From coach John Frankl.
“Last evening at SBG HQ. Matt Thornton and I discussed much of this over the past few days…
Jiu jitsu, once again, mirrors life.
Tricks and Hacks: Just because you can’t see the bottom doesn’t mean its deep.
Fundamentals: Just because you can see the bottom very clearly doesn’t mean you’ll ever reach it. But so long as you can see it and continually endeavor to reach it, you will be just fine.”
From coach Paul Sharp
Coaching carries great responsibility.
At the root you’re preparing people for what could be the worst moment of their life. You’re giving them the skills with which to save their life. You can never train too hard or too much for that eventuality.
If you have ever stood in a student’s hospital room, and wondered; did I do everything I could to prepare them for the incident that put them here? Or if you have ever had a student’s family members thank you for preparing their loved one for the fight because they survived?
If you have than you understand. That’s 𝙨𝙤𝙢𝙚 of the weight carried by a Coach.
𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙞𝙨 𝙖𝙡𝙨𝙤 𝙬𝙝𝙮 𝙞𝙩’𝙨 𝙘𝙧𝙪𝙘𝙞𝙖𝙡 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙁𝙤𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙖𝙡 𝙘𝙡𝙖𝙨𝙨𝙚𝙨 𝙗𝙚 𝙩𝙖𝙪𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙗𝙮 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙘𝙤𝙖𝙘𝙝𝙚𝙨 𝙬𝙚 𝙘𝙖𝙣 𝙛𝙞𝙣𝙙. 𝙏𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙚𝙣𝙨𝙪𝙧𝙚𝙨 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙩 𝙤𝙪𝙧 𝙨𝙩𝙪𝙙𝙚𝙣𝙩𝙨 𝙖𝙧𝙚 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙧𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙚𝙨𝙩 𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙝𝙣𝙞𝙦𝙪𝙚, 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙩𝙧𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙢𝙚𝙩𝙝𝙤𝙙𝙤𝙡𝙤𝙜𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙨𝙩𝙖𝙧𝙩.
My coaching credo is this; I take no credit for my students successes while taking all the responsibility for their failures.
An International Perspective, From SBG Purple Belt Peter Boghossian
My experience doing jiu-jitsu in Budapest has been extraordinary. The gym where I trained last night is a small rectangular room where members practice archery in the day and jiu-jitsu (BJJ) in the evening.
Every night, before class, students roll out the mats. There are no dressing rooms, so some people step behind a partial wall and get dressed, or at least I did. Most people change on the main floor. They have one bathroom and a shower that accommodates two people at once. It’s a humble facility that provides a remarkable BJJ experience.
I signed no waiver, release, or other paperwork. I just changed and got on the mat. As students entered, they shook everyone’s hand and said hello, even mine, though I’ve never met anyone. I was instantly welcomed. There were about 35 people in class, all blue and purple belts.
The instructor is a BJJ black belt who speaks English well. He put me with a student who also spoke English, and that helped me quite a bit as my partner translated what the instructor was saying.
We began with basic guard passing drills. It was difficult for me to do some of these as I have a bad knee, but my partner was very patient. Then we slow rolled, which I always enjoy.
After that, we broke into groups of three and practiced guard passing at full speed. I should have conserved my energy as I thought it was an hour class and not 90 minutes, so I was exhausted at the end of the segment. It was interesting that the person on the bottom could “choose your guard,” and I was advised to choose closed guard as I could attempt to rest there. I chose closed guard, obviously.
Then we rolled to submission. Again, I misjudged the length of class and was exhausted so I sat out many rounds. But when I did roll, I was genuinely impressed with the students. Everyone was not only very good, but very relaxed, extremely technical, and kind. They really helped me improve by offering specific suggestions as to how I could get better.
It was interesting that they taught a specific style as opposed to my home gym, SBG, where they don’t teach a style. For example, it seemed like every member was proficient at the step through pass, which I’ve always been terrible at defending.”
This Months Podcast With Coach John Frankl
A note on roll models from coach Cane Prevost
Role models… That is what the SBG tribe has given me over the years. When I look at the worldwide tribe I’m amazed at how many amazing people I have had the chance to learn from. My coach Matt Thornton has been a role model for how to think critically and stay open to possibilities. Luis Gutierrez was an early role model for the beautiful artistry of Jiu Jitsu. Karl Tanswell taught me how to innovate. Travis Davison taught me the power of tribe and loyalty. Ricky Davison taught me authenticity and keeping it real. Lily Pagle taught me the value of a kind and generous heart. Raymond Price taught me about honor and discipline. Leah Taylor taught me to not take myself so seriously. John Diggins taught me the value of steadfastness. Mark Fisher taught me the value of kindness and compassion. John Frankl taught me the value of introspection and a systematic study of how Jiu Jitsu works. Stephen Whittier taught me the value of being articulate and careful with your words. Paul Sharp taught me to believe in my Jiu Jitsu. Rory Singer and Adam Singer taught me to laugh. That Jiu JItsu is about people and friendships. These are just a few of the many role models I have found over the years in our tribe. These are all amazing people who have each contributed to my growth over the years. In addition to these there are literally dozens and dozens more. This is the amazing power of tribe and why loyalty to, and support of your tribe is so critically important.
Who are some of your SBG role models?
“This is SBG, you will be okay”- Karl Tanswell”
Congratulations To The Students Of SBG Drayton Valley
“Last night we got to celebrate a Blue Belt Ironman at SBG.
It is increasingly harder to do these as a surprise, but the Tribe managed. Congratulations to Erik Go for his well earned strap (given to him by Matt Thornton). While we were missing actually quite a few students, everyone did their best and anyone that could, attended the evening for one of their own.
We had a shaky start. Rolling the first day with Erik (who “only had a couple months of prior experience”) he attempted a can-opener and a heel hook. I honestly didn’t think he was going to be right for our gym culture. But we had a sit down the next day (when we had cooler minds) and he completely bought in.
He has become a fantastic training partner, someone I can trust to roll with my daughter, and is a good human as well. He has opened up, smiles and talks when he enters, and our mats are better because of him.
Kudos to all of the teammates who have built each other up through struggling times. Thank you to Steve Winjet for his guidance to SBGDV. Thank you to our amazing crew of coaches (and up and coming). It was a proud moment for so many. What a great “family gathering” we had last night.”
– Coach and Owner Brad Kelly
The newest SBG Reno Black Belt, Jason Woodard, Congratulations coach Ray Price
“And then there were three. I had the privilege of awarding my third black belt today to Jason Woodard (Rachelle Woodard). He is one of my early and original training partners and I have witnesses his journey from white to black. He has put in the time on the mat and has matured in his Jiu Jitsu. He understands the actual journey begins now and I look forward to where he takes his game.”
Congratulations To Athens For Their First and Second Female Black Belts!”
“yesterday was a big day at SBG Athens for a variety of reasons. The Ironman Belt Ceremony is such an important day and tradition throughout the SBG International organization. Sunday was one of the best of them.
SBG Athens is now home to: 6 new blue belts (Nic Dai, Matt Pieper, Ashik Rahman, Mike Meason, Sadira Peryam, and Noah Shealy, 2 new brown belts (Noah Peryam and Alex Smith), and 3 new Black Belts (Luke Blackmon #14, Viki Timian #15/1st SBG Athens Female BB, and Kelsi Nummerdor #16/2nd SBG Athens Female BB). Many others were awarded new white belts that signify stripes (advancing towards blue belts).
There were around 80 people on the mats while many friends and family watched from the benches. It was great seeing so many new faces participate in their first Ironman and hearing how much everyone loved the experience. Seeing our Tribemate’s progress and participating in their success is such a big part of the culture at our academy. Participating in our traditions and rituals helps strengthen bonds and brings us all closer together.
As Coach Chris Haueter says, and Coach Adam reiterated, “It’s not about who is best. It’s about who is left.” We are thankful for the Tribe that Coach Matt Thornton has created throughout the SBG international community. We are proud of everyone’s efforts during their Ironman. Grappling 80 people in a row for over 90 minutes straight is no easy task. After exhaustion sets in, all you are left with is fundamental and technical jiu jitsu. All of that and more was on display and it’s a beautiful thing to see.
Thank you to everyone that came out to participate and celebrate. Looking around the room and seeing so many smiling faces is proof positive that we are doing something great. After 25 years of coaching in Athens we are only getting started. So many lives changed and many more people learning that martial arts is one of the least important things they find inside the walls of the gym.
This is SBG, you will be okay.”