The Funky Monkey (MMA) Mixed Martial Arts News Combat Column featuring Pro MMA competitor, Jake Klipp
Meet professional middleweight MMA competitor, Jake Klipp. Holding a professional record of 2-1 Jake will look to continue his climb to the top in the near future. But before he does that, Jake will step into the FunkyMonkeyMMA.com Combat Column to answer some questions about his journey as a martial artist. Step behind the curtain and enter the world of a professional mixed martial artist.
1. How did you get in to the sport?
I wrestled for 14 years. From age 5 through my freshman year in college, I wrestled. So that was a huge part of how I identified myself growing up. Then life took me in a different direction. I was in the Marine Corps. I was lifting weights and playing football. I was working a real, grown-up job. I was missing something. At 26 I finally walked into a BJJ gym in town, and immediately fell in love with the sport/martial art. I sort of “found” what was missing. There were a small group of us training under our instructor, Henry Matamoros, who were into fighting and tough guy stuff. We went through a sort of natural progression, learning striking and planning out fights until we all started taking these amateur fights. And winning them. I think our group started off knocking down 9 wins in a row or something.
2. What’s your favorite strike/submission to use in any fight?
My Tae Kwon Do instructor, Jason Strezlecki is teaching me some wicked stuff. I got my yellow belt a month or so ago. Did a side kick in my last fight. NBD.
3. Who is your biggest inspiration?
I take inspiration for different parts of my life from different people. My wife is as hard working and motivated person as I know. She pushes me to excel. My instructor, Henry… he really inspired the mindset my partner and I have with our gym. The entire culture at our place comes from the vibes Henry taught us. I deployed to Iraq back in 2004/2005 and worked under a Major named Sean Sullivan. Super good guy. Haven’t seen him in quite awhile, but he was a leader I really looked up to when I served. Luke Francois and Parker Vivoda were my wrestling coaches in high school, and I admire them both greatly.
4. Which team are you training with in preparation for your next bout?
My gym is called Pura Vida (Bjj/MMA Gym). Henry Matamoros ran the Matamoros School of Jiu Jitsu is Milwaukee, WI for 17 years, and called me up in 2010. Life came up and Henry was going through some transitioning. He spent some time teaching at his friend Jeff Curran’s school and is now the head BJJ instructor at ATT Altitude in Colorado. So, anyway Henry offers me the opportunity to take over his school, and it was really a mind-blowing offer. My partner, Zak Ottow, and I have been instructing at and running Pura Vida BJJ full time ever since. Our academy is named “Pura Vida” in homage to Henry, as he is both Wisconsin and Costa Rica’s first Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blackbelt. This is my team. This is my home.
5. What is your favorite aspect of MMA? (grappling, striking, clinch work, etc.)
I was a wrestler for many years. I’ve been a Jiu Jitsu fighter for many years. And working with our head striking coach, Nick Trost, has made me into a decent striking fighter as well. My favorite part? Tough to say. Every fight would give me a different answer. Whichever one I’m feeling most confident in on a given day. Today, my favorite aspect of MMA is striking. We’ve been having some good strategy and planning sessions the last few days, us coaches. Tomorrow the answer might change.
6. What does it mean (for you) to be a fighter?
I’ve always tried to live my life a certain way. When something sounds tough, I want to do it. ‘The obstacle is the path’ and all that. Right now, fighting is the toughest thing I can imagine doing. So I do it. I lead a team of fighters, and I like being able to stand in front of them, tell them to do a thing, and have them know I’ve done it first. My leadership style has never been “Do this.” It’s always been “Follow me.”
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