Tell me about yourself: My name is Jake and I’m a first degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’m a competitive athlete and with my wife Marie, owner at True Believer Jiu Jitsu.
I moved to 7 houses in 6 states by the time I was 13 so I’ve always had this new kid/outsider mentality in anything I do. I had to create my own world and fun as a kid and once I found hardcore music, I found a group of outsiders who made our own world. Whether it was touring in bands, putting out records or opening venues, the only thing we are limited by is what we aren’t willing to learn. I learned that through punk and hardcore music and the strong communities that surrounded them. I try to take that DIY mentality in everything I do.
What made you want to start a clothing line: I own a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu academy in Pittsburgh. We are part of the world-famous Grappling Fight Team. We run multiple classes a day from beginners to competitive athletes. We have helped our athletes be able to compete and win at the highest level including in 2020, we had our first home grown world champion.
I first, just fell in love with training Jiu Jitsu. It to me is still the most peaceful part of my day. I always feel comfortable training and for a guy who grew up feeling as an outcast, I wanted to create the most welcoming training environment I could so that more people would experience the same positive life impact I had through training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
What keeps you driven: I’m a very goal-oriented person and I still love competing. I’m driven also to create champions in the sport. Being a small part in a person’s victories is a great feeling. I am also driven to create and maintain a lifestyle where ultimately my work will determine my direct success and comfort.
Who or what do you look to for inspiration: I think everyone inspires me just by getting through their day at some base level. My life has been extraordinarily blessed and privileged, and sometimes I have a hard time just getting through a day. That fact alone, we all can find the meaning and effort on a daily basis is inspiring to me.
I look to other people for inspiration constantly. I also try to keep a white belt mentality and understand everyone has something to offer if you’re open to it. The people who train at my school are all amazingly talented both on and off the mats, and they inspire me to challenge myself constantly.
As far as a level of what inspires me most, those are things in my city ran by people I think are sick. I think Pittsburgh has the best gym, Cellis Fitness Center and its owners Ryan and Dana are always a source of guidance for me. (Check them out on IG @cellis.fitness) Jason Cook, my longest friend owns a sick Guitar repair and lesson center. (Check him out on IG @backstageguitars). I truly think the best record store in the country is in Pittsburgh at @preservingunderground ran by my longtime friend AJ.
Also, I’m constantly inspired by people who are so good at things it makes me feel bad at things I’m good at. My friend Mike is also a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu and is a sick tattoo artist and car painter. Check his stuff out on IG @mikehluhanart
What is the future for True Believer: I hope to keep learning, remember that all of it can go away in a blink and try to be forever grateful that I get to enjoy my career and be surrounded by great & talented people. I think if we keep pushing that idea in working to be excellent and present in what we do, we will have more of the success that we have been having.
Where can we find you: True Believer Jiu Jitsu is in the Northside of Pittsburgh, PA. We share space with the world famous Cellis Fitness Center and we love visitors!
Website : www.Gfteampgh.com