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Diesel Crew's Youtube Hit Piece on Joe Kinney

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  • Diesel Crew's Youtube Hit Piece on Joe Kinney

    This past weekend, I came across a Youtube video that was posted in early 2019. Here it is:

    It is an 11 minute narrated piece with Jedd Johnson on camera the entire time. He is offering his opinion of Joe Kinney, as a way of answering the very common question that he gets asked; people are wondering what he thinks of Joe Kinney. Jedd Johnson is a respectable strong grip guy who is the person most responsible for popularizing grip contests in the US from 2004-2010. Since then, grip contests "have grown legs" so to speak, and they are all over the country. I competed in the 2009 "Nationals" that were held at his home, and I won the "Diesel Award", which was something done by secret ballot of the competitors as a way of honoring the most intense/inspirational/etc. Jedd is also a Moderator on the Gripboard. I have financially supported the Gripboard over the last 10 years, which only a small minority of Gripboard members actually do. And, I purchased the DVD sets of the first few contests he ran. I have met Jedd on three occasions: the 2009 Nationals, and two different AOBS Dinners, 10 years apart. "Diesel Crew" is what Jedd calls his grip and training business.

    Okay, the subject is Joe Kinney. I was disappointed in the 11 minute video, because it truly was a Hit Piece. Very early on in the video, Jedd was shrugging his shoulders, actually unsure of himself, saying "I don't really know when he closed the gripper". That is a very easy piece to research, as the IronMind website, in the "Who's Who" of Captains of Crush, shows Joe's name as a Number 3 Certified Captain of Crush in 1997, and a Number 4 Certified Captain of Crush in 1998. The piece goes down after that. Worse, it refers the viewer to to "research" if the viewer wants to learn more.

    All threads on the Gripboard talking about Joe Kinney eventually get shut down. They get shut down because many posters get emotional. And, if someone perceives someone who does not share their own view of Joe Kinney's accomplishments as not being rattled, they then resort to making stuff up, insulting the party, ridiculing them, etc. Most criticism of Kinney is based on speculation, not facts. People change words, falsely accuse others of calling respected members liars, etc. If I were Jedd, I would have left the Gripboard out of it. But I am not Jedd.

    The Gripboard was not always this way. Check out this thread from 17 years ago:

    Seventeen years ago, all of the posters on the thread, except for two, believed Joe Kinney. There were two posters "on the fence". What happened since then?

    When the original VHS tape was made in 1998, 2005 was a long ways off. What happened in 2005? Youtube was invented. In 2019, critics are saying "why didn't they do this, why didn't they do that in the video?" Because it was made by amateurs who never thought of those things, and had zero experience with filming.

    I first became aware that there were Kinney skeptics in 2004. I never had visited a grip internet site, I had never met a "grip" person, until I entered a contest in 2004. A few months after I met a fellow young enough to be my son, he, a 2003 Captain of Crush, came back from the 2004 AOBS Dinner. There, a Strength Legend told him to view the Number 4 close that J Kinney does at the beginning of the Get A Grip video. He would see, the Legend said, a very fast close that was impossible to achieve. Less than two years later, I went to a birthday party for a Strength Enthusiast about 100 miles North of me. I politely listened and watched the tape showing what was described, not disclosing I had the tape and had watched it more than a few times. His source? Same fellow as my 20 something year old friend's source. He, like the younger fellow, was 100% certain it was fake.

    Both of my friends, the old guy and the young guy, were told the same thing. Joe Kinney, mechanical genius that he was, had obviously heated the Number 4 gripper, rendering the spring weaker. It was a theory that went from the one-on-one conversations, to telephone calls, to emails, to the Internet, and to who knows where. Every single bit of it speculation and hearsay. Every. Single. Bit. Sure, there were some analytical fellows who know just how hard it is to dominate a Number 4 gripper and came to that conclusion on their own. But most of it is fanned by the flames of jealousy.

    So here we are, 21 years after Joe Kinney Certified on the Number 4 gripper, and not only are there forum discussions of Joe Kinney, there are entire Youtube presentations questioning his Certification, some even maintaining that he never closed anything beyond a Number 2!

    It seems to me that there are a small handful of vocal critics, some of whom are a lot stronger, younger, and taller than Joe Kinney. Yet Joe Kinney is apparently such a badass that he scares them. Why? Just maybe, maybe, he was a better gripster than they ever dreamed of being. And that is a pretty scary thing when a chunk of your life is invested in pushing yourself to the maximum. Some undersized hillbilly from Tennessee, in his prime, just may have been better than you are now, were, or ever will be.
    Last edited by Mike Corlett; 07-30-2019, 11:52 PM. Reason: Digit on a date in error on original

  • #2
    While I respect and appreciate a lot of people on the Gripboard, including Jedd, I strongly disagree with the narrative they push against Joe to the point that it turns me off from gripsport entirely. Any thoughts I've previously had about going to competitions or meeting people quickly leave my mind. Every few months I'll check over there to see what people are talking about and I did the other day. Surprise, another locked Kinney thread full of accusations and vitriol. It disgusts me. With such a small community, this divisive behavior does nothing to benefit the sport nor does locking every thread without actually discussing it. It isn't a dead horse subject either. I dont blame Joe for staying out of it at all. I would too.


    • #3
      Well, that’s quite a post, Mike. I’m only going to comment on one point for now - the assertions some have made that I have never closed anything beyond a CoC #2. Some get even more specific in their claims. I’ve read ‘elsewhere’ that I was never witnessed closing anything stronger than a #2. This will be fun to address.

      The anti-Kinney sect has legislated special requirements - which they demand be applied ex post facto, in my case. Two of these, that my witnesses be men of “grip prowess” and that they “really know their $#!+ about grippers”, can be subsumed into one, basically. However, the witness I will be citing is one who meets both of the aforementioned requirements - in spades. He is also a man who everyone in this discussion trusts and respects. He is Heath Sexton.

      Heath Sexton’s story about meeting me is posted on this forum at post # 149 of the “Beast” thread. In there, we find Heath stating, in part, the following:

      “… … I showed him my BTR #3. I cut the handle in half all the way up to the center line, this is a pretty hard gripper, I asked him if he thought that was enough cut, etc etc... I also said, "people say this can weaken the spring." "Hmm, I wouldn't think so" and he gives it a playful squeeze, taking it down to right around 1/4", this is closed on my other #3's. He squeezed a lot of grippers, but never turned loose on anything, it was all casual.”

      The anti-Kinney sect claims to be interested in the facts. Here are some facts:

      My meeting with Heath was more than four years after I quit grip training.
      More than four years after I quit grip training, I closed Heath's BTR #3 down to “around 1/4””.
      CoC gripper handles are ¾” in diameter.
      Cutting one in half (for BTR training), as Heath did with the subject gripper, increases the range of the gripper an additional 3/8”, and;
      Closing such a modified gripper to 1/4” away from touching the handles is equivalent to closing the subject gripper 1/8” past its original fully closed position.
      I gave Heath's BTR #3 gripper “a playful squeeze”, as Heath stated.
      I “never turned loose on anything, it was all casual.”, as Heath stated
      Heath judges the subject gripper to be “a pretty hard gripper.”

      So, Heath meets the anti-Kinney sect’s requirements and witnessed me not only close a CoC #3 gripper, but close that gripper past what would have been "fully closed" on an unmodified CoC #3. Of particular note is the fact that he didn’t witness me really “turn[] loose on anything.” As he wrote; it was a playful squeeze and was done casually. He witnessed this performed on a gripper that he owned, and this was witnessed more than four years after I quit grip training. These are the facts.

      To me, 1/8” beyond the range isn’t significant, but it is something that needs to be considered in this discussion. Grip training discussions are replete with people whining about not being able to get that last 1/8”, or 1/16”, or mm. In fact, I read an account somewhere about a guy who claimed to be some kind of grip king failing to close a regular CoC #3 gripper just a couple of months after he quit grip training!!! It’s a fact that his situation wasn’t casual, and his squeeze wasn’t playful. He was trying to win something, and he failed. That last little bit stopped him. Beyond the range training is the proven method for solving this problem. That’s a fact.

      Four years after I quit grip training, I could still easily close a CoC #3 gripper. That’s a fact.
      Last edited by Joe Kinney; 08-10-2019, 10:37 PM.


      • #4
        Don’t forget, Joe...they say you didn’t have good technique (no deep set) so the handle being back in your hand means you should’ve been beyond an unmodified no.3!


        • #5
          It’s a good thing I certified on the CoC #4 before these geniuses came along and made it impossible. The way I heard it, I shouldn’t have been able to burst cans of beer, either. That was another thing the geniuses claimed was impossible. I never got the memo on that, so I just went ahead and burst dozens of beers and sodas. Oops.

          My gripper placement / technique will remain the same. These guys are geniuses, so they should know there are extraordinary differences to be found among the hands of grip guys. What works for my hand, is very unlikely to work for most. I am not a member of the flat hand society.

          My response to anyone who thinks there is something wrong with my gripper technique is as follows:

          Unless your hand looks like the hand pictured below, you don’t know what you’re talking about.

          Click image for larger version

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