Caden Jacobs explores life through different styles of fighting


Junior Caden Jacobs has been immersed in a world of wrestling for over nine years. Motivated to take things to the next level, he began to experiment with MMA fighting and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Now, four years later, he finds himself still caught up in the world of both. 

“I would say wrestling is what first motivated me to become involved in other types of fighting,” Caden said. “I have been wrestling for most of my life, and when the opportunity to try a new type of fighting presented itself, I didn’t hesitate to take it.”

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a type of fighting that focuses on martial arts and combat. The goal is to take your opponent to the ground in order to neutralize any possible advantages, such as size or strength, by using ground techniques and several types of holds.

MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts and usually takes place while fighters are up and moving. This type of fighting is more aggressive, allowing striking and more vigorous techniques to be used.

“You can notice a lot of differences and similarities through fighting both styles,” Caden said. “MMA involves more punching and kicking while Jiu-Jitsu focuses on different tactics. However, both are types of martial arts, so there [are] a lot of similar things happening.”

Caden learns a lot about the overall sport of fighting by participating in not only one type of fighting but rather three. He found his passion, and he continues to find new things in the field to engage in.

While Caden enjoys both MMA and Jiu-Jitsu, he is impacted differently by both. He finds the impact of Jiu-Jitsu to be a really positive outlet for him, even more than MMA sometimes. 

“I prefer Jiu-Jitsu over MMA,” Caden said. “I like it because if I have any stress or anxiety built up, it all just blows off while I am doing Jiu-Jitsu. It’s my place where I can just be myself.”

Initially, Caden’s outlet was wrestling. He owes a great deal of his success in the new types of fighting to his experiences in wrestling. He grew up a wrestler and still is a wrestler, and the effect of that helps him every day while doing MMA and Jiu-Jitsu. 

If you really want to take your game up to the next tier, you have to do whatever it takes, and usually that means pushing yourself to limits you didn’t even know you could reach.

— Caden Jacobs

“Wrestling has helped me in MMA and Jiu-Jitsu in a number of ways,” Caden said. “From my ground game to my attitude, wrestling has helped build me as a fighter. As I continue to grow as a wrestler, I also continue to improve in both MMA and Jiu-Jitsu; they’re all connected through my ability to grow and learn in terms of fighting.”

Caden has a consistent desire to take things to the next level, and that common tendency is exactly what brought him to Jiu-Jitsu and MMA; he wanted a level up from wrestling, so he went and found one.

However, all things in the fighting world don’t come easily. There are several details that go into being a wrestler and a fighter, and while Caden faces the challenges head-on, it doesn’t mean they are always easy to overcome.

“The biggest challenge for me personally is cutting weight,” Caden said. “If you really want to take your game up to the next tier, you have to do whatever it takes, and usually that means pushing yourself to limits you didn’t even know you could reach.”

Caden is hoping the persistent, powerful drive that has become part of his personality will help push him to achieve his future goals. No matter where he ends up, Caden wants fighting and wrestling to remain a prominent part of his life. 

“My future goals are hopefully in the amateur MMA,” Caden said. “Also, I hope to continue Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling as part of my college experience. I just want to keep taking my skills to the next level so I can achieve the goals I have set for myself.”

Caden has dedicated so much of his life to the art of fighting, and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. 

While MMA and Jiu-Jitsu have obviously had a physical impact on Caden, they have both also caused other outside effects. He has been able to take life lessons out of his sports, and he has grown as an overall person throughout all of his years fighting and wrestling.

“Fighting, in general, has made me a better person,” Caden said. “It made me a better person, it made me stronger, it helped me in school, and it overall just made me become this more positive person in life.”

Fighting requires a lot from him, but it’s nothing Caden isn’t willing to sacrifice for the end result.

“[Doing MMA and Jiu Jitsu] takes a lot of things,” Caden said. “It takes a good attitude; you need to be willing to put in work and willing to get beat up sometimes. Overall, everything you work for is worth it in the end.”

Wrestling season has just begun, however, while much of his time will be spent in the wrestling room with varsity wrestling coach Brad Anderson, Caden will still continue to become immersed in Jiu-Jitsu and MMA.

And, as Caden continues on his journey with fighting, there is no doubt he will continue to learn and grow.

“You win some and you lose some,” Caden said, “but most importantly, you always learn.”