The Tribe 2017-04-20T05:02:52+00:00

The SBGi Tribe

SBGi has maintained very high standards for all our Coaches and Instructors for well over Ten Years now. Although we have multiple locations, with large enrollments, you will still find the list of Coaches we have certified over the Years to be very small. The reason for that is simple: integrity.

You cannot host a seminar, pay for a weekend course, or worse, simply send an e-mail, and find yourself listed as an SBGi Coach. It is a marker of performance and teaching skill, which cannot be bought at any price, or given due to association with an individual or group. It must be earned. In order to receive a Coaches certificate with us you must meet extremely high standards, not only in the realm of personal performance skill, but also in terms of teaching and coaching ability.

We have maintained these standards for well over a decade now, and we are very proud of that fact. This is why you will see so many world class Coaches who have received their training from our Organization listed below.

SBGi Administration & Regional Directors


  • Matt Thornton (President)
  • Luis Gutierrez (Vice President)
  • Karl Tanswell (Vice President Europe / UK Director)
  • John Kavanagh (Head Coach BJJ Assoc. / RD Ireland)
  • Mike Sweeney (SBGi Business Manager / RD Canada)

Regional Directors :

  • Travis Davison (Regional Director Midwest USA)
  • Steve Whittier (Regional Director East Coast)
  • Rich Beaupit (Regional Director Canada East Coast)
  • Calen Paine (Regional Director Canada West Coast)


SBGi Principles:


All SBG Instructors must understand the principle of Aliveness, and maintain a curriculum that is always Alive. Dead patterns need to be left at the Gym door.

Performance Integrity

All SBG Instructors will maintain an ‘open mat’ environment and will train with, and work out right alongside, the other students & athletes.

Freedom of Learning

All SBG Instructors will maintain an ‘open door’ policy in regards all their students. Students of the SBG must be free to train anywhere and with anyone they like. SBG Instructors cannot ban students from attending other events or other schools.


All SBG Instructors will maintain a ‘Gym’ atmosphere, where athleticism conditioning, and combat athletics are emphasized. Athletes should be provided an Alive environment where they are free to problem solve.

Ethical Business Practices

All SBG Instructors will maintain a high degree of professionalism, and ethical business practices.


All SBG Instructors will teach a curriculum that includes stand up, clinch and ground. A curriculum that works in sport and self defense. And a curriculum that is applicable to every able body.


All SBG Instructors should also act as coaches creating an environment where athletes can learn through first hand “experience.”


All SBG Instructors will maintain facilities where titles, ritual, and hierarchy are shunned. Performance and having fun are the only goals.


All SBG Instructors are expected to maintain a higher level of personal conditioning.
In the end,
there is only you!