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.

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.

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

Coaches Corner: Rules For Living: Part 1


I threw my first judo throw, kicked my first kicks, and punched my first punches 42 years ago. I found my passion and immediately started to make training a part of my life. I made ad hoc training areas in my garage and laundry room. I started on a path I am still on today. When I think about all the years training Gymnastics, Judo, Wrestling, Boxing, Karate, then Jun Fan Martial Arts, Filipino Kali, Muay Thai, and Shooto, followed by Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA, it all started with a deep seeded passion.

One morning when I was in 8th grade I decided to set my first goal: to get up every morning and run before school. That set in motion the habit of writing down goals I wanted to accomplish and gave me a way to go attain them. I started reading books about great athletes, martial artists and philosophers. I found out what they did to accomplish their dreams and visions. One of the books I read detailed one of the Olympians ‘Rules for Living’ and to this day I still have them hanging at my house.

Rule #1




You Have To Have A Dream To Have A Dream Come True


To start you have to have a clear picture of where you are going. Everything starts with a dream. As the Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”, Even though we may not immediately perish, our goals will die without a dream. My dream was pretty simple, I wanted to be the best athlete I could be, and the martial arts, as well as all the other sports I did, were all lumped into that dream. I had dreams, but now I needed a plan….

 

Rule #2

Champions Set a Series of Intermediate Steps To Achieve Their Goals
I knew what I wanted. Now I had to establish goals: something I could realistically achieve. I had to break down my goals into tangible steps. I did a lot of sports, but I really started to understand how to break down my goals in middle school as a gymnast. I loved gymnastics and wanted to be a champion, but I had to first learn the basics of each piece of equipment. Once I started to get the basics, immediately the task was to string them together, and eventually create routines. Once my routines were set, I had to break them down and work individual series and set a goal to achieve a specific score on each event. I knew what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it. Once I figured that out, everything was much simpler. Now, I just had to execute.

Every journey begins with a single step

Rule #3

Champions Never Say No To An Opportunity

I learned to set steps in gymnastics, but it was in Wrestling that I had my first opportunity to meet an Olympic Gold Medalist.  In 1980 we had the opportunity to witness college hockey players come together, and through a ton of HARD work and a visionary coach. They beat the ‘unbeatable’ Soviet Union Hockey team enroute to winning the Gold Medal. 

Being totally psyched after seeing that I had the opportunity to go to a wrestling camp with Olympic Gold medalists Ben and John Peterson.  Incidentally, that is where I learned my first submission, which was a neck crushing pin move I dubbed the ‘Peterson Squeeze’.  Without knowing it another piece of my future was put in place waiting to be used.  Later that same year I got the opportunity to train with professional wrestler Ivan “The Polish Hammer’ Putski. What an experience that was! He showed a whole bunch of illegal moves that began to shape my way of thinking. When opportunity knocks, open that door!  I learned that when an opportunity presents itself, jump on it.
If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.


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.

Instructor Spotlight: Nora Schull

10247396_10152375113586718_8424570583080340773_nCoach Nora started training at The Academy over 6 years ago. Through perseverance and hard work she has earned a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a black rank in Muay Thai. Her commitment to training, coaching, and competing is unprecedented. Her esteemed title of ‘Momma Bear’ was earned through her commitment to the team which has afforded her teammates the ability to travel and pursue their passion. With over 2 decades of experience in modern dance, she oversees all of the arts programming for Minneapolis Public Schools. When she isn’t occupied by these demanding commitments, she is a proud mother of two children, Ella and Ian, and is an avid feline enthusiast. The Academy thankful to have someone of Nora’s caliber within its roster.

Fighter Spotlight: Troy “Trouble” Jones Jr. 2015 IMFA Royal World Cup Champion

Team Academy fighter left for Bangkok Thailand to compete in the IMFA Royal World Cup as part of Team US on August 12th – & he returned a CHAMPION!  After winning the TBA Sanctioning 2015 Class-A title & still being undefeated, he was selected to represent the US in Thailand. To get to the gold medal match Troy defeated 3 fighters from Ivory Coast, Finland, France. In the finals match Troy defeated a very tough fighter from Turkey. Minnesota now has it’s very own Muay Thai kickboxing champion!

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February 2015 Muay Thai Testing

IMG_8942 Another month of training, another month of testing. It was a great night of Muay Thai for our Combat Athlete students and we are so proud of all those that continue to push themselves and consistently put their skills to the test at the end of each month!

As a benchmark of sorts, testing is crucial to successes and growth in training. Not only does it help the Instructor know when a student is ready to rank up, but it highlights, for the student themselves, how much growth can be achieved in just 4 weeks and serve as motivation to push harder, to learn more.

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Greg Nelson Cancer Survivor Kare 11 Extra

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

nutrients

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!

Calcium

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!

Chromium

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!

Folate

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.

Iron

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.

Magnesium

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.

Zinc

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.