The Evolution Of Combat Sports

Talking about how the different combat martial arts, such as Thai Boxing, have developed as sports especially in the United States

 

What Is Hard Work

Tkickboxing-minneapolis-minnesotahere can be different interpretations of what hard work is.  First, who’s asking? A professional or former college athlete? A high school athlete that hasn’t done much for 10 years? A person who has never done sports but has excelled in academics?  Is it me asking as a man in his 50’s that at one time pushed my limits on a daily basis? Bottom line, what hard work is for one person may seem crazy to another. Vince Lombardi said, “The dictionary is the only place success comes before work.  Hard work is the price we must all pay for success. I think we can accomplish anything if we are willing to pay the price.” You need to know what you want before you will be willing to work hard for it. Everyone has different goals in the martial arts; get in shape, relieve stress, build confidence, make friends and have fun, compete, become a champion….and everyone has a little of the above at varying levels.

Until you understand what hard work is and accept it as part of the process, you are likely not going to achieve your goals.  Being your best is about wanting it enough to do what is required and more. You have to be willing to pay the price of commitment, with consistency and discipline; you have to form new healthy habits if you are going to succeed in reaching your goals.  The key to reaching your own version of success means you have to accept what it will take. After that, you have to develop the habit of doing what you know you should and what is necessary. To be your best you must have the will to prepare to win the day.

“The dictionary is the only place success comes before work.  Hard work is the price we must all pay for success. I think we can accomplish anything if we are willing to pay the price.”

 

Most people think they have the will to be great at some level.  However, many do not acknowledge the price that must be paid. At the beginning levels the cost is minimal. You have to begin by creating some consistent training habits.  As you improve that price goes up. If you know why you are training, you will be willing to do the work. A martial artist knows that victories are won in the classroom and through training with consistency.  It is by making a choice to get up and get into The Academy to train on a consistent basis that little victories are won. Your body and mind become accustomed to your routine and you will eventually start to ask more of yourself.  By knowing why you want to train and then following through over time, you become ever closer to becoming that confident, disciplined and hardworking individual you have always dreamed you could be.

Opera Non Verba, Deeds Not Words…..Just Do It!

Martial Arts Goals As You Age

Listen to Coach Greg talk about how your goal for training can evolve over time as you get older

 

 

 

Training To Be Healthy : Part 2

Fourth, workout 5-6 times a week.  Start your morning with a 20-30 minute walk, jog, shadow box, carenza, and basic mobility work.  It is important to have a morning routine; something to get your blood pumping, oxygenate your body and limber up your joints.  Along with your regular martial arts training you should do some strength and cardio training. You should have a consistent routine, but don’t bite off more than you can chew.  Start small and work your way up. This should be easy for everyone. You are already training, now start to be very directed and disciplined.

Fifth, meditate, pray or simply relax at least once a day. If you fall asleep, so be it. Doing something to reboot your brain and body during the day is important.  There are many ways to meditate. It does not have to be some esoteric weird thing, just focus on your breathing and kill two birds with one stone.

Sixth, get more sleep.  This one only took me 51 ½ years to figure out. It was tough at first, but now I sleep 7 hours…most nights.  To sleep well, I have to have everything completely dark and quiet, which everyone should. I could talk about sleep a bunch because I have done a lot of study.  Why? Because as soon as I started sleeping 7 hours a night I felt so much more energized and motivated.

I could expand on every one of these areas, and I am still learning more all of the time.  Now in my 50’s, after fighting more than a few battles, on all fronts, I know the importance of health and well-being more now than ever.  What is stopping you from being committed to your health, your loved ones, family, your personal development and success in whatever you choose.

 

Bringing The Martial Arts Mentality To Everyday Life

 

Training To Be Healthy : Part 1

Everything starts with a good attitude, and that is a good start, but you need to be committed to optimizing your health.   Health is far more than simply just working out and getting in shape. To be in the best health there are a number of things that you can do. Most of these things will allow you to be more effective at what is most important to you.  Over the past year I have been learning more about high performance. Physiology is a major part of being your best. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The world belongs to the energetic.” Now let’s see how we can all be more energetic.

There are 6 areas that we can change to increase our energy for everything we do.   Most of these things we do, but often do not really focus nor fully engage them. First, our breathing and how we take in oxygen is crucial to health.  Most of us take this for granted. There are many simple techniques that you can do today that will immediately give you a charge.

“A healthy attitude is contagious, don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.”

First, the way we started life is breathing with our diaphragm, but then we stopped.  Therefore, it is simply about relearning how to breathe fully with both of your lungs.  Breathing in with your nose, expanding your belly as you fill up the bottom of your lungs on up, the exhaling fully with your mouth will better oxygenate your body.  Another very easy way to invigorate your body is to simply bounce up and down while you breathe deeply…how simple is that!

Second, drink more clean water.  We should be drinking 4-6 liters of water every day.  If you are training and sweating that amount goes up. We are made up mostly of water , so we need to re-hydrate with water.  Many people drink any number of different types of drinks and less of what they really need, plain water. This is about as easy as it gets.

Third, unless you are seriously training you should eat 2-4 meals per day.  One of the reasons America has a growing obesity problem is the amount and kind of food people consume.  The average person should eat more greens, veggies, fruits, but less meat and carbs. Eat less things out of boxes and cans and more things you can grow and grill.  Simply put, eat real food as much as you can. Next, keep the One Plate Rule. The amount of food you eat should fit on one plate and at one level. Eat better, cleaner and less.

 

To be Continued….

Academy History – Learn Our Story – #1 Martial Arts in MN

Don’t Fear The Process

In junior high and high school I was a gymnast.  In the beginning you learn how to simply swing back and forth, learning how to use your body to create more and more momentum.

Once you become comfortable with swinging you then learn how to do a kip. This requires some technique and timing.  On the outside, it looks very simple. However, there are many little movements that must be coordinated and timed to complete the move.  Eventually, the goal is to kip up and cast as high as you can so as to let your body drop and allow your body to swing completely around the bar.  Of course, the bar is 9 feet off the ground and what looks so effortless from the outside, is not so easy.  No matter how many times you swing back and forth, at some point you are going to have cast as high as you can and let gravity work. Allowing the process to happen is always the toughest part. Why is it so tough to just let it happen -fear!
What ultimately allows a gymnast to allow their body to swing through the air around the bar is faith.  Eventually, you have to believe you are going to get all the way around.

We all get to that place when doing something for the first time where fear hangs out and you have to choose to move through it.

Most will never become a gymnast or have to swing entirely around a bar. But at some point you will have something in front of you, something new and scary, that you have to face and get over.  We all get to that place when doing something for the first time where fear hangs out and you have to choose to move through it.  Your first class, your first time sparring or rolling live, your first competition, the list goes on.…  Will you allow fear keep you from taking the next step? Will fear stop you from starting something new or will you have faith in the process, let yourself go and just have fun doing something totally new?

I can tell you I have done both. I have hesitated and even prevented myself from experiencing something new. On the other hand, I have ‘casted straight to handstand and let it rip.’ I have taken chances to do new things, meet new people, experience the curiosity and joy of being a complete beginner again.  What is it that prevents you from taking that swing?  Whenever you are at the cusp of doing something new and hesitate to jump, you must not let fear win.  Courage is not about the lack of fear; courage is about being afraid and doing it anyway.

Learning to trust the process will allow you to experience many things that will never be there if you allow fear to control you.  Learn to simply let go.  It’s something I wish I would have done it always throughout my life. Just like when I went for that first giant swing in gymnastics.  

Start doing those things you are putting off, that you may be afraid of, but will benefit your life….you’ll be happy you did.

Hard Work Beats Talent

‘Hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard’ Talent is a gift, skills are learned and when combined with hard work that is where the magic happens. We have that saying painted on our walls because it is truth. The mechanics of kicking, punching, knees, elbows, takedowns, submissions, etc… are all skills that are won through hard work, repetition and continual practice. Skills affect your growth as a martial artist just as talent does. If your technical skills are sharpened through hard work you can be very good, maybe even great! However, we have seen countless Academy members with no special talent and average mechanics become some of our best students and even successful competitors.

Talent and skill are important to becoming a great martial artist, or a great anything. However, they are not the most important elements to that success. We have many high ranking students, competitors in BJJ, MMA and Muay Thai, and instructors who are not gifted with natural talent nor have achieved technical perfection. So what is the most important factor when it comes to achievement? It’s called a strong work ethic.

Remember, ‘Practice Makes Habit’, so make a strong work ethic your habit.

What is a strong work ethic? It is the ability to consistently do the work at your highest level no matter what your circumstances are. In other words, no matter what happens, no matter what outside struggles you may have, you are still able to get in and bring all the talent and skill you have to every class, practice or training session. A strong work ethic is simply you doing your best every chance you get with everything you do.

A strong work ethic is a learned skill. Work ethic has nothing to do with genetics, natural talent or whatever you want to call it. It is developed the exact same way any of your technical skills are. If you don’t have a strong work ethic it simply means you haven’t ‘trained’ it enough yet. Anyone can develop a strong work ethic when they decide to put it into practice. 

Remember, ‘Practice Makes Habit’, so make a strong work ethic your habit.

Creating the habit to work hard starts with simple steps. First and foremost, you have to decide to work hard…it is a choice. Next, you must create a schedule and stick to it. Consistency is key! Stay disciplined, come to class and do your best. Do that every class, week after week, making a habit of pushing yourself and let your hard work speak for itself.

Rules For Living Part 2

Rule #4

All Champions Have To Start Somewhere And Quite Often It Is At The Bottom

My first year of wrestling I was on my back looking up a lot! I counted a lot of gym lights my first year of wrestling in Jr High losing 11 matches and winning only 1. I was a real ‘loser’ all around that school year. I got in a ton of trouble and was eventually expelled in the last 2 weeks of school. Incidentally, that made that summer a turning point in my life. My dad, who was athletic, an eagle scout, a successful manager at one of the first computer companies, grew up poor and worked on a farm, put me to work. My dad gave a list of chores to do everyday, and I was expected to finish it. What wasn’t finished was added to the next day’s list. I started my 7th grade year pretty much on the bottom of every area of my life, sports, school and letting my parents down. However, with my dad’s stern guidance and a summer of continuous work something changed in me. I definitely started on the bottom, but the following year my season record was 12-2. In addition, I stopped getting in anywhere near the same amount of trouble.

It is not where you start, but where you end and how you get there

Rule #5

If You Truly Believe In Yourself, Others Will Too

 

After starting from ground zero and working to change my self image, I started winning. More than that I was pushing myself in ‘most’ areas of my life. I decided to set my alarm for 30 minutes earlier every morning and get up and jog. Training was now a habit and by high school I was excelling in gymnastics, doing well in wrestling and my grades were good, but not great. My teachers saw that I was working harder than ever and taking classes more serious, but I was certainly not one of the most studious in the school. They soon began to realize that I was beginning to believe in my ability to be scholar athlete. I began taking an interest in my classroom work and looking at my school work in the same way as my athletics. A few teachers began to really work with me in areas I did not excel. They saw me not just as a high level gymnast and good wrestler, but as someone that wanted to succeed.

 

There are two types of people who begin to attract help from those in the know: those who try hard, fail, get back up and go hard again, and those who succeed and are always open to suggestions to get even better. I was of the first group and I found that people like to help those who work hard to improve, listen and actually follow their advice. When you go to a coach, mentor or teacher and share your goals and ask for advice, criticism and guidance they are in your corner as you fight to succeed. We should make sure our mentors become part of our successes, let them know how much we appreciate all they do and show your gratitude with every new victory.

Judge your successes by what you had to give up to get them