TKD Classes In Athens Georgia

TKD Classes in Athens Georgia

You likely came upon this article because you were searching for Tae Kwon Do classes for your child in Athens or the surrounding area (you might have even been searching for yourself). You want your son or daughter (or yourself) to gain focus, discipline, respect, and most importantly: confidence. Continue reading to learn why we don’t teach TKD classes in Athens, Georgia

TKD is a traditional martial art which primarily focuses on kicking. It also happens to be an Olympic sport; which is cool. As most martial arts do, TKD will teach them some very important life skills. So why don’t we teach TKD classes at SBG Athens? The most important reason is because it doesn’t prepare children for defending themselves against many different types of attacks.

As TKD is highly kicking oriented, practitioners don’t train how to throw or defend punches, how to wrestle and defend takedowns, and most importantly, it doesn’t teach how to defend oneself on the ground (which is why training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is so very important). Although there are many great benefits to training martial arts, we fell the most important should be learning how to defend one’s self against bullies. It is therefore necessary to learn how to fight in all ranges: standup, clinch, and ground.

You may be surprised to learn that Coaches Adam and Rory Singer both trained TKD when they lived in Marlboro, NJ. They were fortunate to train under coaches that were at the Olympic level. As Green belts, they both earned Gold Medals at the 14th Annual New Jersey TKD Championships.

They became disillusioned with their training when they began to out spar the more senior and Black Belt students (after only a brief period of training). Additionally, the limitations of TKD, including the forced stances, range, and absence of punching to the head, made them question the efficacy of the art. The lack of wrestling and ground fighting further cemented their belief that a lot was missing from Tae Kwon Do when it came to self-defense.

A proper martial arts education shouldn’t leave a you or your child with a false sense of confidence. Unfortunately, many traditional martial arts, such as Karate and TKD, don’t provide proper training to protect against violence. Think about the following. You or your child trains TKD for 5 years. At this point you or they may even have earned a Black Belt. One day another child (person), slightly bigger and more aggressive, takes you/them down and proceeds to assault you/them. All that kicking was made useless.

In the case of your child, they come home wondering why you had them learn something that didn’t work, and your relationship suffers. Ten years old, a Black Belt, and still has no idea how to defend themselves. It’s a heartbreaking story, but one that happens all over the country.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts may be new to you but that isn’t a reason to pass up the opportunity to have you or your child truly learn how to defend yourselves. Additionally, you/they will gain focus, discipline, and respect. Most importantly though, the confidence gained will be backed up by an actual ability to defend one’s self from bullies. This is SBG, you will be okay.

Karate Classes in Athens Georgia

Karate Classes In Athens

Many people searching for self-defense classes in Athens Georgia believe they will find them in a Karate Dojo. Please continue reading to learn why you would be doing yourself a disservice joining such a place.

The large majority of traditional martial arts academies that teach Karate are failing to teach their students actual self-defense. Self-defense isn’t found standing in lines, memorizing dance routines (called Kata) and two-step sparring (called Ippon), breaking dried out boards, and screaming at imaginary opponents.

One of the obstacles many Karate schools put up against learning self-defense is the lack of training against a resisting opponent. This is something we call, Aliveness, at SBG Athens. Without Aliveness you can’t truly learn how to defeat an opponent that is trying to win (whether on the mats or on the streets). One can truly only get better at fighting if they are training against someone who fights back.

The idea of training against a resisting opponent can be witnessed during any soccer, baseball, football, or hockey practice as well. It’s something that has long been understood when winning is a priority. And when it comes to your safety against a person trying to do you physical bodily harm, isn’t winning all that truly matters.

You may be surprised to learn that Coaches Adam and Rory Singer both trained in a very traditional, very hard style of Karate, known as Kanzen Goju-Ryu. They trained under the founder, Shihan Harry Rosenstein, for approximately two years. Harry Rosenstein could trace his lineage through Peter Urban, the founder of American Goju.

Around the time they began Karate classes, Rory was wrestling in high school (1990-1994), Adam had just finished up a couple of years in the Navy (where he continued to wrestle), and UFC 1 just debuted in November 1993. After only two years of training and quickly advancing, they were invited to attend sparring sessions with the high-level students and Black Belts.

This is where their disillusionment with Karate began. The Singer brothers started to question all the weird stances, defensive structures, lack of fighting in different ranges (there was a complete lack of fighting on the ground, no clinching, or wrestling), and stringent rules that required fighting in very specific ways which only resembled fighting another person doing karate. Their questions were never answered, and their frustrations grew.

The limits of Karate couldn’t be overcome. It became apparent that it didn’t truly represent what a fight looked like nor address many of their concerns about what happens when a fight enters the wrestling or ground range. Soon after, both Adam and Rory discontinued their training in search of truth in combat.

Don’t get caught up in all the fancy terminology, far east mysticism, and techniques too deadly for training. Let us show you how boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and Brazilian jiu jitsu not only provides health, fitness, focus, discipline, confidence, and self-esteem; but it also teaches you how to truly defend yourself when it counts the most.

Here at SBG Athens we teach the same styles taught to military, law enforcement, and special operators. We teach you in a safe, friendly, and family oriented environment. Not only will you have fun and get a great workout, but you will leave knowing you are more dangerous than when you came.

Looking to branch out?

SBG Athens GA

This is the story of SBG Athens tribe-member Ashley Healen.

Ashley found SBG while she was injured.

Working out at a different gym, Ashley had been exposed to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts as ways to stay fit. She quickly realized that she was more than casually interested in training martial arts, though. Recovering from an injury sustained in training, Ashley began to look for a gym that could offer her more in the way of BJJ and MMA instruction. At SBG, Ashley says, she found the right place.

Ashley now feels more confident standing up for herself. “I really doubted myself,” she says, no matter what she did. She was afraid to speak her mind, to be herself around other people. Classes at SBG have given her a space to work alongside a variety of people sharing similar goals to Ashley.

Everyone there wants to get a little bit better at something each time they come together, whether that be throwing better strikes, defending yourself better on the ground, or improving your numbers in the weight-room. Ashley now feels equally comfortable trading words with her training partners as well as punches.

Here are three pieces of advice that Ashley would like to share with anyone who might be interested in starting to train, or taking their training to the next evolution:

  1. Always keep an open mind. Don’t ever be afraid to try something.
  2. “Keep your friends close and your elbows closer” -Ryron Gracie
  3. Don’t beat yourself up, everyone makes mistakes. Just learn from them.

Do you struggle with some of the same things with which Ashley 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.

Looking to take your workout to another level?

SBG Athens GA

This is the story of SBG Athens coach Lee McMichael.

Lee felt like he was in a rut before joining SBG Athens.

A lifelong athlete active in several sports, Lee had always been in decent shape. After leaving school, however, he says that he never developed a satisfying routine. He would vacillate between being completely dedicated to a workout routine and doing the bare-minimum to stay in shape. “I was never able to find a reason to keep myself in shape,” he says, other than wanting to look good or avoid “being super-unhealthy.”

He says that he found SBG Athens due to being an MMA fan. He knew that the gym had spawned Forrest Griffin, and living nearby, he wanted to see what the gym had to offer. According to Lee, the gym has much more to offer than he would have anticipated.

Lee has found an outlet to channel his competitive drive in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Learning BJJ at the gym, Lee has found a sport that will allow him to compete for decades. “Aside from some flag football and things like that in college I think too many of us just put that kind of thing aside after high school.  However, something like jiu-jitsu gives you something that you are always working on and working toward.  Even if you don’t compete in jiu-jitsu you still are competing against yourself or just trying to get a little better each day.”

Not only is Lee excited to have a good reason to work out, he says that in SBG Athens, he has found a deeper sense of community. “I was a pretty aimless 25 year-old when I started my journey here at SBG,” he says. Training martial arts, and training with other martial artists has “both directly and indirectly have helped me a great deal in providing some direction and sense of purpose.” He has coached both kids and adults at SBG, becoming a staple at the gym. At SBG he has plenty of training partners, students, and teachers, but he has also made valuable personal connections. He says that the community of the SBG tribe has benefitted him greatly: “I have met many amazing people and I am luckily to call quite a few of them “friend!”

Here are three tips that Lee wants to share to potential tribemates:

  1. Don’t quit!  Even if you can’t make it to as many classes or do as much as you want.  Just keep coming back!
  2. Don’t take it too seriously, especially early on.  Make this something you enjoy doing, not a chore that you must do!
  3. Talk to people!  Early on I did not do a good job of putting myself out there and making connections at the gym.  We are a welcoming place but the gym and its’ people can only do so much.

Do you struggle with some of the same things with which Lee 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.

Looking for stability? Structure?

SBG Athens Ga

This is the story of Josh Norris, SBG Athens athlete and assistant coach. Before coming to SBG, Josh felt literally lost.

From ages 18 to 24, Josh had lived in ten different places in five states. One of his parents had passed away, and the other disappeared from his life. “I had lost my family by blood, family by bond, the structure that was high school and my literal home,” Josh says. Lacking structure in his life, he says “chaos took its place.” He ended up in Athens by chance, just another stop on his journey.

Josh had always been interested in fitness and the martial arts, but he didn’t see a future in traditional martial arts. He was excited to get involved with Mixed Martial Arts (like the MMA program at SBG) since “Mixed Martial Arts are pressure-tested by their nature.” SBG gave him a chance to learn these pressure-tested skills, to get involved in something concrete and practical. He ended up finding that chance and more. In his words:

“At the time I thought SBG would get me a great workout, train me in martial arts that actually work, and would let me apply myself towards a goal. Well all of that did happen, however I found something so much more. I found the most positive and supportive group of human beings in my life. Each coach and member of the gym genuinely cared about me and wanted to help me not just in my goals within the walls of SBG but in my life outside the gym as well.”

He says that he found a passion in martial arts, but even more, a reason to stick around in one place for a while. “I didn’t know what would happen next in life, how I’d make enough money or survive, but I did and whether or not my “Tribe” at SBG knows it, I did it with their support.”

He now owns a home and enjoys a stable life. He feels like he’s regained a sense of family at SBG that was missing for a long time. Regularly attending classes at SBG has Josh feeling stronger at 185 lbs than he did weighing 205 lbs and working out in a traditional setting. He feels stronger, more patient, and has the confidence that goes with acquiring skills that he knows work. He has to test them in sparring on a regular basis. In so many ways, Josh is thankful that he found SBG.

Here’s more of Josh’s advice:

  1. I cannot tell you all of the benefits you will find at SBG but I can tell you that in one way or another, you’ll become an even better version of yourself.
  2. Everything you put into SBG, you will get back in some form. Whatever your goal, we can help you reach it. If you think you can’t do it, you can and you will. You will have fun, you will be safe, you will learn amazing skills and you will enrich your life.
  3. The only catch is you have to earn it, but each and every step of the way you will have a Tribe by your side, working together to become the best possible version of ourselves.

Do you struggle with some of the same things with which Josh 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.

Want to challenge the limitations you set for yourself?

SBG Athens Ga

This is the journey of Dr. Ben Fuqua: PhD, Professor of Literature, and martial arts student at SBG Athens. 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 Lost in the Weight Room and/or Lacking Self Defense Skills?

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This is the journey of Lucas Federico: GM of SBG Athens, Kid’s Coach, and BJJ Brown Belt.  Before joining SBG he was lost in the weight room, unmotivated, and lacking self defense skills.

Lost in the weight room, Lucas went through the routines and motions, but without direction or understanding didn’t know how those things were helping him. Finding motivation to keep going and the subsequent lack thereof became the main reasons he couldn’t keep up with a routine.

Having worked in bars in a college town, Lucas was concerned that lifting weights wasn’t the way to learn how to defend himself and keep me from getting his a$$ kicked. He said, “That’s going to sound like the thoughts of a crazy person, but having worked in bars in a college town you find yourself surrounded by people looking to ‘beat their chests’ and going to the gym had it’s own sub culture of ‘tough guys.’” He got tired of being in the weight room surrounded by people thinking they were tough just because they had big arms.

It was in 2006 that Lucas began working with a bunch of college kids that were learning the fairly new sport of MMA. “It sounded pretty intense and had piqued my interest”, he said. They had all told him he would love it and would fit right in. After a few weeks of waiting for one of the guys to bring him by the gym he got in his car to drive over and check the place out.

He was greeted by one of the owners, TUF and UFC fighter, Rory Singer. He recalls his first class, “The first class was fun and different and I felt like a fish out of water, but it was just was I was looking for, the opportunity to learn how to fight, actually fight.”

Lucas has been at the gym ever since and it has transformed his life in every aspect possible, and all for the better. He is a more confident, relaxed, focused, and happy individual than ever before in his life. He is surrounded by some of his closest friends and family and benefits from being a part of one of the greatest social networks around. “I get to live the life others dream of because I wanted to learn how to defend myself. Learning MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been a long road, but one I wouldn’t change for anything,” he continues.

I have been at the gym since 2006 and my life has transformed in every aspect possible, and all for the better. I’m a more confident, relaxed, happy and focused individual than I have ever been in my entire life. I’m surrounded by some of my closest friends and family and have one of the greatest social networks because of this “gym”. I get to live the life others dream of because I wanted to learn how to defend myself. Learning MMA and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been a long road, but one I wouldn’t change for anything.

To any and all new students Coach Lucas has the following three tips that helped him transform:

  1. Take baby steps and enjoy the journey. Any transformation worth a crap takes time and sacrifice, but if you focus too much on the destination you’re going to miss out on all the other great benefits a place like this has to offer. So many long lasting friendships have been forged inside the walls of this academy. I always hate seeing people miss out on that.
  2. Stay consistent in your training. Even on days when you are sore, come in and jump on the mats.
  3. Last piece of advice I’d like to offer, BE COOL!

Do You Struggle with Drinking and Lack of Motivation?

Straight Blast Gym Athens Ga

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

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 Middle Aged Man Struggling With Stress, Weight Gain, And Lack Of Motivation

Straight Blast Gym Athens Georgia

This is the journey of Chris Riser: 50 year old lawyer and father of two teens.

 

Before coming to SBG Athens, Chris struggled with middle-age stress, weight gain, and the motivation to deal with them.

On the recommendation of his trainer at another gym, he reached out due to his love of fitness kickboxing. He wanted to learn about real kickboxing. After a few years of kickboxing classes Chris “learned how to punch, kick, and defend, had a lot of fun, and got in better shape.” At 44, he was in the best shape of his life and boxed competitively at the famed Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn, New York. Although he lost that fight it didn’t stop him from getting his first victory a couple years later in an old high school gym in West Virginia.

“My family told me I was crazy, my doctor told me I was crazy, but nobody at the gym told me I was crazy.  My friends and trainers at the gym just helped me prepare for my boxing matches and feel confident.”

It was later that Chris was inspired by another gym member to get into powerlifting. He competed a couple of times and “put up numbers that made [him] happy.” Finally, after several years of watching everyone training BJJ, he finally “plunge[d] into full-on striking and BJJ training a little over a year ago.” His only regret is that he didn’t start sooner.

Since training at SBG Athens, Chris has accomplished quite a bit: he’s lost a “bunch of fat”, gained “a lot of muscle”, reduced his stress level, made friends, gone 1-1 in amateur boxing in his 40s, hit a 1000# powerlifting total at age 50, completed a Coaching Candidate Course, and traveled to three different SBG training camps all over North America. Confident that he will earn his BJJ blue belt in the next year or two, he proudly believes one day he could be, “SBG Athens’ oldest black belt.”

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

  1. Show up to train, even if you don’t want to. I’ve never regretted showing up. I’ve regretted not showing up a bunch of times.
  2. Believe in “This is SBG; you will be OK.” The instructors know what they’re doing. Your training partners are there to help you, not to beat you or hurt you.
  3. Prioritize protein and lift heavy weights.