Teacher, student, mentor, fighter, gym owner and coach are just a few of the words that can describe our guest for today’s interview. He is the owner and head instructor at No Limit Jiu Jitsu: Starkville in Mississippi the one and only Jae McIntosh! If the name sounds familiar, it should because he was mentioned by one of our great past guests, Jessica Dobbs as she said Jae was the man who really discovered her and helped her get to where she is now. So take a minute to not only follow one of the funniest guys on Twitter @captainchaos11 but get to know the man.
Thanks for taking the time to sit down with us Jae I know you are a very busy man. Can you talk to us about what got you into the world of MMA?
McIntosh: Thanks a lot for having me Erik. I was really a fluke that I got into the world of MMA. I had been involved with Martial Arts since about the age of 4 but I was never fan of the fighting. I always thought of it as human cockfighting. Then in college I was in a BJJ class and I escaped from an armbar and thought hey this is pretty cool. I kept getting submitted over and over but I could see I was getting better and better and I just kept learning from then on.
Nice! Now you have been in the game for about 17 years as either one role or another. What changes have you seen over that time?
McIntosh: The biggest change I have seen from an athlete point of view is the need and important of strength and conditioning. Back in the day guys like Dan Severn, Don Frye and others didn’t really utilize it and I really think it has become an important part of the game and a necessary change for fighters and athletes now a days.
Interesting and if you do take a look at fighters from that era and the new age fighters strength and conditioning with exercises like crossfit seem to be making a huge difference. Now you are running a duel career here with competing and teaching/ running a gym, which one in your mind is your favorite?
McIntosh: Competing is on top right now. I am only 23 and I still have that drive and desire to compete. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do in all aspects but competing, yeah at this point is at the top. I was very young when I opened my gym because of a situation where I wasn’t happy where I was. You see a lot of gym owners and head trainers that are black belts, I was only a brown belt but when people came in to train and saw I knew what I was doing they recognized that my knowledge and desire to make everyone the best they can be. I do take that job very seriously because at the end of the day my job as a trainer is always on the line and I treat it as such.
It is always nice to hear that and as a gym owner your job is sort of always on the line due to the fact that there seems to be a gym popping up on every street corner now a days. Now one thing that really sets you apart is your training not only in martial arts but you are also have a Kinesiology Degree (study of how the body moves), and got to intern with one of the top names in the world of training Matt Balis at MSU. Can you talk to us about that?
McIntosh: Oh my god it changed my life man. I never thought I would ever get the chance to do anything like that. He called me out of the blue one day asking me to teach him some Jiu Jitsu and after rolling with him a couple times he mentioned that position of strength and condition intern. I jumped right on and I am so glad I did. The next thing I know I am up at 430 am to work with him then at night I am teaching Jiu Jitsu, it was a long day man but worth every second. I found it amazing how he motives his athletes and just how organized and structured everything he does amazed me.
Now a days it is a love hate relationship (laughs) because he is still my strength and conditioning coach and he kicks my ass on a daily basis but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am glad to be able to call him a friend. Although I will be honest it is still a bit weird seeing him outside of athletics in flip flops sitting on his couch watching a game because in my mind he is still the coach who is screaming at me to keep pushing and seems to never let up hahaha.
Yeah, Coach Balis is a pretty big name in the world of movement I remember seeing his name over everything I read in college. Now you are the owner of No-Limit Jiu Jitsu in Starkville, what makes Mississippi so special?
McIntosh: I have been here since I was 2, it’s home. I have been all over the country and I really love the south, the way people treat each other and it’s just where I want to be.
People always say there is no place like home. Speaking of your gym we recently had Jessica Dobbs who is not only one of your students but she also teaches at your gym. When we asked her about her “big break” she mentioned that you “discovered” her. Can you talk to us about the first time you saw her and what made her special?
McIntosh: HAHAHA Jessica is an awesome person. I first saw her at this little local tournament, I will still running a BJJ “club” at the time. I saw her competing and she was about to get put in an armbar and she just had this confused look on her face. After her match I invited her to join our club and the next thing I know there she is. She has gotten a lot better since then and now is a teacher at the gym. She is a great teacher and we are very lucky to have her.
Yeah she seemed like a really great person when we got the chance to talk with her. So with all you have accomplished in your life what is next?
McIntosh: For me, I plan on competing in some upcoming IBJJF Tournaments like the Dallas and Atlanta Opens. I would also like to get some more MMA fights, I am one of the bigger Welterweights in the state and now that I have my weight cutting down to a science I think it will be a lot easier, I take back all those jokes I made about Anthony “Rumble” Johnson and his weight cutting in the past cause it can be rough.
As for the gym I really wanna make some improvements. Would like to get a bigger space, some ac and heat would be nice hahaha. We also have some great 10 year old mats that, funny story I started training on those mats. There is duct all over everything. But we make due and work hard, amazing place to train.
Looking back over career what has been your most memorable accomplishment or moment to date?
McIntosh: For sure it was my last night vs Kaleb Harris. My father walked me out and was with me in my corner and that was something very special. He is the one that got me into wrestling and has really been an idol for me. I won the fight via unanimous decision which was awesome but having him as a coach was incredible. I remember in the locker room before the fight he kicked everyone out (yeah he has that type of authority) and he said some words to be to get me in the right state of mind. I remember walking to the cage with tears in my eyes, it was really something special. Now he is with me at all my fights.
Ok, so time for the age old Fight Club Question. If you could stand across the cage from anyone who would it be and why?
McIntosh: Wow that is a tough question, I would have to go with Matt Hughes, we are both wrestlers and he beat up Royce hahah so yeah it would have to be him. I did always enjoy watching him right and when he beat BJ it broke my heart, but we both have that old school mentality and are willing to grind it out when the situation calls for it.
So final question for ya, if you were to someone thinking of getting into the world of MMA a bit of advice what would it be and why?
McIntosh: I tell everyone the same thing, make sure to get in Gi and No Gi classes as soon as possible. If you can defend a submission in a Gi you can do it without one and also don’t rush it this game takes time, dedication and passion.
Outstanding. Well thanks a lot Jae, before we close are there any sponsors or people you would like to mention?
McIntosh: I would like to give a shoutout to my father Peirce McIntosh. Also Jarrett Beck and Israel Gomes for everything they do. Also big thanks to our gym sponsors Big Deal Supplements. Thanks again to you guys for having me.