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SBG Home Page - BJJ & MMA - Separator

At Straight Blast Gym, we produce results for everyone interested in martial arts – regardless of experience, athleticism or lack thereof. We focus on what works: the core fundamental principles. The science behind our training methods works for 45-year-old professors, 53-year-old attorneys, 22-year-old MMA fighters, and Oregon’s most successful BJJ competition team!


Chelsea SBG BJJ MMA Portland

“Love this place! I’m very new to Martial arts of any kind. At the time I was so scared and overwhelmed by all of the choices. I had my orientation which helped me decide where to start. I can’t say enough about the atmosphere. Such a vast group of people all striving to thrive not only physically but emotionally, spiritually and mentally. All helping lift each other up.
– Chelsea P.

Patrick SBG BJJ MMA Portland

“Go here if you want to learn the right way. SBG is as encouraging as it is challenging. This is important in order for you to grow as a fighter. I have been a member at other gyms and it was so ego-driven. You will not find that at SBG. Instead, you will find a supportive community that helps you to get to the next level in your training.”
– Patrick D.

“Where Sbg shines is the curriculum and the way they teach the material. Coaches are friendly and make you feel welcome. There are a lot of skilled upper belts and members that have been training there for many years. If you want to train jiu jitsu this is the place to go.”
– Denis D.

Michelle Z SBG Portland Testimonial

“This gym is like family to me now, and some of my closest friends now are at SBG. The training there, first and foremost is incredible. Every single coach is top notch, relatable, technical, humble, and generous in their time and energy. The community is incredible, and diverse. I love SBG, my husband and my two children train here, and I am there five days a week. ”
– Michelle Z.

Matt Thornton and John Diggins

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SBG Is More Than Just Martial Arts

SBG began over twenty years ago, when its founder, Matt Thornton, opened the first locations in Portland Oregon. His goal was to create a university of fighting, where the truth of what does and does not work could be explored – an academy where ‘best practices’ could develop – where form would follow function.

Since that time, the organization has grown exponentially. SBG now has over 50 locations around the world, and can be found on every continent. It has produced multiple UFC fighters (including the biggest UFC Champion in history, Conor McGregor) – multiple BJJ world champions, including black belt medalists – and currently stands as the world’s leading organization for functional martial arts, combat sports, law enforcement, military hand-to-hand, and self-defense.

In addition to a consolidated business structure and curricula – there is a strong bond of shared philosophy, and loyalty, that unites all of the SBG locations. It is reflected in the organizations motto –

One Tribe – One Vibe.


SBG Portland is also extremely proud to be one of the few academies to be recognized by Rickson Gracie’s Jiu Jitsu Global Federation.


Matt Thornton
Matt ThorntonFounder of SBG International, Master Instructor
Matt Thornton was the first person from the State of Oregon to receive a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Over the decades Matt has worked with some of the best MMA fighters, grapplers and combat athletes in the world.
Salóme Ás Thornton
Salóme Ás ThorntonYoga Instructor, Co Owner of SBG Portland
I’ve dabbled in BJJ since 2005, where I first met my husband Matt Thornton in Iceland for a seminar. Yoga; I have practiced since I was 10 years old, so 23 years now. I became a certified teacher in 2010 and started Primate Yoga ~ Practical Practice. Honestly though, my true love for movement is derived from dancing and an insatiable quest for understanding body mechanics. My approach to teaching is informative, playful and challenging. My goal is to give people tools to take care of their bodies, motivate them to work hard and not be afraid to fail.
Rick Davison
Rick DavisonHead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, MMA, and Boxing Coach
Rick Davison started with SBG in 1998. Rick has divided his time between competing for MMA and teaching on regular basis. Rick’s MMA classes are always well received due in part to high level of individual attention he gives his students.
Cane Prevost
Cane PrevostHead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach
Cane Prevost is widely considered one of Portland’s top coaches. His ability to break down BJJ to it’s core fundamentals and impart that to his students is second to none. Cane’s teaching model has been adopted by SBG organizations worldwide.
John Diggins
John DigginsHead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA Coach
John began training at SBG Portland in 2003. He has gone on to win multiple gold medals and first-place finishes in both gi and no-gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions, as well as having several MMA fights.
Amanda Loewen
Amanda LoewenHead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach
Amanda Loewen started training in 2009. She is an avid competitor as well as full time coach at SBG Portland. She took gold at the Vegas open in absolute in 2013 against the current (at the time) IBJJF world champion and went on to take 2nd at Worlds.
Mark Fisher
Mark FisherHead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach
Mark started training in 2005 and followed to join the SBG Portland headquarters in 2014. He was certified as an instructor twice: once around 2012 and once in 2015 in Portland. He is a teacher by trade and brings a lot of his ideas about teaching from the classroom and especially from the laboratory onto the mat.
Chris Stearns
Chris StearnsHead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach
Chris Stearns joined SBG Portland in winter of 2005. He started coaching his first beginner classes as a blue belt in 2007. At purple belt Chris achieved a bronze medal at the 2012 Pan Ams and was a quarter finalist at the World Championships. He enjoys teaching to both beginners and experienced students a like while focusing on clear presentation and explanation.
Eddie Ziegler
Eddie ZieglerHead Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA Coach
Coach Eddie started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2010, and MMA shortly after. He’s an avid competitor and enjoys teaching both adults and children.


The Gorilla Press, Issue 132

When Results Matter- In this podcast snippet, Matt talks about the importance of being right when it matters, despite how we may feel. When Results Matter - In last months podcast Matt did an interview at PSU with Professor Peter Boghossian. The interview also featured some [...]

The Gorilla Press, Issue 131

SBG Buford Starts The Month Off Right! "What a weekend for SBG! It wasn’t all about MMA this past Saturday, as our tribe also had a great showing at NEWBREED, bringing home a whole lot of new hardware . We had veteran Jiu Jitsu athletes alongside first time competitors, all of [...]

Before Your First Class

The time has come and you're finally visiting the academy for the first time. But what do you need to know before you first come in? Coming into an mixed martial arts academy can seem intimidating, but the truth is everyone at the academy [...]

The Gorilla Press, Issue 126

The Gorilla Press, Issue 126 Matt Joins JSM For Conversation   Auguest SBG Podcast, Joing Matt In Conversation With Long-Standing BJJ Jedi John Frankl Matt Joins Travis in the beautiful new SBG Whitefish Gym for a seminar with SBG's Newest Black Belt Affiliate Henry Akins! Paul Sharp - "HONOR YOUR MENTORS" [...]

Aikido Martial Arts Portland

Aikido: Why Rickson Gracie’s Jiu Jitsu embodies the literal definition of Aikido Aikido is often translated into English “as the way to harmonious spirit”. Literature on Aikido describes it as a modern martial art with an emphasis on gentility. Adjectives commonly ascribed are spirit, sense of well being, and compassion. [...]

Systema Martial Arts Portland

Systema: Is it the worst martial art in the world? There is always great debate amongst the effectiveness of specific martial arts. Some advocate wrestling based on the continued success of its practitioners in the UFC. Similarly, others point to the success of Royce Gracie in the early ‘no rules’ [...]


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