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  • Leonardo Galicia is Straight Blast Gym Buford’s Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month for February 2022


    Leonardo, or Leo, was enrolled in our Growing Gorillas Jiu Jitsu program because his parents wanted to help him develop strength and discipline.

    “We saw that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu would require our son to develop both of those traits, so we enrolled him at Straight Blast Gym. Buford”

    These are the words of his mother, Liliana. As her son Leo is working his way through Pre-K and preparing to go into Kindergarten next August, she and her husband wanted to get him a headstart on meeting new kids, learning responsibility, and having some added structure.

    In September of 2021, Leo took his first ever Growing Gorillas Kids Jiu Jitsu class as a part of our Spidermonkeys (4 and 5-year-old students). Leo took no time at all to fit right in and start making an impression on his coaches.

    Kids Jiu Jitsu coach Carmen Garcia said this about her student, Leo:

    “Leo is a model student. He always shows up on time for class and walks on to the mat with a big smile and a great attitude. The Spidermonkeys have a lot of energy and can be a challenge for us coaches, but Leo is incredibly easy to coach and work with. He has become a model student for his teammates.”

    A big part of SBG Buford’s Spidermonkeys program is providing what is for a lot of our students their first-ever time being a part of an extra-curricular activity. A lot of these kids have never had to listen to a teacher or Jiu Jitsu coach and, as you can imagine, some of them take a while to contain their energy and be receptive to listening and learning. For Leo to come in and adapt so quickly has been truly awesome to see.

    “Our son really loves his coaches and the happy vibes that he gets from them every time he comes to class. He feels so welcomed and wanted every time he is on the mats. He never feels scared or nervous that he will do something wrong and he never says he doesn’t want to come to class. I think he feels so comfortable because of the way his coaches approach class and teach the techniques, and we see him learning without feeling stressed out that he has to execute all of the moves and positions perfectly.

    Outside of the gym, Leo keeps himself busy with plenty of activities.

    “Leo swims once a week , plays baseball once a week, and he is getting ready to start his second soccer season. Leo enjoys playing Legos and with Hot Wheels Toys with his brother Alex . He also loves getting chased down by our dog Milo.”

    Congratulations on being selected as February’s Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month for Straight Blast Gym Buford, Leo!!

    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.