About Us

There Are No Other Gyms in the Calgary Area Quite Like SBG!

This is SBG


SBG History

The Straight Blast Gym (SBG) organization was founded by Matt Thornton in 1992, with its headquarters located in Portland, Oregon. Thornton, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under Chris Haueter and a student of legendary coach Rickson Gracie, established SBG with a vision to promote a scientific approach to martial arts training, focusing on effective techniques that work in real-life situations rather than relying on tradition or dogma.

Thornton’s influence on martial arts training stems from his emphasis on aliveness—a concept he developed which involves training methods that incorporate resistance and unpredictability, mirroring the chaos of real combat. This approach contrasts with traditional martial arts training methods that often prioritize compliant drills or forms.

SBG has grown into a global network of gyms, with locations in Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa, and Australia! The organization offers training in various disciplines such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA), and self-defence.

Thornton’s impact extends beyond just SBG, as he has been a vocal advocate for evidence-based training methods and has challenged many traditional martial arts practices. Through seminars, instructional materials, and his writings, Thornton has influenced countless martial artists to adopt a more pragmatic and realistic approach to their training, ultimately contributing to the evolution of martial arts as a whole.

About the gym

Safety is our top priority at SBG Calgary. We know that an injured student can’t attend classes and if they can’t train, they won’t achieve their goals. To ensure our students stay healthy, we adhere to strict safety protocols to minimize the risk of injury during training sessions. Our experienced instructors emphasize proper technique, progressive resistance, and when appropriate, controlled sparring to ensure that students can learn and progress without compromising their well-being. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced practitioner, you can trust that your safety is our utmost concern.

Imagine signing up for a University course only to be told that there is no class outline, that the professors aren’t taking attendance, and if you just show up, or don’t, you might learn, or you won’t. Sadly, that’s fairly descriptive of many martial arts programs. At SBG Calgary, we go for the opposite approach. We’ll provide you with an outline of the skills we plan to teach you, a timetable and a calendar showing when those lessons will take place, and we’ll follow up to keep you accountable. In other words, your success, regardless of how you define that, is our mission.

Self-defence is a fundamental aspect of our BJJ program. We believe in empowering our students with practical skills and strategies that they can use to protect themselves in real-world situations. Our self-defence training encompasses a range of techniques, including striking, grappling, and situational awareness, giving students the confidence and ability to defend themselves effectively.

Sport Jiu-jitsu can be amazingly compelling. So much so that many schools, even though they profess to teach self-defence, focus on teaching skills only appropriate in the competition arena, completely ignoring the reason why most people seek out the martial arts: to learn effective self-defence skills. The core fundamentals – what we refer to as the delivery system – are appropriate regardless of the venue or ruleset. We choose to arm our students with these potentially life-saving skills with the hope that once they’re proficient, they’ll have “caught the bug” and have become lifelong advocates for jiu-jitsu as we are.

At SBG Calgary, we pride ourselves on fostering an inclusive and ego-free training environment. “One Tribe One Vibe” isn’t just a motto, it’s exactly what you’ll see and feel when you train at SBG. Our community is built on mutual respect, support, and camaraderie, where students of all backgrounds and abilities are welcomed with open arms. Whether you’re here to improve your fitness, learn self-defence, or compete at the highest levels, you’ll find a supportive community that is dedicated to helping you succeed.

Central to our training philosophy at SBG Calgary is the principle of aliveness. Coined by SBG founder Matt Thornton, aliveness refers to training methods that incorporate resistance and unpredictability, mirroring the chaos of real combat. This principle influences our training approach, ensuring that our students develop practical skills that are effective in real-life situations. Through isolated drilling with resistance, dynamic training exercises, and when appropriate, controlled live sparring, we cultivate a realistic and functional martial arts skillset that prepares our students for any challenge they may face.

Join us at SBG Calgary and experience the difference that our safety-focused, structured, and self-defence-oriented approach to training, guided by the principle of aliveness, can make in your martial arts journey. Come train with us and discover your full potential in a welcoming and empowering environment.

Get Started Today!

Discover why SBG students rave about our classes! Be one of the first to experience Straight Blast Gym Calgary and our transformative programs!

why choose SBG CALGARY

Experienced Black Belt Instructors

Functional Curriculum

Safety Focused Training

Fun and Inclusive Environment


The SBG Calgary coaching staff is dedicated to making you feel welcome and included. Read our reviews on Google & Facebook and you’ll quickly see that we’re a gym where we know everyone’s name.

Get Started Today!

Discover why SBG students rave about our classes! Be one of the first to experience Straight Blast Gym Calgary and our transformative programs!