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  • Liz Wigmore is Straight Blast Gym Atlanta’s Martial Arts Student of the Month for January 2023


    Liz’s transformation over the past couple of years has been one of the more fascinating and amazing progression stories to ever take place at SBG Buford.

    Liz Wigmore began training at Straight Blast Gym Buford in the spring of 2018. She had been training in Krav Maga for several years and was looking to really hone in on her striking, so she joined SBG’s Muay Thai program. After only a year of training, Liz competed in her first sanctioned Muay Thai fight.

    In 2020, Liz took a hiatus from her training at SBG Buford in order to join the National Guard.

    During her time away, Liz underwent quite a major transition in her attitude and mindset. Her mother, and training partner, Chris gave us some insight as to why Liz decided to enilist in the National Guard:

    “Liz weighed out all of her options and ended settling on the National Guard because of the structure it provided. When she came back from the National Guard my daughter had a whole new outlook on life and adulthood.”

    Jiu Jitsu Coach Woo Ko recalled Liz coming back from her basic training:

    Since she came back from Basic Training with the National Guard, she has developed a new sense of maturity with a mindset to accomplish goals. She’s doing well juggling work, school, Jiu Jitsu, and the National Guard. She’s a regular on the mats and is super helpful with the other females when they are preparing for a tournament.

    Upon Liz’s return from the National Guard in the summer of 2021, Liz’s training efforts were taken to another level, specifically in our Jiu Jitsu classes. Liz went from casually training Jiu Jitsu once, maybe twice, per week to being on the mats 3-4 times per week. On top of that she and her mom, Chris, were doing Private Lessons with Coach Woo Ko.

    In September of 2022, Liz decided to register for the IBJJF’s Atlanta Open. The Atlanta Open is Atlanta’s biggest and most celebrated Jiu Jitsu tournament, with some of the most active martial arts competitors and practitioners in the sotheast regularly competing in this event. Liz trained hard in preperation for this event and the results were evident, as Liz looked AWESOME and came away with the gold medal in her division!

    Towards the end of 2022, Liz’s coaches determined that they had seen enough improvement in Liz’s Jiu Jitsu to promote her to blue belt. In December, Liz took part in a 90 minute training session with 40+ of her teammates before being awarded her blue belt by SBG Buford Jiu Jitsu Black Belt Sean Coleman.

    When asked about Liz’s Jiu Jitsu journey over the years, Coach Sean had this to say:

    Her transformation has been one of the best in our history, in my opinion. When she first started here she was a typical teenager; all over the place, not always dedicated to her training…you know, a teenager. In a short period of time she became a responsible, respectable, and hard-working woman. I told her something very similar when I tied a blue belt around her waist at our last Iron Man; that it’s been a real pleasure to see how far she’s come. To be able to see the fruits of her labor come to fruition, along with the others coaches and teammates that have been on this journey with her, has been awesome.”

    Liz’s maturation has been incredible to witness. She has become a staple in our Women’s Jiu Jitsu crew and is developing a reputation for being a really good (and safe) training partner.

    Congratulations on being selected as Straight Blast Gym Atlanta’s Martial Arts Student of the Month, Liz! Keep up the outstanding 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.