Student Spotlight: Jake Boehmann

Jake Boehmann is a waiter at Maggiano’s in SouthPark who has been training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over six years, since he was 25. He’s a purple belt who has made Great Grappling his home since January 2013. Almost immediately upon coming to GGBJJ he was nicknamed “Jake the Cake,” which has since been shortened to just “Cake.” When he’s not working you can find him at just about every single class offered at Great Grappling, where he loves training two-a-days when his schedule allows. Jake spends his time outside of BJJ with his parents and younger brother and sister, and especially loves hanging out with his German Shorthaired Pointer, Dixie.

1. Did you train BJJ prior to coming to Great Grappling? If so, where and for how long?

I got my start at Unified BJJ in Salt Lake City, Utah, which was the original school where Pedro Sauer taught. I trained there for around 3 years before moving to Rock Hill, SC, and picked my training back up at East Coast Fighter in Charlotte, NC, where I trained for several years before finding Great Grappling.

2. What sports did you play prior to training in BJJ?

I played baseball and basketball my whole life, but I’d have to say outside of BJJ my most notable skills are in beer pong. I’m really good at it.

3. Why did you decide to begin training BJJ?

I’ve always wanted to do martial arts. As a kid I idolized Karate Kid, and wanted to be a ninja. Then the UFC started getting big and I started seeing all of these submissions. I knew I wanted to learn subs and get into this style of martial arts. I researched my area of Salt Lake City to find a school and came out with two options: Jeremy Horn’s Elite Performance Gym, which is a full MMA school, or Pedro Sauer’s Unified BJJ. At the time Sauer had just been recognized with an award for being one of the best instructors in the sport and I really wanted to focus on that part of the game, so I went to check it out and really loved it from the first time I got on the mats. It was such a well run business and very friendly to beginners. It was a great place to get my start in BJJ.

4. What are your training goals?

I feel like my game and strategy has changed completely since coming to Great Grappling. My general knowledge, foundation, and basics were pretty solid from my training at Unified and ECF, but other than that sometimes it feels like I’ve gone back to the drawing board. Jeremy has shown me different strategies that have completely changed fundamental aspects of my game. Every now and then it seems like everything I felt good at prior to coming to GGBJJ I don’t get to do anymore. Working on standing up and passing has been a main focus of mine for several months, so spending this time in the open guard block has been very helpful in letting me work out some kinks. Standing hip pressure like in the motorcycle pass, working the leg drag, pretty much all of open guard is what I’ve been working on lately.

I also want to compete more frequently next year. I learned this year that what works in class doesn’t always work in competition, especially at the IBJJF level. I’d really like to do six or more tournaments next year, with a focus on the local tournaments like Newbreed and NAGA. I really want to integrate myself into the local BJJ community and get to know the players. It’s gotten personal at this point for me to medal and succeed at the local level.

5. How has grappling improved your life? It’s something that all the high level guys say about BJJ-—there’s no bullsh*tting on the mat. It’s humbling. There’s no lying to yourself or anyone else about where you stand. It shows you who you really are, and what you’re capable of. Physically, it’s helped me live a healthier life, and avoid bad habits. BJJ has gotten me into great shape.

6. What’s your favorite submission, position, or transition, and why?

I want to answer all of these.

Submission: I’ve had a romance with the armbar since the early days of watching UFC; it’s why I wanted to learn BJJ. I absolutely love dominating the arm from every position. I can’t even pick a specific armbar to say it’s my favorite. Just armbars.

Position: Mount. It’s the pinnacle of the triangle that symbolizes BJJ; it’s at the top of the pyramid. From a self-defense aspect it’s the most degrading, dominant position. The core of BJJ is position before submission, and it’s hard to go wrong from mount.

Transition: Mount to triple threat. There’s so much you can do there, and it’s a great place to get an armbar.

7. What’s your proudest BJJ-related accomplishment?

It sounds cheesy, but winning double gold at the South Carolina State Open in 2012 was a really big moment for me. Just getting out there with other guys and coming away with nothing but wins in both gi and no-gi felt great. I definitely want to experience more success in competition. Also, getting promoted to purple belt under my instructor at ECF was huge.

8. What would people be surprised to know about you?

Well, I’m 32. A lot of people tell me I look (and act) a lot younger than that, so some people are surprised to find out I’m in my 30s. Also, I was born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, so I come from a Mormon background. But probably the most surprising is that I really love taking long hot baths, especially after training. Seriously, I love a good bath.




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