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Old 07-09-2008, 09:25 PM   #1
Yael Grauer
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anyone going to the SBGi seminar in Reno?

On the off chance... Just wondering if anybody is going to the Straight Blast Gym seminar in Reno this weekend?
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Old 07-17-2008, 11:48 AM   #2
Jason M Struck
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Re: anyone going to the SBGi seminar in Reno?

i wish.

let us know what you think. I like Matt Thornton's way of expressing what we all (judo, boxing, MT, BJJ) inherently know but sometimes struggle to say to TKD'ers.
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Old 07-19-2008, 02:42 AM   #3
Yael Grauer
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Re: anyone going to the SBGi seminar in Reno?

I just can't even recommend SBGi enough. The seminar was amazing.

Straight Blast Gym continues to exceed my expectations in every aspect. First of all, the instruction is always really top-notch. The focus is on fundamentals, so I always walk away with a lot of techniques I can use right away. This time we worked mostly on guard techniques and some from cross-sides, plus some fun BJJ chokes and some takedowns. But any fundamental at SBGi always is run through the same way. It begins with introduction of a technique, a demonstration and then some practice with no resistance drilling back and forth with a partner. This is followed by isolation drills, one person at a time (for an adequate amount of time) drilling against progressive resistance. This makes it far easier to integrate techniques into my game right away. Most gyms I have been to teach a lot of set-ups which I can never get to work, or they will teach so many techniques all at once that I feel like I really never get any of them, or they will teach a technique for a range we're not even training that way. Not so with Straight Blast.

Another thing that is really cool is that they do not teach techniques and defenses for those techniques at the same time. This means you have time to get the techniques to work on the mat and they will only teach the defense when it comes up as a problem. If that makes sense. Matt wrote about this on his latest blog in far more detail.

There were about 22 participants at first but not everyone signed up for all three days due to work and other obligations. There were a lot of police officers there, which is always nice. But one thing that was particularly cool was that there were a lot of women. I think there were six women total including myself. One of the girls I spent a lot of time working with was a really amazing wrestler. It was a great match-up for me because she had some skill so it was pretty challenging, but didn't have much BJJ so it wasn't impossible, and she was smaller than me which made up for the skill difference. Plus she was feisty and energetic.

I was also super excited to meet Lily Pagle from Modern Combatives in Berkeley. I'd never met a female brown belt before and she was a million times more amazing than I'd imagined. Lily also sells beautiful and comfortable gear--style with substance (sistas, check out w/fs www.catfightgear.com for t-shirts and custom made gis). The gym was a swirl of colors and patches. There were some other women from the Berkeley affiliate as well, and I got to go to visit afterwards. Watching the coaches there work with kids (they have several kids classes) was just about the most adorable thing I've ever seen.

And you're right, Matt really does have a gift for communication...both in breaking down concepts so they are easily understandable and systematized (is that a word?) and also in coaching in a way that is incredibly understandable and also really quick. I'm not sure if it's a natural talent of his or a lot of experience or both, but when he'd correct something with me I was able to pick up on what he was saying within 30 seconds or less. I am a kinesthetic learner and not very visual so I struggle with MMA at times but this was a whole different ball game.

Another thing I love about SBGi is the really smooth vibe. In most gyms I usually have to find the smallest, nicest looking guy in the room and stand next to him so I can immediately ask him to partner with me when it comes time to roll. But at SBGi gyms (I've been to three now) it doesn't matter who you partner with because everyone there is cool. I've never had anybody at SBGi refuse to roll with me except for one guy who was warming up. At other gyms this is a constant problem. I think it's something the coach really needs to address with individuals, but it's not the fight I want to fight so if it happens at a gym and is not addressed I always find somewhere else to go instead. I trained at a gym where I got sat out over and over again for close to a year and it really stinks.

I've also found that SBGi coaches are far more receptive to answering questions--they do not get defensive or rail on you for asking a question. In addition the level of professionalism is the best I've seen in the martial arts world so far. Matt told me he actually kicked someone out of a gym for making an inappropriate comment towards one of the girls that was training there, which I was really impressed by... I don't think most people realize just how prevalent that is and how distracting, inappropriate and creepy it can be. SBGi is definitely the first gym I've felt truly comfortable at, and I think it's really the coaches that set and maintain the tone, and the students that follow suit.

I just wish we had a local SBGi affiliate... Actually I have some SBGi DVDs so if there's any Tucsonans reading this that want to drill just let me know... A few of us have gotten together occassionally to do that but it's kind of far and in between...

Also I'll have an interview with Matt on my blog within the next month or two so I'll post it when it's available...

And I'm starting a new blog for women in MMA (w/fs with the occasional swear word, and the one video I posted was flagged for no appararent reason but...) www.morewomeninmma.blogspot.com
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Old 07-24-2008, 01:06 PM   #4
Jason M Struck
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Re: anyone going to the SBGi seminar in Reno?

thanks for all the info

sounds like you had a pretty positive experience. I like the depth to which Matt has clearly developed a coaching system, and as an exercise science student with a big interest in motor learning, I think that he is right on.

wish I could train at a gym like that!
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Old 07-26-2008, 03:01 PM   #5
Yael Grauer
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Re: anyone going to the SBGi seminar in Reno?

Yeah, he's really good at putting it all together in a systematic way... His latest blog entry goes in depth on which order he teaches drills etc. I wish I could train at an SBGi gym too! But you can always catch a seminar or buy his DVDs and practice the drills with friends. I figure that is the next best thing.
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Old 07-30-2008, 01:47 PM   #6
Jason M Struck
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Re: anyone going to the SBGi seminar in Reno?

we select BJJ teachers not by ability to guide training and convey relevant info but rather on competitive success or some factor of believing that THEY can do it. Not whether or not they can teach it to me.
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Old 07-30-2008, 08:15 PM   #7
Yael Grauer
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Re: anyone going to the SBGi seminar in Reno?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason M Struck View Post
we select BJJ teachers not by ability to guide training and convey relevant info but rather on competitive success or some factor of believing that THEY can do it. Not whether or not they can teach it to me.
Can I ask why?
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