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  • Gianni Mingo is Straight Blast Gym Buford’s Martial Arts Student of the Month for March


    Gianni Mingo has become an incredibly good training partner in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai over the past couple of years.

    Gianni started training at Straight Blast Gym in February of 2018; almost exactly three years ago, to the day. He and his friend Patrick attended Mill Creek High School together, and they wanted to engage in a fun and active after-school activity. They both entered our Foundations Muay Thai program and then worked their way into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu classes.

    During Gianni’s first year of training, he competed in a Kickboxing fight at the age of 16. Gianni didn’t come away from his first fight with a victory, but it didn’t matter. Gianni put in the work, made the weight, and got in the cage to show off his skill. Even in a loss, it was clear that this kid had talent.

    Over the proceeding years Gianni put in countless hours at the gym, even while finishing school and working at his job. Now, Gianni has become one of the better Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners at Straight Blast Gym Buford.

    Straight Blast Gym Buford’s Head Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach Phil Gentry said this about Gianni:

    “Gianni’s progression through Jiu Jitsu hasn’t been without its struggles. He’d constantly show up late, and even then his pants would usually be on backward or inside out. He wasn’t especially consistent either, and due to a combination of these things he hasn’t been promoted to blue belt. He almost quit over this, but after I spoke to him about it he completely changed his attitude. Now, he’s here on time and his pants are on the right way, lol. He’s truly made a 180 over the past 6 months ago and there are big things in his future.”

    It can be difficult to watch your peers get promoted before you, especially if you have been training longer than them. Gianni understood why and made changes, instead of letting it break him.

    Gianni recently competed in two different Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions and he looked FANTASTIC at both of them. At the New Breed Jiu Jitsu tournament, he finished first in his division after defeating both of his opponents. He followed that up a couple of weeks later by winning two matches at the NFC’s No Gi BJJ event.

    Keep up the great work Gianni!

    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.