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.