On Episode 5 of the Easton Online Podcast, Eliot sits down with Jeff Ake. Jeff is an Easton BJJ black belt and general manager of the Arvada academy. Jeff talks with Eliot about his personal journey in Jiu Jitsu and the challenges he faced in taking the helm of the Arvada school.
1:01 – Jeff talks about his early days of training in New York, and why he spent 6 years in “the land of eternal blue belt”.
7:28 – Jeff tells how he discovered Easton when he moved to Colorado, and the how the incredible teaching presence of one purple belt instructor convinced him to sign up.
9:45 – Jeff lays bare the struggles he had with his ego as a young student of Jiu Jitsu.
14:22 – What was it about the culture of Easton that made the school a good match for Jeff? Jeff talks about how the friendly, welcoming atmosphere of Easton drew him in.
18:33 – Eliot asks Jeff how he got into teaching and coaching. Jeff tells the story of how he moved up through the ranks from an intro instructor to a general manager.
28:17 – Jeff and Eliot discuss the process of bringing the Arvada school under new management. Jeff discusses the challenges of instituting new business systems to the academy without changing the culture.
37:04 – Jeff talks about the importance of making human connections in gaining the trust of the students at Arvada when he took over as manager.
40:18 – Jeff tells how he continually works to better himself mentally and emotionally, in his job, in his Jiu Jitsu journey, and in all aspects of his life.