SBG: A Multi-Generational Tribe

This is the story of Sam Tally as told by his father Dr. William Tally: licensed orthopedic surgeon, GA Regents Med-School Professor, and father of Sam, a young SBG Tribe member.
Youth Martial Arts Athens Ga
William found SBG while looking for an outlet for his sons.

His oldest son, Sam, had long struggled expressing himself and focusing on tasks. William discovered SBG through a friend’s recommendation.

“I first learned about SBG from my dearest friend, Pete,” William says.

Pete had taken private training sessions with Coach Rory Singer, SBG Co-Proprietor and Head Coach of the Growing Gorillas Martial Arts and Youth Enrichment Program. Pete enjoyed the sessions and persuaded William that his sons would enjoy mixed martial arts training more than “the usual karate experience.”

William took his sons to the gym and both enjoyed their classes and had fun with the staff there. However, Sam “really fell in love,” William says. SBG provided a fun, safe place for Sam to enjoy himself and grow. For William, the gym offered a wealth of positive role models for his son, an extension of the values of discipline and healthy self-expression that he preaches in the home.

“By training under Master Rory, Sam has grown both athletically and personally,” William tells us.  Not only has this gym—and it’s coaches—provided physical training and skills, they have provided role models (now even more import following William’s divorce).  Rory cares about these kids. He will push them, congratulate them, and scold them as necessary.  They strive to provide a complete martial arts training, not just fighting skills. For that, I am grateful.”

Do you struggle with some of the same things with which Sam struggled?

You CAN make that change and TRANSFORM your life also!

Fill out the form below and one of our coaches will call you back as soon as possible. This is SBG, you will be okay.

How Aliveness Makes Your Life Better

If I told you I had the ability to increase your confidence, help you lose weight, help you get stronger, teach you to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations, and introduce you to some incredible people;  would you be interested?
SBG Athens Georgia
What if I included improving your ability to defend yourself from a violent attacker? Are you now interested? Still not sure.

I’ll add to it by making you a better friend, father, husband, and person. Have I finally got your attention? Great!

I have just the thing to help you achieve things you never before thought possible. It’s actually pretty simple. The cure to all that ails you is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also know as BJJ.

What is BJJ? Simply put, BJJ is a ground based self defense that helps one control an often times stronger and larger opponent by the application of leverage. What differentiates BJJ from the large majority of other martial arts is the application of Aliveness. Aliveness is best defined as non-choreographed  training against a resisting opponent.

This is where I like to pull out the following football analogy. I have witnessed many of the University of Georgia’s G-Day games. This is where the Offense plays the Defense in a live and refereed scrimmage. Both sides are trying to “win” by imposing their will on the other players. They all play for the same team so there is obviously a large consideration given to safety but pride is on the line; as well as a Steak and Lobster dinner.

This is as close to a real football game as you can get. It would look drastically different if both sides of the ball knew what plays the other was running. If the offense told the defense it was running play X, the defense would certainly know to run defense Y. At times that can be very useful and may even be important during the learning phase of the plays. Nevertheless, the way a football team gets better is by learning how to react when things go off script (on either side of the ball).

Football isn’t a paint by numbers game, and neither should be your martial arts training. In the vast majority of martial arts people stand in lines, do choreographed dance routines, and memorize one and two step sparring scenarios. I’m reminded of this sketch with Jim Carey on In Living Color.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu evolves, as most things do, because of competition. That competition can be done in the gym against training partners, against strangers in a tournament, or on the street against a violent attacker.

The meritocracy of BJJ provides all the benefits I mentioned at the beginning of this essay and then some. It creates mentally strong men, women, and children. When you find yourself stuck in a bad position you are forced to relax, problem solve, and find success (or be submitted). Just as important is the confidence created is backed up by an actual ability to defend oneself. It’s a win for everyone!

If you would like to learn more, fill out the form below and one of our coaches will call you back as soon as possible. This is SBG, you will be okay.

Do You Struggle with Drinking and Lack of Motivation?

This is the journey of Greg Galmin: PhD student, Future Physician, and Assistant Coach. 

Straight Blast Gym Athens Ga

Before joining SBG Athens, Greg struggled with binge drinking, lack of motivation, and an unsure future.

A former martial artist from his youth, Greg was afraid of getting taken down and not knowing what to do. He knew he couldn’t solely rely on his stand-up, Karate knowledge. Additionally, he needed a physical outlet for his struggles, and lifting weights wasn’t cutting it. Probably the largest driving force for reaching out to SBG was his alcoholism. He knew he had a void in his life and if he didn’t fill it with something, he would drink himself to death.

After only two weeks at SBG Athens Greg didn’t feel the desire to drink anymore. “Now I had people that legitimately cared about me close by and people I did not want to disappoint. I felt included and a part of something, and that was too valuable to me to screw up.” With the support of his tribe his confidence grew and Greg started making changes to secure his future.

Greg is now working to finish his PhD and go on to medical school to become a physician. Although it is something he has always wanted he was too unsure to fully commit himself. Physically he has gone from 175 pounds to his ideal body weight of 154 pounds. As he said, “I didn’t even intend to lose the weight but it just happened.” He can now also confidently defend himself on the ground. Something he says is an invaluable skill.

I leave you with the top three tips that helped Greg transform:

  1. Be a scientist. Implement what works and discard what doesn’t. So often we’re trapped in a cycle of repeating bad behaviors whether it be in combat or in life.
  2. Connection is key. Whether it be in jiu jitsu or in relationships, making a connection makes all the difference.
  3. Failure is healthy. Failure shows us our weaknesses and shortcomings. Failure is okay, but repeating the same mistake is unacceptable. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn. You either win or you learn.

Are You a Lone Wolf Suffering from Inadequacy Issues?

This is the first in a series of blogs devoted to individual members of our Tribe. They are sharing some of their history, both prior to and during their time at SBG Athens. They tell of struggles, fears, concerns, and questions about wanting more from life. There is a Hero’s Journey in all of them. They each recognize that which they are lacking, search for guidance, “Slay The Dragon”, and provide insights to others on a similar quest. It is our sincere hope that contained herein, you the reader see there is help for you within these walls. Join the premier martial arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Self-Defense gym in Athens and learn why: This is SBG, you will be okay.

This is the journey of Cate Harris; student (and coach) at SBG Athens.

Straight Blast Gym Athens Georgia

Life before she started training at SBG Athens was spent as a “Lone Wolf” struggling with  severe inadequacy issues.

Her job as an adolescent interventionist is what led to her originally search for martial arts training. Her job requires that she remain calm in stressful situations and be able to defend herself while keeping her clients safe. “I needed to equip myself with the proper stand-up/transition to safe take-down/and ground workin order to stay safe while transporting at-risk teenagers.”

Originally finding herself at another facility while trying to fill those voids; she never felt very connected with what they had to offer. “The moment I stepped in the doors at SBG Athens, I felt at home and everyone welcomed me with open arms!” Years of “disliking who I was shed before my eyes in a very short amount of time, along with some unwanted weight.” It’s also at SBG Athens where Cate finally learned to stop being a people pleaser and started to truly work on herself “alongside my new pack.”

Cate has seen some pretty incredible results; not just from taking martial arts but from also participating in the Training For Warriors (TFW) program located inside SBG Athens. As stated earlier, she has lost weight while gaining new found self-defense skills.   She has also learned to accept herself because, “I understand that it is a process and in transition (much like learning techniques).”

TFW has helped her find a strength she never knew she had. Learning how to properly lift weights and run fast has helped her perform pull-ups and pushups with ease. I’ll let Cate tell you in her own words about her new found shape, “I now have the toning I have always wanted (hello ‘V’ on my hips and what’s up triceps n’ biceps!)” Additionally, she has more energy throughout the day and sleeps much better. This is a far cry from her nights of insomnia and her trouble falling and staying asleep. “Now? ZzZZzz!” She now has a confidence to face whatever comes her way.

I leave you with the top three tips that helped Cate transform:

  1. “He who does not howl may never find his pack.” Author Charles Simic.
  2. “Martial Arts is the fight against yourself.” SBG Coach Liam O’Shaughnessy.
  3. “Everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.” SBG President Matt Thornton via Albert Einstein.