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  • Samer Sabbagh is Straight Blast Gym Buford’s Martial Arts Student of the Month for January 2022


    SBG athlete Samer Sabbagh was recently awarded his purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

    Samer has been training with the SBG tribe since the summer of 2018. He had some previous Jiu Jitsu training but it was his arrival at Straight Blast Gym that really kicked his martial arts training into overdrive. He immediately became a regular in our BJJ classes and was awarded his blue belt by Coach Phil Gentry in short order.

    SBG Coach Jim Sheppard remembers Samer’s early days at SBG:

    “Samer fit in from day 1. Sometimes our new students will be somewhat guarded when they first begin training with us. Being new at a martial arts gym they assume they’ll be surrounded by a bunch of tough guys, and sometimes that causes them to be standoffish. Not Samer. He unveiled his sense of humor right away and fit right in.”

    At Straight Blast Gym Buford, we pride ourselves on having a fun and light-hearted environment. Martial Arts training is intense enough as it is, so we don’t feel the need to double-down and make the place feel unwelcoming. Samer is the perfect emobiment of the SBG “vibe”. He attends class regularly, trains hard (but not rough), and is a great teammate. He also competes in Jiu Jitsu competitions.

    Samer’s contributions to the tribe extend off of the Jiu Jitsu mats as he is regularly present at SBG events such as gym socials, fight nights, and Iron Man belt ceremonies.

    Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Coach Sean Coleman tells us more about Samer as a student, teammate, and competitor:

    “Samer is and always has been an amazing training partner. He approaches Jiu Jitsu with a mindset that allows him to constantly grow and improve. Not only does he train regularly and ask great questions but is regularly studying on his own. As a student you can always count on him to be a good teammate and training partner with literally anyone that is in class.”

    That last part, about Samer being a fantastic teammate and training partner for anyone and everyone has made him a very important and valuable addition to the SBG Jiu Jitsu tribe. Whether someone is brand new or has been training in Jiu Jitsu for years, they’ll be in good hands with Samer. Whether someone weighs 140 pounds or 240 pounds, they’re in good hands with Samer.

    Coach Sean continued:

    “As a teammate, he can be as competitive as you need him to be but also as empathetic and adaptive as you need him to be. If you were to paint a picture of an ideal student that can hybrid in just about every role needed in a given class or for the most variety and diverse of a class: it would look very similar to Samer.”

    Samer is a regular attendee in SBG Buford’s 6am Jiu Jitsu classes. Between his constant progression on the mats and his frequent success at local martial arts competitions, Straight Blast Gym Head Coach Phil Gentry recently decided to award Samer his purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

    Samer isn’t the only member of the Sabbagh family that trains at SBG Buford. His wife, Sarah, is a member of the tribe and can be found in our evening Fitness Performance classes.

    When Samer isn’t training in Straight Blast Gym’s 6am Jiu Jitsu classes he can be found performing music in and around Atlanta, sometimes solo and othertimes with his band. When Samer performs in Buford it is not uncommon for his SBG teammates to come out and watch/hear/support him.

    Congratulations to our first Martial Arts Student of the Month for 2022, Samer Sabbagh. Thank you for all of your hard work and for being an amazing part of the SBG tribe.

    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.