Getting to Know Coach Stolpe
Coach Chris Stolpe is a man you won’t soon forget. As a staple instructor in the Boulder kids’ program, his exuberance and positivity are well known around the academy, and he’s a favorite . He has a smile and a high five for everyone he meets, and effortlessly commands the attention of a room full of four to six year olds.
Coach Stolpe has dedicated almost two thirds of his life to martial arts, and has been coaching kids since he was just a kid himself. He was born and raised in Boulder, and at the age of 12 he began learning Tae Kwon Do at Tran’s Martial Arts. Within a year, he was an assistant instructor, teaching it to the younger students. He continued to train and teach at Tran’s for eight years, and it was there that he first met an eleven-year-old James Strater-Smith. By the age of 21, Coach Stolpe was a second-degree Tae Kwon Do black belt.
He made the switch to Jiu Jitsu in 2005, joining Professor Easton’s first academy in Boulder with five close friends. He was the only one out of the group who stuck with it. Ten years later, he is a brown belt, and an indispensable member of the Easton community. When asked why he left Tae Kwon Do behind, he says, “Jiu Jitsu is so much more fun. There’s always something new!” Those who know Coach Stolpe know that he’s always having fun with it. On weekday afternoons before the kids arrive, he can usually be found training and laughing with his friends Dan and Coach Brian.
Coach Stolpe says his favorite thing about teaching the next generation of martial artists is the energy he gets from it. He can come into the academy feeling tired and down, but once his students arrive, he’s in full coach mode, enthusiastically conducting an orchestra of Little Tigers. His attitude is contagious, and his upbeat nature sets the tone for every class. We’re very lucky to have him. Luckier still, he’s not going anywhere. When asked about his plans for Jiu Jitsu, he says, “I want to do this the rest of my life, even if my body’s moving slower, I’ll still be doing it.”