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.

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PRESS RELEASE: SBG Athlete Opening Bigfork’s First Martial Arts School

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Bigfork, MT, AUGUST 15, 2017

Bigfork is about to see it’s first ever martial arts school.

Town locals Cody and his wife Mya Bessette are opening up the newest facility of Straight Blast Gym, which specializes in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for kids and adults.

For now, SBG Bigfork will only offer kids martial arts, but that is a major development for a town with limited options for after school programs for youth.

Cody and Mya are hoping this new martial arts school will make it easier for families who are already stretched to their limit commuting to Kalispell to keep their kids in sports and other extracurricular activities. Those who are unable to make the drive due to work schedules miss out on valuable opportunities for their kids.

The Bessettes would know those challenges facing Bigfork families. With two children of their own, Nevi (8) and Lex (6), Cody and Mya have spent a lot of time driving them into Kalispell to participate in SBG Montana’s Growing Gorillas program.

They decided to start SBG Bigfork after witnessing the profound growth that their children experienced in Kalispell’s Growing Gorillas program.

Cody discovered BJJ over three years ago, and it was a life-changing event for him. He joined SBG Montana, where he trained with Head Coach Travis Davison. He has since received a belt promotion, medaled in national tournaments, and received his coaching certification through SBG’s Coaches Course. Having personally experienced the transformative powers of BJJ, Cody was eager to get his children involved as well.

As a Montana native raised in the Flathead Valley, Cody wanted to pay it forward and extend those life-altering benefits to the Bigfork community.

Growing Gorillas is unique in that it is more than a martial arts program. Designed by Davison and his wife Kisa, the program’s primary objective is teaching children life skills that will help them be successful at school, in the home, and in relationships.

The curriculum combines drilling and play-based instruction to build motor skills and physical awareness. Students also complete monthly homework assignments to skills like courage, respect, perseverance, and kindness, which help them build strong relationships.

SBG Judo’s Stella Davison Charges USA Junior Olympic Nationals

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SPOKANE, WA – 2017 USA Junior Olympic National Championships

Straight Blast Gym of Montana’s Stella Davison competed in the 2017 USA Junior Olympic National Championships for the first time, displaying her skill and training at this highly competitive event.

Davison, age 15, spent three days rigorously competing in the competition’s events, which included: the USA Junior Olympic National Championships Cadets; the International Judo Federation World Team USA Trials, and the International Junior Olympics in both Cadet and Junior Divisions.

She won two bronze medals in the International IJF Junior and Cadet Olympics after a total of 13 matches over the course of 3 days. Her competitors were the country’s most experienced brown belts and ranked top in the Junior Black Belt divisions.

Head Judo Coach Sean Saadi said:

“It’s like a dream in some ways, especially for a coach. People should understand that Stella at 15 has only been training Judo since November 2014. Since her first tournament in May 2015 she has competed in close to 7 tournaments including this one. Her competitors have many years of training and tournaments under their belts. Now in addition to two silver medals at Senior Nationals in April, she’s a two-division bronze medalist at the Junior Olympics. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do in the next two years!”

Davison said of the experience:

“Over three days I competed in the USA Judo National & International Judo Olympics. I was in four divisions and had 13 matches! Overall, I’m happy with my performance.”

For more information about Martial Arts, Yoga, and Fitness, contact Kisa Davison at 406-752-7244, by email at info@sbgmontana.com, or by web at http://www.sbgmontana.com.

SBG Athletes Medal at IBJJF World Competition

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WALTER PYRAMID, LONG BEACH, CA, JUNE 1ST-4TH, 2017 – International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation’s World Championship

Straight Blast Gym athletes and coaches traveled to Long Beach, CA to compete with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitors from around the world in the IBJJF’s international tournament.

Leah Taylor took the bronze medal in Women’s Black Belt Medium Heavy Weight. Coach Travis Davison shared, “Coach Leah Taylor led from the front on Jiu Jitsu’s biggest stage. SBG Montana is lucky to have one of the world’s best female black belts as a coach. She placed 3rd in the world at her weight and lost to last year’s champion. I couldn’t be prouder of her performance.”

Ricky Davison competed in the Juvenile 1 Male Blue Belt Featherweight Division, and Stella Davison competed in the Juvenile 1 Female Blue Belt Lightweight Division, taking bronze. This was the first year competing in the tournament for the “wonder twins”, who have trained in SBG’s programs since it first opened in 2008.

Coach Davison said of the experience:

“This year marked the 10th in a row that I’ve attended the World Championships, either as a competitor or a coach. What makes this year unique is that two of my kids competed for the first time. Stella and Ricky Davison were 5 years old the first time I competed at the Walter Pyramid in Long Beach. They are 17 years younger than I was and are a whole lot more skilled. They joined SBG competitors from all over the World this weekend.”

SBG Judo Team Competes in Inland Empire Tournament

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SPOKANE, WA, MAY 27, 2017 – Inland Empire Judo Tournament

Straight Blast Gym Judo Team’s impressive skills were on display at Spokane’s Inland Empire Judo Tournament on Saturday, May 27th. This was the third year in a row that the team sent its most experienced athletes to the regional tournament with Ryan Asay and Stella Davison placed 2nd in the Novice brown/black belt divisions.

The team’s impressive performance reflects the continued growth of SBG’s growing Judo program. Coach Sean Saadi said of his athletes:

“This is the third year in a row SBG was represented at the Inland Empire Judo Tournament. There was definitely a buzz around the venue this time, with lots of nervous eyes on us before we even got started. Ryan Asay and Stella Davison did not disappoint, again fighting in two divisions. This competition was on another level. Everyone’s Judo was awesome, but our team was incredible. Both athletes displayed very technical Judo in very hard fought battles in all divisions.”

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.

PRESS RELEASE: SBG Judo Competitors Make Impressive Wins At US Nationals

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Salt Lake City, UT, April 29, 2017 – US Judo Nationals

Straight Blast Gym of Montana’s Judo Team competed at US Judo Nationals in Salt Lake City on Saturday, April 29th with each of their competitors collecting medals for their divisions.

Keith Treece had two tough fights in a round robin against a 35-year black belt veteran of the sport, winning his second silver medal at his second US Nationals championships.

Ryan Asay won bronze at his first US Nationals in both the novice and brown belt divisions. All of his matches were tough battles with the added strain of competing in two divisions literally at the same time, running between two mats for the novice and brown belt brackets.
Stella Davison was the youngest competitor at her first Senior US Nationals championships. She competed in novice and brown belt divisions with outstanding performances in very tough matches taking home two silver medals. Davison said,

“I’m incredibly happy with my results at Nationals, it was my first senior level tournament. My performance was inspired by many high level athletes on the USA judo team, including Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison whom I also met on this trip. I was nervous, but I did my absolute best and am very proud to bring home 2 silver medals.”

This was Coach Sean Saadi first showing at the nation’s biggest Judo tournament. “I was really nervous. I caught myself swaying and pacing several times. But the athletes made it easy for me and came through big. Yet again, I received many complements about our athletes and their performances, this time from coaches from all over the country. I’m a very proud coach. Can’t wait until next time!”

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 www.sbgmontana.com.

PRESS RELEASE: SBG Teams From Across the Nation Dominate NW Submission Challenge

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Boise, ID, April 29th & 30th, 2017 – NW Submission Challenge

SBG Montana joined teammates from across the country in Boise’s Northwest Submission Challenge jiu jitsu tournament on April 29th & 30th.

Of the six adult competitors who competed, four placed first in their division. In her first competition as a blue belt Marnic Mann placed 1st in Gi and 2nd in No Gi.

Black belt Gus Nolte won the black belt Absolute Division, took 3rd in the Advanced No Gi Absolute Division, and 2nd in his weight class in the Gi and No Gi.He said, “The Northwest Submission Challenge was phenomenal. SBG was closing out each bracket.” Nolte will be opening SBG Missoula in the summer, where he will be Head Coach in Montana’s third SBG location.

Head Coach Travis Davison said:
“SBG swept the Northwest Submission Challenge this past weekend. Winning the overall Team Championship, Gi Championship, No Gi Championship, and taking all the money in the Absolute divisions. The Tribe was represented by competitors from SBG Burien, SBG Portland, SBG Elko, SBG Idaho, SBG Montana and SBG North. The purple belt, brown belt, black belt and advanced No Gi Absolute divisions were all won by competitors from different SBGs. SBG’s training methods are producing predictable results with repeatability, regardless of where, in the world you train. The Revolution is in full swing and what Matt Thornton started over 25 years ago is getting bigger everyday! Viva SBG!”

 

Team Results:

ADULTS
Sierra Benjamin – 1st in Gi
Marnic Mann – 1st in Gi, 2nd in No Gi
Aaron Westphal – 1st in Gi
Matt Okonsky – 1st in Gi, 3rd in No Gi
Patrick Brooks – no placement
Gus Nolte – 1st in Absolute Gi, 3rd in Absolute No Gi, 2nd his division in Gi & No Gi

YOUTH
Isabella Downing – 3rd in Gi, 2nd in No Gi
Tanner Downing – 3rd in Gi, 2nd in No Gi
Owen Dodrill – 2nd in Gi, 3rd in No Gi
Bryson Rowell – 1st in Gi
Bryn Anderson – 2nd in Gi
Hayden Knauer – 1st in Gi
Kylin Pope – 3rd in Gi
Gage Acton – No Placement

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