Be Persistent

The best way out is always through.” 

― Robert Frost

For as long as I can remember I have been about the struggle.  When it came to training and pushing myself I didn’t think of it as a struggle. I find meaning in struggle and hard work.  Without a doubt there were many days when it was tough. A battle as much with myself as with the hard training we were doing. Through athletics and martial arts I have developed a mentality that enabled me to continue to push myself and be persistent. The habit of sticking with something until it is complete. Being persistent has enabled me to get through most everything that has ever been thrown at me.  As martial artists, we are fighters, combat athletes and by our very nature… is to be persistent.

I am not sure what made me want to be an athlete and a martial artist , but I have figured out a few ‘hacks’ along the way.  Just so you know, I feel that hard work and persistence are two of the biggest ‘hacks’ to reaching your potential.  That being said, here are a few ways you can become more persistent in your life.

  1. When taking on anything the number one thing is, never stop attacking it.  Whether it is a task that needs to get done, a goal you want to achieve or a problem that you have to deal with, have the attack mentality.  Even if you are regrouping, trying to figure out the next best way to go, it is with an attack mentality.  The task isn’t going to take care of itself. Real goals will keep nagging you. Problems are not going to go away…you have to attack them until they are taken care of.
  2. My motto has always been, “It’s always too soon to quit.” Never Give Up the Fight!  If something is important to you, if it needs to get done, or if others are counting on you, you can’t quit, you can’t give up, sorry that is not an option.  No matter how hard something is you have to figure out a way to finish.  Hey, no one said it had to be perfect and pretty, but if you start something, finish it.  One of the statements I have used is, “Better never begin, once begun, better finish.”  Bottom line, if I didn’t want to do something that I didn’t need to do, I didn’t start.  However, if I started something that I had to do, said I’d do, or wanted to do, I would not stop until it was done.  That mentality has served me well, both in making decisions on what I am willing to do and following through on what needs to get done.  
  3. Do not let circumstances defeat you.  Life happens to everyone We are all going to experience good and bad times, health and sickness, happiness and sadness, good luck and bad luck. We are all going to have circumstances that are going to have the ability to derail you, but do not allow them to defeat you.  I look at everything as a part of life, even accidents and tragedies.  I have had my fair share of accidents, failures, injuries, illness, losses, personal tragedies, even life threatening cancers. But, we are martial artists, fighters, warriors and ready and willing to take on what life decides to throw at us.  When it happens I will take it on, never stop attacking and Never Give Up the Fight!

It is not going to be easy, worthwhile things never are.  You are going to have to be persistent…especially with yourself!  Once you begin to build routines and positive habits in your life you will find your ability to be persistent grow.  Once you know what you have to do and what you want to do, then you have to knuckle up and do it.  As Robert Frost stated, “The best way out is always through.”  You are a fighter, a combat athlete, a martial artist, you attack, you never quit or give up, and  you won’t be defeated by the circumstances of our life.  Be persistent and stand your ground!

Goal Setting

Summer is finally here and it’s time to start setting your summer training goals! Goal setting is a critical component to training well and requires careful thought and organization. Below is a formula you can use to start setting your goals TODAY:

  1. Clearly define your goal.

    If it involves losing weight, give an amount you want to lose. If it involves promotion, give the belt color you want to get. “I want to lose 20 pounds.”OR “I want to get promoted to my next rank which is Green belt.”

  2. Set a definite date by when you will achieve your goal.

    a)“Today is (date) and in 3 months, on (mm/dd/yyyy) I will have…. (lost 20 lbs, been promoted to my next rank, etc.)

  3. Explain how you plan on achieve your goal.

    This is your ACTION PLAN. The more specific you are the better!
    a) I will get promoted to my next rank by attending each of my scheduled classes every week and by attending open mat twice a month to practice my shadow boxing.”

    b) “I will lose 20 pounds by attending each of my scheduled classes every week and by using the fitness center twice a week.” Be sure to include important dietary changes you will implement to accompany your workouts (not eating fast food, cutting back on soft drinks, eating more salad and veggies, less processed foods, etc).

  4. Write or type out your goals and place them where you will see them regularly.

    Good places are on your bathroom mirror, next to your bed, on the dashboard in your car, at your desk, on your computer monitor, etc. Seeing your goal daily and repetitively will help you stay focused on what you have promised yourself you would do, how you plan to do it, and by when you will do it by.

  5. Recite your goal out loud every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep.

    Turn your goal into a healthy obsession. By always keeping your goal on your mind you are less likely to get distracted and more likely to follow through on your plan.

  6. Keep a journal of your progress.

    Every time you come to class – note improvements that you’ve made, or areas you want to improve. This is where you can keep track of mini goals: “Today in class I did 15 pushups, by next week this time I want to do 20 pushups. I will prepare for this by doing pushups at night before I go to bed starting with 10 pushups on the first night. Each night after that I will add one more pushup until I get to 20 pushups.”

This is just one of many ways to set a goal. If you have any questions about goal setting, talk to your coaches! We are here to help you become better and we want you to succeed.

Recent Team Academy Fight News

MMA Results:

  • John Castaneda has gone 1 – 1 since April 2018 with Combate Americas, winning his last fight at Combate 35: Combate Estrellas 3 defeating his opponent by an Arm Triangle Choke.
  •  Kazim Kahn Turned pro back in April 2018 and has gone 1 – 2, with his one win coming by unanimous decision with HFC 37 in Hammond, IN
  • Kaitlin Young Is 3 – 0 in her return to MMA winning her first fight by unanimous decision at Rizin 12 and her most recent win coming at Invicta FC 35 by referee stoppage in the 3rd round
  • Anthony Kromvig is 1 – 1 since March 2018, losing a tough decision at A-Town Throwdown 13. But he bounced back for a win at 3 River Throwdown 15
  • Grant Bolduan Lost his first fight at LFA 61 by decision but bounced back in his second fight to win at LFA 68 by referee stoppage in the 2nd round
  • Josh Fleck is 4 – 0 in his amateur career with his most recent win coming at 3 River Throwdown 15 by unanimous decision
  • Ryan Ferguson Has won his last 2 fights; at No Mercy 9 by unanimous decision and at A-Town Throwdown 14 by neck crank

Muay Thai Results:

  • Troy Jones: Is 3 – 0 since signing on with Glory. His 3 wins coming by 2 unanimous decisions and a KO 1:00 min into the first round
  • Tom Jenkins Is 3 – 2 since turning pro and lost a tough first fight with Glory at Glory 58: Chicago Superfight series by KO in the 3rd round
  • TBA’s 2019: Josh Fleck, Josie Lidberg and Bryan Beck all fought hard but lost their first fights of the tournament. While Sean Nonhof won 4 fights in decisive fashion to win the title in the Novice Light Heavyweight division

Training, the Heart of the Martial Arts

The martial arts have been part of my life for 43 years. From the beginning, I had friends that trained with me, but I spent a good deal of time with myself. Both are important to your development in martial arts and almost everything you do. The most successful that reach their potential and make the greatest strides, hold training as the heart of martial arts life. The ones that push themselves to higher levels and are more consistent have steady training partners along the journey.  Consistent training over time will accelerate your growth and make training more fun.

It is important to know that everyone has talents. At the beginning, we are all unsure how to develop our new skills and talents to reach our full potential. To become the ‘good, better, best’ that you can requires consistent training – consistency is king!   Start where you are, start with small deliberate steps, but be consistent.  Watch techniques, training methods, skills and drills being taught with focus and mindfulness. Keep the image of your instructor doing the skill as you start performing the repetitions with your partner. Practice by yourself in front of the mirror, on the heavy bag, or grab a partner and take 5 – 10 minutes to drill back and forth.  You can also watch the skills being performed over and over with some intense focus. A great source is TeamAcademyCoaches.com to watch the techniques of the month.  You can watch matches, fights, training, and techniques. Watch them over and over until you start to form a mental blueprint. Picture the movement, body mechanics, position and structure. Finally, focus on your body performing the same skills.

Once you begin to feel more comfortable with the technique, it is time to up your training. Keep in mind, ‘Technique is everything.’ You want to drill with precision and sharpen your technique.  Quality is more important than quantity.  ‘Repetition is the mother of skill, but discipline is your Daddy.’  You want to get your reps in but, you need to be specific, detailed and disciplined with those reps.  , it takes discipline to show up and do the reps necessary to reach your potential.  One of the best ways to be more disciplined is to have a solid training partner that shows up.

A training partner that shows up ready to work is important to keep you accountable. They will also give you feedback and make training more fun. Your instructors, top competitors, and top students all do consistent training outside of class with consistent training partners. Pick someone you like to work with and then, “Think like a gardener, work like a carpenter.” It is important to remember that skills grow over time and you have to water, weed and cultivate your skill like a gardener.  You need to plan and prepare your training to build a strong foundation. Connect your skills and techniques together like a carpenter building a beautiful house. ‘Training is the heart of the martial arts lifestyle.’ Training over time with great training partners is where the magic happens.

Being a Good Training Partner

Coach Greg Nelson talking about the importance of helping our partners train and how to be a good training partner

 

 

What is Meaningful to You?

minnesota thai boxingPeople that are at the top of their game, whatever it is, know what is meaningful in their life.  Meaning is a powerful driving force but, how do you know what you find meaningful when asked. High performers worldwide were asked some basic questions about what living the most meaningful life means to them. They were  asked, “what do you find meaningful to you when you have two options put before you?” Now when you have two bad options you can choose neither.  When you have one good option and one bad option, simply choose the good one. Yet, when you have two good options or opportunities put before you, how do you know which one is going to be best?  High Performers choose the one that is going to be most meaningful. So how do they choose what is the better more meaningful option/opportunity?

First, it was found that meaning is closely associated with enthusiasm. Simply put, which choice excites them the most. Which choice would they want to spend the most time doing for the longest time. Which one would they talk about the most, geek out about, they wake up thinking about and wanting to do it. Second, there was a deeper level of connection. They found it to be something that was right to them. It had greater depth and/or they found a better connection to the people associated with one option and found deeper relationships. Third, they find more satisfaction by doing one over the other. They feel that they will be more fulfilled, more satisfied at end the of the day. Which would make them feel more proud, or engage  them more helping them grow. Which would require them to give more of themselves to the process and give them a real sense of personal satisfaction.  When I was battling cancer and unsure whether I was going to live. I did a lot of thinking about what I did. Was I satisfied with my life? Did I have any regrets? What would I do different? Was I completely engaged? Did I give back to others? Did my life have meaning? Personal satisfaction is a huge thing and high performers find themselves asking, am I satisfied with what I’m doing? If not they either change their approach or change what they’re doing. Lastly, is there coherence or does it fit with your overall life story. Does what you choose to do make sense in the broader story of your life. Does what you have in front of you bring you closer to where you want to be?  There is a feeling of alignment, do you feel you are going in the right direction…

Here is a simple question you can ask yourself to help find more meaning and be more intentional in your life:

  1. How can I make what I’m doing more meaningful to me? Take some time and focus on the opportunities in front of you.  In the end you will be happier. You will do better and find so much more meaning if you are enthusiastic. You will find connection and satisfaction, and feel a sense of coherence in what you’re doing.

 

Bring Up Your Energy with Greg Nelson

 

Bring up Your Energy

Without a doubt most people want to have more energy. They want to feel enthusiastic about things to come and excited about what they are doing. Drive, motivation, excitement, energy and total focus are all important to finding personal success. There are many videos, books, podcasts, seminars, and courses. Each giving you the information to be your best. Yet, it all starts with your physical health and vibrancy,  your mental attitude and emotional well-being. One of the most important ways to affect all the above is to focus on what is going to give you more ENERGY! Here are 6 simple ways to boost your energy by having great health and vitality. 

1. Get 7+ hours of sleep a night. I use to feel this was a joke. Now, as a habit I get 7 hours of sleep. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. No screens 30-90 minutes before bed. Make sure there is no light anywhere in your room. Set your room temp at 65-69 degrees. Try not to eat 2-3 hours before bed. It took me about 4 months to sleep 7 hours a night

2. Drink 4-5 liters of water a day. The first thing you should do in the morning is drink a big glass of water. Stay hydrated throughout the day. Get a liter container and fill it up and drink it 4-5 times a day, or a 1 gallon jug full of water and drink it down.

3. 2-3 healthy meals a day. The one plate rule at each meal; only have one plate of food. For me I now eat 80% greens and 20% meat and carbs. Of course this is an individual thing. But, if you are serious about your diet, go see a nutritionist. Get a blood and saliva check and see what you allergic to, deficient in and recommendations for you.

4. 5-6 workouts a week. Having a consistent Martial Arts class schedule will take care of 3-4 of those workouts. You should do some kind of strength training, endurance work and mobility training on top of that.

5. Meditate 1-2 times a day. Meditation does not have to be any specific kind but, find something that works for you. There are apps such as Headspace that you can get to help calm down your brain and release tension.

6. While working take a break every 50 minutes. Step away from your desk and rejuvenate yourself.  Such as getting water, doing some light exercise, deep breathing, take a short walk. Anything that will allow you to refocus and regenerate, to invest some energy into the next 50 minutes of work. I have started focusing on these 6 ways to generate more energy. I have increased my health and well-being. I have increased my physical, mental and emotional vibrancy. Start making these 6 areas a habit. You will have more enthusiasm for upcoming tasks.  You will have more motivation and increase your health and energy.

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

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!