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.

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

Coaches Corner: A Warriors Opinion


Life is a struggle for survival, for success and to be the best that you can be. Life is a battle, a personal ‘no holds barred’ ring fight; however, it doesn’t need to be this way. We don’t have to go through life kicking, screaming and pissed off at everything. In all of us there is a warrior. Notice I said warrior, not a fighter. 


A warrior is calculated, cunning and ready, a consistent, persistent, creative and hard working individual who does not give up when trouble arises. A warrior learns from everything he/she can – the good, the bad and the ugly. A warrior is guided by principles and driven by beliefs. The warrior dedicates to absolute competence. Are you warrior material? Of course we all are; however, it takes some longer than others to take the bull by the horns and start kicking some butt.

What motivates you? When I teach and train, the primary motivating factor that drives me is the quest to find my limits, or those that I’m teaching – and then go past them. I don’t try to find how little I can do to get by, that gets you hurt. Instead, I become the “creative and hard working individual” and push myself, physically and mentally. In doing this, I continually learn where my current limits are and ways in which I can surpass them.

The only true way to find your limits and discover new things about yourself is to simply go for it. Experience is the ultimate teacher. Don’t put limitations on yourself based on opinions, doubt or fear. In my experience, I have found that nearly every limitation I have was created in my head. Through years of training in gymnastics, wrestling, martial arts, competitive ring fighting I have had to constantly look at my own personal limitations. And through doing this I have found that there is almost no realistic goal that is impossible to achieve, unless I have made it that way in my mind.

If I work hard, push through barriers,Motivation_AWarriorsOpinion become creative and daring, and push forward one step at a time I find that I am able to do whatever I set out to do. And for me the hard work, the creativity and daring, the planning and then seeing through the plan is my motivation. And once I have achieved a goal, another goal is put in its place, even as simple as improving on what I have just accomplished.

Now it is your turn to figure out what motivates you, and then activate it.

The little failures others call “defeat”

What is defeat? A definition I found most effective is when the word is broken down into its two root words: de, in Latin means “to go from,” and feat, an English word meaning “accomplishment.” In my athletic career and personal training regime, there were many “accomplishments” that I had to “go from” temporarily. I was derailed, not destroyed. I was bruised, not broken. I may have lost a battle, but I lived to fight another day.

One thing I hate about what outsiders see as defeat is the implication of loss; the defeated have been beaten down and overcome. We see this most blatantly in ring fighting where the crowd views a defeated fighter as “beaten”and “lost”. They criticize and say how the fighter should have done this or that; even say how they could have done better. When they themselves are ”those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” They understand nothing about the preparation: the physical, mental and emotional battle that happens; before, during and after the actual “experience.” The “experience” that is worth a 1,000 hours of training, that is real world and in real-time, has no substitute. In the warriors mind, the training has been a great learning experience.


To a warrior, defeat is a temporary condition that will motivate them to push a little harder, look a little deeper, plan and prepare a little smarter; in the end, will enable them to bash future obstacles out of the way. If you stop before all your little “defeats,” you will never overcome all of your internal limitations. You are all in your own battle, your own training “ring fight.” Some days there may be some accomplishments that you will have to go away from. This is where you regroup, kick yourself in the butt and go for it again. If you continue to train and push forward long enough, and refuse to give up, you will be able to overcome your self-imposed limitations,and reach your goals. Your personal victories may not put you in the lime light. If you continue to push yourself to the best of your ability, and overcome the obstacles in your way, you will be a winner.

The Bottom Line
If your ultimate goal is to be the best that you can be in your career, personal life and/or training, you have got to be: tougher, more motivated, and more focused than anybody and any obstacle that might be in your way. Your goals must be as high as the stars and you must be willing to get down and dirty doing the work that victory demands. You must knock out laziness, weakness, complacency and self-imposed limitations. A warrior starts every new day with vigor and optimism, and hits their training with joy and disciplined devotion. To succeed, you must accept the plain and simple truth – Life is a battle, a war, if you want to win you have to give it all you can.

Remember: Good, Better, Best – Never Let It Rest.

PSBJJ MN Training Camp May 15-17

2015 Minnesota Training Camp
Pre-Registration (full payment will be made at door)
Brooklyn Center, MN – May 15-17

A weekend of Jiu-Jitsu with Master Sauer and his top Black Belts. This years guest instructor is Luis Heredia!

Friday: 6-9pm
Saturday: 10am-1pm / 3-6pm
Sunday: 11am-2pm

Cost member of PSBJJA:
Full Camp: $225
Saturday (2 sessions): $160
One Session: $85

Cost Non-members:
Full Camp: $250
Saturday (2 sessions): $180
One Session: $95

Host Academy location:
The Academy (Minnesota Martial Arts – Greg Nelson)
6840 Shingle Creek Pkwy #24
Brooklyn Center, MN 55430

Lodging Options:

Embassy Suites Brooklyn Center
6300 Earle Brown Dr, Brooklyn Center, MN 55430
rooms rate @ $119


Brandon Bergeron: Technique Video – Cross-Choke from Mount

Coach’s Corner: 10 Nutrients Proven to Make you Feel Awesome


Hello Team! You may be thinking, “What’s up with all the nutrition articles?” Well, you may not know this, but nutrition is one of the most important aspects of losing weight and staying in shape. No matter how much you train, if you’re eating garbage you’re not going to optimize your results.

Here are 10 key nutrients that have been scientifically proven to improve your health and make you feel great!


Did you know that calcium is the most abundant mineral in our bodies? It helps maintain strong bones and healthy blood vessels! Don’t like milk? Try adding collard greens, kale, or plain yogurt to your diet!


There are only trace amounts of chromium in our bodies, but it’s important in metabolizing food. It also plays a huge role in helping the brain regulate emotions and your mood. Feeling depressed? Try adding broccoli, potatoes, and turkey breast into you weekly meals!


AKA B9, this nutrient is a key player in creating new cells and supports serotonin regulation. Not having enough folate in your diet can make you feel more fatigued than normal. Boost your folate levels by eating spinach, avocado, and brussels sprouts.


Responsible for moving oxygen, supporting energy levels, and aiding in muscle strength – iron is really important, especially for women who may suffer from anemia. Low levels of iron typically result in fatigue, apathy, ad mood swings. Keep the blues away by eating lentils, beef ribeye, and oatmeal.


With over 300 roles, this nutrient is one you don’t want to lack. Keep your Mg levels up by keeping ample amounts of almonds, spinach, edamame, and cashews in your diet.

Omega 3s

This essential fatty acid is critical for improved brain health and contributes up to 18% of the brain’s weight! Our bodies can’t naturally produce omega 3s so it’s really important you get them through your diet. You can take fish oil, or add chia seeds, Atlantic salmon, spinach or Chinese broccoli to your meals!

Vitamin B6

This essential vitamin helps produce and maintain the neurotransmitters that send messages from our brain to our bodies. A lack of B6 can result in short term anemia, a weakened immune system, confusion or depression. Get your fill by adding chickpeas, tuna, salmon, or chicken breast to your salads and sandwiches.

Vitamin B12

Feeling tired and paranoid? You might be B12 deficient! Give yourself a boost with Rainbow trout, swiss cheese, and Sockeye salmon!

Vitamin D

Known as the “happy” vitamin, vitamin D has been linked to helping ward off depression, especially during the winter months when its cold and gray. Give yourself a pick me up by adding D rich foods like eggs, salmon, milk, and Chanterelle mushrooms to your diet.


Found in almost every cell in our bodies, it playing an important role in supporting a healthy immune system and helps the body protect our guts from damage. Get your zinc on by eating cashews, pork loin, and swiss cheese!

Well, there you have it! Your homework for this month is to review what you’re eating and make sure to get as many of these into your diet as possible.

Coach’s Corner: 8 Ways to Set and Achieve your Goals


A new year means new beginnings. We like to talk a lot about goals and how to achieve them because goals are measurable pieces of success. Here are 7 ways you can set goals and achieve them once and for all!



1.  Define what you want to achieve.

Before you can set a goal, you need to know EXACTLY what you want to achieve. Be specific. If it’s weight loss, say you want to lose 10 pounds, or 50 pounds. Goals should be quantitative.

2.   Know your time frame.

Goals need to have a time frame, and it should be realistic. Decide WHEN you want to have your goal achieved. Again, be realistic – give yourself adequate time to do things right. Need help coming up with a time frame? Talk to your coach!

3.   Write your action plan.

Without an action plan, goals are just wishes and dreams. Write down what you are going to DO to achieve that goal. Are you going to commit to training 4 times a week? Are you going to start a meet-up group on the weekends to go over drills? Be specific about who, what, where, and when you are going to work on your goal.

4.   Keep track of your progress.

Start a goal journal that you keep in your gym bag or in your car. Every time you do something that gets you closer to your goal, write it down! Write down the small successes, big successes and failures alike; what you’re getting better at and what you’re still working on. This will help you see your progression in a more concrete way.

5.   Have a team.

Have a team of people that you share your goal with and that you train with on a regular basis to achieve that goal. You NEED a support group to keep you on track. You can’t do it alone, despite what you may think!

6.   Tell your friends and family.

Share you goals with other people. The more people that know about your goal, the more you’re going to stay accountable. If you are hesitant to share your goal, then you’re not that serious about it. When you share your goal, the pressure is on to achieve it. That’s what you need – pressure and motivation to succeed!

7.   Consequences for slacking.

You need to set consequences for yourself when you miss workouts or action steps. This could be anything from no morning lattes for a month, or ice cream before bed (you should probably be doing this already, but it’s just a friendly reminder.) Hard work and focus should be the only things that are rewarded.

8.   See, say, and work on your goal every day.

The last, and probably the most important step is to see, say, and work on your goal EVERY DAY until you achieve it. Write them down and stick them on your dashboard, on your mirror in the bathroom, on your phone, on your computer screen, etc. In order for you to get to where you want to be, your goal has to become an obsession to the point where you don’t want to do anything else until that goal is achieved. Otherwise, it will just get put on the back burner and become a lost dream. It sounds harsh but it’s the truth. So really think about how badly you want it and what you’re willing to do to get it.

We’re here for you, so if you have questions, talk to your coach!

Coach’s Corner: The Black Belt Way of Life

team academy mn

Last month we had the pleasure of hosting Professor Pedro Sauer here at The Academy for an all day seminar. Jiu jitsu students from all over the state came to learn from Professor Sauer.

Among those students were students from The Academy that had the opportunity to test for their next belt rank. These are students who care deeply about being a martial artist and becoming a black belt. The dedication and focus that these students have shown throughout the years has inspired this topic of “the black belt way of life.” What does that mean and why is it important?

The black belt way of life is not just about dedication and discipline, it’s about your character off the mat too. Black belts shouldn’t just be masters of their art, but they should be humble, kind, willing to help others who aren’t as skilled or as experienced, they put the needs of others in front of their own. They are leaders who take on challenge with pleasure, and seek to make jiu-jitsu fun and accessible to all people.

Sometimes we forget that martial arts is not just for the strong, but for the weak. It’s because of martial arts that those who seem weak, frail, insecure, or uncoordinated become strong, determined, and confident. Becoming a black belt is about encouraging those who need it the most. We all have stories of feeling insecure or nervous when we first started training, but there was probably someone who was a higher rank that took time to be patient with you, to teach you what they know, to help you work through certain moves and techniques. Right?

As you continue on your journey of becoming a black belt (it doesn’t matter whether you do Muay Thai or BJJ) think about what kind of black belt you want to be… Think about why becoming a black belt is important on and off the mat.

If you’re reading this and you’re thinking that becoming a black belt isn’t one of your goals, ask yourself how come? Are you afraid of the commitment and the discipline it takes? aRe you nervous about the testing? What’s holding you back?

Achieving a black belt should be a goal of yours if it’s not already because the skills and tools that you learn, the experiences you gain are priceless and unique to this form of martial arts. As coaches, the time, money, blood, sweat, and memories that we’ve gained have made us better people in more way than we could have ever imagined. We believe that no other sport can make a more well rounded human being that the martial arts. Physically and mentally – martial artists learn to master and control their bodies and mind in ways that most people never learn how to do in their lifetime.

Sometimes life gets busy and maybe it takes us away from training and testing regularly. We want to remind you that training and testing regularly is critical to your progress as a martial artist and we strongly urge you to make testing a priority. Training prepares you for testing and testing is a way for you and us (as your coaches) to measure your progress towards becoming a black belt.

So whether becoming a black belt is a definite goal of your or you’re still on the fence about it, we want to challenge you to think about your own definition of a black belt and what it means to you. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain by continuing your training here so keep up the great work!


Until next time,

Your Academy Coaches

The Academy welcomes new purple and blue belts to the team.






In March, four new purple belts and ten new blue belts were welcomed to Team Academy. We are extremely proud to have students who are so dedicated to their training. These students have been training tirelessly for many months, some even years. The road to becoming a black belt is not an easy one. However, the lessons learned, the skills gained, and the memories made, are worth more than the setbacks and obstacles. Black belts are not just masters at technique, but they are masters of their mind and body. Due to years and years of training, competing, failing, and winning – black belts have developed great mental fortitude and strong physical awareness of their bodies. As the saying goes, “Black belts are simply white belts that never quit”. So whether you are a new student to jiu jitsu, or you train in another form of martial arts, don’t give up. Don’t stop training when you feel discouraged, don’t let injuries scare you away from coming back to class once you’ve healed. Stay true to your path as a martial artist. In the end you will have more than just the honor of being a black belt, you will have all the memories and all the experience and insights that come from so many years of dedication. Once again, congratulations to those who tested in March and are continuing their journey towards becoming a black belt!

Purple Belts:
Coach Nat McIntyre
Coach Adam Ahern
Subash Seshadri
Shawn Woodhull

Blue Belts:
Brady Sheehan
Alex Wolter
Randal Rasmussen
Kirsten Magnuson
Megan Bugge
Joe Lahoud
Ron Winslow
Nick Pielert
Blake Vierling
Barry Nelson

Catching up with Carl Deaton III