The Gorilla Press, Issue 117

Founder Matt Thornton Reflects on Aliveness & Fantasy Martial Arts

Discussing his views on fantasy martial arts such as Jeet Kune Do, Matt shares the reality and truth that aliveness brings to the functional martial arts community:

“It is an interesting thing, anytime Aliveness is removed from a Martial Art the Martial Artists ends up wasting a lot of time playing around in ranges that really don’t exist in an actual fight. In hand-to-hand combat, things go from kick and punch, to clinch, and then, often, to the ground. Rarely do you ever see two fighters stand toe to toe, in elbow and knee range, and exchange blows. Instead, one of them grabs the others. The mythical “trapping” range that the JKD community and so many other fantasy based arts like Silat and Wing Chun are so obsessed with, just doesn’t happen. So too with stick fighting. Within the JKD/ Kali (another term favored by Inosanto for Filipino Martial Arts) community, a large percentage of time was spent working at a distance where each person could hit the other in the head or body with the stick. The two players would click their sticks together, ‘check’ each other’s hands, and throw in foot sweeps and joint locks. And all of it, while often being very pretty and slick, was bullshit. Once either person began swing the stick the way someone really would, with bad intentions, all that stuff disappeared and people either clinched up, or backed up. In other words, they managed distance. The empirical nature of what we do, the universal laws of combat, once again proving themselves true.”

Steven Hooper Catches the Public’s Eye

In an article by MMA UK, professional fighter Steven Hooper, representing SBG Manchester, was highlighted as an exciting up-and-comer in the Europe MMA Scene. In it, author Myles Painter hailed Steven’s submission specialty and high finish rate. Check out his most recent fight to see his submission skills in action!

SBG Idaho Racks up More Wins

SBG Idaho has a strong reputation of producing quality fighters. Benjamin Hollier, Darrell Flores, and Kyle Frost are three such examples. Each earned the win over their opponents in dominant fashion at Front Street Fights 20. Congratulations to Benjamin, Darrell, Kyle, and their coaches.

Matt Thornton Reminds Us About Priorities

Posting a recent fan interaction, Mr Jiu Jitsu, a well-known grappling blogger, reveals the excuses that individual made to avoid training. Specifically referencing lack of time and money, the fan claimed it to be impossible to train given his condition. Matt responded, believing claims like these to be blown out of proportion.

“Can’t versus won’t. Just that simple,” he wrote

SBG Headquarters Hosts Gorilla Cup for Charity

SBG headquarters in Portland, Oregon has many times been the hosts of the Gorilla Cup, an in-house tournament open exclusively to gym members. The event was made possible through the help of the countless dedicated coaches and students who came together to ensure it ran successfully. In addition to the record number of competitors and great display of camaraderie, the event raised over $600 dollars going towards the Humane Society. Matt writes:

“Thank you to everyone who turned up for the Gorilla Cup yesterday. And thank you to all the staff that helped make it happen. Great experiences for a great cause.”

Matt Thornton Shares Powerful Quote on Teaching

SBG prides itself in its teaching methodology, one which encourages students not to take everything at face value, rather to question and find the underlying truth to Jiu Jitsu for themselves. In the same vein, physicist and professor Richard Feynman once wrote:

“Teach your students
• to doubt,
• to think,
• to communicate,
• to question,
• to make mistakes,
• to learn from their mistakes, and most importantly
• have fun in their learning”

SBG Whitefish Releases Floor Plan for New Location

Class sizes and membership numbers at SBG Whitefish have been fast-growing for some time now. In a smart move by coach Travis Davison, the gym has decided to move to a larger facility that can accommodate the growing numbers. The new location will include changing rooms, a sauna, a grill, and over 1,000 more square feet. Be ready to jump onto the new mats come November!

Coach Jon Boone Intertwines Family & Jiu Jitsu

The motto “One tribe, one vibe” reflects an environment within SBG that values togetherness, support of one another, and camaraderie. Jon Boone, head coach of SBG So-cal, is especially aware of the supportive culture that the gym provides, as his wife, Jamie, recently took her first Jiu Jitsu class as a part of the tribe.

He shared this about the experience:

“Jamie is surprising me all the time with her willingness to do things that she had previously shown no interest in. It’s awesome! Almost 15 years into marriage and we can still surprise each other, we still look forward to spending time together, we laugh a hell of a lot, and we can still pose for weird pictures like the one below. Love you babe!”

Eryk Anders Represents SBG on the Big Stage

Eryk Anders is a UFC fighter and product of SBG Buford and coach Chris Conolley. On October 12th, he put it all on the line against Gerald Meerschart at UFC Fight Night 161. He took home the victory by split decision. Eryk, who goes by the nickname “Ya Boi”, made waves in the MMA community when he first made his UFC debut in 2017. Since then, he has continued to wow fans with his impressive performances and tremendous displays of perseverance through difficult fights. Congratulations to Anders on another great win.

More Wins from SBG Ireland

Bellator Milan saw two fighters from SBG Ireland picking up wins. Noteabely, Nicolò Solli finished the night with an impressive triangle choke in the first round.

Coach Alex Enlund Celebrates His Student

Although his student Shaun Randall wasn’t able to walk away with a victory in his recent outing at Shogun MMA, coach Alex Enlund lauded his ability to learn and improve as a result of a tough fight. Taking after coach John Kavanagh and his aptly titled book “Win or Learn”, Alex believes that losses can always lead to lessons. No doubt we will see great things out of Shaun Randall in the future.

SBG Niagara Fields Grappling Industries Team

SBG Niagara, headed by coach Rich Beaupit, sent a team of five to Grappling Industries Buffalo. Despite their small numbers, they ended the day at third place in the team standings, holding five gold medals, three silvers, and one bronze. SBG Niagara is certainly making a name for itself in the Canada Jiu Jitsu scene.

Katrina Schmale Discusses Tribe After a Big Win

Since winning IBBJF worlds several months back, SBG Canada athlete Katrina Schmale has been on an impressive tear through the purple belt division. After one of her most recent wins, she discusses the importance of a strong, supportive tribe:

“Today just affirmed something I’ve been learning the past few months…. surround yourself with people you aspire to be like… not necessarily based on their ability, but their character… Find people who work hard, don’t make excuses, are willing to admit mistakes and work to make them better… It just so happens that I’m lucky enough to find people who are also top notch coaches!”

A Day of Training at SBG Manchester

SBG Manchester is a rapidly exploding gym with a stable of phenomenal grapplers. Photographer @justjakesphotography was able capture a short glimpse into a day of training at this SBG UK location. Tune in to see these talented grapplers under the tutelage of coach Matt Inman.

October’s Video Podcast Goes Live

The SBG video podcast for the month of October has been published! These podcasts provide tribe members with a rare chance to sit in on in-depth conversations into Jiu Jitsu theory. This month’s video features a conversation between founder Matt Thornton, SBG Vice President Travis Davison, and Rickson Gracie black belt Henry Akins. Henry has consistently been SBG’s source for Rickson Gracie Jiu Jitsu and in the podcast, he details Rickson’s approach to Jiu Jitsu. Give it a listen!

Meeting of the Minds at Fall Camp

Behind the scenes of Fall Camp, SBG business owners from around the United States and abroad gather to discuss their business practices. It gives them the opportunity to consolidate policies, announce new improvements, and come together to make sure the organization is operating at its best. This meetup had representatives from SBG locations in Oregon, Texas, Montana, Massachusetts, California, Georgia, and even Australia, the UK, Canada, and South Africa.

Fall Camp is a Success

Each year, SBG camps grow exponentially. This growth is represented both in the amount of people who participate, and the level of coaching delivered. Fall Camp in Niagara was certainly no exception. The camp featured students and coaches from all around the globe, each coming together to find the fundamental truth in Jiu Jitsu. Matt Thornton had this to say:

“Thank you Coach Rich, for being a fantastic host, as well as the perfect example of what an SBG coach should be. Thank you to the coaches who traveled from around the globe to teach and share their material. And thank you to all the students from around the world who gathered once again again, and came together as a powerful Tribe. ”

To debrief the whirlwind that is Fall Camp, read what some of our coaches had to say below.

Fall Camp Sees Three New Black Belts

Camps at SBG are a time for an international tribe to come together in celebration of Jiu Jitsu. Such a celebration warrants the acknowledgement of the incredible dedication and hard work shown by Steve Bazzea, Jason Lancucki, and Jun Dazai, some of SBG’s newest black belts. Each has proved themselves to be skillful, devoted students. More than that, however, they each represent role models and greatly positive influences on their tribe. Congratulations to all three.

Stella “From Hella” on the World Stage

A product of Travis and Kisa Davison of SBG Montana, Stella Davison took to the world stage this month to stake her claim at the IJF Junior World Championships in Morocco. While many would be intimidated by the challenge, Stella rose to the occasion and represented herself and SBG with bountiful courage and heart. Although she didn’t walk away with gold, she holds her head high and remains steadfast in her pursuit of her goals. Way to go Stella!

Matt Thornton Stops by SBG Wareham

Matt’s 2019 seminar is coming to an end after having visited countess SBG locations all over the United States. One of his last stops was SBG Wareham on the East Coast. There, he had the chance to deliver his perfected “Survive & Escape” curriculum to coach Steven Whittier and his students.

Adam and Rory Singer Featured on Cleared Hot Podcast

The Cleared Hot podcast has established itself as a medium for observing the human experience. Creator Andy Stumpf allows viewers to hear from a wide variety of guests from all walks of life. Some of his most recent guests, SBG coaches Adam and Rory Singer as well as Travis Davison, discuss their lives leading up to martial arts and their coaching methodology.

Welcome SBG Texas as They Visit SBG Montana to Learn to Raise Their Tribe

As SBG Texas joins the tribe, Travis Davison of SBG Montana has been a valuable asset. His goal is to provide our Texas location with the information they need to come into their own as a space for growth and fun. This candid footage gives a brief look into their trip to Montana, showing things such as facility layout and class structure. Make sure to give SBG Texas your support, as they will no doubt become invaluable tribe members.

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