy and yet still much more compact than wooden clubs. That’s one of their biggest advantages as a piece of club swinging equipment. So, they can be lifted and swung in a larger variety of ways. Naturally, there are a lot of clubbell exercises that cannot be performed with other longer tools. For instance, your example of shield casting a 31″ meel or jori is no problem because the tool stays at waist level or higher, but that length prohibits any exercises where the arms are locked and the club swings down over the ground (rock-its, swings, pendulums, circles, swipes, etc.). With a 31″ long club, only those whom are super tall could perform those exercises without the club hitting the ground.

The excessive length prohibits dozens of the most rudimentary clubbell exercises. My point being that the the introduction of clubbells has opened up a whole new set of possibilities that didn’t exist in conventional club swinging before – in Britain, Persia, or anywhere else (as far as I know). It’s not just superior from an equipment standpoint. It’s opened up a brand new paradigm of club swinging. That said, I never said it was a perfect tool, and if it were up to me, there are design innovations I would be experimenting with to improve upon it.

Note from John: here is just a sampling of clubbell exercises, many of which would be difficult, if not impossible – and certainly impractical – to perform with Indian clubs due to their excessive length and girth.

you wrote:
“To conclude I personally do not care for Clubbells, that does not make them a bad tool. But contrarily to the implications in your video that wooden clubs are inferior to Clubbell is simply not true. In fact from a physical training standpoint heavy wooden clubs are superior. It quite simply takes more grip, wrist, arm, and should strength to swing and control a heavy wooden meel or jori of the same weight as a Clubbell. If you question this statement try, shield cast your 24 inch long 15 pound Clubbells then shield cast a 31 inch 15 pounds meels or jori(s).”

You are correct in that a longer tool of the same weight will produce a greater leverage disadvantage when gripped and more torque when swung, which will result in a more challenging exercise. That is true, but in the end, I think the benefits of the clubbell far outweigh the benefits of any other club swinging tool currently available. That doesn’t mean they’re right for everyone, and of course, everyone has a right to their opinion and preferences.

And in all seriousness, I’m glad you enjoy using your wooden clubs. I really am. To be fair, there are purposes for which traditional clubs are better suited, and they stand alone as a superb training tool. Nobody is questioning that. And no doubt, there’s a sense of pride and tradition and old time physical culture that comes with using them, and that shouldn’t go unmentioned. But for fitness purposes, strength and conditioning, among other things, the clubbell is a superior tool overall. And if and when I find something that better serves the needs of my clients, readers, and myself, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Thanks again for your comment, Jack. Keep swinging!

Now, I’ve blabbed on for quite long enough. So, if you have used them before, I want to hear from you!

Which training tool do you prefer?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Final Words

Now, if you’re thinking about investing in some clubbells, you can learn all about them from my comprehensive clubbell product review, where I discuss practically everything there is to know about them – to help you decide if they’re right for you and your goals.

Click Here to Learn More About Clubbells

clubbells

If you found this article helpful, please share it with your friends and tweeps:

CST Coach, CST-KS
Health-First Fitness Coach
CST-Certified Clubbell Instructor
Certified Clubbell Geek

P.S. If you liked this post, then please signup for the newsletter, or follow me on Facebook or Twitter for daily updates and other interesting info.

5 Responses

  1. Travis Janeway

    Hi John,

    Over the last 3 years I have been learning about and using clubs more. I have extensive experience with Kettlebells, Barbells and many other training tools, but the unique leverage from club training and the potential for shoulder mobilization has inspired more frequent use.

    Regarding preference, I like both for different reasons.

    For heavy casts and swipes the knurled grip in the clubbells are superior as grip always goes first and the knurling makes holding on to the club much easier. The compact size makes clearing the head much easier as well. A 20# wooden meel has to be swung much further away from the body.

    However, for more complex movements geared toward shoulder mobilization i prefer wooden clubs for two reasons.

    #1 the feel. I have smooth steel, knurled cubbbells, plastic clubs and wooden ones and nothing beats the feel of a wooden club. Steel or plastic have a very dead feel, where as the wooden clubs feel almost alive in my hands.

    #2 has to do with impact. All things being equal, length, weight etc. the force on impact is the same. A steel hammer and a rubber mallet of equal weight and dimensions deliver the same force, but the feel of the impact is dramatically different because one softens the blow. Think Mike Tyson hitting you bare knuckle or with a 16oz glove. Your getting knocked out either way, but bare knuckle blow is likely going to require stitches. I am a novice to club training and I have bonked the back of my head and knuckles numerous times honing my technique. Bare steel and even rubberized steel tends to take a chunk out, but wooden clubs tend to glance off.

    Anyhow, my thoughts on clubbells vs Indian clubs. Keep up the great content!

  2. John,

    I am quite the novice when it comes to these items. I have a 10 lb. clubbell that I have had for at least 6 or 7 years and never used.

    I am starting this year to try and get into shape. Running is part of that but so is trying to perform functional exercises. I think both the clubbell and the Indian clubs both have their advantages.

    In my particular case I have problems with my right shoulder. It is stiff and pops when doing certain exercises. The doc just say I am getting old (56) but I think it is something much more basic.

    Right now the clubbell is too much for that shoulder so in this instance the lighter Indian clubs will be much better for creating more mobility and stabilization. Swinging the 1-2 lbs Indian clubs is the ticket for this. Then later I can transition to the heavier clubbell.

    However I do think that there is a case to be made to use both, the lighter Indian clubs to warm up and establish mobility and stabilization and the heavier clubbells for additional strengthening of not only the shoulder area but also with core strengthening.

    As far as heavier Indian clubs and clubbells, I think the clubbells probably have it over the Indian clubs, not to say that there isn’t a use for them.

  3. where can I buy ?

Leave a Reply