Strong Bonds & Team Spirit At Gorilla Cup Tournament

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Columbia Falls, MT, April 14, 2018 – SBG Montana Gorilla Cup BJJ Tournament

Straight Blast Gym of Montana held it’s largest Gorilla Cup Tournament in its 8 year history on Saturday, April 14th.

The tribe spirit was energetic and celebratory in the gymnasium of Columbia Falls High School. With locations in Kalispell, Whitefish, Bigfork, and Missoula, the tournament drew over 160 competitors in the youth and adult divisions.

Elena Merrill of SBG Missoula shared:

“At the Gorilla Cup it was clear that Head Coaches Bekah Bell and Gus Nolte and the rest of the Montana tribe all truly live the ‘one tribe one vibe’ mantra. As someone who has been training BJJ for less than 6 months, I’m more excited than ever to get on the mats and compete at the next Gorilla Cup!”

The martial arts gym holds the Gorilla Cup twice a year as a fundraiser for the Gorilla Booster Club. The GBC is a nonprofit the gym started to raise money and send competitors to tournaments across the country.

Attendance at the Gorilla Cup has grown so much over the years that the event outgrew their available gym space. With athletes from two new locations participating, SBG recognized an opportunity to take the event to a more sophisticated level.

Head Coach Cody Bessette of SBG Bigfork commented:

“To come together like we did shows how important every member and supporter is. To build a team like we did and have our students put themselves on the mat, showing poise, confidence, and humility, is truly humbling as a coach.”

The gym at Columbia High School made that opportunity possible. It offered ample space for BJJ matches and spectators without dipping too deep into the nonprofit’s funds.

With space for more competitors and spectators, the Gorilla Cup gives competitors the full tournament experience.

In the larger space, SBG was able to create the same procedures for typical martial arts tournaments such as proper attire and conduct that is required of athletes. For new competitors the experience taught them what to expect at larger tournaments.

For Amanda Allen of SBG Bigfork, her first experience in a tournament left her with a positive impression on competition.

Allen said:

“I have complete faith in my coach [Cody Bessette]5 and his ability to lead and ended up overcoming some of my biggest fears that day. We either win or learn and I gained a wealth of knowledge from the experience.”

More importantly, competing in martial arts tournaments instills grit in athletes, a characteristic that is valuable on and off the mats.

In a speech that Head Coach Travis Davison traditionally gives before each tournament, he explained to parents of youth competitors what their children would take away from the experience.

“Competition teaches kids how to becoming grittier human beings. That way as they approach problems in life, they don’t see those as fatal. They realize that it’s just a bump in the road. They pick themselves up and they keep going.”

By experiencing loss and failure in martial arts tournaments, athletes develop skills for dealing with life’s setbacks.

“I hope that through losing on the mat here and realizing when things don’t go their way and they face other choices in life that they’ll pick themselves back up and be gritty and keep moving.”

The event was the result of eight years of hard work and dedication to excellence for Head Coaches Travis and Kisa Davison. The Gorilla Cup is one of several events throughout the year in which the Montana SBG tribe comes together.

Travis Davison shared:

“The result of ten years hard work was on display Saturday. What started as one SBG gym in Montana has swelled to four. All were present at the Gorilla Cup. The toughest part of the day for Kisa and I was holding back tears of pride. I can’t wait to see what the event in October brings.”

 

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Straight Blast Gym of Montana’s Stella Davison is one step closer to making the USA Olympic Judo Team

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KENT, WA, FEBRUARY 17, 2018 – Washington State Judo Championships

Straight Blast Gym of Montana’s Stella Davison is one step closer to making the USA Olympic Judo Team.

Davison placed 1st in the International Judo Federation Junior Division at the Washington State Judo Championships.

The 16-year-old athlete and green belt in Judo is reaching for the USA Olympic Judo team. The tournament in Washington is one of many that Davison will compete in this year to rise to the level of Olympic athlete.

Davison said of the experience, “What a great way to start this year’s competitions, and this is only the beginning. I’m looking forward to many more successful tournaments. I will continue to train hard and make the improvements needed to be the best! As always, thank you so much to everyone who continues to support me and goals.”

Davison trains with SBG’s Coach Sean Saadi, a black belt in Judo. Saadi said of the results, “We’ve been preparing since July last year for the 2018 season. Becoming the WA State Champion was a good warm-up to the 7 national tournaments we have planned for 2018. Stella is poised to make Team USA and start climbing the international ranking ladder very soon.”

Davison will leave March 2nd for Pennsylvania, where she will try to earn a spot on the national team.

For more information about Martial Art, Kids Programs, Yoga, and Fitness call 406-752-7244, email at info@sbgmontana.com, or visit the website at http://www.sbgmontana.com.

SBG Bigfork, Whitefish Athletes Medal At Regional Tournament

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Spokane, WA, January 6, 2018 – Northwest Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament

SBG Bigfork’s Will Allen and Head Coach Cody Bessette medaled in the Northwest Open Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament in Spokane, WA on Saturday, January 6th. This marks SBG Bigfork’s second tournament since opening its doors in September.

Allen won two gold medals in Masters 1 White Belt Gi and No Gi Novice. He shared of the experience:

“This moment in my journey is one that I will never forget. It is inspiring to be led by Coach Cody. Without a doubt all of the successes garnished this past weekend are a direct result of his mentoring, teaching and coaching.”

Competitors from SBG Whitefish also participated in the event: Paul Downing, Bella Downing, and Tanner Downing. Bessette took the opportunity to coach these competitors while at the event.

Head Coach Cody Bessette shared:

“It was an honor to coach such wonderful people. The humility our tribe displayed was world-class. To have SBG North (Whitefish) and SBG Bigfork come together and represent the organization truly exemplifies what tribe is all about. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this experience with each one of our competitors. This is SBG, you will be okay!”

For more information about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Yoga, and Fitness call (406) 420-2888, email at info@sbgbigfork.com, or visit the website at http://www.sbgmontana.com.

Team Results

  • Will Allen- Two gold medals – Masters 1 (30+) White Belt Gi, and No Gi Novice 186-205 lbs.
  • Cody Bessette – Two silver medals – Adult Purple Belt Gi and expert No Gi 186-205 lbs.
  • Paul Downing – Silver in No Gi – Masters 1 (30+) White Belt Gi, and No Gi novice 166-185 lbs.
  • Bella Downing – Two gold medals – Girls’ Grey Belt Gi and No Gi Intermediate 67-76 lbs.
  • Tanner Downing – Two bronze medals – Boys’ Grey Belt Gi and No Gi Beginner 67-76 lbs

PRESS RELEASE: SBG Montana Promotes New Black Belt To It’s Ranks

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KALISPELL, MT, December 29, 2017 –
SBG MONTANA BLACK BELT PROMOTION

Ryan Asay became SBG Montana’s newest black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu on Friday, December 29th. Approximately 50 members of the martial arts school attended this special event.

Asay’s promotion to black belt marked a particularly special milestone for the BJJ school. Asay was one of the gym’s very first students when it opened in 2008.

Head Coach Travis Davison shared Asay’s rise from the school’s first white belt student to 2nd homegrown black belt.

“Nine years ago when Kisa [Davison] and I were out of work and collecting unemployment we hatched a plan to start SBG Montana. I had been teaching a handful of guys Jiu Jitsu in my garage and at another person’s dojo and decided to pitch my idea to them at Moose’s Saloon. Ryan and Zach [Dickson] were there and opted to write checks for a year’s membership upfront. That money helped to open our first location and Ryan became a fixture on our mat.”

For Asay, that initial investment was “money well spent”. He shared:

“Little did I know that years later this small investment would improve my life exponentially and surround me with amazing men and women who push me and make me want to be better everyday.”

Asay’s journey is on of many stories of transformation that comes out of SBG Montana. For him, as well as many others, SBG is not only provides a physical activity but vastly improves his quality of life.

“Jiu Jitsu is powerful but without people it’s impossible, and the community at SBG deserves much of the credit for my accomplishments today and in the future. I cringe a little bit when I think of the path my life might have continued if I hadn’t made the right choice 9 years ago.”

Davison also shared the positive changes training made in Asay’s life, saying:

“He was a 19 year old kid when I met him and to say he was quiet and shy would be an understatement. I couldn’t be prouder of the man he has become or happier about his success and accomplishments.”

For belt promotions, SBG International celebrates with a tradition unique to the organization, which they call an “Ironman”. A student rolls with each and every teammate who attends the event, which can range anywhere from 40-50 people. The event culminates when the student rolls with their coach, who then awards them their new belt.

In addition to Coach Davison, Asay joins two other black belts from SBG Montana’s team: Coach Leah Taylor, who received her black belt from SBG President Matt Thornton and Coach Gus Nolte, SBG Montana’s first black belt. Nolte is now the Head Coach at SBG Missoula, which opened in November.

For more information about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Yoga, and Fitness call 406-752-7244, email at info@sbgmontana.com, or visit the website at http://www.sbgmontana.com.

Revolution Tournament Victories Mark Growth Of SBG In Montana

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Tacoma, WA, November, 4th & 5th, 2017 – Revolution XXXV Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament

As SBG celebrates the opening of new locations in Bigfork and Missoula, they sent twenty competitors to the Revolution Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament in Tacoma, WA. This marked a special event for SBG’s teams in Montana as athletes from all four locations came together to compete and support each other in the event.

Head Coach Travis Davison opened the first location in Kalispell in 2008, and in that time he has opened other Montana locations and lead athletes to tournaments throughout the West.

Davison said of the tournament:

“SBG opened its first location in Montana 9 years ago this December. We are now in 4 different cities including Kalispell, Whitefish, Bigfork, and Missoula. This past weekend all 4 of our locations were represented at the Revolution Tournament in Tacoma, WA and had athletes earning Gold medals. In total we sent 20 competitors from Montana and earned 11 Gold medals, 7 Silver, and 4 Bronze!”

SBG Bigfork Head Coach Cody Bessette was one of the 20 competitors from Montana to take home 22 medals. Bessette, a blue belt, won Gold in the Master’s division, Gold in the Men’s Intermediate No-Gi, and Bronze in the Absolute Division.

Bessette trained at SBG Montana before opening the location in Bigfork. He praised his tribe’s admirable performance at the tournament.

“Our Tribe doesn’t just build top notch competitors. We build well-rounded, respectful people who are willing to step out of their comfort zone to better themselves through adversity. The competition was strong in Tacoma and I am looking forward to going back to represent SBG in the future.”

Coach Daniel DiStefano from SBG North in Whitefish prepared his students for the tournament, while training to compete himself. DiStefano shared of his experience:

“SBG consistently shows that our small-town Montana team builds elite competitors. I had been chomping at the bit to compete, and knowing that I prepare with such a talented team made it much easier to step on the mats and perform to my potential. It was fun to grab the gold, and I look forward to the next challenge.”

Team Results:

Paul Downing – Men’s White Belt – SBG North

Erik Lorona – Masters White Belt Gold & Beginner No-Gi Silver – SBG North

Daniel DiStefano – Masters Brown Belt Gold – SBG North

Owen Dodrill – Kids Grey Belt & Beginner No-Gi -SBG North

Tanner Downing – Beginner No-Gi Gold – SBG North

Bella Downing – Kids Yellow Belt & Intermediate No-Gi – SBG North

Hayden Knaurer – Kids Yellow Belt Gold & Intermediate No-Gi Gold – SBG North

Patrick Brooks – Men’s White Belt & Beginner No-Gi – SBG Montana

Sierra Benjamin – Women’s Blue Belt Silver – SBG Montana

Ricky Davison – Men’s Blue Belt & Men’s Intermediate No-Gi Gold – SBG Montana

Bryn Andersen – Kids Grey Belt & Beginner No-Gi Silver – SBG Montana

Angela Wieczorek – Women’s White Belt Silver & Women’s Beginner No-Gi Gold – SBG Missoula

Colton Wieczorek – Kids Yellow Belt & Intermediate Silver No-Gi – SBG Missoula

Lakoda Wieczorek – Kids Yellow Belt Gold & Intermediate No-Gi Gold – SBG Missoula

Cayden Wieczorek – Kids Yellow Belt Bronze & Intermediate No-Gi Silver – SBG Missoula

Kalijah Wieczorek – Kids Yellow Belt Bronze & Intermediate No-Gi Silver – SBG Missoula

Keara Wieczorek – Kids grey belt Bronze & Beginner No Gi – SBG Missoula

Cody Bessette – Masters Blue Belt Gold, Men’s Absolute Blue Belt Bronze, & Men’s Intermediate No-Gi Gold – SBG Bigfork

PRESS RELEASE: SBG Athletes Conquer Submission Underground 5

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PORTLAND, OR, OCTOBER, 1, 2017 – Submission Underground 5

Athletes from SBG Montana and SBG Portland stormed Submission Underground 5. The matches, which were a super fight, took place at the Roseland Theater in Portland, Oregon.

A super fight is one long match in which no points are awarded. The match either ends in submission or goes into three overtime rounds.

Competing for SBG were: Ricky Davison in no gi teen match, Stella Davison in no gi teen match, and Amanda Diggins on the Main Card event.

Ricky “Ticky Time Bomb” Davison made an astonishing win against Sage Brown, submitting him with an ankle lock. SBG Missoula Coach Gus Nolte said of Davison’s performance, “Ricky did a fantastic job. He did exactly what we predicted, fought according to strategy, and had control the whole time.”

Davison has been training at SBG Montana since the age of 5. At age 15, he trains at the level of a blue belt and is taking his training to higher-level competitions.

Davison shared of the experience, “I put the time in for this fight, and it was great to see the hard work pay off. This was my first super fight, and it was exciting to compete in a popular event that I’ve been watching for a while. My tribe was a huge help. Because of them, I had the motivation to step in the cage with the mentality to win.”

Amanda Diggins, a black belt from SBG Portland, fought a stellar match against UFC bantamweight competitor Sarah Kaufman. Diggins submitted Kaufman by armbar in the 1st overtime round.

Stella “From Hella” Davison of SBG Montana also fought in the event against Grace Gundrum of 10th Planet. The match went into overtime, where Davison was submitted by rear naked choke.

PRESS RELEASE: For SBG Elite Athletes, IBJJF A Tournament Of Successful Firsts

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LAS VEGAS, NV, AUGUST, 26, 2017 – IBJJF Masters World Tournament

On the day he cornered UFC Fighter Conor McGregor in the biggest fight in sports history, SBG Ireland’s Coach John Kavanagh made the time for SBG athletes from around the world, who competed in the IBJJF Masters World Competition

Kavanagh, who is known for coaching McGregor in his successful fighting career, came out to support 27 of the international Brazilian Jiu Jitsu organization’s elite athletes on the world stage in Las Vegas from August 24th – August 26th.

Like Kavanagh several of the competitors are head coaches at their home gyms, balancing time between teaching and training.

And they made an impressive showing. Of those who competed, eleven medaled in their division, including Amanda Loewen of SBG Portland, who also took home bronze in the Absolute Weight Class Division.

The tournament was a momentous occasion for Straight Blast Gym, which celebrates its 25th anniversary since the founding of the international organization.

SBG Montana’s Coach Leah Taylor not only won gold in her division but also received a sponsorship from Fuji Sports.

Taylor said of the experience, “I won my first Masters black belt world championship and had two matches and finished both by submission. We were in Las Vegas the weekend that Conor McGregor of SBG Ireland made history by going 10 rounds with the best boxer in the world. It was an incredible experience and an epic weekend for our international teammates. Viva SBG!”

Many of the coaches have been training and growing with each other for several years and attribute their success to these trusted friendships.

SBG Elko Head Coach Chris Myers stated, “This was definitely the most successful day of competition ever for Straight Blast Gym International. Three new world champions were crowned. The support I felt from my team allowed me to relax and represent them and myself to the best of my ability. It does take a group effort to have success at these high levels and this group doesn’t plan on letting up any time soon.”

SBG Montana owner and mother of four, Kisa Davison, knows the challenges of training while raising a family and running a business. The purple belt regularly travels to tournaments to coach her students, but this time she attended the tournament to compete for herself, winning Bronze in her division.

Davison said of the experience, “I feel fortunate that there are women who are my age, weight, and belt level who also decided to take the plunge and for me to take the fight. It’s not easy for athletes with a full-time job and a family to care for to prioritize training, much less to travel to a competition on the international stage to test your skills, and I know personally what it takes to do that.”

GOLD

Amanda Loewen – Black / Master 1 / Female / Middle

Leah Roseanne Taylor – Black / Master 1 / Female / Medium-Heavy

Eryk Anders – Purple / Master 1 / Male / Super-Heavy

SILVER

Kasey Botelho – Purple / Master 2 / Female / Light

BRONZE

John Mark Frankl – Black / Master 4 / Male / Light

Amanda Loewen – Black / Master 1 / Female / Open Class

Anick Bernier – Brown / Master 1 / Female / Feather

Chris Myers – Brown / Master 2 / Male / Light

Kisa Marie Davison – Purple / Master 3 / Female / Feather

Jon Hobson – Purple / Master 6 / Male / Middle

Harry Eugene Bramel III – Purple / Master 5 / Male / Light

For more information about Martial Arts, Yoga, and Fitness, contact Straight Blast Gym at 406-752-7244, by email at info@sbgmontana.com, or by web.