Chris Wigmore is November's Martial Arts Student of the Month for November 2020

Chris began training at SBG Buford nearly two years ago, in February of 2019. Her daughter, Liz, had already been doing Muay Thai with the SBG tribe while Chris continued to train elsewhere. At some point, Chris decided to join her daughter and enrolled in SBG's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program. Not too long after that she began training in Muay Thai and Fitness Kickboxing classes too.

Chris' contributions to SBG were felt almost immediately, as she has become a huge cheerleader for our team and our programs. In addition to giving 100% effort in every class, she is always a safe training partner. Chris has also shared the love of SBG with a number of her friends, bringing them in to be a part of the tribe.

Muay Thai Coach Jim Sheppard said this about Chris:

"Everybody likes Chris. She's got a fantastic attitude and I don't think she has a mean bone in her body. She comes to all of our events and is constantly telling her friends about what we do here."

One of her frequent training partners in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai is SBG Buford Legacy member Lori Fenski. Lori added this about Chris:

"Chris is very dedicated to learning the art of jujitsu and always driven to do better. She is quite inspiring to me, and she is always encouraging other people in their journey no matter what they are doing at the gym. I am very grateful she is my friend and is a member of this tribe."

One of the things we enjoy most about having Chris with us is getting to train with her daughter Liz. They are often in class together and also do private lessons with Coach Woo.

Congratulaions Chris!!

Madelyn is one of 3 members of the Peters family that trains at Straight Blast Gym in Buford.

Madelyn just became part of the SBG tribe this past September, joining her brother and father as the newest jiu jitsu athlete in the Peters family. Her dad, Nick, trained in jiu jitsu in Florida before the family picked up and moved to Buford. Upon settling in to their new home, they enrolled their son, Luke, in SBG's Growing Gorillas jiu jitsu program. It wasn't long after Luke's enrollment that their daughter Madelyn wanted to be a part of the fun.

Only a month into Madelyn's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey, the coaches were already quite smitten over their new student. BJJ Coach Sean Coleman said this about Madelyn:

"Working with kids is tough, but I could coach 20 Madelyn's, no problem. She is a pleasure to have in class, as is her brother. She is as sweet as can be and is picking up the techniques at an incredibly fast rate."

At 9 years of age, Madelyn is at the age where kids start to become more self-conscious and self-aware. We often see Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training help our young athletes to be more confident in themselves and the way they carry themselves. It is especially fascinating to watch our young female students progress and start to be able to control and submit the boys. πŸ˜‚

Madelyn is no exception to the previous statment. Her mom told us that before coming to class recently, her daughter was quoted as saying:

"Mom, I can beat up the boys now!"

This month she picked up her first homework stripe; a recognition received by our young Jiu Jitsu athletes when they bring their completed Life Skills homework back to their coaches.

Keep up the amazing work Madelyn, and we look forward to seeing just how awesome your Jiu Jitsu can get!

On Saturday, October 17th, Coach Phil Gentry will host Straight Blast Gym Buford's first martial arts workshop of 2020. We're calling it the "Over The Top Armbar Workshop".

In a year that has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Straight Blast Gym Buford has not been able to host as many martial arts workshops and seminars as we'd like. After months of taking precautions and seeing just how safely we could train Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, it became apparent that we could now hold a martial arts workshop in Buford without putting our students in danger.

Based off of the feedback that we got from our martial arts athletes, armbars were the topic that they wanted to work on during the workshop. Enter SBG Buford's Head Martial Arts Coach Phil Gentry.

Who is Coach Phil Gentry?

Coach Phil is one of the most highly revered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coaches in the Atlanta area, and has twice been voted Coach of the Year by his peers in the martial arts community. Starting his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey in 2004, he fell in love with the sport and decided to make it his career. After 7-8 years of high-level training in both Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Mixed Martial Arts, Phil opened his own gym in Buford, Georgia in 2010.

Over the past decade Straight Blast Gym has become the largest and most successful martial arts gym in Buford, with hundreds of men, women, and children participating in our martial arts and fitness programs. Our largest program is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, in large part to Coach Phil's coaching, enthusiasm, and dedication to the sport. His investment in his athletes has been a huge factor in SBG Buford being named Martial Arts Gym of the Year from 2015-2019 by Best of Gwinnett magazine.

The Armbar: One of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu's most dominant submissions

The armbar is one of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu's most known and popular submissions. The move is an incredibly effective way to finish an opponent in Jiu Jitsu, Mixed Martial Arts, or self-defense situation. By placing an extreme amount of pressure on your opponents elbow joint, they are forced to either tap out or suffer the consequences of a broken arm.

Over the past 16 years of studying and practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Coach Phil Gentry has discovered numerous entries and set-ups for the armbar. On top of that, he has become an expert at applying the BJJ submission so that his opponent has next-to zero chance of escaping once it is applied.

How To Attend The Jiu Jitsu Armbar Workshop at Straight Blast Gym Buford

Admision for Coach Phil Gentry's armbar workshop is $40 for Straight Blat Gym Jiu Jitsu athletes. For those students who financially supported SBG Buford by paying their monthly dues during the quarantine, shut-down months (Aprial and May of 2020), your admission is FREE as a thank you for all of your continued support.

When Does The Jiu Jitsu Workshop Start?

10:30am will be the start time for Straight Blast Gym Buford's first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu workshop of the year. The workshop will run roughly two hours, and will take place of the Skills & Drills Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai classes that normally take place on Saturday morning.

Who Can Attend The Jiu Jitsu Armbar Workshop?

All SBG Buford Jiu Jitsu athletes who have attended and passed the Foundations Jiu Jitsu program are eligible to attend Coach Phil Gentry's Over the Top Armbar Workshop.

Marshall just recently earned his blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!!

After training at Straight Blast Gym for over a year, Marshall received his first big belt promotion this past month. He came to the gym in the summer of 2019 off of the recommendation of Josh Koser and Brad Wharton, two martial arts students that have been with the SBG tribe for over 3 years. He came here to participate in our Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program and started regularly attending classes right away. We knew that Marshall would be a good fit when we asked "How weird are you on a scale of 1-10" and Marshall responded with "10!". πŸ˜‚

Working long days doing manual labor, Marshall doesn't let it slow him down as he shows up in the evening ready to give it his all, even after a 10+ hour day of hard work. He not only comes in with a good attitude but has become one of the better training partners at the gym. Marshall is incredibly coachable, asking all of the right questions and always being receptive to advice and improvements.

For Marshall's IronMan belt ceremony in September, over 40 of his teammates showed up to help him celebrate his promotion. Marshall made it through a live-roll with each and every person in attendance received his blue belt, and was right back in class two days later. He's already jumped into the Competition Team classes, which are reserved for BJJ students who have a blue belt or higher.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach Woo Ko said this about Marshall:

"He's a great representative of what the SBG Tribe is all about. He's a hard worker, great training partner, and just an all-around nice guy."

Congratulations on being named October's Martial Arts Student of the Month, Marshall!

Aimee Cagle is a regular in several programs at Straight Blast Gym Buford. She joined the tribe to participate in Fitness Kickboxing and Fitness Performance classes, and eventually found her way into Muay Thai as well.

Aimee came to SBG in the summer of 2019, looking for something new and fresh to keep her motivated to go the gym. Before too long her husband, Forrest, and son, Hunter, joined the fold as well. We now have the whole Cagle bunch training with us!

You can usually find Aimee in our 9:30am Fitness Performance classes, or in our Fitness Kickboxing/Muay Thai classes in the evenings. The results of her training are obvious, as the muscle tone that she has developed in her arms and shoulders is noticeable to anyone that has seen her without sleeves. πŸ˜‚ πŸ’ͺ🏻

Fitness Kickboxing Coach Alex Caruso said this about Aimee:

"She is always one of the first people to approach new members to our program. She gives 110% every workout, and always comes in with a good attitude."

SBG Co-Owner and Muay Thai Coach Jim Sheppard added this about Aimee:

"Aimee is a part of this boom of women we've got training in our Muay Thai program. I get incredibly excited about having more ladies on the mat with us and Aimee is one of my favorites of the group. Her and her frequent partner, Ashley Prado, are an awesome tandem."

Congratulations Aimee! We'll see you on the mat.

One of THE most important aspects of martial arts training is hydration. It often gets overlooked in favor of getting optimal sleep and eating the right foods. Make no mistake, both of those things are critical, but showing up for class fully hydrated will make (or break) your session. All too often we see athletes complain of feeling "off" or "tired" and the culprit is obvious; it's dehydration.

Common symptoms of dehydration:

  • Feeling weak or lethargic
  • Excessive sweating
  • Reduced cardiovascular endurance
  • Mental fog
  • Sleepiness

Sound familiar? If you have been training in martial arts for any substantial amount of time you are guaranteed to have trained dehydrated before. Frankly, it sucks. On the flip side, when you are optimally hydrated you will feel like Superman (or Supergirl); not getting tired, plenty strong, and wanting to go, go, go! So let's talk about how you can get, and stay, hydrated.

How do I reach optimal hydration?

The misconception is that ideal hydration is acheived simply by drinking a lot of water. While water is the key player, electrolytes are the secret superstar in this operation. Without electrolytes your body will simply sweat/urinate all of your water right back out. Every been hung-over and chugged glass of water after glass of water, only to continue feeling awful? It's because your body has a shortage of electrolytes and can't hold on to those much-needed fluids. Consuming adequate electrolytes through liquid and food is the only way to ensure your body can perform at an ideal level.

What are electrolytes?

Electrolytes are minerals in your body that have an electric charge. They are in your blood, urine, tissues, and other body fluids. These electrolytes are sodium, chloride, potassium and calcium.  These electrolytes balance the amount of water in your body and also balance your body's acid/base (pH) level. Yea....they're pretty important.

What is the best and easiest way to get electrolytes into my body?

Rather than have to scarf down a big meal before your training session, pre-packaged powders that you can add to your water bottle are the ideal way to up your electrolytes and feel like a million dollars when you hit the mats for your training session. Straight Blast Bym Buford now carries LMNT, the zero-sugar, electrolyte-rich powder that you can easily consume before your training sessions, or anytime you feel your body starting to drag.

Why choose LMNT?

LMNT focuses on replenishing the valuable minerals that your body actually needs to perform at a high level, while NOT filling you with unwanted (and unneeded) sugar. The vast majority of people get plenty of calories in their diet, and don't need to slurp down a 16 oz bottle of high-fructose corn syrup. The image below tells you everything you need to know about the value of LMNT vs popular sports drinks.

Get your LMNT packets at Straight Blast Gym Buford and enhance your training efforts AND training results, one glass of water at a time.

It's a great question, as your pre-workout choices in food and beverage can make or break your training session.  Here are 3 things to help you get the most out of your training:

1. Proteins and Fats sit heavier in the stomach, compared to carbohydrates.  Proteins and Fats take longer to digest, so eating a lot of them before a training session can make you feel sluggish and nauseous.  Some simple sugar carbohydrates like fruit provide the body with a good mixture of slow and long-lasting energy, and won't make you feel bloated.  Bananas, apples, oranges, strawberries, and blueberries are great choices for a pre-workout meal.  If you do eat a larger meal containing fats and protein, try to give yourself a couple of hours between eating and training for the best results.

2. Hydration is key!  4 out of 5 times when an athlete complains of feeling sluggish and weak, it is because they are dehydrated.  Getting in ample water before you train will make a world of difference in the way you perform.  Don't feel like you need sugary beverages for this...regular old H2O will work just fine.  Just a 2% reduction in your body's water levels will affect the way you feel during training.

3. Everyone is different, so there is no universal rule about the best pre-workout meal.  Some people train better on an empty stomach, while others need the influx of calories.  There will be some trial and error to discover what works best for you.  However, being hydrated and avoiding large meals before training is a rule of thumb for everyone.

For the third consecutive year, Straight Blast Gym will present Casino Night to its students and athletes as a fun and exciting member-appreciation event. The big change for 2020 will be the venue, as we have opted to take things up a notch and rent out one of the banquet rooms at The Tannery Row Alehouse in downtown Buford, as opposed to hosting the event at our gym. This change in venues will allow for participants and attendees to have the option to purchase and consume alcohol.

What is Casino Night??

For Casino Night, we hire a professional entertainment company to come in and run 7 different tables; 3 blackjack, 2 poker (Texas Hold-Em), 1 roulette, and 1 craps.

When is Casino Night??

This years Casino Night will be held on Friday, November 6th from 7pm - 10pm.

Do I need to know how to play card and/or gamble??

You do not. Casino Night is a fun event and we aren't playing for real money, so you are welcome to play even if you aren't a regular card player. As you are playing, can even go so far as to ask the dealer what they recommend you do in your current situation and they will gladly help you. "Should I hit or stay?" is a common question for those who don't regularly play Blackjack.

What kind of attire do I need to wear?

Casino Night is cocktail attire. Think nice clothes that you would wear to an Office Christmas party, or to a 9-5 desk job. If you want to go with formal wear (tuxedo, suit & tie, cocktail dress, etc) you are welcome to do so, but you certainly aren't required to do so. If you're a guy and your shirt has a collar and buttons on it, you'll be fine.

What is the cost to attend Casino Night??

Admission for SBG Buford athletes is $50. You are welcome to bring a +1 for $40.

Take advantage of our Pre-Registration special and save $10 on your entry fee by locking in your admission before Saturday, October 3rd.

Are we gambling with real money??

No. Your admission cost will get you $1,000 in what is known as Funny Money. At each table you will see dealers that can exchange your Funny Money for Casino Chips, which is what you will need to participate in that table's game. It's the same protocol as a regular Casino, only you're buying chips with Funny Money instead of actual money. If you go through all of your Funny Money and want to purchase more, there will be SBG Buford Coaches available to sell you more. You can buy as much Funny Money as you like.

While we aren't gambling with real money, you can win REAL PRIZES! At the end of the night, you can swap in your Funny Money for raffle tickets and win one of several awesome prizes from SBG Buford.

Additional Information

There is no minimum age requirement to attend Casino Night. Bartenders will check ID's for those that wish to drink alcohol.

You can seal your admission to Casino Night at Straight Blast Gym Buford starting on Monday, September 28th, and running through Friday, November 6th.

When Bennett's parents brought him to Straight Blast Bym Buford last February, they were looking for a new and exciting way for their son to be physically active and make new friends.

"We were looking for a sport that had strong teamwork but had the ability to showcase some individual skill.  With three sisters at home, he was looking for an outlet for some aggression yet discipline.  BJJ seemed like a great option.  After his first visit, he knew it was what he wanted to do.  Being on the smaller side, he wants to be confident in his ability to defend himself and his sisters."

Bennett is 8-years-old and, as you remember, 8 year old kids aren't always incredibly nice to each other. Dan (Bennett's father) recognized that having confidence and being able to handle yourself physically is an important skill to pocess at that young age. After doing a little bit of research, they were convinced that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was the best sport for the self-defense and physical activity they were looking for.

"He really likes how the class teaches him a new skill and is able to perform the drill on other classmates by the end of class.  He also thinks submissions are cool and has learned several."

One of the major reasons that Coach Woo selected Bennett to be the Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month is because of his ability to listen, learn, and apply the lessons that are being taught during class. He has been credited as one of the fastest learners that Coach Woo has ever taught. He's He recently picked up the spinning armbar (a move that takes some finesse to perform correctly) and Bennett was almost immediately hitting the submission like a champ!

"He is very driven by the progression in the sport.  After every class he asks, β€œwhen will I get my first stripe.”  He also talks about all the coaches and different belts they have.  He is very goal-oriented and the belt system really drives him to want to participate."

Something tells me that Bennett will see plenty of stripes and belt promotions during his time doing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. With his focus and determination, he'll be one of the leaders of our Growing Gorillas Jiu Jitsu program in the very near future.

Keep up the great work, Bennett!!

Daniela Elias came to SBG Buford in the summer of 2018, wanting to make some substantial changes to her life. As a college student (Cyber Security), she was trying to balance her studies, her job, social life, and stay in good shape. She purchased a membership at LA Fitness, but it just wasn't her thing. The atmosphere, the crowd, being left to "just figure it out". She needed something else.

She arrived at SBG because she "didn't want to die while walking up the stairs." πŸ˜‚ Her LA Fitness membership was going unused and she wanted the guidance of a coach who could tell her what to do, and why she was doing it. She ditched her previous gym membership and became part of the SBG Tribe, attending our Fitness Kickboxing classes.

One of her first coaches with Coach Jim Sheppard, who said this about Daniela:

"Daniela didn't take the soft approach; she was all in from the start. She'd attend classes regularly, sometimes even doing 2 classes per day. At some point, she also started doing Fitness Performance classes too and that's when things really started happening for her, physically."

In our Fitness Performance classes, Daniella is now able to get in strength training to complement the endurance work and high-intensity training. She recently had some incredible breakthroughs in her physical strength, hitting new personal records on both the bench press and deadlift!

Head Fitness Coach James Morton told us about Daniela's recent accomplishments:

"Last week we were testing some of our most important and compound lifts, and Daniela crushed it! She increased her 3 rep max on the bench press by 15 pounds, and later in the week, she deadlifted over 200 pounds for the first time ever. She previously couldn't lift 200 pounds once, but last week she put up 205 pounds 3 times in a row!!"

In a world where a lot of women are afraid to lift heavy weights, Daniela understands that she's not going to get "bulky" by doing bench presses and deadlift. Between her good eating habits and fantastic attendance in class, she has added lean muscle tone to her body and stripped off some body fat without looking like a linebacker πŸ˜‚.

Great work Daniela! Keep up those amazing gains.