What is SBG Berkeley?

The Bay Area’s #1 MMA Gym!

SBG Berkeley offers classes, training and coaching for all ages and levels in mixed martial arts (MMA), kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, functional fitness, kettlebell training, and conditioning. It’s been our lifelong dream to run a gym and we think of our students as an extension of our family.

Ready to join our tribe? Click here to get started.

Straight Blast Gym Berkeley / ModCom MMA is a member of Straight Blast Gym International and was formed by Alan and Lily Pagle in 2002. Our philosophy is based on our firm conviction that learning and growth – both physical and mental – can take place at any age or from any starting point. All that is required is good coaching and a supportive environment where you can learn skills and enjoy training. That’s what we provide and that makes consistency on your part easy! We’re ready to help you reach your training goals. Click here to start your journey.

Boxing Boot Camp

Prepare to sweat! The 45-minute Boxing Boot Camp is an intense and challenging but fun way to learn boxing skills and fundamentals, boost your metabolism and cardiovascular fitness and improve coordination. Students work drills on heavy bags; perform conditioning exercises; work hand pads and mitts in the ring and cover all functional areas of boxing fitness.

Straight Blast Blog


  • I met Alan in January 2012 at age 40. I told him I wanted to learn how to box. In most gyms, I would have been shuffled to a cardio kickboxing class and not taken seriously. Alan took me seriously but didn’t throw me in over my head. He set up a training regimen that brought me along safely and smartly while challenging me and pushing my physical limits. A year later I’m sparring, studying MMA and beginning to learn BJJ. I’m in the best shape of my adult life, following a new passion and having a lot of fun. Alan and Lily are wonderful coaches and this is the perfect place for anyone looking to achieve or even surpass their goals.

    Justin N.
  • I’ve been with ModCom since the beginning. I was off running the Fremont gym for awhile. Before I came back, I took a long sabbatical. Through it all, Lily and Alan have been great and supportive friends, wonderful coaches and training partners. I’m proud of helping to get the ball rolling and even more proud of what Alan and Lily have built. ModCom is a great place to train: wonderful people, and the perfect environment to get the most out of combat sports training.

    Jude L.
  • The gym laid the groundwork towards my overall fitness. I used to lift heavy weights until a friend of mine asked that I try out the gym. Then I realized that a 120 lb. little dude was arm barring me. I was instantly hooked. Lily, Alan, and Jude provide a safe and fun environment to train. Whatever your goals are (competing, self-defense, weight-loss), there is nothing but support from these outstanding coaches. Even when I had left the area and was injured, they sent their support and kindness that not many gyms would send after leaving. Many gyms may have a cultish feel, but ModCom is truly a family. Now, I train back east, still using the same techniques and workout drills that I learned at ModCom. Now I’m in the best shape of my life competing and doing well against people 10 years younger than me and running obstacle course races like nobody’s business. I’m truly grateful for the path that ModCom had set for me. Miss you guys.

    Michael L.
  • I came down to ModCom all the way from Canada for an SBG camp. The gym itself is amazing. Awesome atmosphere, great people. Can’t say enough good things. Can’t wait to go back. Plus, they have a cool logo.

    James P.
  • The gym vibe is magic like Berkeley. The coaches Lilly and Allen and the rest of the coaching staff know their stuff. No crazy attitude just light and love. All the love aside, this gym will teach and train you to actually win a competitive event: real training with real people at all levels.

    Kiko N.
  • Best gym ever! The vibe, training, and instructors are the best. Can’t wait ‘til mid-February to go back.

    Lewis T.
  • No egos, all humility.

    Chung V.
  • I started at ModCom in 2004 when it was just a small space near Andronico’s on University Avenue. Since then, the gym has grown, but the instruction and dedication to high level performance has stayed the same. My favorite thing about the gym are the people that make it great. The coaches are always finding the best ways to make each and every training session valuable and instructive for every student. The members are humble and helpful, everyone helps each other to train to our fullest potential. ModCom will always be my home for martial arts!

    Brent T.
  • I started training at ModCom seven years ago and in that time, I had three kids and a job with a chaotic travel schedule. I appreciated how the coaches gave me the same high level of attention and care whether I was training four times a week or four times a month. They welcomed me back when I took an extended break for graduate school and the birth of my younger kids. As life changed, I couldn’t make jiu-jitsu the priority it was before I had kids, but my relationship with the gym got stronger as my kids started training there. The great thing is that the coaches at ModCom are not only great coaches, but also great role models for me and for my kids. We recently moved away from the area and ModCom is one of the places that I and my kids miss most about Berkeley.

    Adam P.
  • I started training at ModCom about when Adam P. did. I researched the gyms in the area and chose ModCom primarily for the down to earth coaching style and the “aliveness” philosophy, which I still wholeheartedly believe in. Another aspect which makes ModCom great is it’s dedication to all students, regardless of age or ability. I think other gyms I have attended use new members like raw meat to feed their competition team. I never felt that way at ModCom. I made many great friends and respect the coaches immeasurably. I live far away now and read the posts about Boxing Bootcamp wistfully, if that is possible…

    Dan S.
  • I joined ModCom in 2008. I started my fight journey there. I also got my blue belt form them. I learned everything I could while there and still use what I learned from them to this day. I have made many friends from ModCom and if it wasn’t for ModCom I would not be the fighter/jiu-jitsu practitioner/man I am today.

    Mike H.
  • I have been bringing my son here for four years, since he was three. He graduated from the toddler to youth classes and is still loving his time at ModCom. The structure, discipline and play have been essential to his growth, both physically and emotionally. The coordination and strength he’s gained through his training has really helped his self-confidence and abilities in other sports. Really grateful for Alan and Lily’s love and dedication to the sport and their students.

    Robert P.
  • I have been training at Modern Combatives for several years and I seriously love this place. There are many reasons people train in fitness and martial arts-for fun, to get in shape, self confidence, competition, self defense. This place covers all those bases and manages to do it in a nurturing environment that’s actually fun. And the fact that the instructors/owners enjoy what they do comes through in the experience. As a result, despite having trained all over the bay area, this is the place I recommend 100% of the time when someone tells me they want to a) learn to defend themselves, b) get in shape, c) try something fun and challenging (do I really need to say all of the above?). Whichever classes you end up taking the one thing you can count on is a great workout and a lot of fun.

    Noah H.
  • If you want to learn BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), Muay Thai, Boxing, wrestling, clinchwork, or Judo then this is the place. ModCom is the only gym I know that teaches all these skills plus incorporates them for Mixed Martial Arts. This incorporates movement, timing, and appropriate progressive resistance from a training partner in all aspects of the training. This aliveness means that you discover how to make the you learn work skills work in real time. Other gyms will teach these arts but in separate classes. ModCom has a class that meshes these classes together. Its also done in an environment conducive to learning not injury. Fun not fear is a healthier way to train. No egos, and many friendly and helpful people. The owners and coaches are good down to earth people who look out for you.

    Rex B.
  • Love this place! The training is great and the people there from the coaches to the students are just plain good folk. Training at ModCom really changed my life for the better in so many ways. I think ModCom’s strength is in it’s members and overall environment. Everyone there is really nice and I feel very safe while training, the staff is great at keeping the meatheaded jerks away. The conditioning class is very good by the way and worth the price of membership by itself, which brings me to another strength, tons of different classes are here ranging from Kickboxing, to Judo, to wrestling and BJJ etc. Overall it is a great place to get a solid base for your MMA game. Even if you simply want to be fit and have good self defense skills then this is a great gym for you. I now live (outside of the Bay Area) and although I am surrounded by some of the biggest gyms in the sport of MMA I would rather be at ModCom, ModCom, I miss you.

    Chris O.
  • 3 years ago ModCom reintroduced me to the martial arts. I decided to try it out on a whim, and was instantly hooked by the challenging and supportive atmosphere, the practicality of the technique. Their methods are highly intuitive. Techniques are always performed with a live opponent, meaning one understands the practical application of it immediately. But fear not – ModCommers are some of the most relaxed, down-to-earth, civilized gym-goers I’ve met. You don’t have to worry about being manhandled by a wannabe cagefighter with something to prove. In short, it’s totally safe. The gym stresses the fundamentals of all combat sports – movement and timing. Not many gyms can get these concepts across as intuitively as ModCom. Anyone interested in beginning or continuing their journey in the martial arts would benefit from their program.

    Ahmed Z.
  • My kid is in the Youth class. We have only been going for about 7 weeks and I have seen an increase in my son’s self confidence. The environment in general is very open and welcoming. All of the instructors are patient and fun.There is no competition just fun and functional self defense.

    Alex G.
  • First off, I’m not one of their students – but I have trained with them in drop in classes and went to a few Bullshido Throwdowns (bunch of dudes from the net meet up to spar) held there. They have a nice facility. The method they coach is really, really good. Lily and Alan (the ones that run the gym) are just really good people. If i lived in Berkeley, I would totally sign up.

    Alex N.
  • ModCom is one of the few places I checked out while searching for a dojo to train in BJJ. Their instruction is very clear and precise, and there could not be the nicer people around. After a few sessions, I signed up (around August 2007).

    Mike L.