SBG Atlanta’s Member of the Month for October 2016: Stephen Roland
Stephen is fairly new to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
He doesn’t have a history of glamorous athletic accomplishments or stories of playing college football. He’s a guy that had let the pounds slowly creep on year after year, as he found himself working more and not having as much time to commit to keeping in shape. One day he’d had enough and decided to turn things around. Knowing that a big box gym was not the answer for him, he looked into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as an alternative way to get back in shape. After a quick google search and a phone call, Stephen arrived at the gym ready for his free trial class. Stephen recalls his first day at SBG in Sandy Springs and why he decided to make this his home:
“I started training at Straight Blast Gym because of how much I enjoyed my first free visit to the gym. I really enjoyed jiu jitsu and Coach Sean so that made me want to join and make this a part of my life. The thing I like best about SBG is the coaches, the people, and that there are classes available five days a week. The biggest contribution to my weight loss and progression in Jiu Jitsu is the great coaching I have received. I definitely feel more energetic since I started training at SBG. I’ve lost 22 pounds since I started training in jiu jitsu.”
Over the past 6 months Stephen has become one of the more inspirational members of SBG. He has a great attitude and refused to quit, even when some of the early training sessions wiped him out. Stephen’s jiu-jitsu coach, Sean Coleman, had this to say about Stephen:
“Stephen came to us with a humbled understanding that he was out of shape and needed to get fit and lose weight. He started in our foundations class and passed out of it by the skin of his teeth. Although he had graduated into the Advanced class, he would regularly attend the Foundations classes as well to keep reinforcing his fundamentals. Upon joining advanced class, for many many weeks, he was unable to stick around for the “Blitz” after class because the regular class was taxing on his conditioning. Little by little, he would push himself to train longer with us and now he is often one of the LAST people off the mats. Even after the class is done and he’s complete the Blitz with us, Stephen then pulls out the Indo Board and the Aerobic ball and works on his balance and base stability. He recently took part in our in-house Gorilla Cup tournament and had an excellent showing!”
Stephen’s story is one of inspiration, as we love seeing someone overcome some of their fears and fall in love with their new lifestyle and new group of friends. It’s not always easy to put yourself in a new environment and try something new, so it’s awesome to see Stephen’s progression and enthusiasm along the way.
Keep up the great work Stephen!