For SBG Athletes, Confidence in Competition Expands at Oregon Open


HILLSBORO, OR, SEPTEMBER 8, 2018 – Oregon Open Jiu Jitsu Championship

Students from Straight Blast Gym traveled to the Oregon Open Jiu Jitsu Championship in Hillsboro, Oregon on Saturday, September 8th.

SBG Whitefish’s Isabella Downing won gold in both the Gi and No Gi divisions. SBG Kalispell’s Bryn Anderson won bronze in the beginner No Gi division.

Head Coach Travis Davison commented, “Bryn Andersen and Bella Downing are a joy to coach and both performed well. Bryn earned a bronze medal and Bella had a flawless performance earning double gold.”

The tournament is the largest jiu jitsu tournament in Oregon and a valuable opportunity for competitors to experience International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation rules, an organization that hosts some of the largest BJJ tournaments in the world.

Both Downing and Anderson have previous experience competing in the Oregon Open. Traveling to tournaments in the northwest, California, and Nevada has been formative experiences in the athletic and personal development of these young athletes.

“Attending tournaments away from home helps these children gain confidence and also forges friendships with fellow teammates,” said Kristin Downing, Isabella’s mother. “My child is very lucky to have these opportunities provided by SBG as well as by [Head Coaches] Travis and Kisa [Davison].”

Tournaments offer a unique opportunity for SBG’s young athletes to gain confidence by performing in front of a large crowd in an unfamiliar environment.

Davison added, “Both of these kids handle pressure well and continue to gain confidence with each passing tournament.”

For more information about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Yoga, Fitness, and Kids Programs, call 406-752-7244.

Team Results:

Isabella Downing (SBG Whitefish)
Youth Gi – Yellow – Gold
Youth NoGi – Intermediate – Gold

Bryn Anderson (SBG Kalispell)
Youth Gi – Grey – No placement
Youth NoGi – Beginner – Bronze


SBG’s Davison Takes Silver at Judo US Open


FORT LAUDERDALE, FL, July 27th & 28th, 2018 – 2018 US Open Judo Championships

SBG Montana’s Stella Davison competed in the 2018 US Open Judo Championships held in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Friday, July 27th & Saturday, July 28th.

For Davison, this was a tournament of firsts: first time at the US Open International; first time competing as a brown belt; and first time competing in a higher weight class. Davison won silver in her division, competing against the top US athletes in Judo.

Head Coach Sean Saadi said of the event, “This event included over 800 competitors representing 23 different countries. It was a great event for Stella on many levels and getting a Silver medal here is impressive. We tested the waters in a higher weight division against unfamiliar competitors.”

Davison said of the experience, “This competition brought a set of different challenges. There were a number of obstacles in my path to the podium, and I did everything in my power to hurdle them! I didn’t come home with the gold that I had been a striving for, but any place on the podium at this high level of competition is nothing to be ashamed of. When I look at my medal I see proof of all of hours I spent on the mats, the drops of sweat and tears that slide down my cheeks.”

Davison will finish the 2018 season at the upcoming President’s Cup in November and then start planning and preparing for the 2019 season.

PRESS RELEASE: SBG Grows Beyond Limits at Revolution Tournament


TACOMA, WA, SUNDAY, JULY 21ST & 22ND, 2018 – Revolution XXXVII Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournament

As Straight Blast Gym celebrates making the Best of the Flathead for Best Martial Arts gym, their athletes brought home 10 medals from the Revolution Tournament in Tacoma, WA.

Competition is at the cornerstone of training at SBG, which participates in several tournaments throughout the year.

Kristin Downing said competition has been a formative experience for her daughter, Bella Downing age X of SBG Whitefish, who has been competing for about 3 years.

Competition is a great experience for Bella to test her jiu jitsu skills, travel with her friends, and get out of her comfort zone. Rolling with athletes outside of her gym has really helped her grow.”

Less than a year after it opened it’s doors, students from SBG Bigfork continue to branch out in the competition scene, winning 3 medals from the tournament.

Cody Bessette is Owner and Head Coach of SBG Bigfork, which was runner-up for Best New Business in this year’s Best of the Flathead.

“As a coach, competitor, and father, I was in a unique position to experience a roller coaster of emotions,” Bessette commented. 

“Competing is not easy. I couldn’t be more proud of our team and the results speak for themselves. I truly believe we become better people every time we step out of comfort zone, face adversity, and push through the hardest of times.”

The experience that SBG athletes get from tournaments is what has elevated it’s quality of training to the best in the valley.

The gym, which is part of a worldwide martial arts organization, has found that testing a student’s abilities against an opponent ultimately improves their jiu jitsu skills.

For more information about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo, Yoga, Fitness, and Kids Programs, call 406-752-7244, email at, or visit the website at

Team Results

Cody Bessette – Gold, No Gi
Dakota Tackett – Silver, No Gi
Ricky Davison – Silver, No Gi
Bella Downing – 3rd, Gi – 1st, No Gi
Aven Ames – 3rd Gi – 3rd No Gi
Fisher Sliter – 3rd Gi
Lex Bessette – 1st Gi
Charlotte Brents – 2nd, No Gi

Strong Bonds & Team Spirit At Gorilla Cup Tournament


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.”


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


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, or visit the website at

SBG Bigfork, Whitefish Athletes Medal At Regional Tournament


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, or visit the website at

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


KALISPELL, MT, December 29, 2017 –

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, or visit the website at