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How Belt Promotions Work

First, I need to emphasize the importance of the process, not the outcome.  Belts will come as long as you keep showing up, work on …

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Jeremy Horn, Amir Khillah, and coach Vklok. MMA in Kalamazoo and Portage Kalamazoo

MMA Legend talks about MMA training in Kalamazoo and Portage

Jeremy Horn talks about MMA in Kalamazoo and Portage: Hi guys, this is Jeremy Horn. I trained some of the biggest names in this sport …

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jiujitsu in Kalamazoo and Portage BJJ

BJJ Gym Culture

BJJ Gym Culture is one of the most important factors to consider when looking for a new gym. For those of you who haven’t quite committed …

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Jiujitsu in Kalamazoo and Portage BJJ

Jiujitsu Near Me

Like most other things in my life, “Jiujitsu near me” in Google started a fantastic journey at Lightning Kicks. I was overweight, struggled with self-esteem …

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jiujitsu for women BJJ

Jiujitsu for women in Kalamazoo – Brazilian Jiujitsu is for Women too

“Why would I want to roll around with a bunch of sweaty people?” If you’re anything like me – I questioned the appeal of Brazilian …

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best jiujitsu in Kalamazoo BJJ

A Dog’s Guide to the Perfect Training Partner

The great American novelist Mark Twain once said “The dog is a gentleman; I hope to go to his heaven, not man’s.” Many people inherently …

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best bjj in Kalamazoo BJJ

The Best Way to Win is to Lose… a Lot!!!

The best way to win is to lose a lot! I know, it seems crazy right? What are you going to say next James, the …

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You are stronger than you think Confidence

You are stronger than you think

The last I checked we are living in the 21st century. We’ve experienced the Enlightenment, entered into the “modern” era, phased through “postmodernity,” and now …

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BJJ in a Girls World BJJ

BJJ in a Girls World

I signed up for Jiu Jitsu in late January of 2020. Finally. Jiu Jitsu was something I had thought about and wanted to try for …

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Do you have what it takes? BJJ

Do you have what it takes?

There is a clear ambiguity and ambivalence for many men in understanding when they know they finally “have what it takes,” and with the continued …

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Death of the Toxic Man is the Birth of the Hero Discipline

Death of the Toxic Man is the Birth of the Hero

Who is the toxic man if it is not the untested man? Indeed, it is the  man who can feel the tug of the heroic …

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Fighting Mental Health Part 3 Kalamazoo

You’re Lying To Yourself

Several weeks passed since the day the Boy showed me his special trip to the camper, as well as several trips to see my therapist, …

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GET UP Discipline

GET UP

And there I found myself watching the sun dive into the lake, staring into the beauty of the moment, befuddled as to why my finances …

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Becoming Human Discipline

Becoming Human

This went on for weeks on end, until one day, I found myself at Lightning Kicks, my second home, and was on the verge of …

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The Hero's Journey - Part 1 Discipline

The Hero’s Journey – Part 1

It was the pain. It consumed his every thought and could feel it reverberate down his spine and into his toes. It started off as …

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Fighting with Mental Health Discipline

Fighting with Mental Health Part 1

Here are some staggering statistics that most men – to their detriment – are too proud to admit: Over 6 million men suffer from depression …

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Where My Ladies At? BJJ

Where My Ladies At?

I was talking to my bestie on the phone and casually mentioned that my first BJJ class was coming up the next week. “I’m sorry, …

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Fighting with Mental Health Discipline

Fighting with Mental Health Part 2

One of the most powerful moments of my life was hearing another grown man tell me he loves me. I still remember it like it …

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Standing Up to Bullies Our Philosophy

Standing Up to Bullies

Let’s face it, most men in our day and age have never been in a physical altercation no less actually thrown a punch with the …

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Follow Through Discipline

Follow Through

“Man, he would’ve been so good!” This is something I’ve told Amir so many times in regards to the countless young men (and women) who …

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Fighting Mental Health Part 3 Discipline

Fighting Mental Health Part 3

“Breathe, Tanner, breathe!” I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a little light sparring and I still really didn’t know what I was …

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Facing Our Fears Together Our Philosophy

Facing Our Fears Together

I know what you’re thinking. “This place is full of meatheads and bullies, those with a penchant for hurting other people.” The truth is, that …

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I found my meaning of jiujitsu in a room full of all-Americans Jiujitsu

I found my meaning of jiujitsu in a room full of all-Americans

I grew up renting UFC VHS tapes on Fridays from our local video store. It had to be Fridays because I got out of school …

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The most important women’s self defense secret Womens Self Defense

The most important women’s self defense secret

When it comes to self defense, there are many variables that can effect the outcome of an encounter: knowledge (how much technique you know), mental …

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Are you traveling this summer? Mixed Martial Arts

Are you traveling this summer?

Summer is right around the corner, if your summer travels takes you to any of the following areas be sure to drop into one of …

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Lightning Kicks is for you Confidence

Lightning Kicks is for you

Do you like pushing yourself? I mean really pushing yourself. Like to the limit? Where you work to see how far you can push your …

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All I Know about Fighting - Grappling BJJ

All I Know about Fighting – Grappling

Well, this will show you how little I know about fighting, it can all be summarized in a single (maybe 2) blog posts 😀 This …

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The Fear of Failure, the Subsequent Lack of Commitment and Why it Ultimately Leads to… Well, Failure Jiujitsu

The Fear of Failure, the Subsequent Lack of Commitment and Why it Ultimately Leads to… Well, Failure

Failure can be defined as simply as, ‘the lack of success’. Failure can be accompanied by a variety of emotions including embarrassment, anxiety, anger, sadness …

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Student Spotlight Confidence

Student Spotlight: Nicci

How long have you been with Lightning Kicks and what made you decide to start? I started Jan 2020. My interest in martial arts started …

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Switching from an Extrinsic to an Intrinsic Locus of Control Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Switching from an Extrinsic to an Intrinsic Locus of Control

What the heck does that mean? well, I’m not sure either, I just wanted to use some big words to peak your curiosity. Let’s see …

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When you’re fighting, don’t get caught watching the fight Our Philosophy

When you’re fighting, don’t get caught watching the fight

Some people call it “being in the zone,” “flow,” or “the state of no mind.” For me it was about being completely in the moment. …

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Gym Bag Gym Bag

Gym Bag

The Elite Sports Gym bag has become my carryon for most of my recent travels. Check out this video to find out why. One very …

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Become a Superhero Jiujitsu

Become a Superhero

Are you tired of being a mere mortal? want to know that you can defend your loved ones and yourself? Looking to get in the …

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Self Defense For Every Woman | Lightning Kicks Kalamazoo

Self Defense For Every Woman | Lightning Kicks

Our women’s self-defense workshop focuses on teaching techniques that have been proven to work against a real attack. This two-hour workshop will arm you with …

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Living the LK Culture Kalamazoo

Living the LK Culture

Lightning Kicks is centred on creating an atmosphere which facilitates both intense training, and personal development. Each student has the chance to grow through pushing …

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Arguably the most important element of self-defense Womens Self Defense

Arguably the most important element of self-defense

If I had to pick only one component of self-defense that outweighs all the rest, it’s situational awareness; nothing else even comes close. Taking one …

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3 ways to train yourself to get in shape Self Defense

3 ways to train yourself to get in shape

1. Find a workout partner who has goals similar to yours 2. Create a plan with your workout partner that includes how often you will …

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Gym Bag Our Philosophy

The LK philosophy off the mats

Life can be challenging. Everyone is fighting something, but in this family, no one fights alone. You may never step on the mat or in …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Jiujitsu

Why I train Jiujitsu at Lightning Kicks

​I’ve told a lot of people about training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and kind of tinkering with MMA. First off, yes there is a difference between …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Mixed Martial Arts

Don’t let your preconceived​ ideas keep you from reaching the best possible you.

What do you think is one of the hardest things you will do in your martial arts journey? No, it’s not competing for a regional …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Self Defense

Self Defense in the Sacred Battleground

Life can be so cruel, so undeniably and inexplicably cruel that it hurts. You can feel the pain in your bones, as if the world …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Confidence

You don’t have to be scared anymore

Fear. It’s what keeps you there, in that place that is most comfortable, where no one can ever hurt you again. We’ve all experienced pain, …

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A Lesson from Fighting Portage

A Lesson from Fighting

I’ve found that when we are having a hard time wrapping our minds around something that has happened or is happening, we tend to frame …

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best bjj in Kalamazoo Jiujitsu

Local Martial Arts School to Provide Free Police Jiujitsu to all Local Law Enforcement

Portage, MI. Lightning Kicks Martial Arts, one of southwest Michigan’s longest-standing martial arts schools is now offering free police jiujitsu to any local law enforcement …

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Vital Factors of Effective Self Defense Self Defense

Vital Factors of Effective Self Defense

We have seen a huge shift in the reason our students train in the past year or so. Initially, most of our students were training …

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4 variables to remember during a melee attack Police

4 variables to remember during a melee attack

You’ve been to this house many times and never had an issue, so you assume this will be just another routine call. You even think …

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Martial Arts competition: Do I have to compete? Jiujitsu

Martial Arts competition: Do I have to compete?

To compete or not to compete, that is the question. As a life-long martial arts competitor in Taekwondo, Kickboxing, MMA, and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (both …

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Here Is How MMA is More Than Just A Complete Body Workout Mixed Martial Arts

Here Is How MMA is More Than Just A Complete Body Workout

MMA training is intense and tough which makes it a great fitness workout. Pushing your body limits in MMA is much greater than other sports. …

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The Benefits of Doing Exercise Regularly! Mixed Martial Arts

The Benefits of Doing Exercise Regularly!

What if I tell you that working out regularly can improve yourheart health, strengthen bones, lose weight, and improve mood, would you do it regularly? …

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Gym Bag Kalamazoo

Kids Martial Arts in Portage and Kalamazoo

Paige is one of our kids instructors and jiujitsu blue belts. Paige is amazing with our kids and is super energetic and fun for in …

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Things you should know before going to a self defense workshop Self Defense

Things you should know before going to a self defense workshop

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but one self defense seminar is most likely not going to be enough to save your …

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Unity and Family Our Philosophy

Unity and Family

We have had a large number of new members join our family lately. Welcome! I’m so happy to have you. I’m very excited for you …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Jiujitsu

Lightning Kicks rocks out at FUJI tournament

I had the privilege of coaching at the FUJI jiujitsu tournament in Lansing, Michigan. Lightning Kicks did a phenomenal job. I was filled with joy …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo BJJ

Thank you for making it a great 18 years.

Open letter to my Lightning Kicks family; What an amazing week it has been? We celebrated our 18 year anniversary, Lightning Kicks is now technically …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Jiujitsu

We Win or We Learn, sometimes we can do both

Today, I had the honor and privilege to coach our students at the Grappling Industries Jiujitsu tournament. I was extremely impressed with their technical skills, …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Jiujitsu

Why do I train Jiujitsu at Lightning Kicks?

​I’ve told a lot of people about training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and kind of tinkering with MMA. First off, yes there is a difference between …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Womens Self Defense

Update from Master Amir

April’s Women’s Self Defense Workshop We had another wonderful Women’s Self-defense Workshop last week. It is such a powerful and reassuring experience for me to …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Patience

Patience Man, this is a tough one. I feel like a general consensus between human beings is that we want immediate gratification in almost any …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

What it Means to be Dedicated – by Doc V

What does it mean to be dedicated to something? Not necessarily a person but an activity? What does it mean to be dedicated to working …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Our Philosophy

Be an Alpha

What does it mean to be an alpha? Well, let’s start with what an Alpha is not. An alpha is not a bully, an alpha …

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Gym Bag Jiujitsu

EliteSports New 3/4 Spat Review

At my age, I can really feel the aches and pains of training two or three times a day. I have to rely heavily on …

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Gym Bag Jiujitsu

Elite Sports Rashguard, Shorts, and Gloves

I have been wearing this Elite gear set for a few weeks and I love it. The biggest thing for me is the thickness of …

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Gym Bag BJJ

Elite BJJ Gi Passes the Test with Flying Colors

Many gis are stiff and have to be broken in. Elite Gi comes with that feel right out of the box. Check it out. Product …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Jiujitsu

Professional Jiujitsu in Kalamazoo

Congratulations to Professor James for his Pro BJJ win. This makes Professor James the first and only Professional BJJ athlete in Kalamazoo. If you are …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo BJJ

Lightning Kicks at Fuji Tournament

We had a wonderful time at the Fuji BJJ tournament in Dimondale. The event was well organized with a good turnout. The mats were clean …

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Gym Bag Our Philosophy

Lightning Kicks wants you

We would love to have you in for a free trial class. Our memberships include all of our awesome programs. You can pick from Olympic …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Self Defense

Self Defense

If a bad guy gets the drop on you, you won’t have a whole lot of time to think about your response. For technique to …

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Gym Bag Jiujitsu

A great 2017 for Lightning Kicks

What a wonderful year we have had at Lightning Kicks. Amazing teamwork by our entire administrative and instructor teams. The work we are doing at …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Jiujitsu

If you want to get faster, train slower

Cadets, I’m very pleased with the progress you have made in the area of Subject Control. I wanted to emphasize something that we talked about …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Mixed Martial Arts

Prevent burnout

Morning cardio for weight loss at 6 am, kickboxing sparring at 10 am, strength and conditioning with my strength and conditioning coach, Tim Hermann, head …

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Gym Bag Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

I’ve never trained before, what Lightning Kicks program should I start with?

One of the most common questions we get. As you can see from our website, we offer many styles of martial arts, which one is …

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Blog, Lightning Kicks Martial Arts Kalamazoo Mixed Martial Arts

What is the Lightning Kicks Lineage?

Another question we get all the time. I don’t believe it is my personal fighting accomplishments that make Lightning Kicks such a special world-class school. …

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