Interview with Budo Jake Black Belt and co-founder of Budo Videos, host of This Week In BJJ, and Rolled Up the best and only live bjj shows online. These are our favorite shows to learn technique, rules, and more about the competitors and whats happening in jiu jitsu, the interview below is awesome, Budo Jake has a lot of awesome things to say on rules, points, training, and has a great perspective!
Check it out:
The Jiu Jitsu: First off let me say thanks again for the awesome opportunity to interview you, if you could just introduce yourself very briefly?
Budo Jake: My name is Jake McKee but most people know me as Budo Jake. I’ve trained martial arts my whole life and I’ve been fortunate enough to build my life around my passions. I’m the co-founder of Budovideos.comwhere we produce the best BJJ & grappling instructionals, sell all kinds of gear, and also we do live broadcasts for IBJJF, ADCC and other events. I’m a BJJ black belt and I host a couple of the most popular BJJ shows – Rolled Up & This Week in BJJ. You can find them on YouTube or iTunes.
The Jiu Jitsu: When did you find bjj, and what about it made you so passionate and jiu jitsu your life?
Budo Jake: Like many others, I first saw it in 1993 when I watched the first UFC on pay per view. I then went over to the Gracie Academy in Torrance and bought the Gracie in Action tapes. At that time I was training other martial arts and it wasn’t until 2005 that I started my BJJ training under Marcio Feitosa and Carlos Gracie Jr.
The thing that really grabbed me and holds my interest to today is the fact that the learning never ends. There are always new guards, new concepts, and adjustments that we can learn. I’m not saying that other martial arts are shallow, but I do think that competition breeds innovation and BJJ is always changing. I find enjoyment in learning new things, challenging myself, and staying in shape.
The Jiu Jitsu: What is one thing you would tell people that helped you excel to your black belt?
Budo Jake: Having a good teacher and training partners is paramount but I guess the main thing for me is to keep it fun. I’m always trying to expand my technical repertoire and that keeps things fresh for me. I’ve never been bored or burnt out as I can always find inspiration by analyzing my weak areas and trying to strengthen them.
The Jiu Jitsu: We hate to put you on the spot, but you’ve trained with all the best bjj competitors and had many years experience as well, do you prefer guard or passing with todays jiu jitsu?
Budo Jake: I tend to play guard more than pass but I love them both. It’s hard to get good at everything, but we can try. I think we can learn to be a better guard player by practicing our passing and vice versa.
The Jiu Jitsu: Do you think people who compete today should train rounds with points and rules?
Budo Jake: Absolutely. If you plan on competing you should be familiar with how long your matches will be (which are determined by age and rank) and you also need to be well aware of the rules. There’s no sport you can play (properly) without knowing the rules. That being said, sometimes it’s good to roll for long periods of time, then when you compete the match will seem short and your cardio (should) be fine.
The Jiu Jitsu: What do you think on the ban of the worm guard in copapodio?
Budo Jake: Well, it’s their event and they can make the rules as they see fit. I think they’re trying to do what they can to make BJJ more spectator friendly. I understand that line of reasoning. Many promotions are trying to figure out how BJJ can be more appealing for the viewers. Generally speaking however, I don’t think it’s a good idea to ban moves too early unless they are causing lots of injuries or something. The lapel guards are not brand new but they are getting much more popular recently. Because they are new, some guys don’t know how to deal with them so instead of trying to pass and risk getting swept, they just hold the position. We say the same thing with the 50/50 back in 2008. Now, guys are much better at escaping the 50/50. I think we can clearly see that the BJJ athletes have evolved and have learned to deal with the new position. Sure, there will always be guys who stall and I am in favor of penalizing stalling more quickly. Nevertheless, I think we should be slow to ban moves as we risk the evolution of BJJ.
The Jiu Jitsu: Do you have anything to say on the subject of 50/50 and stalling in bjj?
Budo Jake: I like the new IBJJF rule where the double guard pull will be timed and after 20 seconds of inactivity they will be stood up. It’s a bit of a slippery slope though. BJJ is a very strategic art and not all matches can be super exciting “wars”. Sometimes when too evenly matched opponents face each other it can be a slow strategic battle. I can appreciate a slow match, but not every viewer can. How much should we cater to the ever-shortening attention span of the viewer? Helio Gracie once fought for over 3 hours! Very few people nowadays would be able to sit through that. Of course we all want to see exciting matches, I just think we have to be careful about losing the essence of the art in favor of “excitement” for the viewers.
The Jiu Jitsu: You made a DVD on inverting “going upside down” do you think that in todays bjj inverting should be considered a “fundamental,” and taught at white belt?
Budo Jake: No I don’t think white belts need to learn to invert – unless they want to. In the beginning there are much more important things to learn. The reason I made the DVD is because I heard so many people say things like “oh I could never do that” or “that upside down stuff is not for me”. I taught a couple seminars on the topic and found that with proper instruction almost anyone could invert. On the DVD I teach inversion via many different drills with the main purpose to be to invert to recover your guard. Not everyone wants to hang out upside down but a simple quick inversion can make the difference between your guard getting passed or not. I’d say blue belt would be a good time to look into inverting.
The Jiu Jitsu: Who are some of your favorite competitors to watch and study from seeing as you’ve trained with so many great faces?
Budo Jake: There’s not enough space to give a list of names of competitors I like to watch but I think if you get familiar with athletes “games” you can get more enjoyment out of watching them compete. Everyone knows the Miyao brothers are going to go for the berimbolo so then you can enjoy watching how their opponents try to stop that from happening. Similarly, you can also watch to see how they force their opponents into their game. What I’m saying is I like to see how athletes can lure their opponents into their traps. There is so much to learn from watching competition. It’s much more than just watching who wins and who loses.
The Jiu Jitsu: Lastly, what is one thing you would say to the bjj beginner?
Budo Jake: Find a good, respectable teacher, don’t worry about what color belt you’re wearing, train on a consistent schedule, and have fun. Wait, that was more than one thing wasn’t it.
The Jiu Jitsu: Thanks again for the awesome opportunity and is there any one you’d like us to thank or anything you’d like us to mention?
Budo Jake: I just want to thank you, the reader, for being part of the worldwide BJJ community. It’s a wonderful art, it’s a deep art, and there are many different reasons why people train. Some do it for the health benefits, some do it for the competitions, some do it for self-defense, others do it for MMA. Many of us have different ideas of “what” BJJ is. We should celebrate our differences as the various training methods and philosophies keep BJJ healthy, varied, and interesting.