Young Marine broke his jaw and lost several teeth doing kettlebells – here’s how

Young Marine broke his jaw and lost several teeth doing kettlebells – here’s how

I once had an RKC (Russian Kettlebell Challenge KB Instructor) working for me when I owned my KB studio.

Jess was tough as nails, and was a rock climber. 

She also trained US Marines on one of the USMC bases in North Carolina.

One day, she was telling me about a young private who dropped a kettlebell from overhead onto his face, breaking his jaw, losing several teeth, and spitting blood.


We’ll get there in a minute.

Now, that’s arguably the most gruesome injury I’ve heard of from using KBs.


I was on lunch break while teaching at the Chicago RKC c. 2011/12, and a young lady came up to us (the teaching cadre) holding her right arm. She said she thought she just tore her biceps while performing the RKC Snatch Test (100 reps, 16kg, in 5 minutes).

A poster on the old forum claimed he broke his arm snatching a KB.

And about once a month I get an email from someone asking how to get rid of their elbow tendonitis or…

Where they should pick up a program again because they have to take time off (again) because they hurt their backs (again) doing Swings or Snatches.

There’s an easy fix for all of this.

Back to our Marine.

Apparently, even after Jess took these grunts through proper technique, and made sure everyone “checked out,” this youngster refused to slow down or listen to his body.

Even with her constant admonishments of “Straighten your arm” and “lock your elbow,” he kept on pushing through. He’d fix his technique momentarily, then get lazy again.

Instead of stopping when his elbow started to bend, he kept pushing it, apparently competing with his fellow squad members, relying on his triceps strength, instead of his structure – the locked elbow and stacked arm bones.

As a result, while he was in the “Tall Sit” position (as I recall), on his way back to the floor, his arm gave out, and he ate his kettlebell. 

Jess, the kind soul she was, made the young Marine finish his set, then go to the infirmary.

What’s the point of me sharing this story with you?

If you are remotely serious about your kettlebell training and seeing lasting results from your kettlebell workouts…

Don’t short-change yourself by “winging” your technique or ignoring old injuries, aches and pains.

Both will catch up with you eventually.

If you need help with your kettlebell technique, remember Grandma’s advice:

An ounce of prevention is always better than a pound of cure.

Spend time learning and shoring up your technique and getting rid of any injuries holding you back. 

I’ll leave 3 resources for you in the description:

👉 A single kettlebell technique course. 

👉 A double kettlebell technique course. 

👉 And a mobility and restoration system. 

Until next time…

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