Straight Blast Gym Ireland Drawing International Attention
I’ve written multiple times and at great length leading up to, and after the UFC Fight Night Dublin event, about the four fighters from Straight Blast Gym Ireland who were part of that card. I did so with good reason; it is an incredible achievement for a fighter and their team to even make it to the UFC in the first place, never mind have four fighters on the same card, including two in the co-main event. Add to that the fact that all four fighters won their individual fights in impressive fashion via stoppages, and it is an achievement that fully deserves to be celebrated. But it is not just the folks at Straight Blast Gym that are excited about the work of the team in Ireland. Below is a link to some a great articles from MMAjunkie and UFC’s Outside the Octagon. The efforts of John Kavanagh and the SBG Ireland team have not gone unnoticed by the rest of the MMA world, with an extensive look at the back story and approach taken by the team in Dublin.
Head Coach John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor and Cathal Pendred all talk about SBG Ireland and what makes it stand out from the other MMA gyms in Ireland. To make it to the point that the fighters at SBG Ireland have, says Kavanagh, requires ‘obsessive people, inquisitive people, the kind who never stop learning and sharing and growing’. It is interesting that McGregor refers to this idea of inquisitiveness when discussing what made SBG Ireland the gym he decided to work with. McGregor talks of how Kavanagh’s approach was different to the other gyms he had attended, stating that he would go gym to gym and be told to only do things the way he was told; to do things ‘their way’. John Kavanagh, he reminisces, was more exploratory, ‘figuring out why to do it this way rather than that way’. It is such an approach that has led to the rapid success of Straight Blast Gym, not just in Ireland, but globally. Matt Thornton’s original philosophy of ‘Aliveness’; training against resistance with movement and timing accounted for, to strip out what doesn’t stand up to scrutiny and identify what works, is still present at every level at SBG. It is included in the training of white belt BJJ students, and is demonstrated in the approach taken by Coach John Kavanagh and his UFC main event winning fighters. It is an approach that, after years of hard work and dedication, ‘obsession’ and ‘exploration’, has some of the biggest MMA institutions taking note. Be sure to read and share this article, it is a fascinating look at what it really takes to achieve what the folks at Straight Blast Gym Ireland have managed.