Jaime Schklowsky is a blue belt at 10th Planet Bethlehem and is a Sergeant First Class in the US Army, currently the Station Commander for the Bethlehem Army Career Station. Jaime has served in the Army Reserve for 10 years now, and originally enlisted because he and some of his high school friends had always planned to go into the military together, although originally they imagined they would be Marines. Jaime graduated high school a year late largely because he spent most of his time working to help support his mother and their household. The Army Reserve ended up being the perfect choice for him because he could pick the job he wanted, he didn’t have to leave his mother to go serve and the Army Reserve would pay for his college. In fact, Jaime only ended up paying a total of $90 for his Bachelor’s degree.
Jaime has had a desire to train that predates even his lengthy military service. When he was in high school one of his friends trained muay thai and jiu jitsu, which inspired him to want to do the same. The idea of training was later reinforced by one of his mentors, Staff Sergeant George Ruff from the Army. SSG Ruff is a purple belt and they worked together in the same Military Police unit. They had gone out to California, Alabama, and Pennsylvania for various MP training operations and/or schools. Even though the desire was there, something always seemed to get in the way. Lack of time, lack of money, and lack of opportunity all held Jaime back at different points from really getting started with training.
Eventually, the Army had Jaime stationed in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania in late 2016 and he was just finishing up his last few classes needed to complete his Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Little did he know at the time that he had been stationed in an ideal location for training jiu jitsu with high level competitors and coaches. Like many people, when Jaime finally decided with his wife that everything was in the right place for him to start training, he took to google and just started looking for any jiu jitsu schools that might be close by. 10th Planet Bethlehem was one of the first schools to pop up, and after a cursory glance and the school’s Instagram account he decided they looked legit and he signed up for their promotional trial period.
He realized right away during the trial period that he was hooked and training was definitely something he wanted to continue with. For Christmas his wife bought him a month of training at the school in both jiu jitsu and striking, and Jaime was conveniently on leave for two weeks from the Army at that time. For those two weeks he spent all of the free time he could at the school training twice a day. It hasn’t all been easy, as Jaime got injured in February of 2017 not long after he started and had to take 12 weeks off. That time off made him realize how much he still wanted to train though, and he’s been committed to training regularly ever since. He often comes to training with his son in tow, Lucious, who is his own little motivator encouraging his father to go train even on days he doesn’t feel motivated.
Jaime is a big believer in not making excuses for himself and it shows in his consistency. His primary advice for someone who is trying to decide if they want to or is just starting to train is to stay consistent and stay humble. He also mentioned that if you are starting to train you should leave all of your preconceived ideas and everything you think you are at the door and eventually you’ll find your way if you just keep coming back.
Even though he was recently awarded his blue belt and has competed twice in jiu jitsu, Jaime still feels like he’s a little fish in a big pond just trying to swim. His humble attitude has made him one of the harder workers in the gym on a constant quest for perfection. He doesn’t really have his game formulated yet, but has been trying out different spots to see what works for him, and often plays reverse dela riva or z guard positions. If you talk to him, he can’t say enough about how much Zach, JM, Gabe, and Thor have helped him out and inspired him to be better. When trying to name people he looked up to in the jiu jitsu world his own coaches were the first people to come to mind.
His training has also helped him generally in his personal life and having the support of his team has gotten him through some rough experiences over the course of the past year and a half. Eventually he would love to do MMA, but he acknowledges that he has a long way to go and still has yet to compete in striking to test his skills on the feet. With that said, if Jaime continues training like he has been it’s only a matter of time before we see him doing big things in competition.