Posts Tagged: ‘SBGi’

Karl Tanswell @ SBG Toronto (Aug 2013)

August 23, 2013 Posted by School of Thought

Objects are easier than they appear

En route to their Las Vegas wedding, SBG Toronto was fortunate to have SBGi Mainline’s head coach and BJJ Black Belt, Karl Tanswell and his lovely wife to be,  Ella Yee stop over in Toronto to spend a few days at the gym with us.  Now, if you haven’t had the pleasure of experiencing one Karl’s training sessions you are missing out on a game changing experience.  Not only is the information based on decades of experience, but his method of communication and the delivery of information makes him truly stand out as one of the best coaches in this world, and this weekend he proved no less.

I am not going to post a run down of things we worked on over the two days (hey, you should have been there for that ;) ), but instead, I would just like to comment on one of the many ideas that Karl planted in our minds to help us rethink our jiu-jitsu, which is the idea of ‘simplicity’.  In this day and age of Youtube, digital video and just more and more people doing BJJ, you can really get overloaded with information to the point where you get lost and frustrated in the vast web of positions, motions and techniques.  Unlike most BJJ instructors out there, Karl doesn’t just give you more techniques to add to the web of confusion.   Instead, he gave us the tools to help simplify it.  Helping us find the common denominator between techniques, chiseling away the unnecessary as opposed to adding more and allowing all participants to have a moment of Jiu-jitsu clarity by the end of the session.

Thank you to Karl and Ella for visiting us and sharing your experience.  Thank you to Coach Jason for providing another great opportunity for growth.  This journey only gets better and better.


Matt Thornton @ SBG Toronto (Sept 2012)

September 11, 2012 Posted by School of Thought

This past weekend President of SBGi, Matt Thornton, was at TPTM/SBG Toronto for a two day seminar. On day one the focus was on no gi and dealing with someone who is striking in our closed guards. Always a game changing experience, Mr. Thornton focused on the fundamentals at the core of each technique. The fundamentals, according to Matt, are what makes these techniques, not just sport specific, but are the same techniques that you would use in a real life self defense situation.

Day two was a continuation of the previous day, but added some stand up clinch into the mix. At the end of the day we did rounds of some competitive drilling. Matt Thornton at this time for the second time in his career, stopped a seminar for a belt promotion. Our very own Pirashanth Kesavan (Pk) after a stellar performance on the mat, is now a blue belt. After asking Coach Lancucki if there were “any more white belts like that”, Sherman Patterson and Mark Garcia tested successfully for their blue belts.

With three more blue belts and everyone having an amazing weekend of growth it is needless to say that this was an amazing weekend at TPTM-SBG Toronto. Special Thanks to Coach Lancucki for coordinating and hosting another amazing Thornton seminar.


Matt Thornton Clinic @ SBG Toronto – April 30th, 2012

April 17, 2012 Posted by School of Thought


On the eve of Monday April 30th you will have the opportunity to train @ TPTM-SBG Toronto with none other than the man himself, the President and Founder of SBGi…..Matt Thornton!

This special 2 hr clinic (7PM to 9PM) will be something that you do not want to miss!!

investment: $65
Sign up today as space is limited!!!


Straight Blast Gym Toronto

  Tel: (416) 406-6665

John Frankl @ TPTM

March 17, 2012 Posted by School of Thought

We had the pleasure of having BJJ Blackbelt, John Frankl drop by TPTM all the way from Korea to teach this morning’s class.  We were pretty lucky to be exposed to some high-level BJJ and everyone went home with some quality, game-changing information.

Here’s some feedback from after the clinic:



Just a few of the adjectives that I overheard during John Frankl’s BJJ clinic this morning @ SBG Toronto….just saying.

Humbled and honoured to be part of process.


Spent the morning with bjj black belt John frankl. That was a game changing morning. Feeling pretty lucky.


Awesome seminar today at TPTM with John Frankl thanks Jay!


Thank you John.


SBG Toronto @ the BJJ Provincials

December 1, 2011 Posted by School of Thought

We had a few members of SBG Toronto’s ADD Squad competing last weekend at the Ontario Provincial BJJ Championship.Noah,PK, Kier and Derek all represented extremely well…along with some great support from Sherman ,Mark and Kevan who came out to cheer them on.

Kier won the Gold in the Masters Blue Belt division and the Bronze in the Adult no gi division.

Derek popped his tourney cherry and brought home the Silver in the Beginners No Gi division.

4 competitors,3 medals,2 days with 0 injuries made for 1 happy and hungover coach!

Huge THANK YOU to all the Coaches that have helped us over the years.

Honoured and humbled to be a part of the process.

Viva SBGi!!!

Matt Thornton on Self Defense Training

October 5, 2011 Posted by School of Thought

5 Reasons Why You Do Not Want to train martial arts using Aliveness

October 1, 2011 Posted by School of Thought

Written by John Reid…

“I assume if you’re reading this article that you’re familiar with the Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coaching organisation known as Straight Blast Gym International. The people at SBGi say that their coaching is the easiest way to learn functional skills for competitive fighting and self defence, and I agree, but I have issues.

There are thousands of people just like me who have experience teaching martial arts using great training tools such as kata, forms and patterns. Most of us earn a very good living with these tools and wouldn’t think of using anything else. Then along comes SBGi. What kind of a name is Straight Blast Gym anyway?

Recently I decided to go to a Straight Blast Gym affiliate known as Aliveness Gym in Aberdeen. And after doing so, I want to give you my top 5 reasons why you do not want to train at Aliveness Gym or anyone associated with SBGi.

Ease of learning
Their curriculum is so simple to learn that a monkey can do it.* And that’s the problem. I’ve spent years developing my kata skills and patterns so that I can charge £30 per hour teaching my advanced system for people just like you. If you decide to train with Aliveness Gym, the days of me teaching traditional martial arts are over.

Who in their right mind would pay me to to teach them how to learn choreographed movements that bear little resemblance to the real world when they can train with aliveness safely at any Straight Blast Gym and get really good really quickly in all three ranges of combat?  Please, I have a family to support.

Training Methods
SBGi’s curriculum is completely alive. And when I say alive, I mean alive. You don’t have to learn pre-arranged patterns, forms or kata which they claim is a waste of your time. You learn something called the i-method instead which is designed to have you training safely with Aliveness in stand up, clinch and ground. They say it gets you as good as possible as quickly as possible.

SBGi will not only make it impossible for me to earn money teaching with poor training methods, but it will take away my ability to charge you for grading by simply demonstrating a series of movements every three months. How can I support myself when SBGi is taking away my ability to do so. It isn’t right.

I don’t think it’s right that you as a member student should expect me to answer to you every time you have a simple question about a technique I have shown you. It sets up the wrong impression. If I jumped every time you had a question about why or if something works, you would begin to take me for granted. Besides, I am a black belt master so you just need to have faith in what I say and know that we cannot train with partners using resistance because what we do is far too dangerous.

In this case, the problem isn’t with Aliveness Gym, it’s with the entire community of SBGi who believe in a healthy training environment where critical thinking is encouraged. They tell you to question everything and cite the so called ‘i-method’ as the best martial arts bullshit meter that money can’t buy.  They say that you will never be deceived by martial arts instructors again once you fully understand the i-method and the principles of aliveness.  All I can say to those people is, “Get a life.”

Traditional Martial Arts contain the most comprehensive Kata’s, Patterns and Forms on the planet. They can do everything. When you have a black belt from one of these programs it’s the same as telling your friends that you have the Mercedes-Benz of black belts. Think of the pride you’ll feel.

Yes, the curriculum at SBGi can also give you everything you want and more by teaching functional fighting skills in a fun and friendly environment, but that’s not the point. You can learn techniques from the best delivery systems on the planet such as Thai Boxing, Boxing, Greco Roman Wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to name but a few.  You will learn how they all fit into the MMA game which is the fastest growing sport in the world.  You can also choose from other programs that are trained with aliveness which are designed for defending against bladed weapons (S.T.A.B.) and an alive curriculum for law enforcement called ISR Matrix.

You can also choose from dozens of classes each month and learn how to be a coach too if you want, but again, that’s not the point. The point is, you want to be able to tell people that your ‘martial art’ is better because it was learnt using a system that is far too dangerous to ever be trained alive.  And it was expensive. When I give your belts and certificates you will be be proud of them.

Black Belt ‘club’
Martial Arts teachers like myself don’t just teach martial arts for people like you, we enrol people into our ‘Black Belt Program’ too. This is one of the main ways we earn money from you after your training has begun.

It’s also one of the most profitable things we do in our business.  Once you either gain your black belt or are enrolled and paying to be in the elite Black Belt Club, then we will teach you some stuff on the ground, plus our version of ‘grappling’ and ‘MMA’.

SBGi is trying to lure you away from that part of our business by telling you that you can do all this right from the start and get access to the best coaching without having to wait months or even years. They’ve even created intro classes to their popular MMA programs to help you get started. Worse yet, sites like offer a forum loaded with tips on training in Mixed Martial Arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to help you get good really quick. They’re giving away their secrets and taking money out of our pocket. It’s just not fair.

Please, don’t go to Aliveness Gym or any SBGi to learn Mixed Martial Arts or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While you’re at it, don’t go to to learn how to get started in Aberdeen, Scotland either. It’s not fair to our brotherhood of traditional martial arts instructors if you’re able to learn functional fighting and self defence without first going though an apprentice or ‘black belt’ program..

And don’t tell your friends about this organisation either. Just say, “No!”

* The monkey must have basic intelligence, social skills and enjoy having fun whilst learning functional skills”

Photos from Matt Thornton’s Seminar

September 27, 2011 Posted by School of Thought

The i-Method

September 25, 2011 Posted by School of Thought

Photos from Travis Davison’s Seminar

February 28, 2011 Posted by School of Thought