Blake is a 25-year- old Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Brown Belt under Jeff Serafin. Blake has been bodybuilding since the age of 12 and was a wrestler and football player in high school. He began his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Career in April of 2011 and is an accomplished active competitor in the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu scene in both gi and no gi. His style consists of a sophisticated open guard system accompanied by an aggressive guard passing system with pin-point pressure and swift agility. He has plans to compete in the largest tournaments around the world encompassing all types of rulesets to eventually make his way to becoming a renowned grappler.
Q&A Session Between Blake Klassman and Elite Sports
Question: What inspires you about BJJ? MMA?
Answer: What inspires me the most about bjj is how the art goes about helping anyone deal with any issues they may have in their life. Whether you have a good, bad, mediocre day—it doesn’t matter! Bjj is the perfect supplement to life regardless. The journey through bjj has its highs and lows allowing us to all grow as martial artists and as people. Not only is it an amazing work out, but jiu jitsu has become a lifestyle for me. Ever since I started training, my diet, lifting, thoughts and free time all revolve around and share the common ground of bettering myself in jiu jitsu. No other martial art or activity can really simulate what jiu jitsu brings to the table. I truly believe jiu jitsu can be for everyone and starting the art can be life’s greatest epiphany
Question: Who inspires you, past or present? Why do they inspire you?
Answer: My dad has always been my biggest supporter through my years as an athlete. Whether it be baseball, soccer, wrestling, football or jiu jitsu—he always encourages me to prosper and would be right there watching closely anytime I would go out and compete. He is the one that taught me how to properly lift weights when I was at a young age and gave me the guidance I needed to be the best athlete I could be. Other inspirations are my friends and teammates who continue to support me and push me to be the best competitor I can be—especially my coach Jeff Serafin who has been a fantastic mentor to all of us at our academy (Fit 2 Defend) and never misses a competition to go coach his students. My team at Fit 2 Defend is exceptionally inspiring because there was a point where our previous instructor, Scott Goddard (3rd degree Jean Jacques Machado black belt), unfortunately had to move to another state leaving us without a formal instructor or affiliation. During that time, we all stuck together as a team and worked together to consistently grow and better our team through that transitional period until later finding Jeff Serafin who welcomed us in with open arms. That transitional period created a close bond and brotherhood for our team. The fact we were able to continue to all grow and succeed in competition without a high level instructor to lead us was very inspiring to me and drives me to keep going out there and representing who we are.
Question: Any major accomplishments you’ve been able to achieve in that time?
* -Fight 2 Win Pro Record 2-0
* -Wanderlust Super fight winner/$1000 Grand Prize Submission of the Night winner (by barataplata)
* -XFO Main Event Headliner (Super fight)-Won by bow n' arrow in OT
* -Grappling Games Super fight winner by submission (barataplata)
* -2x New Breed Ultimate Challenge Men's Adult 170 lb Expert No Gi Champion
* -2x New Breed Ultimate Challenge Men's Adult 170 lb Brown/Black belt Medalist
* -Combat Corner Men's Adult 170 lb Brown/Black belt Champion
* -Combat Corner Men's Adult No Gi Under 170 Medalist
* -Grappling Industries Men's Adult 170 lb Brown/Black Belt Champion
* -Multiple time IBJJF Adult Male Light and Middleweight Medalist
Question: What are your goals for this year? Next 3 years? Next 5 years?
Answer: My goal over the next 3 years is to continue to refine my skills and game to fully develop my ideal style of jiu jitsu. I want to go compete as much as possible and gather as many credentials as I can while my body is still young and in its prime years. Once I make a name for myself, my end-goal is to open up a jiu jitsu school of my own where I can dedicate my life to teaching and participating in the art. A big goal of mine over the next 3-5 years is becoming an IBJJF World Champion as well as obtaining championships in the sub-only world as well. My goal is to be the most well-rounded grappler possible that succeeds in competitions with any ruleset (points or sub-only).
Question: What do you think it takes to be a champion in your sports?
Answer: To be a champion in jiu jitsu, you need to be extremely focused and dedicated to your training inside the gym and out. You need to train at least once or twice a day (depending on your level) and supplement your training with a strict diet for optimum performance. I also believe true champions need to train gi and no gi equally as well as including all types of submissions in their game (unless training for a specific ruleset). Lastly, you have to be willing to push yourself past your limits daily and train hard because it is not any easier out there on the spotlight. Nothing clicks when you step on the mat in competition; you fight how you train.
Question: How long have you been training?
Answer: I have been training for just under six years.
Question: Is there any difference b/w your common days’ diet and during competition training diet?
Answer: Consuming a balanced meal containing carbohydrates, proteins, and fats about 1-2 hours before training/competition – is what you’re after. You certainly don’t have a huge meal. In fact, that could be counterproductive. So, the idea here is to find meals that don’t cause stomach distress, meals that make the athlete feel energetic, and meals that help maintain blood sugar.
Question: How often do you train?
Answer: I train at least once a day during the week while I work and sometimes twice a day if it’s on the weekends.
Question: How do martial arts help to build a leader?
Answer: It develope more confidence in me and sense of responsibility.
Question: Do you have a go-to finishing move?
Answer: Heel hook
Question: 9.What sort of gear do you usually keep in your gym bag before hitting the gym? Do you have different items for specific days?