What is SBG?
SBG is many things.
A set of academies.
A cutting edge epistemology.
It is the Muhammad Ali of MMA – as in Conor McGregor.
And it is the 55-year-old woman who will, for the first time in her life, compete in a sporting event under our gorilla graced banner.
It is large professional spaces – as in Oregon, Ireland, England, Montana, and Massachusetts – to name but a few.
And it is also small, more personal communities all across the planet.
At SBG children will find guidance.
Young adults will find mentors.
Top athletes will find insight.
SBG is home to Mixed Martial Arts superstars, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champions, elite Military and Law Enforcement trainers, hyper talented athletic coaches – and thousands of people just like you.
SBG began officially in Portland Oregon, in 1992 – when its founder and head coach, Matt Thornton, had an epiphany regarding exactly what type of environment he himself wanted to train in.
To quote Matt:
“I wanted to learn how to really fight. If that meant an Asian martial art, I would do that. If that meant boxing, I would do that. Whatever the truth with a capital T was as it related to hand to hand combat, whether it conformed to my beliefs and opinions or not, I would unlock it. I would unearth what that truth was.”
That search for truth in combat lead Matt to western boxing, and an art known as JKD Concepts. He explains why:
“There were many things that drew me towards JKD. The first were the writings and personal philosophy of Bruce Lee himself. Lee adopted the following motto:
“Absorb What is Useful – Reject What is Useless – Add What is Specifically Your Own”
For a pragmatist like myself, this precept made perfect sense.
I’d been in enough fights to know that where you wanted to be, in terms of ranges, wasn’t always where you ended up. It was after all a fight, and by definition your opponent wasn’t cooperating. You had to learn how to fight wherever you were, not just where you wished you would stay.”
Matt moved from California, to Portland Oregon. Where he continued to train boxing and JKD Concepts. And also, first began to teach. But over time, disillusionment began to set in.
“As my exposure to JKD progressed, I began to have some doubts regarding certain training methods that were frequently used. JKD people often derided things like Karate kata, solitary patterns acted out in the air, as rightly counter-productive. In fact, a book written by Dan Inosanto, and featuring Paul Vunak, offered side by side photo comparisons between functional and non-functional movement. Yet at the same time, Dan Inosanto and his Instructors adopted a lot of one and two person forms, which in actuality were little more than katas themselves, from other, more exotic, South East Asian Martial Arts. They would spend an inordinate amount of time on obscure “hand trapping” movements that bared no resemblance to anything that happens in an actual fight or within full contact sparring matches – and little to no time on wrestling; something that did happen in almost every fight or full contact match where it was allowed. It didn’t make sense.”