Jay Isip, Owner & Founder of Buctown MMA, began his Martial Arts journey at Olympic Karate in 1989 at the age of 7. Growing up, he dabbled in other arts; Aikido, Savat, Judo, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Western Boxing, and Wrestling. When he discovered Wrestling, combat sports became a staple activity in his life.
In 2000, after a four-year varsity wrestling career at Belleville High School, Jay decided to move on to the MMA world. He found a Martial Arts Gym in Elizabeth, NJ called BAMA, founded by UFC referee "Big Dan" Mirigliotta. Training with his brothers Pete Isip and Timmy Hands, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Western Boxing, and Wrestling were a must practice before stepping in the ring or cage. A year later at age 19, Jay Isip competed at BAMA FIGHT NIGHT for his 1st ever fisticuffs inside a "pro-wrestling" ring that landed in the South Plainfield Middle School Gymnasium.
Four amateur fights later, in 2003, Isip went pro and fought his debut against the UFC Vet Kurt "Batman" Pellegrino. Even though Coach Jay's fighting career was rocky, he went toe-to-toe with some of the best Mixed Martial artists during the early stages of his career as he was trained under Eddie "The Tech" Rolon of Team Endgame.
In 2008, Coach Jay moved to Belmar, NJ, to train under previous opponent Kurt Pellegrino (Marcello Garcia Black Belt), and swap blood, sweat, and tears with one of the toughest teams in NJ - Pellegrino MMA. A group of hard-nosed hungry fighters packed with skills and grit that all shared the same dream. Some made it to high-level events like; UFC & Bellator - some didn't, but the experiences these fighters went through together holds the true title.
After 16 pro-fights with CFFC, ROC, Reality Fighting, and Mass Destruction, Coach Jay put an end to his fight career and moved back to his hometown in 2016, where he became a volunteer coach for Belleville Wrestling. Since then, Coach Pete Isip (Founder of KRANK SYSTEMS) opened the doors to his gym, which enabled the coaches to train wrestlers' off-season. Coach Jay Isip and other volunteers trained with the athletes, but most importantly, they developed a bond and re-created a culture that has been a staple in our community for decades - "The Family." We carry this stamp on our backs with honor as we nod our heads to the alumni who paved the road for us.
Through this paved road and our community's support, Buctown MMA was born. We created an open-minded space for kids & adults to grow and be a part of a sprouting culture that will continue to carry on. A safe space where labels do not exist and where each individual can grow beyond everyday conformity. A place where we could be ourselves and feel comfortable to express freely and connect with others in ways you can't experience anywhere else besides on that mat. Martial Arts teaches us life-long lessons that will continue to evolve our mind, body, and spirit.
Our mission is to continue spreading this wisdom and expanding our philosophy through; Wrestling, Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Strength & Conditioning, and more. Martial Arts will develop the individual's character through an array of positive qualities; accountability, discipline, athleticism, self-defense responsibility, mental resilience, teamwork & leadership skills, creativity, and opening our minds through the creation of martial arts.
To everyone who has supported and continues to support our journey, we thank you.