St. Catharines and the Niagara Region's Best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Training

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The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offered by Straight Blast Gyms in St. Catharines (Niagara) is a unique martial art, combat sport and self-defense system that promotes the concept that technique, not size, is the foundation of successful defense.


What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art, combat sport, and a self defense system that focuses on grappling and especially ground fighting.

BJJ promotes the concept that a smaller, weaker person can successfully defend against a bigger, stronger assailant by using proper technique, leverage, and most notably, taking the fight to the ground, and then applying joint-locks and chokeholds to defeat the other person.


The SBGi BJJ Association

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) has been a huge part of the Straight Blast Gym (SBG) curriculum from day one.

Not only does this amazing art serve as the base for all the groundfighting that is trained within SBG, it also serves as a living reminder, a moving, breathing example of what fully 'Alive' Arts look, feel, act, and perform like.

All SBG Instructors are required to have performance proficiency in the art of BJJ, and each Coach is measured within the regular and established BJJ belt system.

Unlike many Arts that contain belt systems, BJJ's system is based solely on performance.

The SBGi BJJ Association places performance, as demonstrated against a fully resisting opponent, of the skills of BJJ themselves as the highest priority.

Evaluations are given to SBGi BJJ Association members on an individual basis.

This can only be done in person, and tested by 'rolling'. When an athlete achieves that level of performance, where they are capable of giving 'game' to the other athletes of a particular belt, then they too are that belt. The belt system is as follows:

  • White belt 1-3 stripes
  • Blue belt 1-3 stripes
  • Purple belt 1-3 stripes
  • Brown belt
  • Black belt

History of the SBGi BJJ Association

The SBGi BJJ Association was created in 2001 by SBGi President, Matt Thornton, and Machado BJJ black belt Chris Haueter. It was formed due to the fact that the Art of BJJ had become a major focus of the SBG Gyms worldwide.

SBG athletes all over the world were competing in no-gi, gi/bjj, vale-tudo, and various MMA events, with great success. As the Gym grew, and more and more people began receiving there training through the SBG, it became obvious that an Association was needed in order to organize the training, teaching, and awarding of belt rank within the Art of BJJ.

The SBG has a unique take on BJJ. Each BJJ class taught at an SBGi Gym is 100% Alive. That means the Coaches use the "I" method of teaching, and allow each individual athlete the freedom needed to develop his, or her own game to it's highest levels of performance.

Classes are taught with the gi, no-gi, and also in the vale tudo format (with strikes added). In addition all the SBG/JKD classes included large amounts of BJJ training for the groundfighting portion of the curriculum. When combined with the other aspects of stand up striking, clinch fighting, weapons, and self defense training, it composes the totality of the SBGi curriculum.

The emphasis is always placed completely on Alive training, and the performance of the individual athlete. All taught, and learned within a safe, friendly, and fun environment.


SBGi has a unique perspective on BJJ.

  • Many people tend to evaluate themselves, to 'measure' themselves based on "association". They place a heavy emphasis on 'who' they trained 'under', and as such they define themselves through association to others. What I try and steer people towards instead is to ONLY measure themselves based solely on performance. Those two attitudes are very different. Attract very different personas, and create very different training environments.

    Those that tend to define themselves through association, also tend to be more inclined to politics, gossip, certificates, and dead patterns. When asked a question related to performance they will also answer with comments such as, "well Sifu so-and-so does it this way". There also tends to be a movement towards secret 'moves' and Martial Arts mythology with such people. As a whole I feel that defining yourself based on your association to another is destructive for a persons character. And I believe that unhealthy attitude can be felt, and identified quickly when one walks into Gyms that place a large emphasis on lineage, and dead patterns.

    People that measure themselves solely through performance tend to steer clear of politics and gossip. They don't care about those things. They are concerned with who can help them perform better, not who they can attach themselves to for purposes of ego. They would answer a technical question with a statement like, "I do it this way because when you go against an opponent I find that's what works best, or that's what all the athletes I know do because that's what works under 'pressure" As opposed to... "well Sifu-so-and-so teaches it this way." They can answer based on direct first-hand experience on the mat. All in all it's a very different thing. It attracts a different type of individual. And it creates a much healthier environment to train in.

    What we are doing with the Association is bringing this mentality to others who share our common goal. The association is not for people who want to 'belong' to it for purposes of ego, and self image. The Association is a tool that allows us to spread that message across the globe, along with others who share this concept of a healthy, sane way to train. Together we can grow and prosper.
    - SBGi President, Matt Thornton

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