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The C-Word

One of my least favorite words to hear in the gym is the C-word. It is a word that is used too frequently, too loosely, too flippantly. As an instructor, hearing it hurts my ears. That’s right ladies and gents, I don’t want to hear the word “can’t”, or more accurately, the phrase “I can’t”.

There are two ways that I hear it used. The first way is as a substitute for “I won’t”. For example, a student says to me, “I can’t make it to class on Saturday”. Perhaps they are going to a party the night before and will have trouble getting up; perhaps they are going for a weekend trip; perhaps they have chores to do at home. They know that coming on Saturday will help them achieve their goal, whether it is weight loss, strength gains, or winning an upcoming competition, but the reality is that they are putting priority on other things that day. It isn’t that they could not physically be at practice; it is that they won’t put their training goals first.  I am not saying that training should always be #1 in your life; but make sure that before you say “I can’t” that you do in fact have your priorities straight for the long-term.

The other way I hear this phrase uttered is more detrimental: “I can’t do a pushup on my toes, I can’t get this move, I can’t…” NO! NO! NO!

Your mind is powerful. Words are one of the connections between our mind and our physical reality; therefore, words are powerful. Do NOT underestimate the detriment of negative self-talk. If you tell yourself that you cannot do something, why should your mind or body do anything different? If you tell yourself that you will fail before you try, you will. If you fail once and make it a permanent state (ex: You try one pushup on your toes and fail, then say “I’ll can’t. I’ll never be able to do it”), you will not progress.

Whatever you are training for, stay positive. It is one of the best things you can do for yourself.
Train hard.




Badger Kimonos: These gis are fierce!

One of the most frequent questions I get from students is “What kind of gi should I get?”. There are a ton of different cuts, weights, weaves, styles and prices to choose from, so it seems easy to choose the “wrong kind”.  Since I train and teach 6 days a week, my closet is filled with gis. I have had a number of different brands over the years, but I still have some in my closet that I hate for being to baggy or heavy or for having high-water pants.  Finally, I have found I gi that I love to train in, but is light enough to compete in.


Badger Kimonos is relatively young company, but they have already created a great line of gis. They create small batches of limited edition gis that are cleanly designed, light weight and durable. I think the Crush is my favorite gi of all time. Not only are they good to train in, they dry quickly after washing, so you are good to go the next day if necessary.

It looks like they are sold out of their current gis, but it sounds like a new one is in the works. Updates on the new sales are not only on their site,, but also on their Facebook Page.

PS They also run a cool deal that you win a FREE GI if you compete and win in your Badger Gi at a BJJ tournament!