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.

Want to challenge the limitations you set for yourself?

This is the journey of Dr. Ben Fuqua: PhD, Professor of Literature, and martial arts student at SBG Athens.
SBG Athens Ga
Before joining SBG Athens, Ben struggled with anxiety and lacked healthy outlets.

Ben was convinced that people were meant to choose a path and never deviate from that path. He found success in the classroom, earning several advanced degrees and teaching college courses before the age of 30. Something was missing, however. He was drawn to the idea of being more active—a youth-athlete and lifelong sports fan—but resisted dedicating himself to becoming more active. “I thought that training [martial arts] was for other people,” he says. “I thought that you already had to be athletic to learn to do something athletic.” Afraid to leave his comfort zone, Ben ignored the itch to train for years.

Ben became aware of SBG Athens (then called The HardCore Gym) during the rise of MMA fighters like Forrest Griffin, Brian Bowles, and (co-proprietor) Rory Singer. He was sure that he couldn’t belong there. “I looked at the gym as this institution in sports. They have world champions…I was happy just living in the same town where these guys trained.” Growing more and more interested in finding a way to round out his life, Ben started researching local martial arts programs. He discovered that SBG Athens offered a whole arrangement of beginner classes, even encouraging beginners.

In the middle of writing his PhD dissertation, Ben says he finally became exhausted with “spending all of [his] time obsessing” over work. He walked in off the street without letting anyone know he was coming. He ended up having a private workout with one of the coaches just days after walking through the door, and he felt welcome. Ben has been attending Brazillian Jiu Jitsu classes at SBG ever since.

“I think that just walking through SBG’s doors has been the biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome,” he says. “I was in my own way…Grappling gives me a chance to express myself in ways that I can’t get anywhere else. I get to exercise while practicing an art; I think that the gym gives me a balance that had been missing from my life for a long time.”

Here are a few tips that Ben has found helpful:

  1. Just train. Forget whatever your reservations are for a minute and give it a try. To paraphrase SBG’s motto, “You’ll be okay.”
  2. Don’t worry about being a tough guy. People that last in martial arts are the people that learn to love it for their own reasons, people that are willing to put in a lot of time and effort, and people that are willing to risk failure.
  3. Remember to tuck in your elbows. (This one will make more sense when you start grappling. It can never be emphasized enough, though).

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.