The Gorilla Press, Issue 152 Year

The gift of violence is here! Read rickson's review

Book update. 🦍📖
First off, I want to thank everyone for their interest and patience. Like every other industry, there are some supply chain issues with publishing. Combine that with the fact that I’ve added hundreds more citations, and the book—The Gift of Violence—has taken a bit longer than anticipated. That said, I’ve poured my lifetime of knowledge and experience into it, and I’m confident readers will find it worth the wait.
I’ve been honored to receive a lot of great blurbs for the book, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say this was one the ones I’m most proud of:
“For many years Matt Thornton has been one of the most passionate ambassadors of the martial art of Jiu Jitsu. His new book, The Gift of Violence, examines violence in the 21st century. Matt encourages his readers to apply lessons he has learned in Jiu Jitsu to every aspect of their lives.
Above all, The Gift of Violence makes it clear that Jiu Jitsu is not just a sport, it is a philosophy that makes one strong enough to forgive, and when necessary, confident enough to fight.”
– Rickson Gracie

canada's sbg camp is right around the corner

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in loving memory

This was from March 30th, last year. I received an email last week that it was live on the UFC fight pass channel, and just had an opportunity to watch it. They did a very good job.”
– Matt Thornton

Best of SBG year end podcast

Pillars of SBG From Steve Bazea

Three sides of the same object, three perspectives of the same phenomena but each part essential to the whole. Aliveness is the epistemology of functional martial arts, it is the self-correcting mechanism that allows us to adjust our form to align with function.

It is SBG’s truth seeking method.

Matt Thornton – SBG president.

When it comes to combat, or self defence, if your beliefs about reality don’t match reality, the end result can be at best painful, and at worst, fatal.

Matt Thornton – SBG president

UNIVERSAL– It will transcend culture, geography, bodies, era, and venue.

True now, true here, true there, true always. It allows the practitioner the ability to move between environments.

2- REPEATABLE – It doesn’t just work for one subject, but works for anyone.

It works for the small, the large, the many and the few. It doesn’t rely on youth, speed, or strength. It updates the software without damaging the hardware.

3- EFFICIENT – It provides maximum benefit with minimum effort, maximum leverage with minimum energy and maximum control with minimum risk.

Efficiency in fighting is synonymous with intelligence in fighting – and it is what we at SBG do.

One of the major training methods SBG uses is the I-method – a three stage training sequence used for most skill development and drills. INTRODUCTION – learning the motion, technique and skill correctly without resistance. ISOLATION – the drilling stage and INTEGRATION – the sparring stage. 🦍

New blackbelts at the 2022 fall camp

I had the great privilege of awarding my 38th black belt this afternoon.
Dr. Jon Hobson represents everything SBG is about. He’s a solid black belt, coach, and representative.
Every belt I give from SBG HQ is a reflection not just of my coaching, but of the entire team—all our black belts, and what I rightly call the “world’s best staff.”
I was also happy to be present as SBG Idaho added two new excellent black belts to their roster—Veta Arteaga and Stephanie Hernandez.
It was an honor. The Tribe grows.

matt thornton heads to sbg texas

Another day in the world’s best office—SBG.
Today, SBG Texas. 🦍🇺🇸💪🏻

sbgu's last release of 2022

Tired of getting foot-locked?
SBG coach John Frankl will show you how to shut these submissions down early, using structure.
Make sure you subscribe to the SBG HQ YouTube page for weekly updates. 🦍🎥 l
An excerpt from his new set, available exclusively, at SBGU.


Mike Sian on receiving his black belt

“Three weeks ago I was honored by my Coach with being awarded my black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I put a post up that day to thank everyone who celebrated the event with me, but wanted to take some time to really think about what a momentous occassion it was. Not just for me, but for my family and my teammates.
I have been studying martial arts for over three decades now. I have been awarded black belts before in several other arts, had very dedicated and knowledgable teachers in all of them, but this one, well its different. How is it different you might ask? Sweat-equaty and honesty.
When I started my journey in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 18 years ago I had already earned two other black belts in two differant styles of Karate. I had competed in bareknuckle full contact competitions, kickboxed, taught classes, trained military and law enforcement officers and had even been in some physical altercations carrying a badge myself. I really thought I understood ‘the fight’.
I would not trade any day that I trained prior to BJJ. I think they were preparing me to be humble and ready to be vulnerable on the mats for my next learning adventure. Because thats what happens when you enter a BJJ gym. Your ego will be shattered, preconceived notions of ‘good fighting techniques’ will be ripped apart, and you will be left sitting in your own sweat evaluating your true self.
I used to roll my eyes everytime I heard prhases like ‘Jiu Jitsu will fix anything’ or ‘Jit Jitsu is the great equalizer’…and even the infamous ‘Jitus Jitsu is life’. I had not ever been a part of something that encapsulated those ideas. Sure, I had trained ‘traditional’ styles of karate that focused on Eastern ideas of linking mind and body, but it just never sat well with me.
And then there was BJJ. I was completely controlled and destroyed over and over again by a partner half my size no matter how much strength I used, how hard I fought or what ‘tricks’ I attempted. At the end of my first class I was left sitting on on the mats, drenched in sweat, gi disheveled, chest heaving trying to suck in as much oxygen back into my lungs as possible. It was eye opening to say the least.
Over the almost two decades I have trained I have earned a Master’s Degree International Security Studies, a Master’s Degree in American History, led men and women in combat as a military officer, worked counterterrorism in Europe, the Levant, the Middle East and in Afghanistan. I have learned new languages, new cultures, met new people and traveled across multiple continents. However, nothing, and I sincerely mean this, NOTHING has taught me more about human beings and the nature of true meaningful personal interactions than my time on the mats.
On the mats, we work inside an intimate space practicing a very lethal art that requires an incredible amount of trust in your partner, your teammates and your coach. You develop strong bonds with those you sweat with, celebrate with, and yes, sometimes cry with. They will trust you with parts of themselves that no one outside the gym is privy to. It is, in a word, humbling.
To be trusted by my Coach Raymond Price, and by his Coach Matt Thornton, to represent this organization and its values as a black belt is an incredible honor that I do not take lightly. To be trusted by my students and teammates to teach them in a safe environment that allows them to learn and expirement without fear of injury or judgement is humbling to my core.
Thank you everyone who has celebrated the highs and the lows of this journey with me. I feel like I am just now beginning to learn this beautiful art. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.
One Tribe, One Vibe.”  -Mike Sian

sbg's newest academy coming to borneo

SBG things are happening in Asia! My good friend and newly-minted black belt Eric Knight is now in Malaysia!”  – John Frankl

"it's all wrestling" from sbg clinch coach robert verdell

BJJ is not a superpower…..
No more or less than a skilled boxer facing off against an unskilled pugilist who thinks he can “throw hands” or a back yard wrestler testing his takedown skills against a former college wrestler or good high school wrestler.
BJJ is not a superpower…unless the BJJ combatant has good takedown skills, wrestling. “

strong message from alex enlund

“I can’t chase your dreams for you”
I spent years stressing myself out when working with fighters, often putting more pressure on myself and in turn, them too.
A new approach has lead to more satisfaction and more time spent on the things I can control, we live in a world where ambition has a need to be spoken but the truth is always in the process.
If martial arts is your motivation to change your life in terms of your health or confidence I’m here to motivate & inspire you, but if you’re wanting to fight then your ambition should be your motivator. – Alex Enlund

a message from SBG east coast Stephen whittier

Functional, alive martial arts are complex systems, not complicated systems.
This is an incredibly important distinction when it comes to evolution and skill development.
Because the more you try to achieve desired outcomes by focusing on the variables (the moves), the more complicated the system you’re using becomes.
On the other hand, the more you seek desired outcomes by focusing on the most fundamental first principles, the simpler the system becomes and the better you’re able to manage all the complexity of live situations.
It’s the difference between deep understanding of core principles vs following a particular prescription.
Looking at the massive evolution in our curriculum over just couple years ago, it’s clear this is the reason:
Better results over time come from doing less (of the most efficient things), not more (of the somewhat efficient things).

sbg ireland camp and newest black belts

It was an honor to be present as John Kavanagh awarded three new SBG black belts: Ciaran Maher, Kieran McGeeney, and Alan Duffy.
He also gave out his first two stripe black belt to Nerigus.
Congratulations to all. The Tribe grows. 🦍🇮🇪🌎💪🏻

from sbg u.k. black belt casey jones

“Amazing weekend in Dublin at SBG Ireland HQ so many great sessions and so much awesome BJJ to take in.

Many thanks to John Kavanagh for organising and making me welcome my coach Matt Thornton for constantly upping my game and Glyn Powditch for completing my “handsome men in Dublin” reel”

the rule on attributes and training - matt thornton

Simple rule: Develop as much strength, speed, energy, and attributes as you can possibly develop. Be a physical monster—AND—use as little strength, speed, energy, and attributes as humanly possible when you’re training and rolling in the gym.

Improve your Jiu-Jitsu game by improving your Jiu-Jitsu. 🦍💡

strong words from justin garcia

Every Jiu Jitsu match I’ve lost was because my Jiu Jitsu wasn’t good enough. Injury, fatigue, bad reffing, etc… None of that matters. If my Jiu Jitsu was good enough, they would’ve tapped. Becoming emotional after losing is the setup your failures need to repeat themselves. Do the work and make your Jiu Jitsu good enough.

-Justin Garcia

John Will on Culture

“Culture is King

A students first class is the prime opportunity for the instructor to make his/her expectations clear to all participants. If we walk in late – we are sending a message; we are setting a tone; we are giving everyone permission to follow suit. Students are on the look out for clues, as to how to behave and engage. The lead-instructor is always providing those clues. Culture is set from the leadership.
Here are just a few examples of behaviours and attitudes that instructors and the more advanced cadre of students want to promote in the training environment:
Paying attention to detail – noticing and appreciating the details is what separates the great from the merely good. This habit can transform our lives in many ways.
Being the kind of training partner that everyone wants to train with. – everyone has their own back-story, their own particular motivation to begin training; their reasons may not be your reasons – look after your partner emotionally as well as physically.
Being aware of your personal hygiene – this is a close contact activity. Getting outside of our own heads is fundamental to be able to do well in the world.
Extracting the maximum value from your time in the training environment – be on time, if working a technique, keep working it, until you are asked to stop. An extra few reps per session, especially over the long-term can amount to a huge compounding effect in skill- uptake.
Instructor/Student connection – the way to ‘be’ in a training environment, is to imagine that the only people there are you and the instructor. Never take a back seat. If you don’t understand something … ask. As students, we need to take responsibility for our own learning; and this means extracting as much value from the class as is possible. Time is precious beyond measure.
More than anything else – CULTURE, is what has always determined whether I step into a training environment.”

paul sharp on mdoc 2

First a little history. In 1999 I introduced the combatives world to the Helmet aka the Default Cover. You can see this documented in the original ISR Matrix instructionals filmed in the 1990’s. In 2001 I introduced the combatives world to the Mountain Goat Drill aka 3rd Eye Drill which you can see documented in the SBG Camp instructional, I, along with a small handful of guys, was championing the use of Boxing/Muay Thai, Wrestling, and BJJ as the best delivery system for fighting in and out of a sportive environment.⁣







🗣 This is why you can hear me say on the SBG Camp instructionals released in 2003, “We’re not sport or street, we’re taking it off-road baby!!” Our goal was to make good people dangerous to bad people. We wanted to build human Baja racing cars/trucks. You can drive it on a track, or on the street and be competitive but if you really want to outperform everyone else you take ‘em off road. 🏁





Even though I have spent a lifetime developing and optimizing this hybrid training method, integrating sport and street strategies, tactics, and techniques, I’m still not satisfied. There’s more to do. I can go deeper and in MDOC 2.0 that’s exactly what we do!! MDOC 1.0 was solid and I could continue to teach the same material for the next 10-20 years. However, I’m not resting on laurels. I’ve continued to train, test, and evaluate everything I present. I’m in the mix every day, training and pushing my limits, deepening my understanding of how to apply this in a combative weapon based environment. ⁣





At this point I’m closing in on 3 decades of actively studying, teaching, and applying this material. MDOC 2.0 is where I am in 2022 in my study. Come train with me. I’ll teach you the fastest way to take your combat sport and optimize it as a delivery system that works in any environment. ⁣”

sbg uk camp

“I just finished the Saturday session at the SBG UK Camp. It’s always great to be here with everyone. It’s especially nice considering Covid meant it’s been three years since my last trip.

The level of instruction has been phenomenal, and I’ve enjoyed every session. Here, it’s always fundamental Jiu-Jitsu that’s designed for fighting, the best kind.

At the end of my session I had some stripes to hand out. Last time I was here I had planned to say a few words about Karl. When the time came, I couldn’t. That’s bothered me since, and so today, three years later, I wanted to make up for that. Again, I couldn’t. For that I apologize.

For all who were there, here is what I intended to say:

“I want to take a moment to stop and thank the man who made this all happen. Without Karl, I wouldn’t be here today, teaching. Without Karl, most all of you wouldn’t be here today. There would be no SBG UK. There wouldn’t be these talented black belts here. These relationships all of you have gained through the gym, these experiences, all of it, is due in large part to his vision.

If he were here today I know how proud he would be to call these coaches up, and tie on their stripes. And I’d be here, enjoying the happiness that experience would be bringing him. Since he’s not, I am. And it’s an honor. But I’d like to take a moment and remember, it is because of Karl that all of us are gathered here.“

Maybe sometime in the future I’ll be able to get this out, but in the meantime I’d like all of you who knew Karl to think of one of your fondest, funniest, or happiest moments with him (we all have many), and tip a glass – a toast to the man who made it all happen. One of a kind.”

It was an honor to award Casey Jones his 3rd stripe; Jason Tan his 3rd stripe; Glyn Powditch his 2nd stripe; Chris Coltrane his 2nd stripe; Mark Spencer his 2nd stripe; and Ella Tanswell her 1st stripe.

It’s was also a privilege to be there as Casey Jones awarded a stripe to his first black belt, and Matt Inman awarded a well deserved black belt to our first Finish black belt, Jarrko Korjus. I’ll let coach Matt detail that one.”

From SBG Manchester

“SBG UK camp 2022 🦍🦍 .

It’s been an amazing few days of coaching, training and great company. Thank you to all the SBG UK coaches and members that attended.

A massive thank you to Matt Thornton @aliveness_ape for an amazing seminar . Also a big thank you to all the other SBG coaches @mattinman86 , Mikey ,Alex @chris_coltrane_sbg , Casey , @stapes_50cal , @glynpowditch , Zac for sharing their knowledge in their sessions.

Thank you for coach @mattinman86 for organising and coordinating the weekend. It was great to have you back at @sbgmanchester ❤️

Congratulations to @jarkkokorjus and @stapes_50cal on receiving their black belts and to all the other SBG UK black belts that were awarded stripes.

SBG UK is an incredible community that was started by Karl Tanswell and he would be so proud of how this community has continued ❤️ #sbg #sbguk #sbgi #sbgmanchester #bjj #brazilianjiujitsu #nogi #mma #manchester #manchestergyms #ufc”

Congratulations To The UK’s Newest Black Belts

“Today I was awarded my Black Belt by my long time Coach & Friend Matt Inman🥋

Due to circumstances outside of our Control I’ve spent almost 8 years at Brown Belt, longer than I spent at White, Blue & Purple Belt all added together!

It’s never been about the Colour of a Belt for me, it’s always been about Progress & being able to pass my Knowledge on and now that my time at Brown Belt has come to an end i can look back on it with pride & see the lessons learned aren’t always about ‘technique’ but also about patience & persistence – Two absolute Fundamentals of Grappling.

Just like to say a massive Thank you to Matt for all your Coaching & Guidance over the years and also to Coach Karl Tanswel who’s memory is strong with everyone at SBG… we wouldn’t be here without you Coach 💙

Thanks to Matt Thornton for making the trip over to SBG UK Camp again, already looking forward to the next one 🦍

Now back to my Social Media hiatus for another 9 Days” – Stapes Stapleton

From Jarkko

“The incredible weekend in Manchester is starting to come to an end, I would like to start by thanking Matt Inman in particular for arranging things so that I could see my friends in England after a long break. Matt gave me his hotel so that the trip was a success at all. Big thanks also Simon Kenny he gave me his home so I could stay the next night and arranged the hotel for one more night🙏❤I really appreciate your help I don’t know exactly what to say but a big thank you again for this🤗🙏 I was already really happy that I finally got to meet my friends after many years on the SBG team, but that’s not all ….. it wasn’t far away that the big man didn’t start crying when I received the black belt from brazilian jiu-jitsu from SBG UK head coach Matt Inman yesterday. I can’t even describe what this belt means to me but it has put so much time and sacrifice into it that I will never achieve anything so great again. It doesn’t matter when it comes but where it comes from, my belt comes through the late legendary coach Karl Tanswell from his successor. Thanks to head coach Matt Inman for this honor. My biggest thanks go to Karl Tanswell for all he did, for taking me to the SBG family and showed the right way. Thanks there somewhere I hope you’re proud, I couldn’t be more and when I got to camp to follow the legacy you’ve left, it so absolutely amazing community and skill level.

Thank you SBG UK for your hospitality and kindness, as if you were coming home and always as great to see you all. ❤Thanks to SBG team head coach Matt Thornton for setting up this awesome team 30 years ago, and thank you once again for a great seminar.

Thank you to my family for being able to take part in the trip, thank you to all my training friends who have folded at some point, thank you to Matti Koponen for muscle care, thank you to today’s medicine for being able to spin on the mat for so long. Though a little titanium in the body, but without modern medicine and skilled doctors this would never have happened. I can’t really put this into words but it’s an amazing feeling ….”

“Always a pleasure to see Davey Grant on the mat. He’s been putting on clinics at the UFC, and always impresses. 🦍🥊

Davey Grant Heads Back To The UFC With Alex Enlund By His Side


“5 weeks tomorrow we head back in Vegas, Dangerous @daveygrantmma looks to add another to his 3 fight win streak and break into the UFC top 15 🦍” – Alex Enlund

And For A Win!

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How can you not love Davey Grant? Anyone! Anywhere! And still got his gloves on at the post fight presser just in case…


From Ray Price –

“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it’s an awesome and humbling opportunity to be a coach.

Thank you to you Emery, for taking the time to not only write a hand written thank you letter but for also going the extra mile to send it where you did.

Emery wanted to share his excitement and appreciation for my seminar that he attended.

Again, so very humbling to be able to reach another human being at this level. I love to coach, I love to learn, I love to share the things I find in hopes to make the community better.

I share this only to remind myself and other coaches to remember the way we can effect those we teach.”

First Camp Back A Huge SMASH HIT!

“BG Spring Camp 2022 is in the books! 🦍🔥We are so proud to have had everyone from our extended tribe come to Alabama on the 30th anniversary of SBG and we hope you all had a great camp experience. Thank you to all of our instructors and everyone that attended! Everyone leveled up this weekend and made some lifelong connections along the way. This tribe is like no other! ❤️🦍 #onetribeonevibe #oldschool” -SBG Alabama

SBG UK’s Newest Black Belt

“Honoured to award @alexenlund_ his black belt today.

An amazing athlete who is just as comfortable with or without the gi, with strikes and without.

He’s flown the flag for jiu jitsu in MMA, taking down and submitting opponents repeatedly.

As a coach he’s taken athletes from scratch to the highest level.

He’s built an incredible community at @sbgsouthshields from nothing, always sharing the benefits of jiu jitsu, both physical and mental, with his students.

Personally I’ve had a relationship with Alex as a training partner, a coach, a student and most importantly as a trusted friend.

Congratulations, a well earned and long overdue belt.”

Three Rules For Rolling From Coach Matt Thornton

“People often ask me how “hard” should one roll when training?

How much strength and energy should you use in the gym?

What’s too rough, or not acceptable with your training partners?

All good questions. Every situation is different. Every situation in Jiu-Jitsu has room for nuance and exception. That’s one of the reasons I often say in Jiu-Jitsu there really are no rules, just warnings.

That said, if I were to create rules for rolling, these would be the 3. They are in order of importance.

Pay particular attention to rule #2. While 1 and 3 are fairly easy to catch, rule 2 is where it gets trickier.

The most important person you need to be honest with is always yourself. 🦍💡

From 2018: Three Rules for Rolling.”

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.”

it's been a hell of a year

It’s a privilege to document the growth and the community successes from SBG’s around the world.

Getting to dig around on different social media platforms and put these articles together is almost in a way like being at camp. It’s touching base with old friends and making new ones.

I look forward to seeing what you all do this year, Viva SBG.  ‘-Zach T.

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