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  • Judah McMinn is October’s Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month for Straight Blast Gym Atlanta


    From earning teaching and coaching chevrons, to receving a Submission Samuari invitation, to Jiu Jitsu competition victories, Judah McMinn is on a roll 🔥🔥🔥

    Young Judah McMinn began training at Straight Blast Gym in the Spring of 2021. His father, Mark, had just started training with the SBG tribe a short term before, and he enrolled his son in our Growing Gorillas Kids Jiu Jitsu program so that he would be able to expereience the same benefits that he was. Judah instantly became a fantastic addition to our Kids Jiu Jitsu program. His coach Byron Strickland told us this about Judah:

    “Judah is always taking the initiative to help new students in class, even without me asking. He is eager to learn new techniques and is also very coachable. He listens, implements, and asks questions. He is awesome.”

    After a few months of training at SBG Buford, Judah started to dip his toes in the competitive Jiu Jitsu field, competing at several local Jiu Jitsu events like NewBreed and NAGA. Despite still being new to martial arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judah not only won some matches but also took home some gold in his divisions!

    In addition to participating in events like NewBreed and NAGA, Judah has supported the Gorilla Fund by participating in a couple of our in-house Jiu Jitsu tournaments known as the Gorilla Cup.

    This past September, Judah took a big step up in his Jiu Jitsu competition by registering for the IBJJF’s Atlanta Open Jiu Jitsu event. The Atlanta Open is the biggest BJJ competition in the southeast, and would provide a platform much bigger than the Gorilla Cup, NAGA, or NewBreed. Coach Byron remembers Judah’s mindset going into the Atlanta Open:

    He was really nervous going into his IBJJF matches since it was his first higher level tournament. Despite his nervousness he kept his composure and fought hard to win his 2 matches.

    It was quite an impressive display from Judah, winning his division at a major event like the Atlanta Open. And that wasn’t the only big win form Judah that day…

    As a part of Straight Blast Gym’s Leadership program, Judah earns Chevrons by completing certain tasks relating to Coaching, Teaching, Leadership, etc. While at the Atlanta Open Jiu Jitsu event, Judah helped to coach up one of our adult martial arts athletes to a submission victory!!

    That isn’t the only Chevron that Judah has earned, as he also recently earned his Teaching Chevron by presenting how to apply a triangle choke in front of the adult Jiu Jitsu class. Even cooler was that Judah used his father, Mark, as his partner to help teach the technique.

    As if all of that isn’t enough, because of his enthusiasm to compete in Jiu Jitsu Judah was invited to be a part of our Submission Samurai team. Submission Samurai is reserved for our most advanced students, and those dedicated to regularly competing in Jiu Jitsu.

    You are killing the game, Judah! Congratulations on being October’s Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month and keep up the fantastic work.

    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.