Updated: Mar 30

Feb 19, 2022 – BJJ seminar with “The Don” Henry Matamoros. Henry is a 4th-degree blackbelt under Pedro Sauer and Rickson Gracie. He is Wisconsin’s first blackbelt and Jake and Zak’s professor. He taught a really fun open-guard seminar, where he showed some techniques for how he uses it and explained why he plays the way he does. The OGs went out for a fun dinner at Bollywood Grill afterward, where Jake and Zak discovered their limits for spicy food! Some well-earned promotions were done before the seminar. Ian Richards, Vince O’Leary, Johnny Geiszler, and Brian Sullivan are our newest blue belts. Nick Klein finally tied his purple belt on. And Pura Vida BJJ & MMA’s very first home-grown black belt was earned by Mike Waltz! An amazing day, and some noteworthy accomplishments by some of our own!

Feb 26, 2022 – Fuji Tournament. The Pura Vida BJJ & MMA competition grappling team showed up and showed out! Led by Coach Courtnie Korpela, with an assist from Coach Omar Choudhury, we had 12 competitors take home 17 medals at this very competitive tournament. Some of the highlights include double golds for Mauricio Rodriguez, excellent performances from two of our teens – Hollis Nelson and Wyatt Moxom, Miro Stojanivic stepping up a weight class to challenge himself, and a tidy podium sweep of the men’s intermediate division by Edwin, Brooks Beffa, and Johnny Geiszler! Always great seeing our students take on the challenge of competition and winning just makes it taste a little sweeter!

BJJ Tournament
PV Students Dustin Diebitz, Johnny Geiszler, Mauricio Rodriguez, Edwin Jimenez-Perez, Hollis Nelson, Brooks Beffa, Anthony Sherman, and Nick Hepting, and Coach Courtnie Korpela

Mar 11, 2022 – Pure FC 22 in Stevens Point. We had two of our fighters enter the cage up in Point, and we walked out with two wins! Dylan Diebitz, with a focus on showing improvement in his striking, took a kickboxing fight two weight classes up at heavyweight. He was very methodical, and worked head and body well, before earning a second-round TKO. And the show-stealer, Bob “Hollywood” Sexton, took a fight on 24 hours’ notice against a local fighter with 9 fights under his belt! 37-year-old Bob is a full-time realtor (The Bob Sexton Team on Facebook), who had planned to come work the show as staff. He won his fight with an amazing head kick KO, moving his record to 2-1! We appreciate Bob, and we want to give a special thanks to his wife, Chrissy, for supporting him and loving him (even when he makes decisions to compete on 24 hours’ notice that she may or may not agree with)!

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12/18/2021 – Year end award announcements: Pura Vida BJJ & MMA would like to congratulate the following award winners: Rookie Grappler of the Year – Dustin Deibitz. Rookie Striker of the Year – Olivia Griepentrog. Rookie Fighter of the Year – Linzy Hudson. Most Improved Grappler of the Year – Nick Dawson. Most Improved Striker of the Year – Krista Bowens. Most Improved Fighter of the Year – Jordan Clark. Grappler of the Year – Nolan Phalin. Striker of the Year – Ben Schauer. Fighter of the Year – Wes Schultz. Adam Vanderveen Award – Josh Ruiz. Thank you for your hard work, and we look forward to seeing who wins in 2022!

No-Gi BJJ Class

1/11/2022 – We had a special and impromptu no-gi BJJ class when all four of our grappling coaches teamed up to teach a class together! First degree BJJ blackbelts Jake Klipp, Zak Ottow and Courtnie Korpela and BJJ brownbelt Mike Waltz all taught various guard passes to a group of forty-five students in our Tuesday night advanced class. With over 65 years of grappling experience between the four of them, it was a special and fun night for the students who happened to show up! We love seeing the melding of the minds that goes on between our coaches, and watching the way they built techniques upon each other’s techniques was a really fun experience.

1/15/2022 – Two of the members of our fight team competed on the IGNITE FIGHTS card in Austin, MN and both came away with impressive submission victories! Joe Boyle made his amateur debut against an experienced kickboxer and BJJ bluebelt. After a too-close-to-call first round, Joe showed off his grappling work with a great sweep and some aggressive ground and pound in the second round, clearly winning it on the scorecards. He then dominated the third round, and finished by taking his opponent down and submitting him via RNC! Congratulations to Joe “Slim Reaper” Boyle on winning his first! Gym leader and MMA pioneer Zak “The Barbarian” Ottow closed the show with his main event fight. Looking to become the first member of the Pura Vida BJJ & MMA fight team to hit 20 wins, Zak was methodical in his victory. His opponent was a veteran of 17 pro fights and came out aggressive early. Zak rode the wave, landing opportunistic punches and elbows and he got a feel for the flow of the fight. After opening up a cut over his opponent’s eye, Zak latched onto an arm-in guillotine that he had setup earlier in the round. His opponent tried to slam his way out, but The Barbarian wouldn’t be denied! Big congratulations to Zak on moving his professional record to 20-7!

Coach Jake Klipp, Prof. Henry Matamoros, Coach Zak Ottow

*DATE CHANGE* 2/19/2022 – Don’t miss our upcoming seminar with the legendary Henry “The Don” Matamoros! Henry is a 4th degree blackbelt under Pedro Sauer and Rickson Gracie. He is Wisconsin’s first BJJ blackbelt, and a true pioneer in the Midwest’s MMA and BJJ scenes. Henry developed a unique Open Guard system, and demonstrated it’s effectiveness in over 60 professional MMA and NHB (No Holds Barred) bouts. He brings an extremely fun style of grappling, and a truly hilarious delivery with his instruction. Some of you may already know the origins of our gym’s name, but for those who do not – “Pura Vida” translates to “pure life” but more accurately reads as “the good life” and is the national saying in Costa Rica, which is where Henry was born. We wanted to honor Henry by paying homage to his motherland with the name of our gym. And If you don’t know, now you know!

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Updated: Jan 20

Sierra Brown is a 25-year-old veteran, radiography student, and mother to a 3-year-old boy. "Oh, he loves that I train MMA," she said, "he'll definitely be training here when he turns 5!" Sierra joined Pura Vida in early January 2021 and dove right in. "I've been interested in MMA since I saw [UFC Fighter] Dominick Cruz on the Joe Rogan podcast. I started watching fights and thought, "yeah, I want to do that.'" After her cousin, Dre, a member of the Pura Vida BJJ fight team, invited her to try a class, she was hooked. "I actually ended up in one of the advanced BJJ classes by accident, but no one made me feel embarrassed or out of place. They just helped me with the drills and made me feel welcomed. That same evening, someone put me in a triangle choke just so I could see what it felt like. It was intense! I wasn't expecting it to be that intense but it was actually pretty awesome to experience it right away." Since then, she's been training regularly and advancing in her skills quickly; Mixed Martial Arts has become a real passion for her. "If I don't get to make it to a class, I get super crabby," she laughed, "so I make it to class as often as I can." She also recognizes how important her training is in terms of her future. "I certainly can see fighting as a career. I want to fight a LOT. Women have a lot of opportunities in this space." Her membership here has also greatly helped her further her general health and fitness goals and the community and atmosphere are a big reason that she's loved attending classes. "Everyone is really positive, they all give pointers, and I haven't met anyone who has a chip on their shoulder or a mean-spirited attitude. The coaches are really great - you get a lot of individual attention and instruction and they meet you at your level." It's been especially refreshing for her, as a woman, to find this kind of environment in an MMA gym. "I had read reviews on other gyms and was a little nervous about it," she said, "but there's a lot of professionalism here and a lot of respect in general. I don't feel like I’m treated any different because I'm a woman. And the other women who train here are all awesome - everyone's just cool." What would be her words of advice to someone considering the gym? "Definitely come in and give it a shot! The coaches will help you and guide you; I didn't even know how to throw a punch in January and now I can't see my life without this!"

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