Member Testimonials

/Member Testimonials
Member Testimonials2017-10-26T11:46:02+00:00

Video Testimonials

Mark Aitken

Abbey Allen

Written Testimonials

Gavin Walsh

If you’ve never been down to sbgmainline try the 30 day trial out just be warned jiu jitsu is seriously addictive you may never want to leave!

Mike the Spiderman

Throughout the years I’ve tried different martial arts. I’ve trained modern kung fu, tried some karate, trained kick-boxing and I learned that except for kick-boxing that wasn’t real fighting. Nevertheless, learning striking only will never make you a complete martial artist. I came to SBG only to supplement my striking with a bit of ground game and I fell in love with brazilian jiu-jitsu so much that my priorities inverted and I now supplement my ground game with striking. And the MMA classes are where you learn to utilise all the components together. The level of coaching, the amount of knowledge that was used to designing the structured curriculum and the experience of the coaches is exceptional. The gym has 4 bjj black belts of whom 2 are actively competing, striking and MMA is taught by professional fighters. There’s a very diverse and friendly mix of people training at the gym. Different nationalities and ethnicities, students, professionals, athletes, couch potatoes on their way to becoming athletes, you name it we got it. It’s been over 2 years since I started training at SBG mainline and I’ve never regretted joining. I learned a lot and had a lot of fun.


I joined 3 months ago not knowing what to expect or if I would last but instead I look forward to every single session and cant wait to get onto the mat at SBG Manchester.

The gym has such a great environment to learn from which is all down to the outstanding coaching, whether your at beginner or pro level.
I have gained so much confidence in training and my fitness has really excelled from learning proper technique, motivation and working on fundamentals of each class taught by the best blackbelt BJJ and MMA coaches in the business.


Without a doubt the best mixed martial arts gym in the north of England. I have trained at numerous facilities and i can honestly say nothing even comes close to the tuition on offer at SBG Mainline. Firstly the level of the instructors is without equal. You have numerous and legitimate black and brown belt BJJ instructors in every available session, daytime and evening. Then you have striking coaches who themselves are sucessful and very active professional fighters. Its ok some “sensai” or “master” showing you some “special moves” but these are guys who are currently competeing at a high level so they know what works and what doesn’t. The strength and conditioning coach is absolutely fantastic and also very knowledgeable when it comes to nutrition and diet…..oh and he’s a fully qualified yoga instructor. Come once and try a class and I’m 100% certain that the positive attitude shown by students and instructors alike will grip you as it has me, don’t waste your time anywhere else.

Becca Heron

I joined SBG because I was looking for a new challenge and it turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. Taught by the best coaches in the business I’ve learned so much in 8 months and feel fitter, more confident and happier than ever before. The quality of the teaching is outstanding, and the passion and commitment of everyone at the gym, both instructors and members, is an inspiration and infectious. I can’t wait to train at the end of the day and am looking forward to learning more and more as I develop my game. Truly, a fantastic place to train and learn.

Adam Crawford

Been to many gyms over the years and nothing comes close . The level of coaching is in a league of its own . For me the best part of the gym is the people involved from coaches to students . Everyone has an extreme passion to learn and help each other . Which for me personally makes me never want to miss a session . See you in the gym !!

Dr Chris Lam

There is only one fact you’ll need to know if you’re looking to start your journey into martial arts – SBG Mainline is the ONLY place you need!!!!

This is a world class facility with a world class coach. This opinion is not just my view but also the view of many commentators on the MMA scene world wide.

Karl Tanswell is a world class coach, that is Fact #2. This guy literally has been there and done it all. He is sought after on the seminar scene teaching fighters and martial artists around the world. He has been a coach to world class MMA fighters who have competed at the top level in the UFC, he has coached top Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters competing at international level. He has numerous fighters competing professionally in MMA again at international and domestic levels.


I’ve been a member of the SBG family for ten years now and I can safely say that SBG has changed my life. Apart from being an excellent facility the gym’s enthusiastic members and well-informed coaches share in a unique and healthy culture. The training methods and syllabus material are second to non and have proven results. Due to the quality of the methods employed in training, the healthy environment and the emphasis on fundamental skills as a philosophy, every single person on the mat will improve greatly rather than just a select group of individuals with more physical / athletic attributes. The SBG experience is one in which every person in the gym plays a part in every other person’s individual journey on the road to reaching their full potential. Training at SBG is always a mutually beneficial process for all those who take part.

Darren Palma

This is a place where you genuinely want to improve. Weather your a absolute beginner or an experienced competitor. The satisfaction of knowing that your getting better at something and realising that you have found something in your life that makes you almost feel that it has found you is truly rewarding and could not recommend it enough to at least try it out. The coaching ethic is at another level, they have an exceptional way of breaking down a technique into something thats easy to understand and very practical. The members here alone create an encouraging and friendly environment that makes you want to constantly improve. I could go on for ages on the benefits i have acquired here but the bottom line is that Training here feels like puzzle you dont want to end.


I decided to join after hearing about the gym from a friend and I’m pleased to say It’s lived up to expectation.
Entering this type of environment with no previous experience can be daunting as hell. However, the whole atmosphere is very welcoming, there’s zero attitude and it’s been an extremely enjoyable challenge from the word go. Coaches a very professional, knowledgeable and Inspirational. Only regret is not joining years ago!

Mark Brogan

I was looking to get fit, lose a bit of weight and I thought joining an MMA gym would be a fun way of doing it whilst learning a new set of skills along the way. So, I Googled a few MMA gyms in Manchester City Centre and I came across SBG Mainline. I was initially impressed with SBG’s perfect location (behind Piccadilly station), BJJ black-belt tuition (now there are 4 BBs in the gym which is completely unheard of) and variety of sessions taught (BJJ, muay thai, boxing, MMA, submission grappling, etc.).

The 30 day free trial was perfect as I wanted to get an idea if it was for me without having to commit. I quickly found out that SBG is a completely safe place to train with professional coaches and training partners who genuinely want to see you learn and progress.

At SBG you will get the opportunity to train alongside males/females from all ages, varying martial arts experience levels and from all different walks of life (students, accountants, builders, solicitors, plumbers, doctors, company directors, BJJ black-belts, professional MMA fighters, etc.)

SBG is not only the best MMA gym in Manchester/North-West, but arguably the whole of the UK. The MMA and BJJ competition results speak for themselves.

Whether you’re looking to get fit, lose weight, self defence, learn a new set of skills or become the next Anderson Silva – you won’t go wrong with SBG.

Everywhere Man

The coaching and instruction at SBG is on another level as far as professionalism and an intelligent approach is concerned. I have trained at many different gyms in America, Brazil and the UK and I have found SBG to be among the very best. The people there are friendly, and the serious approach to training is balanced out by the members and coaches being willing to have a laugh and make you feel at home (if you respect the people there!) I would massively recommend this gym to anyone looking to anyone looking to get in shape, all the way to people with dreams of being in the UFC.


I have trained at a number of martial arts schools around manchester over the years and can say that no other school comes close to SBG. I have been training at SBG fpr over two years and have no plans to go to any other gym. When I first joined I didn’t have a clue about BJJ, now I am a blue belt and have an obsession and passion for the art. This is all down to SBG. All the other gyms I attended I faced a number of problems included cliques, over aggressive training partners, teachers with no passion, bad techniques been taught, rip off prices were to name a few!
At SBG I haven’t faced any of these problems due to the high standards of all the coaches and staff. The head coach Karl ensures each person is taught to the highest level by other teachers, the techniques and practices are done in a safe way and above all ensures that each member is having fun! When you do a class at SBG you will be taught to the highest standards. Just check out how many mma and BJJ fighters are winning medals accross the board. The other members are also friendly and welcoming, each lesson there is a large amount of banter between the members.

Once you join SBG you will never want to leave!

Tony Riella

The gym prides itself on a no ego open door policy for all abilities,
there is a mix of recreational members and professional fighters and competitors, that said nobody is more important than anyone else.
On walking into the gym for the first time you will see no floor to ceiling mirrors to admire yourself in or unnecessary machines or equipment,
instead you’ll be drawn to the walls of articles detailing just a small section of the gym and instructor history…Yes the gym hasn’t been opened by someone after opening a kung fu movie and now knows how to fight or train people,this gym is forged on hard work and dedication of the instructors over decades.
The SBG philosophy is that ‘Tough isn’t how you act but how you train’ and this is evident when you walk into the gym,
The gym has 3 resident BJJ blackbelts and has competitors that have competed at all levels and medalled…On top of that there is a whole stable of professional fighters that compete in some of the worlds biggest MMA promotions.

If getting into shape is your goal then along side the gym has personal training programmes, this offers one to one coaching along with personalised fitness plans with achievable and realistic goals and is offered in a way that it is value for money and gimmick free.

Basically this gym has everything that you would need to achieve your goals and learn functional, tried and tested successful martial arts systems,
it doesn’t offer classes in the fabled youtube no touch knockout garbage and other mystical eastern fiction…but as mentioned before in this review if your willing to put in the hard work and leave you ego at the door you’ll learn skills that will improve your quality of life and open your eyes to the wider world.

Joel Finnan

Tuition from top level black belts, world class MMA athletes, and a friendly & clean environment to be taught in. SBG teaches functional, efficient combat in an ‘alive’ environment – the only way to learn without cheating yourself. Learning from someone as well versed in the world of martial arts as Coach Tanswell is something 99% of gyms are simply unable to deliver – skills that have been built upon from years of hard work and dedication. The experiences the gym has given me over the past 3 years have been invaluable, and my sole regret is that I haven’t been able to be there every single day!

My hiatus ends in a couple of weeks, and from the moment my last exam finishes, I’ll be living there…see you in class?


I have trained here for 10 years now having previously trained at Brazilian Top Team taking both regular private and normal group classes with a BJJ Black Belt. However, a chance trip to Manchester led to me booking some private classes with SBG. I was blown away by the coaching process compared to my previous experience. It was fundamentally different. Rather than learn a series of complex techniques, SBG instead focused upon positions and taught the very basic fundamentals of that position. For example, when passing the guard there are 5 critical things you must do. This enables you to understand both exactly what you must do, and if it doesn’t work you can figure it out for yourself.

The gym has a real mix of backgrounds and ethnicity. Professional BJJ and MMA athletes from Cage Warriors and the UFC mix with everyday professionals. There is a strong focus on beginner classes which are designed to bring people through at their own speed.

I love training here!