LAS VEGAS, NV, AUGUST, 26, 2017 – IBJJF Masters World Tournament
On the day he cornered UFC Fighter Conor McGregor in the biggest fight in sports history, SBG Ireland’s Coach John Kavanagh made the time for SBG athletes from around the world, who competed in the IBJJF Masters World Competition
Kavanagh, who is known for coaching McGregor in his successful fighting career, came out to support 27 of the international Brazilian Jiu Jitsu organization’s elite athletes on the world stage in Las Vegas from August 24th – August 26th.
Like Kavanagh several of the competitors are head coaches at their home gyms, balancing time between teaching and training.
And they made an impressive showing. Of those who competed, eleven medaled in their division, including Amanda Loewen of SBG Portland, who also took home bronze in the Absolute Weight Class Division.
The tournament was a momentous occasion for Straight Blast Gym, which celebrates its 25th anniversary since the founding of the international organization.
SBG Montana’s Coach Leah Taylor not only won gold in her division but also received a sponsorship from Fuji Sports.
Taylor said of the experience:
“I won my first Masters black belt world championship and had two matches and finished both by submission. We were in Las Vegas the weekend that Conor McGregor of SBG Ireland made history by going 10 rounds with the best boxer in the world. It was an incredible experience and an epic weekend for our international teammates. Viva SBG!”
Many of the coaches have been training and growing with each other for several years and attribute their success to these trusted friendships.
SBG Elko Head Coach Chris Myers stated:
“This was definitely the most successful day of competition ever for Straight Blast Gym International. Three new world champions were crowned. The support I felt from my team allowed me to relax and represent them and myself to the best of my ability. It does take a group effort to have success at these high levels and this group doesn’t plan on letting up any time soon.”
SBG Montana owner and mother of four, Kisa Davison, knows the challenges of training while raising a family and running a business. The purple belt regularly travels to tournaments to coach her students, but this time she attended the tournament to compete for herself, winning Bronze in her division.
Davison said of the experience:
“I feel fortunate that there are women who are my age, weight, and belt level who also decided to take the plunge and for me to take the fight. It’s not easy for athletes with a full-time job and a family to care for to prioritize training, much less to travel to a competition on the international stage to test your skills, and I know personally what it takes to do that.”
Amanda Loewen – Black / Master 1 / Female / Middle
Leah Roseanne Taylor – Black / Master 1 / Female / Medium-Heavy
Eryk Anders – Purple / Master 1 / Male / Super-Heavy
Kasey Botelho – Purple / Master 2 / Female / Light
John Mark Frankl – Black / Master 4 / Male / Light
Amanda Loewen – Black / Master 1 / Female / Open Class
Anick Bernier – Brown / Master 1 / Female / Feather
Chris Myers – Brown / Master 2 / Male / Light
Kisa Marie Davison – Purple / Master 3 / Female / Feather
Jon Hobson – Purple / Master 6 / Male / Middle
Harry Eugene Bramel III – Purple / Master 5 / Male / Light