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  • Zaida Gentry is Straight Blast Gym’s Kids Martial Arts Student of the Month for June 2023


    Congratulations to Zaida Gentry for being named SBG’s Kids Martial Artist of the Month! Despite being born into a family deeply rooted in martial arts, Zaida didn’t feel an immediate connection to the discipline like her father, owner and Head Coach Phillipe Gentry. When she was five years old, she gave jiu jitsu classes a shot, but didn’t want to continue in the gym.

    While she dutifully completed tasks like hitting mitts and practicing armbars as part of her chores throughout the years, her true passion resided in the performing arts. The stage was where she truly thrived, pouring her heart and soul into acting, dancing, and singing.

    However, everything changed this past year when Zaida entered 6th grade. In a bid to explore new horizons and perhaps find a common ground with her martial artist family, she struck a deal with her father. They agreed that Zaida would commit to attending a specific number of martial arts classes throughout the entire school year. With a mix of curiosity and determination, Zaida embarked on this journey.

    As the months flew by, Zaida immersed herself in the world of jiu jitsu. She discovered a surprising sense of fulfillment and accomplishment with each class she attended. Along the way, she formed deep bonds with her training partners, forging great friendships that transcended the mats. Zaida’s dedication and hard work paid off as she pushed through two intense Iron Man competitions and proudly earned her Gray Belt.

    Yet, it wasn’t just the physical achievements that made this journey significant for Zaida. She found herself drawn to the role of mentorship, taking younger kids under her wing and sharing her newfound passion for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Witnessing their growth and progress ignited a sense of purpose within her. By the end of the school year, Zaida realized that her love for training Jiu Jitsu had blossomed beyond her expectations. It had become a vital part of her life, intertwining with her passion for the performing arts and shaping her into a well-rounded individual.

    Coach Phillipe Gentry said this of daughter: 

    Zaida brightens the environment when she’s on the mat. She’s a great training partner, extremely helpful, and encouraging to the other Students. This one is obviously very personal for me as her Coach, and even more so as her Father. I’m incredibly proud of her.

    Zaida’s story is a testament to the transformative power of martial arts and serves as an inspiration to all aspiring young martial artists. SBG is honored to witness her unwavering dedication and focus, and can’t wait to watch her continue to thrive and excel on this remarkable path she has chosen for herself.

    Congratulations Zaida! 

    Autumn Gentry

    is the co-owner and Marketing Director of SBG Atlanta (Buford & Druid Hills locations). Her husband is the Founder/Owner. She has been training Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Group Fitness, and Online Personal Training with SBG Atlanta since 2018 and is currently a Jiu Jitsu Blue Belt.