When Mace was 18 years of age, he joined a local Kung Fu school. The reason for this was because he wanted to toughen up for the upcoming wrestling season and develop his kicking ability. During a sparring session, he went for a roundhouse kick to his opponents face. His opponent court Mace's foot and swept his supporting leg as hard as he possibly could. Mace fell to the ground only to get back up immediately and continued sparring. When he tried to throw a punch with his right arm, it cramped up. As the adrenaline from being swept wore off, the pain in his arm intensified. The instructor, who was surprised that Mace kept sparring, told him to stop. The instructor put Maces arm in a sling and drove him to the local hospital. Mace stated that during the journey he felt the muscles in his arm getting tighter and tighter as if they were independent from his control. A doctor examined his arm, it was twisted into the shape of an S. His arm was broken in 3 places. His humoures was split in half vertically and horizontally. Consequentially his elbow was also broken. The doctors cut out his tricep to apply sixteen screws and two metal plates to hold his arm together. Six months later Mace started university were he would use rollerblades to cover the distance of getting from class to class. Whilst rollerblading, he tripped and broke his arm a second time. Due to his arm breakages in his younger years, his left arm consequently appears 'out of shape'. Jake Mace learnt much from this experience, including how not to fall!However, I haven't heard stories of Jake Mace competing in anything after this incident. I suspect the experience of severely breaking his arm whilst partaking in an activity with a competitive mentality contributed to his change of approach to Martial Art.
Nowadays Jake Mace expresses and promotes what he refers to as "My own brand of Gung Fu", which has been inspired by the traditional Chinese Martial Art systems. He promotes his expression and the traditional Chinese Martial Arts by creating a plethora of videos for his YouTube channel. These videos consist of exercise tutorials, self defence tutorials, combat samplers, internal and external training, tutorials on how to do traditional Gung Fu forms, tutorials on how to use traditional weapons for combative expression, tutorials on how he makes nutritious foods to suit his vegan dietary requirements, tours of his zen inspired garden and philosophy videos. Inclusivity is an evident trend in his discourse that has contributed to his current success of attaining over 150,000 subscribers. For example, Mace might word a sentence like "This exercise will benefit you whatever your chosen style is". By wording his sentences like this, he is meeting his audience (who most likely have the typical stylistic mindset) half way, ultimately establishing a positive cohesion with the viewer. Often Mace makes videos with other Martial Art practitioners or even members of the medical profession such as physiologists and physiotherapists. These videos often attract large quantities of viewers because people for some reason like the chemistry of collaborative videos. Another method of attracting viewers can be seen in how he seems to label his videos. It's not uncommon to see his videos labeled in ways such as 'AMAZING Kung Fu Kicks!' and 'FEROCIOUS Tiger Techniques!'. The labels for his videos are often a bit misleading or over exaggerated and in my opinion cheesy, however, they do manage to attract viewers to his videos. Despite such labels, the content is a lot more what one would expect to see in a true Martial Art video in my opinion, good quality content.
For all of Maces to efforts educate people about true Martial Art whilst being cohesive, not all people have seen eye to eye with him. There is a minority of haters that criticise Maces expression by saying things like 'your kung fu is bull***t and it would never work against an MMA fighter in the cage!' and 'your kung fu looks nothing like wushu it looks more like karate. Your a FAKE! Why don't you go and find a real teacher who can teach you real kung fu.'. Others may even say "Jake you FU***N suck! You wanna know why your stuff is bull***t?" Because you've never used it in a real fight like in the octagon!'. The majority of his 'haters' appear to be what many refer to as 'MMA Fanboys'. Haters are an unavoidable byproduct of popularity. Someone even wrote a blog post speaking negatively against him: http://18chambers.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/fading-smoke-broken-mirrors-open-letter.html
Mace has also made several videos speaking about the purpose of training in Martial Art. In these videos he encourages people to study Chinese systems to enhance peoples quality of life whilst discouraging people from getting involved in fighting, whether it be real life fighting or combat sport fighting. In response to his haters, Mace stated in a comment section; "We're uploading great, fun, traditional, effective content that's purpose is to keep Traditional Chinese Martial Arts alive since Traditional Chinese Martial are currently dying!" Regardless of the occasional negativity, he always starts and ends his videos with a smile.
I don't feel I can write a blog post about Jake Maces work without mentioning Jocum. Jocum is the man on the receiving end of Maces technique of the attached photo. He is constantly assisting Mace in demonstrating techniques, doing forms and exercising in videos. Jocum has appeared in tons of videos, and, even though I have never heard him say a word, I really appreciate his presence. I think that him being on the receiving end of techniques a never saying anything is admirable.
Like Lawrence Tan and Freddie Lee, I find Jake Maces content to be very useful in assisting me with my own development. With the invaluable assistance of his wife Pam, who manages the growing YouTube channel and presumably does most of the camera work, Jake Mace is pumping out videos that promote an all round healthy lifestyle obtained via the vehicle of Martial Art. Jake Mace is the head instructor and owner of the Phoenix Longevity Arts Kung Fu school in Tempe, Arizona USA. He also trains daily in his back yard where most of his videos are made. I feel that Jake Mace is promoting Martial Art in a healthy way that is far more truer to the essence of our practice then those of most big time commercial Martial Art corporations.
Be sure sure to check out...
Kung Fu & Tai Chi Centre w/ Jake Mace: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCWYtZYH4kcbMm29liIOSGQQ
Phoenix Longevity Arts: http://phoenixlongevityarts.com/Site_2/Phoenix_Longevity_Arts.html
Jake Maces website: http://www.jakemace.com/kungfu/Jake_Mace_Home.html
Jake Maces Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/jakemace.taichi
Jake Maces Twitter page: https://mobile.twitter.com/kungfuuniverse
Jake Maces Instagram page: https://instagram.com/jakemacetaichi/?hl=en
Videos I recommend...
Kung Fu vs. Wushu vs. Karate
Real Life "Mr. Miyagi" Amazing Kung Fu Routine
The Spirit of TRADITIONAL Martial Arts!
Be sure to check out 'Notable Individuals - Lawrence Tan': http://martialunitedartists.blogspot.com.au/2015/12/notable-individuals-lawrence-tan.html