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  • Atlanta Falcon’s Paul Worrilow Training at Straight Blast Gym Buford


    Why Atlanta Falcon’s leading tackler trains at Straight Blast Gym Buford. Check out the ESPN article below.

    Straight Blast Gym Buford

    A few months ago Atlanta Falcon’s defensive captain and leading tackler, Paul Worrilow walked into SBG Buford looking for something to give him an edge. “I’m always looking for ways to get better” says Worrilow and after training with Straight Blast Gym, he feels like this is going to be his best year yet.


    It all started when new head coach Dan Quinn was hired by the Atlanta Falcons. The new coach is a big fan of boxing and martial arts. Upon arrival, Quinn gave all his players a pair of boxing and bag gloves. He’s added speed and heavy bags in the locker room and frequently classic boxing matches are played before games. The new Coach’s passion has fueled the desire of cross-training with functional martial arts for football within the Falcon’s squad. Dan Quinn’s leadership combined with Falcon’s defensive captain and leading tackler, Paul Worrilow’s drive to be the best middle line backer in the league, led him to Straight Blast Gym Buford for some outside the box training.

    Is it a coincidence that many of the NFL’s All-American players on defense frequently wrestled prior to the NFL? We at Straight Blast Gym Buford don’t think so and here’s why.

    Paul Worrilow

    Much of the tackling practice in football is based on the initial contact. This is an important piece but definitely not the whole pie. Many missed tackles come following the initial hit and are largely due to a failure to wrap up and finish the tackle. This is where some good grappling training can pick up the slack.

    At Straight Blast Gym Buford, we are all about MMA. fighting is done in three ranges; standing, clinch and ground. In the UFC you see fighters like fellow teammate, Conor McGregor using all three ranges. It always starts standing and frequently transitions into the clinch and then the ground. Except of course when he knocked out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds.

    For football players we keep the keep the training focused within one range, the clinch, and use multiple arts such as Judo, Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to get maximum results for the athlete. All of the arts we use within the clinch fit into a category we call grappling. And this form of Mixed Martial Arts is the key to finishing tackles after contact.

    By taking down an opponent who is attempting to stop you using adaptive resistance, players are able to develop their skills within the most crucial range for finishing tackles in football. This “Aliveness” piece or live resistance is what separates functional martial arts from the fake martial arts many Americans have grown accustomed to and is how we become good so quickly. At Straight Blast Gym Buford, we’ve taken that a step further by using adaptive resistance. This allows newer martial arts athletes to develop their skills without getting smashed by more experienced fighters.

    Coach Phillipe Gentry talks with ESPN reporter Vaughn McClure about Paul Worrilow’s MMA training in this ESPN article. http://espn.go.com/blog/atlanta-falcons/post/_/id/20599/wrestling-mma-fighter-helped-falcons-paul-worrilow-tackle-issues

    Jim Sheppard

    is one of the co-owners of Straight Blast Gym Buford and Straight Blast Gym Atlanta. He has been training / coaching / competing in Muay Thai since 2013 and holds a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.