If you're looking to get in shape, learn how to defend yourself, or just have fun getting your sweat on with a great community of friendly people, you should consider giving Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) a try. You don't need any experience — just the willingness to learn and try new things. Your first class can be intimidating, but everyone there is supportive and willing to help you pick up the basics as quickly as possible. In just a few short weeks of taking you can see massive improvements in fitness levels and feel better able to protect yourself if the need ever arises. Plus, all of this comes along with a fun, laid-back atmosphere that makes sure class is always enjoyable no matter how hot and sweaty it gets!


BJJ, Choke, Self-Defense
Owner and BJJ Black Belt, Jake Klipp, giving students some extra tips after class!

BJJ is an all-inclusive martial art.

BJJ is one of the most popular martial arts out there and has been described as an "all-inclusive" style of fighting. This means that anyone can practice it, regardless of their age, size, or strength level. More importantly, it’s not a sport that requires you to be in peak physical condition—you don't have to worry about being in shape before you start training. If you're new to exercise or haven't been active for a long time and are worried about getting started with a traditional gym routine (or any other type of exercise), BJJ might be the perfect thing for you!


As an added bonus: if your goal is self-defense rather than competition fighting—like many people who take up BJJ —you'll learn some important skills along the way. Learning how to defend yourself against someone bigger or stronger than yourself can serve as an excellent confidence boost while teaching valuable lessons about how best to handle certain situations safely in real-life scenarios. Violence isn't necessary in all self-defense cases but may still arise unexpectedly despite our best efforts. Partaking in activities like BJJ can help prepare us mentally should this ever happen.


It will teach you to keep a clear mind.

The practice of BJJ teaches you to keep a clear mind and focus on the task at hand. A lot of people get overwhelmed by the complexity of their daily lives and forget to enjoy themselves or even breathe. BJJ is an excellent way to learn how to stay calm during stressful situations because it's all about learning how not to panic when things get rough. If you're feeling nervous about your next class, try taking a moment before class begins and focus on your breath. This will help center yourself so that when you start rolling around with someone else, they won't be able to distract you with their words or movements.


You'll get a great workout in.

As with all martial arts, BJJ is a full-body workout that will burn calories and build muscle. It's an excellent way to improve your cardiovascular fitness. You'll also improve your core strength and flexibility by engaging the muscles that support the spine, as well as the shoulders, lower back, hips, and legs. As you learn how to engage different muscle groups at once—for example when you're trying to get out of a chokehold—you'll strengthen all those important areas of your body at once too!


BJJ will also help you develop balance, coordination, and agility by having you move quickly between stances while maintaining stability on one leg or both feet simultaneously (depending on what position you're in). This kind of training helps improve reflexes while building up these important skills over time-- again making this practice one worth taking part in regularly!


You'll learn how to protect yourself.

BJJ is an effective and practical way to learn self-defense. You'll get to practice a comprehensive set of skills that will help you stay safe. This is especially important for women, as BJJ teaches techniques that can protect someone, regardless of size or strength.


It's not just for the guys!

While it is true that BJJ is largely practiced by men, women can become successful in the sport. In fact, many female athletes have gone on to be champions in BJJ tournaments. The truth is that anyone can learn jiu-jitsu and practice it as much as they want. Most people who practice BJJ will tell you that it's one of the most rewarding things they've ever done.


You'll gain confidence in yourself and your abilities.

Confidence is a powerful thing. It can help you succeed in life, your career, and your relationships. Confidence can also help you in your physical fitness and mental health. Everyone has something about themselves that they need to work on improving, but when it comes to BJJ (and martial arts in general), everyone starts at the same level. In BJJ class everyone is learning together, and no one is judging anyone else for their skills or lack thereof. This makes it easier for people who are shy or nervous around new people because they don't feel as though they need to impress anyone or try too hard at all—they just have fun practicing new skills with their teammates!


BJJ has many benefits and is a lot of fun!

BJJ is a great way to get in shape. BJJ will also help you improve your hand-eye coordination and balance, which are skills that can be transferred into many other areas of life outside of the gym. Additionally, you'll have access to the best instructors and training partners in the world (like us!) who can help you reach new heights in your fitness goals.


If you're thinking about taking up a martial art, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a great choice. It's an all-inclusive sport that allows anyone of any age or gender to participate. Plus, it will teach you how to keep a clear mind and protect your body in dangerous situations. The classes can be intense, but they will give you a great workout and help build confidence in yourself and your abilities. Finally, if competition isn't your thing, you can still enjoy BJJ for its physical and mental benefits without ever having to step on the mats!

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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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