Tuesday, July 3, 2012


I'm pretty sure we said something about making this a really cool and regular thing, and, check it it, we came thru again.  Grapplers, we're pleased to offer our 4th installment of The Grappler's Interrogatories, featuring those same 11 questions, this time posed to Budo Jake [McKee], co-founder of Budo Vidoes.  We all know has set the industry standard as the best in of BJJ gear (including kimonos), equipment, apparel, DVDs and books.  And, as an organization, Budo's extremely active in helping propel and grow the sport of BJJ/submission grappling.  Case in point, their live streaming of IBJJF Worlds, Pan,
No-Gi Worlds and ADCC Finals.  More so, these guys walk the walk and we're stoked they participated.

At this point, we'll spare you another explanation and let you get right into it.  Enjoy.  And, many thanks to Jake for taking the time to have fun with us.  You get extra points for answering question 7 correctly.  Mullet.  Always mullet.


1. How did you get your start in BJJ ?
I've been involved in martial arts training for 25 years now. I've always been fascinated by the arts. I didn't start BJJ until I was 30 and funny enough, it was my wife that urged me to go with her! She had to quit (due to a medical reason) but I was hooked early on and haven't looked back. Now I'm a 3 stripe brown belt and train as often as I can, both at Gracie Barra America, at Budo HQ, and wherever we may be filming an episode of one of our shows.

2. How did Budo get its start?
I lived in Japan from 1999-2002 and was spending all of my hard earned yen on martial arts media that I couldn't find back in the states. I started to think, there had to be more people like me who are looking for this stuff! So when I moved back to So Cal my long time friend - Budo Dave - and I put our heads together and started the company. Mainly we imported products from Japan in the beginning before branching out into carrying almost every brand of BJJ kimonos, creating our own web shows, DVDs, and live broadcasts.

3. How has your experience in BJJ influenced your approach to Budo as a business?
My training philosophy parallels our company philosophy in that I think we should always be improving. You can never settle for the status quo. There are always ways to improve.
4. Do you have any advice for someone who has a business idea in a niche market like yours?
Do it because you love it. When any entrepreneur calculates his hourly wage in the beginning it's ridiculous. The amount of time you have to devote to getting something going is ridiculous.

5. Favorite BJJ Fighter of All Time?
Tough question! At the top of my mind right now is the man that made the 2012 worlds so damn exciting. Buchecha. He never quit, was always looking to finish, and beat the odds. He's the man right now.

6. Closed Guard, Open Guard or Fancy Guard?
Fancy guard, lol. The main reason I train & compete is because I enjoy it. Of course the basics are the most important, but I like to keep up to date with the new moves. The innovations in jiu-jitsu keep it fresh and exciting.

7. Fauxhawk, Mohawk, Mullet or Fabio?
Mullet. Business in the front and party in the back. I'm not the guy who can rock one, but my hat goes off to the guys that can do it well. lol.

8. Fight/Board Shorts, Vale Tudo Shorts, or Spats (i.e., tights)?
Fight shorts. If for nothing else, you can wear them outside without looking ridiculous. If it's really cold I will wear some spats, but only occasionally.

9. Triangle, RNC, Armbar or Other?  If other than triangle, please explain.
Omoplata. There are so many variations and it's great for smaller guys (like myself) to use against bigger guys.

10. What Animal Best Defines You as a Grappler (e.g., I am like a snail.  I am slow and get smashed a lot)?  Note:  Answering with Fictional Animals (e.g., Unicorns, Sasquatch) Not Permitted.
Octopus. I like to stay busy with my hands and feet. I prefer squeezing more than pushing and pulling.

11. Favorite Gracie?  If other than Rickson, please explain.
There are so many amazing people in the Gracie family that have been kind to spend time with me. The one who I've spent the most time with has been Carlos Gracie Jr. I feel like a lot of people don't know him very well. He's known for his business acumen but little else. What I admire about him is twofold. First, he has done a great job of delegating. Most business people want to take all the credit (and power) for themselves. Carlos however has put a lot of capable people in place to manage his businesses. He's created a lot of jobs through his efforts. Secondly, is his passion for the sport. He's in his 50's but still trains BJJ almost every day in addition to swimming, hiking, and eating well. Whenever I'm on the mat with him I see him rolling with high level guys - even world champs. There are not many people in his position (in any martial art) that are willing to spar with tough guys in public like that. The older guys in class have no excuse not to train hard when Carlos is there leading by example.

1 comment:

  1. It's cool to learn that a powerhouse like Budo videos is run by an experienced fellow grappler and not just some suit in it for the $.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.