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  • Brad Altone is Straight Blast Gym Atlanta’s Martial Arts Student of the Month for June of 2022


    After nearly a decade of training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at Straight Blast Gym’s Buford location, Brad Altone was recently awarded his brown belt. 🔥🥋

    Positive energy.

    If you were to ask any student of Straight Blast Gym Buford who brings the most positive energy to gym they are going to tell you that it’s Brad Altone. He is the type of student that you want in your class; a fantastic hype man who gets his teammates excited to train while also keeping them encouraged to push through the hard sessions.

    Brad first began training at Straight Blast Gym in the summer of 2013, making him one of SBG Buford’s longest tenured Jiu Jitsu students. He had just turned 30-years-old and had was looking for something to shake up his workout routine. He was your typical big-box gym attendee who grew stale of the bicep curl/bench press routine and looked to Jiu Jitsu to shake things up. Brad began taking our Foundations program, quickly becoming a regular Jiu Jitsu class attendee. By the end of 2014, Brad had earned his blue belt.

    That would be the first, but certainly not the last, Jiu Jitsu belt promotion over the years. Brad earned his purple belt in the summer of 2017, and then recently secured his brown belt in May of 2022.

    While Brad is an accomplished and respected Jiu Jitsu student, he has participated in every program (except for the kids classes…at least that we know of) during his time at SBG. Brad has spent time in Muay Thai, taken part in mixed martial arts training classes, and regularly attended Fitness Performance classes. In 2016 he and Muay Thai coach Jim Sheppard teamed together to take 2nd place in a local CrossFit competition. When asked about that competition, Coach Jim said this:

    It was miserable.

    In addition to being a part of multiple programs at SBG Buford, Brad was also a regular at pretty much all of the extra curricular events. From gym socials, to fight nights, seminars, Iron Mans, fitness competitions….if it revolved around supporting the tribe, Brad was there.

    No matter how much time Brad spends in class or at SBG events, he always prioritizes spending time with his wife Dana and daughter Adeline over all else.

    Straight Blast Gym coach Jim Sheppard said this about Brad:

    “What can you say about Brad except that he’s one of my favorite people in the SBG tribe. Every time he walks into the building it brings everyone else up. He’s been one of the most consistent students over the past decade, but more so than his dedication to the SBG tribe is his dedication to his family. That guy would do anything for Dana or Adeline, and it was awesome to see both of them at the gym for Brad’s Iron Man a couple weeks ago.”

    With the birth of his daughter a few years ago, Brad began devoting a lot of his time and energy to the National Down Syndrome Congress. Earlier this Spring, Brad and about a dozen of his SBG teammates participated in a golf event that raised thousands of dollars for an amazing cause.

    Congratulations on being selected as June’s Martial Arts Student of the Month, Brad. Thank you for all of your amazing contributions to the SBG Tribe over the past decade.

    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.