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

Greg Nelson on High Level Coaching

Listen and learn Greg’s views on coaching high level athletes.

Greg Nelson on Real Self Defense

Discover training techniques, what happens in real self defense, and the definition of self defense.

About The Academy #1 in Minneapolis St. Paul

Muay Thai, Jiu-jitsu, and Some Dude with a Stick?

martial arts instructorsIf you walk through the main Gym you might notice two pictures of Asian gentlemen gracing the walls. These two men who have shaped modern combat sports, introduced and popularized their respective arts in North America. Two guys who are still teaching and come to Minnesota every year: Ajarn Chai and Dan Inosanto. Most of the gym is familiar with Muay Thai but if you walk through that same room late on a Tuesday or Thursday you might see some silly looking dudes swinging sticks around and brandishing plastic knives or playing patty cake really fast.

You might say to yourself, what are these clowns doing? That’s not fighting. You’re right. It’s drilling. Not all fights happen in a ring. Some happen to soldiers, some to police officers, and some to everyday people like you and I. Sometimes there are knives, bats, rocks, teeth, bike locks, screwdrivers and any ridiculous or terrible thing you might imagine involved. Jab, Cross, leg kick or a double leg tackle might not be the right solution to a knife wielding psycho. You might need different tools, you might need evasive foot work and quick accurate hands to gain control, you might need to access and use something around you as a weapon.

“If I Can Do You Can Do” -Ajarn Chai

Kali teaches these skill sets and it teaches them through repetitive drilling in which attack, defense and counter attack flow seamlessly into each other. These drills often begin being very scripted and then become free flowing. Two old sword fighters might look at a guy with big pads on his hands hitting other pads over and over and say, “That’s not fighting.” Then they would presumably stab each other with their long pointy swords.
But, But, but this sounds a lot like that kung fu crap that doesn’t work! It’s important to understand that these techniques are currently used by a large percentage of military people in modern day. Yet they have also shaped historical warfare. Filipinos killed Ferdinand Magellan and eventually made up most of a Spanish Galleon’s fighters. Later these techniques were used in WWII to fight off the Japanese. If your still worried about its functionality the dog brothers have explored this in detail, check out their videos or ask your local Kali instructor: Greg Nelson.

“Knowledge Comes From Your Instructors Wisdom Comes From Within” – Guro Dan

One of the key reasons to train FMA (Filipino martial arts) are they attributes they develop. They stress footwork, hand speed, coordination, precision and creativeness in a way that will positively improve your other arts. If you want to functionalize it buy some hockey gear and a few ice packs. It might even save your life.

Patience Is The Companion Of Wisdom

“Patience is the companion of wisdom”
-Saint Augustine

We live in a “hurry up” world. Rush hour, coffee, work, and lack of sleep are part of what we think of when we think of our city, our state, or our country. It sometimes feels like we must “get things done.” All of us to some degree are affected by this speedy mentality. Change must come quickly in this lifestyle. The question for me is why? Why does society worry so much about the amount of time it takes someone to do something? If it takes us an extra 20 minutes to cook a balanced meal than to eat fast food, then should we eat fast food to save those 20 minutes, or should we spend 20 minutes on healthy food, and not add the extra calories to our already excessive consumption of food? Americans are, by far, the fattest group on the planet. We live in the most affluent country in the world, yet we sometimes are the least proactive, and most reactive people alive today. Martin Luther King Jr. said,”Rarely do we find people who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.” He’s challenging us to take our time and sort through our thoughts and listen to the many different possibilities that are out there.
Kickboxing MN

It’s important, for me to say, now that I’ve spent the past few sentences setting up this critique of our exaggerated feelings of urgency, that I’m as guilty as anyone when it comes to going too fast when I do things. I’ve spent a lot of time on the highway speeding past those suckers on my way to our Academy. I can see us feeling that even in training. We want this instant gratification. Sometimes the best thing to do might just be to slow down and think before you act. “Are my hands up?” “Do I have my balance?” Constantly asking questions leads us to find mistakes in our thinking, and thus our actions. I always say to my classes “Take your time, warm up…” I want you to think about and to be mindful about, just where your body is moving. I guess that’s just another way of saying, “be coordinated.” Simple lessons, are sometimes the most complex ones to understand, those of us who have competed know that the “devil is in the details.” It’s just one more reason to practice slowly, yet focused and methodical.

So be patient with yourself and others. Let go of urgency, because it really is only a temporary feeling that won’t permanently motivate. Set big goals, aim high you might just get close to the mark. Have fun being in the flow of working towards your next rank. Keep in mind it never really stops with the next rank test, because you can always get better. Be patient and forgiving to yourself in training, but also don’t let fatigue or stress turn you into a coward. Just take your time and enjoy all your training and experience.

“With time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes a silk gown” -Chinese Proverb

17 Things Peak Performers Can Say

One of the wonderful by-products of high self-esteem is that you become a “Peak Performer.” Every day you become more aware of your abilities and recognize that opportunities to stretch your capabilities are limitless. You desire change, growth, and challenge, and a healthy self-esteem provides the energy. Peak performers have more than goals, they have a vision of what their life will mean to themselves and others. Peak performers do not live in the future. Peak performers make sure each step taken in the present keeps them on the road toward their life goal.

Peak Performers Can Say:mma classes minneapolis

  1.  I am motivated and have a mission with realistic and measurable goals.
  2. I accept complete responsibility for everything I think, say, feel, and do.
  3. I look for the window of opportunity in every situation and know that I will learn from every
    experience if I choose.
  4. I always help others to do their best, and I encourage everyone to contribute something.
  5. I correct my course when I reach an obstacle. This way, when things go wrong, I am still
    headed in the right direction.
  6. I expect and appreciate change. It does not overwhelm me because I am prepared.
  7. I stand up for my own opinions and values and respect others.
  8. I am able to manage myself. I do not require instruction every step of the way.
  9. I am not afraid of making mistakes or of taking reasonable risks.
  10. I am my own coach. I engage in positive self-talk and rehearsal.
  11. I am a life-long student. I am always ready to learn, and I know growth takes sustained
  12. I know myself well and still expect to find hidden talents, resources, strengths, weaknesses,
    energy, and interests.
  13. I respect reality both pleasant and painful.
  14. I engage in self-confrontation and do not blame others.
  15. I readily forgive others and myself and correct mistakes when possible.
  16. I am patient, kind, gentle, and compassionate with myself.
  17. I have no need to prove I am better or worse

SELF DEFENSE: How To Prepare for An Unfortunate Reality

self-defense-classes-minneapolisUnfortunately, situations can arise in which we are faced with violence. Evil people exist in our society; and occasionally these bad elements confront us. Unprovoked violence does not occur solely in the city and no one can predict when and if it will happen m their lives. Prevention is the only 100% guaranteed self-defense technique, however even the most careful forethought cannot prevent an attack. When you are confronted with an unavoidable, violent, self-defense situation there are a few rules that can greatly increase your chances of a safe escape.

Unfortunately, aggression, strength, and the intent to do harm are primary factors that usually decide the outcome of any conflict, but in some cases surprise and confidence act as a deterrent to an attacker. Protecting yourself against physical harm is a natural reaction, but it is not enough just to rely on your natural instinct.

To ensure your safety you need confidence in your ability to defend yourself. The skills, and the confidence to use them appropriately, can be learned and developed to a high level. Fortunately, the techniques and training methods taught at the Academy are the same skills that are being taught to our law enforcement and military community. In fact several, police officers train at the academy to ensure their ability to handle themselves in the many dangerous situations they find themselves in. Currently, many defensive tactics programs are based on the striking methods of Thai Boxing, Filipino weapons techniques, and on an increasing level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Knowing that the techniques that you learn are the most proven effective in the world today, as well as, having the instructors to teach you the training methods to develop your skills and fitness level to high levels, naturally develops your confidence.

Another important rule of self-defense concerns your own health. Your body is a fine tuned machine; therefore you need to take great care of it if it is to serve you well. This is important for everyday well-being, however for a person who might find themselves in a self-defense situation (which is everyone), it is essential. Good, consistent exercise, coupled with a healthy diet, keeps your body machinery operating efficiently. In a self- defense situation you need to react quickly and swiftly. The swift action needed in such a situation only comes if the body is fit and the thinking is quick. Fortunately, exercise also sharpens the mind. Through consistent martial arts training you learn effective self-defense techniques, increase your personal fitness level, decrease fat and stress, and increase your mental alertness.

Though you have all the tools available to develop your self-defense skills and fitness level, you are not guaranteed safety. Prevention is the best cure, and the only self-defense technique that will work all the time. There are a few rules that will help you prevent potentially dangerous situations. Just like your martial arts and fitness training you have to practice the art of avoidance. First, be AWARE and AVOID potentially dangerous situations. If you see trouble, then go around it. You have to train yourself to be aware, to always be on a casual alert, to look, listen and feel. Trust your instincts; if something feels wrong take serious consideration of it. Second, always give yourself an escape route. If you cannot find one, then create one. Again, before you go into an unfamiliar area, make sure it is safe. Thirdly, lock your doors as soon as you shut your door. Whether you are in your car or at home, get into the habit of locking your doors. Finally, confidently assert yourself. Confidence shows through your body movements, your language, and your eye contact. Stand and walk in an alert, confident posture. Speak with confidence and look people in the eye.

Coaches Corner: Keep Training – Keep Growing

IMG_3136Why are you training? The answer varies, but whatever the answer you are going to face some challenges to your training: injury, loss of interest, new job, new family, and anxiety. Whatever the reason there is one thing that you must never do….stop training. When you stop training the habits, the strength, technique, timing, and confidence are all going to fade away. You will start finding more reasons not to come in and soon martial arts will be something you did once upon a time.

Even if you can only get into the Academy once per week – do it! If you keep training, you keep growing. If you keep training you will find more time to train. If you keep training you will get better. If you stop training you will lose everything you gained. If you stop training you may never start again.

How do you keep training so that you don’t wash out and lose all the hard work you’ve put into your art?

When things are tough just make sure you get to the gym once a week no matter what.

Make yourself accountable, tell your training partner you will see them next class. Tell your wife you will be in because you’re getting fat. Post on Facebook that you will be in…people will expect to see you. You will feel guilty if you don’t show up.

But you’re bored and your favorite training partner stopped showing up? It’s time for you to shake things up and set some new goals and focus on new areas of the art…how’s your boxing? Sword fighting? Spider guard? It’s time to watch some inspirational masters on YouTube and try some new things. Go to a new class with a new coach…they will teach the same material differently and this will result in startling epiphanies. Sometimes if you look at things from multiple angles you understand them better….go figure. You might even go to a seminar, heck you might try a different art and the instructor might share an insight that changes fundamentally the way you think about combat sports and the martial arts.
But I’m tired and too busy…just stop thinking that way. One thing is certain; once you are in the Academy crushing the pads or trying to choke someone you will not be tired and the stress from being busy will fade away. You will go home mentally energized and sleep better than if you had flopped your tired butt on the couch.

The truth is your training will have peaks and valleys. That’s okay, but if you stop you probably never start again. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest, keep your momentum! Keep moving!

Rules Of The Dojo 2015

Follow Along Now, As We All Learn The Rules Of The Dojo….