Introduce yourself.My name is Jake Klipp. I'm 32 years old. I'm married to a beautiful girl (Anne) and we have a wonderful and destructive son (Ander) that I intend to mold into a Jiu Jitsu world champion (but only if he loves it). Or a pirate.. Or a poet... I want him to be happy and to have options. I am a United States Marine Corps combat veteran and a graduate from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. I fight professionally in the Welterweight (170 lbs) division in Mixed Martial Arts. I received my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu bown belt from Henry Matamoros in May of 2014.
Tell us about your background.I started wrestling when I was 5 years old in Baraboo, WI and I didn't stop wrestling until midway through my freshman year of college. After spending my high school football career as a defensive back, I played outside linebacker in a semi-professional football league for four years, and even spent a camp with the Wisconsin Wolfpack, which was Madison's professional arena football team. I got cut after our last practice. Still bitter... I have been studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Henry Matamoros since 2008. I have competed in wrestling and Jiu Jitsu tournaments across the country, and have placed and won at many, including my purple belt division at 205 lbs at NAGA most recently. I began my BJJ career weighing 245 lbs and winning the heavyweight bracket at the Combat Corner Grappling Championships. I am currently a top 10 grappler at 170 lbs in Wisconsin. At that rate I should be entering the UFC in 2020 in their new 95 lbs division. Just kidding. I'm also a grey belt in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, and have studied and competed in Kickboxing under Eric Alvarez and Adam Vanderveen for five years. I am the head coach of Pura Vida BJJ's fight team, which consists of 20 amateur and 6 professional fighters.
What drew you to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?My brother-in-law was staying with us for a week and I needed to find something for the two of us to do. I had always heard that BJJ was a lot like wrestling, and I knew that we could get a free week of classes at the Matamoros School of Jiu Jitsu, so I called and set us up for our trial run. I showed up expecting to push people around and these little guys were spinning circles around me, choking me and submitting me with ease! I also thought everyone would be a tough guy, ready to fight, which was not the case at all. Everyone was really cool. Really nice. That's a reflection on the instructor, and we always try to make sure to have the same atmosphere at Pura Vida. I was hooked after that first class, and ran out to buy my gi that night. It was blue. People say Jiu Jitsu is chess on the mat, and that's totally true. It is so much more complex than I expected. I kind of feel like I'm wrestling and solving a Rubix cube at the same time. I have always loved wrestling and felt like I had this strong grappling foundation that I had built a nice, sturdy house out of. When I found Jiu Jitsu it was like opening the front door of the house and realizing there was an entire world outside to explore.
For many Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has lead to a love of MMA. What do you love about MMA?I don't! I hate it and am terrified of it and cringe when I think about doing it! It scares me and makes me sweat in my dreams. It's the hardest thing a person can do. So that's why I do it. And all of that hate and fear and apprehension gets squeezed into this tiny ball that I hide in the back of my brain while I train and compete. I love the battle. The respect we fighters have for each other. Something I didn't expect when I got into this lifestyle was that the people who do it are not actually these mindless brute tough guys. Everyone is really respectful and friendly. I didn't get it. Why weren't these people the mean-mugging toughs I saw on TV? Then I had my first fight. That cage door clanging shut made it real. The only way out when that door slams shut is to give up in front of everyone, to quit… or to fight. There is no easy way out, once the door shuts. You fight or you quit. And I've never been able to quit. After the final bell rings, you and that guy you just fought went through an experience together that 99.9% of the population won't be able to understand. The respect is there. That's what I love. Being afraid. Doing it anyway.
My aim is to lead by example. I fight with honor and respect, the same way I expect my students to fight. I love coaching and I love leading this team. My philosophy on leadership can be summed up in two words: "Follow me." Watch out for big things from Pura Vida fighters coming up soon!
Who are your inspirations?I'm inspired by the average guys who none of you have ever heard of. The guys who win half of their fights, but keep fighting. The underdog, but not the one that triumphantly beats the odds. I'm inspired by the guy who loses, but keeps fighting anyway. The guy down two rounds to none, taking a beating in the third, but still swinging away, or fighting off the submission until the final bell. Knowing you've lost, but fighting anyway. Those are the guys I imagine never have a hard time looking themselves in the mirror day in and day out. I admire the workers. The grinders.
What would you say to someone that is thinking about coming into the gym?Oh, man. Come in. You're going to fit in. We'll welcome you, we'll help you reach a level you don't think you have. If you're trying to become a pro fighter, we can help. If you want to join a family, join ours. If you're looking for that workout that sucks the life out of you and leaves you gasping for air, it's here. If you have no athletic aspirations, but hate your job, come forget about it for a couple of hours with us. There is no excuse you can possibly come up with that will justify waiting. We call ourselves Pura Vida because when you're here, you can't help but live the pure life. There is no drama in the dojo. No hate or anger. All of your problems get left at the door, because if you bring them onto the mats you're gonna get choked! It's hard to spend time worrying about rent or traffic jams or a mid-term or whether some boy or girl will ask you out… you can't think about that stuff when you're in the gym because you're so hyper-focused on Jiu Jitsu. If I'm fighting off a choke, I can promise you that I'm thinking only about that choke! Your body will feel better. Your mind will be challenged. Your spiritual and emotional self will grow. Getting away from the stresses of life is life, and you'll get to feel that on your first day!
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