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  • Lily Apel is Straight Blast Gym Buford’s Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month for September 2021


    Lily’s parents enrolled her in Straight Blast Gym Buford’s Kids Jiu Jitsu program to get her prepared for the difficulty that is life.

    Earlier this year, Courtnee Apel enrolled her daughter Lily in SBG’s Growing Gorillas Jiu Jitsu program. At 5-years-old, Lily was getting ready to enter Kindergarten, which offers a child all kinds of new challenges. Lily would be going from spending her days with her family to spending her days with a brand new group of people, at a brand new place that she had never been to.

    Enter Jiu Jitsu.

    Courtnee Apel told us this about enrolling her daughter at SBG Buford:

    “We wanted to prepare Lily for life and all of the difficulties that come along with it. We looked at Jiu Jitsu and thought that it would be a great way to teach our daughter the importance of hardwork, controlling emotions, and being humble.”

    We couldn’t have said it better, as Courtnee and her husband understand the value of having their child experience some adversity that they have to overcome. Straight Blast Gym’s Kids Jiu Jitsu program puts our students in situations where they are in live resistance scenarios with their teammates and it is their job to figure out how they can avoid being submitted and to put themselves in an advantageous position.

    Sounds a lot like everyday life, yea? You’re confronted with an issue or problem, and it’s your job to figure it out and overcome.

    Lily has proven incredibly strong at overcoming said problems.

    Straight Blast Gym Buford Kids Jiu Jitsu Coach Randy Garcia said this about Lily:

    “Lily is one of the best training partners in the game! She makes it really easy for us the coaches because she works well with everyone, regardless if they are brand new to Jiu Jitsu or if they’ve been training for years. Her behavior is top notch and her dodge ball skills…..man, they are no joke.”

    Lily is indeed a fantastic training partner, and yea, that girl is a killer during dodgeball. When the SBG Growing Gorillas have a good class and show good Jiu Jitsu (and good behavior) they are rewarded with a game at the end of class. Dodgeball is a favorite amongst many students, including Lily.

    “My favorite parts of class are the warm-ups and dodgeball.”

    -Lily Apel

    Keep up the outstanding work Lily. You are a fantastic addition to the SBG Kids Jiu Jitsu tribe, and we appreciate all of. your hardwork and amazing attitude.

    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.