Stephen Whittier Coming To SBG PDX – Muay Thai & BJJ Seminar
Stephen Whittier At SBG PDX
Anyone who has been frequenting the SBG PDX gym on a regular basis in recent weeks will have no doubt heard the name ‘Stephen Whittier’ mentioned an ever-increasing number of times. With each mention of his name, they may also have noticed a sense of ever-growing excitement. The reason for this is simple; Stephen Whittier is holding a two and a half day seminar at SBG PDX on March 28th-30th, in which he will provide a combination of Muay Thai and BJJ coaching. But why should everyone at SBG, and you, dear reader, be eagerly anticipating his arrival in Portland?
A quick glace through his biography alone should be enough to entice anyone with even a passing interest in BJJ, Muay Thai or MMA to attend. Stephen is the head coach at NexusMA and Regional Director for SBG East Coast. He holds a black belt in BJJ (under Roberto Maia) and the honorary title of Kru in Muay Thai. He is also a black belt in Jeet Kune Do, Shotokan karate and a second degree black belt in Filipino Kali/Eskrima. Essentially, he is someone who has gone to near unparalleled lengths to acquire knowledge and expertise in mixed martial arts. When I say ‘mixed martial arts’, I mean this in the truest possible sense; he has not just studied an abridged version of modern MMA, but searched far and wide, training and competing in a huge range of combat sports, evolving from traditional arts to Muay Thai, boxing and BJJ, in an attempt to find those that are truly functional and applicable.
It is for this reason that SBG PDX students should be particularly excited to meet him. SBG is founded on the ideas of ‘Aliveness’, and the ability to identify techniques that are as functional as possible when tested against resistance with effective movement and timing. Like that of so many athletes associated with SBG, Stephen’s success clearly stems from the need for an inquiring mind when approaching martial arts. Outside of combat sports, Stephen Whittier is an academic, earning a graduate degree and spending four years teaching at Tufts University. This obvious love of learning is evident in his amassing of martial arts knowledge too. A weekend seminar with Stephen Whittier will not be delivered in the form of the grunts of a gym meathead, nor the spiritual ramblings of a master in some mystic martial arts tradition, but instead, a demonstration of genuinely functional MMA proven through two decades of accumulated knowledge and rigorous testing.
His hard work and dedication to MMA has certainly not gone unnoticed. Stephen has coached and trained with elite fighters in Muay Thai, BJJ and MMA, including some UFC household names. But his coaching style is not solely for the elite. Stephen is also the developer of programs concentrating on coaching students over 40 in BJJ. The ability to both train some of the best fighters in the world, and adjust his coaching to make his techniques applicable to beginners and older athletes, demonstrates not just an unparalleled knowledge, but also an ability to teach students that is second to none.
A respected name within Muay Thai, BJJ and MMA, with a vast wealth of knowledge, two decades of testing for functionality, and a superb ability to coach at any level, those are the reasons SBG PDX is abuzz with talk of Stephen Whittier.