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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

Whilst our gym is best known for two division champion Conor McGregor and producing multiple UFC veterans, our team members have also placed 4th in ADCC Absolute, the world’s most prestigious No Gi Submission Wrestling competition and won Brown Belt Gold at the Pan American Championships and multiple Golds at the European Gi Championships too.

Whether you’re training for Gi or No Gi BJJ competitions or you just want to learn some real-world self-defence skills, keep fit and make new friends, we have you covered here at SBG Ireland. Our Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu program offers comprehensive coaching for people of all experience levels, genders or ages and its not uncommon to find world renowned practitioners training with everyday professionals. We even offer a free ladies only BJJ class, as reviewed in the Irish Times.


Our gym was founded in 2001 by John Kavanagh. Later that year it became part of Matt Thornton‘s Straight Blast Gym International (SBGi), a worldwide association of over 35 gyms. After partnering with SBGi, Thornton awarded Kavanagh his BJJ purple belt in 2002. Three years later, Kavanagh won the Gold Medal at the 2005 European BJJ Championship.

In 2007, he was awarded his BJJ black belt, making Kavanagh Ireland’s first ever BJJ black belt in the process. John continues to be the highest ranked BJJ Black Belt in Ireland being a 3rd Degree Black Belt. With over 20 Years’ experience in Gi & No Gi Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, SBG Ireland have been able to build the most comprehensive program in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for all levels of students.

SBG Ireland has seen success in more than just the UFC, we have dominated in the ADCC and the European Open BJJ Championships, where John has proven his knowledge & experience as both a fighter & a coach:

John took the Gold Medal at IBJJF European Open (2005) & the Silver Medal at the FILA Grappling Games (2007)

In No Gi, John cornered UFC Veteran Gunnar Nelson at the ADCC 2009 in Barcelona, where Gunnar beat Jeff Monson, submitted David Avellan, & took 4th place in the Absolute Division.

John also cornered Gunnar to Pan American Brown Belt Gold where he beat Clark Gracie.

John coached James Gallagher for the European BJJ Championship (Gold Medallist), & the Irish Open BJJ (Gold Medallist).

Unlike some gyms, SBG Ireland is home to more than just the one Black Belt, we’ve got over 10 Black Belts on hand to help coach you. At SBG Ireland we train everyday men and women who want to learn effective self-defence skills and see results with BJJ. We also have classes for men and women who hope to one day be high-level competition fighters. Our program is designed to meet the needs of every person who walks through the door. Get in touch and find out more.

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    SBG Ireland - BJJ & MMA