SBG’s Spring Camp 2013 EPIC Pictorial Review!

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What an Event!

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It isn’t easy to articulate just how inspiring, informative and in short amazing, SBG’s Spring Camp 2013 was.
They promised the biggest and best camp ever, and they delivered.
Each evening featured a restaurant and bar which was designated for SBG camp members ONLY. We had the total run of the place, which led to an epic karaoke session on Saturday night!
Massive thanks to Travis and Kisa Davison, they have truly set the bar to a new high in terms of organization and enjoyment.
What follows is a comprehensive review of the camp, gathered from multiple sources.
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Above: Travis Davison, Matt Thornton and SBG’s newest BJJ Black Belt, Jake Oyler
Thursday night:
Private Fight Team MMA practice.
The MMA athletes from Portland and Montana had the privilege of experiencing a practice under the guidance of long time MMA coach and trainer of two world champions, Adam Singer.
To quote Portland athlete Amanda Loewen:
“it was the best MMA practice I have ever attended!. Adam showed the athletes how to train ‘smart’, how to work strikes and the full MMA game, without damaging the body, or going harder than one needs to. It was a learning experience for everyone involved.”
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portland mma“I had a great time in Montana at the SBGi Spring Camp. I’ve never been to an event like this and it was really fun and I learned a lot. Travis Davison and Kisa Davison did a fantastic job of organizing everything, Matt Thornton and the coaches did a great job presenting a huge variety of interesting stuff. Every class was different, every teaching style was different and every one was great. Thanks for the effort everyone put into the event! Really appreciate it.”
Richard Wozniak
Friday morning:
Private breakfast for SBG coaches only
mma gym portlandHead Coach Karl Tanswell introduced SBG’s brand new striking curriculum.It is based on the core principles, postures and fundamentals that make good striking, “good”. And because of that, it will transcend the different functional striking ‘styles’. In other words, whether your SBG teaches primarily Muay Thai for its stand up, or primarily western boxing, the core of Karl’s curriculum will remain the same.
This does two things. First, it gives SBG a stand up curriculum that is modeled after, and congruent with, its world renowned BJJ curriculum.
And second, it creates a consistency amongst our coaches, so that worldwide the fundamentals and ranking system all our striking coaches use, will remain standardized.
Karl’s roll out was followed by an excellent overview of how Adam Singer runs his Mixed Martial Arts program, step by step, using and then integrating various modules.
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Above: Coach Thornton & Coach Ray Price get a roll in.
Friday evening:
Open Roll, Coaches Challenge
Friday night kicked off with the typical SBG meet, greet and roll, and was followed by the ‘Coaches Challenge’.
Two coaches were chosen, each had 20 minutes to teach a particular move/strategy or concept from the same position, and each took half the room to separate locations to teach. Then the students from the two opposing groups were brought back together, and each tried to execute what their coach taught them against each other, in a live drill from the chosen position.
First up was John Kavanagh of SBG Ireland, versus John Frankl of SBG Korea.
Each was asked to teach something from quarter top position. The two groups were then brought back together for a light hearted competition to see which group had the most success with their new material.
This was followed by Karl Tanswell versus Steven Whittier.
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Two amazing black belts, John Kavanagh and Rick Davison.
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“Had an amazing weekend with some of the kindest and most inspirational people I have ever met. Thank you Travis Davison and Kisa Davison for hosting such an awesome camp. Spending time with everyone from SBGi left such an impact on me and I am sure I will never forget it for the rest of my life. SBGi for LIFE!!!
– Nicholas Guidaboni
After the Coach versus Coach section an SBG Ironman took place.
If you’ve never seen one of these first hand, it is remarkable.
*(If you’ve not read about why the Ironman is an SBG Tradition, check this out:
Jake Oyler, a Travis Davison brown belt stepped up and wrestled over 65 people in a row, over the course of nearly two hours, before having his black belt tied on by Coach Travis.
Very few dry eyes in the house during this event, it was inspiring to say the least, and cool to see the belt tradition as done the SBG way.
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Coach Travis ties on Jake’s black belt from back mount.
Weekend Sessions:
Chris Haueter:
renzo gracie nycWhat can we say about Chris Haueter’s session?
Only this, you had 16 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belts, with a combined knowledge of several hundred years of Jiu Jitsu, all looking at each other with amazement as Chris dropped some of the best BJJ information anyone had ever seen.
In a little over an hour Chris literally took the entire room through a hand on, visual history lesson of the open guard. This guard came first, this guard developed due to this, this guard then developed due to this encounter, etc. It was a living breathing historical education; a one of a kind opportunity that you had to be there to get.
*(don’t ask if this was filmed, we will not be releasing video footage of Camps.)
Chris taught in a manner that everyone could understand, from white belts with six months or less of training, to twelve year black belts. But it was the black belts, watching and learning from little details that often go unnoticed, that gave away just how golden Haueter’s session was.
portland jiu jitsu“Just got in from SBGi Spring Camp….what a weekend of training and friendship…THE BEST Camp to date!!
Travis and Kisa went above and beyond to host this Camp….organized and well thought out…attention to detail in every sense of the word….they made sure EVERYONE was well taken care of from airport pick ups to lunch and dinner arrangements to Camp photographer getting a rare photo of all the Black Belts…thanks to them for all the effort they put in to make this happen
There is so much I could post, but I will keep it somewhat short…some very cool moments of Camp for me:
– the instruction was all world class…from EVERY COACH…everyone brought something to the table that white to black belts could put into their game almost immediately….
– watching so many BJJ Black Belts training/ trading / rolling with each other with no ego and seeing the pure enjoyment and smiles on their faces while doing it
– being coached by these Black Belts and having them treat you like an equal…no matter what rank they taught they treated everyone the same, gave them their full attention, and did it willingly, making everyone feel very good about themselves
– getting coached by one of the “Dirty Dozen” Chris Hauteur….broke down the most fundamental of positions and had you coming away with something totally new about it that would help your game right away…and he does it with so much FUN and humor…and then you see him sitting on the couch playing with his daughter simply enjoying the moment…very cool…
– getting to hang out and chat with so many friends, both old and new, that are genuinely interested in what is going in your life, and accept you for who you are
– meeting and training with Adam and Rory Singer…great guys, very down to earth, and a wealth of knowledge that they were more than willing to share…very selfless…
– I could go on and on, but will finish with my Coach and mentor Matt Thornton….it was very cool to see him looking around the room at all his Black Belts and how proud he was of this time with all of them together….
Matt genuinely wants to help everyone be better….as martial artists and as people…he helped me out this camp with both of those areas, and a big thank you to him for continuing to help us look inside ourselves and keep discovering..” – Rich Beaupit
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Coach Davison proud to be with his newest black belt, Jake Oyler
Thought you would get this info some other time, or somewhere else?
Think again.
This kind of stuff happens very rarely, if you missed this camp, you made a huge mistake.
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Anika Thornton dancing with John Kavanagh.
Guard Passing with SBG’s newest BJJ black belt Jake Oyler
(reviewed by Amanda Loewen)
Jake is known at SBG Montana as a great guard passer. On Saturday morning he showed his proven methods for passing guard. As usual he broke the process down into easily digestible chunks. Jake started with some simple and effective posture basics and then broke the guard passing game into knee slide passes, hip control passes, and leg control passes. He did a great job describing how you use posture and simple body mechanics to execute each kind of pass.
One cool feature Jake showed that he does exceptionally well is a windshield wiper leg motion when pinning the legs.
By the end of the session I could see lots of smiles and nods of acknowledgement as people started getting the material. His attention to fundamentals and connecting all the movements back to posture basics really made his session valuable.
Some excellent passing details on dealing with the Butterfly guard. You have six main routs you can take:
A.) Around (either side)
B.) Through (either knee slice)
C.) Pivoting to create angles on either leg.
A good warm up drill that Jake used was rocking the knees side to side while trying to clear the butterfly hooks using your ‘windshield wiper’.
After creating an angel find that sweet spot and sprawl on the leg after it passes the center line.
Key details: Its always better to be hands free.
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SBG’s newest black belt, Jake Oyler
Escaping Bottom with SBG’s Ray Price (as reviewed by Cane Prevost)
Ray did a great job of articulating escape posture from cross sides bottom. I particularly liked this session. The material was not new to me, but the presentation was very solid. Ray worked hard to develop the lesson and delivered it flawlessly. He seamlessly blended introduction stage instruction with isolation stage drilling, in such a way that everybody was getting it.
Ray broke up the posture and pressure into bite size chunks and drilled each part separately. This was great because there were so many people in a room where it was difficult for him to get to every student. It turns out that he didn’t need to.
As I looked around the room I could see that everybody was getting the material.
It’s tough to break down material in such a way that everybody in the room is truly understanding it; even with basics. Ray did that very well.
His detailed instructions on creating frames from the bottom and how to activate those frames using an upa motion were easily digested by the whole group.
Even though the material wasn’t new to me it turned out to be one of my favorite sessions from camp because it was delivered so well.
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Original SBGr’s Adam Singer, Rick Davison, Karl Tanswell, Travis Davison & Rory Singer
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“Huge first official night and this is the talent pool!
Each one a black belt, and each one are like family.
So much to learn!”
– Bill Campbell
The “knee slice” with SBG’s Karl Tanswell (notes from Amanda Loewen)
Karl’s sections are always eagerly anticipated.
His material tends to transcend gi, no-gi and MMA. And with his assistant, former UFC fighter and BJJ black belt Jason Tan, he didn’t disappoint.
They showed entries into the leg drag, which led into a very nasty position on top.
Jason emphasized that in a fight, he wouldn’t bother passing from there, but instead, he would strike. Details on balance, weight, passing and smashing were all added.
This session highlighted a common theme with SBG guard passing in general, the importance of angles as one passes.
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First: knee slice from z guard right arm through importance is the way your knee slides DOWN opponents leg then continues normally.
Second: Knee slice you tripod up they bring leg to block. You move down to clear leg then both knees go towards the middle ultimate knee through good for punching.
Third: Cross face from Z guard just sit out. Cross face is like a punch
Fourth: way to get to mount also practiced hook leg and transfer back to knee slice
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“It is pretty awesome, after going through a large portion of my life not feeling like I fit in anywhere, and being constantly skeptical of the intention of others, to now having a huge group of people whom I trust, who share my values, who will have my back if I need them, love me for who I am, and see some of what I used to consider flaws as quality. I’ve never felt so “at home”, and what makes it even better is that it is obvious everyone else feels the same way after this weekend.
It’s a revolution of sincerity and love.”
Salome Thornton
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Matt with 7 of his 9 BJJ black belts. From left to right, John Diggins, Cane Prevost, Travis Davison, John Kavanagh, Karl Tanswell, Rick Davison and Lily Pagle.
Guard Passing with SBG’s John Kavanagh (as reviewed by Matt Thornton)
Renowned MMA Coach & BJJ black belt John Kavanagh always brings something great to his classes, but his session at this year’s camp was a highpoint.
I’ve personally watched John pass the guard for over a decade now. His footwork and finesses style passing is cool to see, but extremely hard to replicate only from observation.
For the first time ever, John broke down exactly how, when and why he passes the way he does, and he did it in a logical step by step fashion that anyone could follow, and implement.
He began with a pocket drill, practicing base, and emphasizing proper primate posture, which is the key to his whole passing game. He also covered a crucial grip break you’ll need to make this game work.
Next he took that pocket drill and added an objective as well, in this case stepping outside the legs. The reason for John’s tricky dance like footwork became self-evident during this section.
This was followed by the actual pass, which is basically three steps, step one is to stay upright, disengaged, and quick on your feet. Step two, get outside the legs, step three, make the opponents hips face away from you.
Only after the crucial step three does John drop into Crossides.
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Simple, effective and principle based, John’s session was a classic example of what the SBG curriculum is all about.
Great class!
Sweeps and passes with SBG’s John Diggins (reviewed by Zach Thornton)
I really enjoyed Diggin’s segment. Most coaches tend to either show something simple foundational, and easily assessed, or something a bit silly, extreme, or hard, to comprehend.
Diggin’s, like all SBG coaches, keeps it to what works, but always puts a lot of fun in there as well.
I was able to see Jiu Jitsu that I would have never thought physically possible, and learned how to apply it immediately.
He has a unique ability to show things that are fundamental but have the appearance of being attribute based.
Not only did I get to learn new techniques that look cool but they WORKED! Something that works AND looks cool is hard to come by.
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Attacking someone’s guard with SBG’s Cane Prevost
(as reviewed by Amanda Loewen)
Cane is known as one of the master instructors of SBG.
Every class he teaches tends to reveal some new detail about an ‘old’ fundamental move that most of use daily. In short, his sessions are pure gold.
Cane worked from both upright, and open guard (off your back), and as always, he showed the core principles that make the entire delivery system work.
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Some key details:
A.) Posture in upright guard/open guard:
Don’t let them get a foot on your hip, while going over basic important posture/pressure (lead leg/steering leg) You should always be pressuring into your opponents hip, if your controlling the hip then your most likely winning.
B.) Went over some fine details on how to shut down the De La Riva guard
(same concepts of pressuring into the hip of the leg that is hooked around yours)
Cane went over allot of simple details and was able to break it down into small pieces so that every student was able to walk away with what he was teaching.
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Takedowns & Throws with SBG’s Lily Pagle
(as reviewed by Amanda Loewen)
Lily’s sessions are always a lot of fun. As a black belt in both BJJ (under Matt Thornton) and Judo, she is able to blend the two in a way that makes everything more enjoyable.
She was able to go over some fantastic basic Judo and stand up principles including:
A.) Hand fighting
B.) Pushing, pulling pressure with grips in the Gi
C.) Proper grips and what to look for from a standing opponent
D.) Defense
She included some awesome drills to get everyone’s body prepared for throwing/falling. As well as hand fighting drills and how to trick your opponent so that you’re not telegraphing your moves.
Later in her segment she showed a really cool ‘flying half guard’ technique to be able to take your opponent down.
Then she showed a really nice defense (and proper technique) of the Morote Seoinage (Two arm shoulder throw) Where you go with your opponent and end up sliding off to the side with all of your weight.
At the end Lily pieced all the drills together nicely and had the students go back and forth between moves, where one person was defending, the other was attacking.
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“Straight Blast Gym spring camp was about as epic as something can get. I have more stories than I care to share. My face is sore from laughing”. – Brian Heenan
Taking mount & finishing with SBG’s Steve Whittier
Steve is known for teaching stellar stand up sessions at the SBG Camps, so it’s easy to forget after you watch him unleash some great Muay Thai that Steve is also a world class BJJ coach & practitioner.
Steve’s material complimented everything from Karl’s session. He showed very similar leg positions as Karl’s knee slice, but executed them from Crossides. He then used that to take mount, and eventually finish with a very nice triangle submission from top.
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Meticulously detailed, fundamentally sound, Steve’s session left everyone walking away with something they could use immediately.
And yes, the secret was in the angles.
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Steve & Matt look on as other Master Instructors bring the awesome
Headlock escapes with SBG’s John Frankl
Unless you’ve been around SBG for a long time, or attended the fall camp last October in Niagara Falls, you may not know who John Frankl is. Needless to say, the man has some of the smoothest Jiu Jitsu you’ll ever run across. It is obvious that John cares a lot more about Jiu Jitsu than he does winning matches in the gym, which isn’t to say John loses matches, John wins without ever turning up the intensity. He keeps it playful from the start, and lets his technique do the work for him.
To quote SBG founder Matt Thornton:
“John Frankl rolls the way we all should. He inspires you to relax and execute proper Jiu Jitsu, the way it is supposed to be done.”
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In true SBG fashion John kept it simple.
He walked the class through the proper execution of headlock escapes, including one roll that most people will have never seen before. All the while John emphasized the key points found within the techniques he was teaching, that transcend position and serve as general principles that make all of Jiu Jitsu work, from all areas.
A university professor by profession, John’s teaching ability was second to none.
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John enjoying his training
Boxing the Smart Way with Original SBG Coach Adam Singer
(reviewed by Matt Thornton)
This year’s Spring Camp was as much a family reunion as it was a spectacular training event. Having Original SBG Instructors, BJJ black belts and world class MMA coaches Adam and Rory Singer on hand, was nothing short of awesome.
Adam walked everyone through a step by step introduction to smart boxing. Footwork, distance, angles and body mechanics all came into play. Everyone put gloves on, but as per Adam’s very clear instruction, they kept it fun and playful.
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Adam laying down some wisdom.
Adam had everyone laughing and enjoying themselves throughout (a sign of a very good instructor), and then went into an incredibly informative mat chat and question and answer session. Adam’s main point was the striking can be trained smart, just like we do with BJJ. Heavy punches to the head are not only unnecessary most of the time, they are actually counter-productive to the process. It was almost enough to make this old boxer want to get some rounds in again.
And a speech and training session I want all my striking coaches to hear and go through. It should be mandatory.
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A fantastic session!
Passing and Smashing with SBG’s Rick Davison
(reviewed by Amanda Loewen)
Rick’s BJJ game defines simplicity.
Every movement is done for a purpose, nothing is wasted, and once he gets on top it is almost impossible to get rid of him.
He showed some really detailed fine points that helped illuminate his own passing and smashing style, which everyone really enjoyed.
Key details:
3 Passing techniques used to get into the deadly Crossides position that Rick uses (Cross grip on pant, far lapel grip) Similar to his steering wheel pass.
A.) If your opponent turns away keep the same lapel grip, take the hand that was grabbing the pants and grip the cloth behind the back/or triceps area. This creates an extremely awesome hold for the person on top.
B.) If your opponent turns towards you, you can either
1.) Keep the lapel grip, and take the hand that was gripping the pants putting the elbow near the head and back step over opponent (basically doing a headstand over your partner)…
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2.) Keep the lapel grip, put hand near opponent’s hip and back step towards the head (as if going to North South Position).
C.) X-guard sweep. Details were controlling the sleeve, lapel, then taking partner over the shoulder that you have their leg.
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16 BJJ black belts on the mat!
SBG’s Business Owners Meeting
Saturday morning had the SBG Academy owners gathering in a private room while the rest of the students training in the main hall.
The purpose?
A three hour overview of the business practices that SBG has now put into place.
Business, like Jiu Jitsu or boxing, should be thought of as a ‘delivery system’.
And like any other delivery system, there are much better and much worse ways to do things. And the better practices, being true in the fact sense of that word, transcend culture and geography.
The three hour talk and question and answer session went over some of the principles.
Anyone wondering how well it all works had to look no further than where they were sitting. SBG Montana is a living example of what the SBG curriculum, when combined with better business practices, can produce.
A thriving, growing, healthy community of people. And prosperity for everyone involved with it.
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John Frankl takes on Little Ricky Davison. This is what SBG is all about.
The meeting also launched the official start of the SBG Business Management Group.
This group is limited to SBG Academy owners only, and is dedicated to helping everyone double or triple their business, help everyone thrive financially, within our organization.
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Original SBGr, UFC vet and overall nice human being, Rory Singer
SBG’s Growing Gorilla’s program
On Sunday morning the Academy owners once again gathered in a private room to see the launch of Travis Davison’s Growing Gorilla’s Kids BJJ program.
This program was the sole design of SBG BJJ black belt Travis Davison. He wanted to design a BJJ program for his own four children. In the process he came up with a highly detailed and organized program, one that follows the official IBJJF belt system, and includes a different curriculum for every age group, a detailed list of classes, a step by step breakdown of how to run the class, all the banners, price sheets, and a comprehensive list of games, many of which were the design of Travis himself.
In short, absolutely everything you need to start up your own Children’s Brazilian Jiu Jitsu program in your own academy.
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Travis and Rory enjoying the show
It was also obvious to everyone in the room that this curriculum, program and mission to teach kids BJJ in the best manner possible, is truly a life mission for Travis.
As he discussed many of his experiences teaching kids over the years, the positive changes its had in so many of their lives, and the feedback he gets from the parents, many of the people in the room had a hard time holding back tears.
What Travis has managed to do with his program is truly is wonderful and inspiring.
As he says, the kids are the future of BJJ and the future of SBG.
And with the Growing Gorillas Program, they are in good hands.
*(The program launched at Camp. SBG coaches and Academy owners had the first chance to get this at the event. Matt Thornton, the Singers, and many others started Growing Gorillas right away. It is currently unavailable to non SBG members.)
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Jason Tan, SBG BJJ black belt under Karl Tanswell, UFC vet, and quality Instructor.
“For me, the highlight of the camp was having 7 of my 9 black belts all in the same room at the sametime. Having my old friends Adam and Rory Singer, who along with Luis Gutierrez were the first SBG coaches outside of Oregon. And having my own coach Chris Haueter in attendence. It was a family reunion.” – Matt Thornton
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The ladies of SBG
So what’s next for SBG?
Always improving, always striving to become even better.
SBG is going further.
And the next stop on that journey
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You thought you would make the next camp, so you missed out on Montana?
Those moments wont come again.
You thought the camp was too expensive, you’ll get the DVD set?
The Montana event was worth ten times what we charged, and we won’t b offering camp DVDs.
Don’t make the same mistake twice!
The Mexico Training Retreat is going to
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What you can expect:
1- Three to five days of training (you pick the package & curriculum)
2- World Class SBG Coaches & BJJ black belts as your training guides
3- The same extraordinary level of organization you saw at our Montana event.
4- World Class Luxory resort, three swimming pools, a private beach, deluxe rooms, all with seaside views, 24 hour room service, multiple on site restuarants.
5- Two full days of coaching University (if you opt in for it)
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The view from your room
6- The first offical training course for the new SBG Striking Curriculum
7- Growing Gorillas clinic, for those teaching kids classes
8- One day business seminar (for our business management group)
9- Multiple BJJ sections taught by world class black belts, and champions, all located in a large, air conditioned room, complete with mats!
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A look at the pool area of our resort
10- Activities running ALL DAY for children, and the whole family!
They can play while you train!
11- Nightly SBG dinners, where you can pick the brains of the SBG coaches, while enjoying all the food you can eat.
12- The TIME of your LIFE!!
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When: October 16th – 20th (wed-sun)
Where: Paradise, aka: SBG’s Puerto Vallerta Resort
Cost: There will be multiple packages depending on what Instructional or Training sessions you want to opt into, and how long you plan on staying.
Each Package will be ALL inclusive, it will cover your deluxe room, ALL your meals and ALL your drinks (including alcohol).
There will also be a family member option for spouses and significant others that may be coming, but not training, as well as special children rates.
All of this will be announced within the coming weeks.
Our Montana seminar sold out in just over two weeks, we expect the same for this.
You WILL want to pregister as soon as it goes online.
Think you have a good reason to miss this?
Think again, this will be EPIC!!!

posted by Matt Thornton at 5:22 PM