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advisory board

Kabuki Strength is grounded, inspired, and supported by a community of world-class researchers, doctors, coaches, and clinicians. Being able to call them official members of our Advisory Board is an honor.

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As an organization, Kabuki Strength stands humbly at the intersection of two eternal virtues, experience and knowledge. From the very beginning, one of our core, foundational tenants has been education. It is this never-ending pursuit, application, and expression of knowledge that is central to our mission of making the world a better place through strength.

Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to work with and receive mentorship from some of the brightest minds in the industry. These incredible researchers, educators, coaches, and clinicians are the ones weaving the fabric of our collective understanding of how the body works, how to strengthen it, and how to fix it when it breaks. They spend much of their time in the clinic, on the field, in the lab, or in the classroom; working relentlessly to push us one step further.

We’ve found that of the greatest challenges facing our community is the disconnect between the pursuit of knowledge and its mainstream application. In an industry influenced by dogma and the incessant search for instant results we often lose sight of the men and women who build our foundation of knowledge. For them, recognition is scarce and in today’s day and age popularity often determines the success of an idea or person, rather than efficacy or truth.

We want to change this.

We are committed to sharing our platform and working with the clinical, academic, and strength & conditioning communities to teach, coach, and equip more and more people with the tools and knowledge needed to better themselves. If you listen to our Strength Chat podcast, you will have heard many of these incredible men and women tell their story and share wisdom.

Today, we are proud to announce and introduce a new initiative towards this goal – the Kabuki Strength Advisory Board. We are honored that these world-class individuals would lend us their time, their knowledge, and their name in our pursuit of making the world a better place through strength. 

Tap each image to scroll to bio

As an organization, Kabuki Strength stands humbly at the intersection of two eternal virtues, experience and knowledge. From the very beginning, one of our core, foundational tenants has been education. It is this never-ending pursuit, application, and expression of knowledge that is central to our mission of making the world a better place through strength.

Over the years we’ve had the opportunity to work with and receive mentorship from some of the brightest minds in the industry. These incredible researchers, educators, coaches, and clinicians are the ones weaving the fabric of our collective understanding of how the body works, how to strengthen it, and how to fix it when it breaks. They spend much of their time in the clinic, on the field, in the lab, or in the classroom; working relentlessly to push us one step further.

We’ve found that of the greatest challenges facing our community is the disconnect between the pursuit of knowledge and its mainstream application. In an industry influenced by dogma and the incessant search for instant results we often lose sight of the men and women who build our foundation of knowledge. For them, recognition is scarce and in today’s day and age popularity often determines the success of an idea or person, rather than efficacy or truth.

We want to change this.

We are committed to sharing our platform and working with the clinical, academic, and strength & conditioning communities to teach, coach, and equip more and more people with the tools and knowledge needed to better themselves. If you listen to our Strength Chat podcast, you will have heard many of these incredible men and women tell their story and share wisdom.

Today, we are proud to announce and introduce a new initiative towards this goal – the Kabuki Strength Advisory Board. We are honored that these world-class individuals would lend us their time, their knowledge, and their name in our pursuit of making the world a better place through strength. 

Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo

Wrote 240+ Scientific Journal Papers, and 5 books

Leading Spine Researcher + Educator

Dr. Stuart McGill

Stuart McGill is Professor Emeritus (after 32 years at the University of Waterloo, Canada) who authored over 240 scientific journal papers, 5 books, and mentored over 40 graduate students during this scientific journey. Investigations in the laboratory, training centre and research clinic probed back injury and pain mechanisms, rehabilitation approaches, and performance training. As a consultant, he has provided expertise on low back injury to various government agencies, many corporations and legal firms and hundreds of professional/international athletes and teams worldwide. He is regularly referred special patient cases from the international medical community for opinion.

His books include Back Mechanic, written for the lay public with pain, Ultimate Back Fitness and Performance, 2017, written for coaches and athletes, Gift of Injury (2018), a manual for rehabilitating the back-injured strength athlete, and Low Back Disorders for clinicians.

Dr. McGill’s relationship with Kabuki Strength goes back to way before we were a company. His work has been foundational to both co-founder Chris Duffin and Director of Coaching and Education Brandon Senn’s work on building our core curriculum. Dr. McGill has presented several courses on-site at Kabuki Strength Lab, and continues to endorse our products and education model. At BackFitPro, Dr. McGill uses the Transformer Bar daily with his clients to tune the load sharing among the joints during squat training.

Website: www.backfitpro.com

Coach, PT, Speaker, Co-Founder MobilityWOD

New York Times Bestselling Author

Dr. Kelly Starrett

Kelly Starrett is a coach, physical therapist, author, speaker, and co-founder of MobilityWOD, which has revolutionized how athletes think about human movement and athletic performance. He is also the co-founder of San Francisco Crossfit, one of the first 50 Crossfit affiliates.

Kelly is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestsellers Becoming A Supple Leopard and Ready to Run and co-author of the Wall Street Journal Bestseller Deskbound. Kelly and his work have been featured on 60 Minutes, The View, The Joe Rogan Experience, CBS Sports, Outside Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal as well as in countless books including Tim Ferriss’ books The Four Hour Body and Tools of Titans.

Kelly’s clients have included professional athletes from the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB, Olympic gold-medalists, Tour de France cyclists, world and national record holding Olympic Lifting and Power athletes, Crossfit Games medalists, ballet dancers, military personnel, and competitive age-division athletes.

In an former life, Kelly was the co-founder of Liquid, a kayaking camp for kids with HIV. He is also the founder of StandUpKids.org, a non-profit dedicated to combating kids’ sedentary lifestyles by bringing standing/moving desks to low-income public schools. To date, StandUpKids has converted 95,000 kids from sitting to standing.

Kelly received his Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2007 from Samuel Merritt College in Oakland, California. His background as an athlete and coach includes paddling whitewater slalom canoe on the US Canoe and Kayak Teams, and leading the Men’s Whitewater Rafting Team to two national titles and competition in two World Championships. In his free time Kelly enjoys spending time with his wife Juliet and two daughters, Georgia and Caroline, surfing, paddling, Olympic lifting, hot-tubbing, and so-you-think-you-can-dancing.

Dr. Starrett and Chris Duffin have produced educational content over the last several years together around soft tissue, movement patterns, as well as training and rehabilitation methods. Dr. Starrett has been a fan and early adopter of Kabuki Strength equipment in his work and provided feedback on some of our early concepts.

First female head athletic trainer in US Professional Sports

Founder, Structure and Function

Associate Professor at Arizona School of Health Sciences

Sue Falsone

Born in Buffalo, NY, Sue received a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from Daemen College in Amherst, New York. She continued her education by earning a master’s degree in human movement science, with a concentration in sports medicine, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Sue is the current owner of Structure & Function Education, an education company dedicated to educating health care professionals dry needling, as well as how to clinically Bridge the Gap from Rehab to Performance and has authored a book by the same name. Sue has presented at state, national and international level conferences in areas focusing on dry needling, pillar strength, integration of physical therapy and performance training, and comprehensive kinetic chain assessment and rehabilitation. She’s a Board-Certified Clinical Specialist in Sports Physical Therapy (SCS), a certified athletic trainer (ATC), certified orthopedic manual therapist for the spine (COMT), a certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT- 200) through Yoga Alliance.

Sue worked at Athletes’ Performance for 13 years, last serving as the Vice President of Performance Physical Therapy and Team Sport. She worked with the Los Angeles Dodgers for 6 years, last serving as head athletic trainer and physical therapist. She holds the distinction of being the first female head athletic trainer in any of the four major sports in the United States (MLB, NFL, NHL, NBA).

She served as Head of Athletic Training and Sport Performance with US Soccer’s Men’s National Team.

She was named a Distinguished Alumni at Daemen College and has been inducted into her high school’s Athletic Hall of Fame (Kenmore West).

Her philosophy includes looking at the athlete as a whole person, working with the entire body to create an optimal environment for healing and performance training.

Sue also consults with a variety of organizations in the NBA, MLB, and NFL and has a concierge practice, continuing to work one on one with athletes.

Doctor of Chiropractic

Director – L.A. Sports & Spine

Dr. Craig Liebenson

Dr. Liebenson is the Director of L.A. Sports & Spine, a pain management, rehabilitation & performance enhancement center providing one on one musculoskeletal care. He is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Chiropractic, Division of Health Sciences at Murdoch University, Perth Australia and consultant for the the Anglo-European Chiropratic College M.Sc. programs in Chiropractic Rehabilitation. The first ever chiropractic member of the McKenzie Institute (U.S.) Board of Directors he serves on the editorial boards of numerous journals including the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation; the PM&R Journal of Injury, Function and Rehabilitation; the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapy; and Journal of Manual Therapy.

Dr. Liebenson is the first health care provider in California to receive a Certification of Recognition from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) on Achievement of Recognition for Delivery of Quality Back Pain Care. He is actively engaged in ongoing research on the spinal stabilization system as a Visiting Scholar at Pr. Stuart McGill’s Spine Biomechanics Laboratory at the University of Waterloo. He began studying with both Dr. Karel Lewit and Pr Vladimir Janda beginning in 1987 and began hosting Pavel Kolar’s programs in the late 1990’s.

Dr. Liebenson publishes extensively and is the editor of the book/DVD Rehabilitation of the Spine: A Practioner’s Manual (2nd ed), 2007, DVD series Yoga & Ergonomics; Core Stability Training; & Functional-Performance Training and the The Functional Training Handbook (2014). He has had books published into Spanish, Greek, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese. He worked as team chiropractor for the N.B.A. Los Angeles Clippers from 2005-2009, consulted with the M.L.B. Arizona Diamondbacks, N.F.L. Seattle Seahawks, and Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group. He serves on the Advisory Council for Equinox worldwide luxury fitness gyms.

Dr. Liebenson’s work with Dr. Karl Lewit and Dr. Pavel Kolar have heavily influenced our core understanding of spine health and performance as it relates to movement under load. Kabuki Strength co-founder has previously been a guest lecturer at Dr. Liebenson’s First Principles of Movement course. You can listen to a Strength Chat podcast episode with Dr. Liebenson here.

Head Strength Coach, Cleveland Indians

Joe Kessler

Joe Kessler is in his 10th season as the Major League Strength and Conditioning Coach after being named to the position on January 8, 2010. Joe was named MLB Strength Coach of the Year by his MLB peers at the 2018 Winter Meetings.

Kessler, 37, originally joined the Indians organization in March of 2009. He spent the 2009 season as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach in Goodyear, Arizona, where he worked with players based out of the Goodyear Complex and assisted those who were rehabilitating from previous injuries. Kessler’s previous experience includes two years as the Director of Athletic Development for OAK Athletic Development in Bourbonnais, IL and spent two seasons as a Strength and Conditioning Assistant with the Indianapolis Colts from 2005-07 after working in a similar role with the Chicago Bears in 2004.

Joe is a 2004 graduate of Illinois State University where he majored in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science, and also holds a master’s degree in Organizational Development and Leadership from Ashford University.

Joe Kessler and the Cleveland Indian’s coaching staff have received continuing education from Kabuki Strength coaches and educators. The Indians organization utilizes Kabuki Strength products such as the Transformer Bar and Duffalo Bar in their weight rooms.

BSc. Kinesiology

Certified Exercise Physiologist – CSEP

Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist – NSCA

Dean Somerset

I’ve built a reputation as one of the leading authorities in functional anatomy, corrective exercise, and post-rehabilitation in the fitness industry, and am consistently featured in major international fitness publications such as Men’s Health, Bodybuilding.com and many others.

I’ve consulted with professional football and baseball strength coaches, as well many amateur teams and individuals. I’ve presented workshops and seminars internationally for various organizations and through my own business, and been a guest lecturer at universities in Canada, the US, and England. I’ve lectured in front of over 5,000 fitness and health professionals in 14 different countries at current count, and have produced video educational series that have been accessed by professionals in over 80 countries.

I’ve worked with elite runners, firefighters, Paralympians, cardiac rehabilitation and cancer survivors, as well as everyone in between. Each situation calls for an individualized approach to assessment, training plan development, teaching and motivation. Regardless of where someone begins with their fitness, my goal is to help them get where they want to be, and to use the best cutting edge methods available to get them there faster than they ever believed possible, while also helping them to enjoy the process.

Dean Sommerset has worked back and forth directly with both Kabuki Strength Co-Founders Chris Duffin and Rudy Kadlub in lecture and application of principles around hip and shoulder assessments.  There is significant synergy in philosophy and principles in Dean’s methodologies and Kabuki Strength, and his work has further refined some of our approaches.

Doctor of Chiropractic

MobilityWOD, StrongFirst Instructor

Dr. Travis Jewett

Travis Jewett is a strength coach and chiropractor. He maintains a clinic in Cherokee, IA where he focuses on helping people improve there strength and movement through manual therapies and basic strength and conditioning. His goal is to help each person understand what is going on with their body and guide them towards independence and self care. He believes most people can take care of their issues if given the proper tools.

Travis also travels the world teaching courses for MobilityWOD. For MobilityWOD, he developed and teaches a performance workshop dedicated to improving the efficiency of the big lifts. The course helps people understand their performance limiters so they can train more effectively while minimizing risk. He also teaches the MWOD 102 coaches course which is dedicated to giving coaches a straightforward way to assess athletes and help them understand where they can improve the motion of their joints and soft tissues. The goal is to help coaches understand what is and isn’t and injury and help athletes through non-injury related training issues. His goal is to create a global network of physicians of all types who not only understand the importance of strength training and how to perform and troubleshoot the lifts, but can also prescribe them for rehabilitation and performance. For information about his seminars, books, and other offerings, head to his website.

Dr. Jewett is a frequent contributor to written content on kabukistrength.com. You can see his published pieces here. He can be contacted for remote consultations about training and injury through email at [email protected] or through Instagram at @drjewett07. If you are local, you can call his clinic, 712-225-5141

Director of Athletic Development and Performance Science, MLB

Brandon McDaniel

Brandon McDaniel enters his 12th season in Professional Baseball.  He currently is a Director of Athletic Development and Performance Science in the MLB.

He has been in the field of Strength & Conditioning for 13 years and has previously worked for the Pittsburgh Pirates at the Minor League level and EXOS (formerly Athletes Performance) in their Military Strength and Conditioning department with the Department of Defense.

Brandon holds a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science from Wayne State College (NE) where he was a member of the baseball team.  He holds a Masters Degree from A.T. Still University in Human Movement.  He also holds many certifications including his Registered Strength and Conditioning Coach Certification through the National Strength and Conditioning Association, as well as FMS, SFMA, USAW, DNS, PRI and Strong First Kettlebell.

He has a strong belief in the importance of sound training and optimal recovery for high-level performance not only in the world of professional athletics, but also general human performance.

Brandon has been married to his wife Andrea, who also works in the NBA as a registered dietitian.  They have two young sons and currently reside in Burbank, CA.