Jacob Macalolooy is a life long martial artist, coming from a long family tradition of fighting. This is his story and his reflection on his training as he approaches the end of being an elite level amateur boxer looking to go pro. From Kajukenbo, to Kickboxing and MMA, to Division One Wrestling, and now Boxing, Jacob personifies the way of living the martial arts life.
My names is Jacob Noah Macalolooy. I’m a lifetime martial artist, and I’m currently an elite amateur boxer fighting at The Arena.
My family has a deep history in martial arts and fighting. My grandfather and his brother were boxers. And when my dad was a young child, he started training in Kajukenbo. It’s a self-defense art from Oahu, Hawaii. It was during the 1940s, there were a lot of sailors on the island and they would get in fights with the locals. So the locals had to come up with a more effective fighting style and self-defense style. So these five masters got together from karate, judo, jujitsu, kenpo, and boxing, and they basically blended their styles to create this traditional mixed martial art.
In 1997, my dad was able to start his martial arts school just out of my grandparents’ garage. And eventually we got our own building and that’s pretty much how I grew up. I grew up in a dojo and ever since I started doing martial arts, when I was about five years old, I started wrestling at the same time.
Every wrestler has a love-hate relationship with the sport just because it’s so tough and it’s so grueling and hard on the body and the mind. So in high school, I never really wanted to wrestle in college. I just thought of college as a time where I was supposed to have fun, but by the time I was a junior in high school, I started to get some offers. And I started to realize that my wrestling could really give me an opportunity to have a higher education and it can just really open doors for me.
So getting the opportunity to wrestle at Columbia university, was really something special. There’s no way that I would be the athlete that I am now had I not competed at the D-1 level in wrestling for Columbia university.
September 2018, I started training at The Arena. I was mainly just training with the MMA guys, but I always had this idea that I might be able to compete in boxing. So I started getting in Coach Basheer’s ear. He’d seen me in there scrapping with MMA guys. So, that’s pretty much his perspective of me. “Yeah, yeah, you think you can just come in here and box because you got some MMA stuff.” But I knew as a martial artist, I really had a foundation, so I knew that would be able to switch gears and really just focus on my hands and focus on my movement.
I just stayed at it and I just kept training hard. And one day Coach is like, “All right, you can go jump in with one of my guys.” And I showed him what I really had to offer. It has just been such a learning and growing experience to be able to learn under Coach Basheer. I just feel really blessed and excited and grateful to be part of this team. Now I’m getting ready to compete in my last competition as an amateur at the Nationals in Louisiana. And from there as soon as possible, I’m going to try and get my pro debut.
Being a fighter has always been a core part of my identity ever since I could remember. And really being close with my family, having a big family, competing ever since I was a little kid and just always having all this support. And there’s really no feeling like it, especially when you’re successful and for them to cheer you on and to just be proud. There’s just nothing that motivates me more. And here in San Diego, I have my own family and that just adds to it on a whole different level. I’m really just planting seeds for it right now. And soon enough, I’m really going to start to see the fruits of all my work.