“Pura Vida” literally translates as Pure Life, but the real meaning is closer to “Life is good.” It is a saying that represents the philosophy of life in the country of Costa Rica, and it is the name we chose for our studio in honor of our instructor, Henry Matamoros, and the vibe that we’ve cultivated in our gym.

Pura Vida BJJ & MMA was founded in 2010, and is operated by Jake Klipp and Zak Ottow. We have three training spaces, including an 1,880 sq ft matted grappling room, an 18 foot hexagonal cage we use to train and for MMA competitions, and a striking room with Thai bags, round bags, speed bags, weights and cardio equipment. Our gym has a restroom and a separate shower, as well as lockers (bring your own locks). We are located in downtown Milwaukee, WI on 1st and Walker, one block south of National Ave.

We trace our lineage through BJJ 3rd degree Black Belt Henry Matamoros, Pedro Sauer, and Rickson and Helio Gracie. We focus on a dynamic and flowing open guard system that was taught to us by Sensei Matamoros, and all of our technique is geared toward competition in MMA and pure self-defense. Our gym is a welcoming environment where students of any age and experience are always welcome to come in and train. Pura Vida BJJ & MMA has two main focuses. Our grappling program is a combination of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Folk-style Wrestling. Our striking incorporates concepts and techniques from Boxing, Kickboxing and Muay Thai. Our kid’s program features a dynamic combination of grappling and striking and we spend time with the children working on their leadership skills, specifically with our 14 leadership traits.

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