There are plenty of athletes from around the world that have dedicated their life to martial arts, but very few that have travelled the same road Calgary’s Jake Peacock has since he was born.
Peacock, 24, was born without his right forearm and hand, but hasn’t let that stop him from competing in over 100 matches in multiple fields of martial arts.
He has 94 wins to his name and only 12 losses in karate, full-contact karate, muay thai and MMA combined. He’s also the owner and head coach at Dunamis Martial Arts, where he’s working with some of the best fighters in Calgary.
“When it comes to martial arts, I’ve never had a doubt in my mind about being able to do something, so I’ve literally done anything I’ve wanted to do,” said Peacock in an interview. “I haven’t found anything I can’t do.”
Peacock’s martial arts journey began at just seven years old, in his birthplace of London, England. He began with karate, and caught on quickly. By the time he was 10 years old, he was competing on national and international stages, collecting multiple titles in karate in the process.
Soon after, he progressed into kickboxing and boxing, before moving to Canada at 14 years old and getting his start in kyokushin karate.
Steve Groom was Peacock’s first ever coach back in England, and he said Groom was a big motivator and big reason why he’s the martial artist he is today.
“Without him, maybe I wouldn’t have pursued martial arts,” said Peacock. “He really opened the doors for me and believed in me.”
Kieran Keddle, Damon Miller, Francois Duval, and Master Dabichai also all played essential roles in developing different techniques to work with his one arm, and help him get to where he is today.
In addition to his coaches, his family, close friends, and teachers at school were all incredibly supportive and helpful in the early stages of his martial arts journey, and continue that support to the present day.
“They all believed I could do anything really, and they were quite empowering.”
Peacock now spends the majority of his time on the other side of the pads, passing along all his knowledge and skills to his students at Dunamis Martial Arts.
Dunamis has been open for six months now, and Peacock said he’s incredibly happy with how it’s been going so far.
“I’m really enjoying it. It’s definitely what I was made to do, and what God had planned for me.”
Dunamis is open to the general public of all ages, and is also home to a skillful team of professional and amateur fighters who have recognized the benefits of working with Peacock.
One of those fighters is the number one ranked bantamweight in Canada for MMA, Jesse Arnett.
Arnett first met Peacock four years ago when his MMA record was 3-4. Arnett said after their first training session together, he knew they were going to do something special.
“As soon as I started hitting pads with him, I just felt an automatic connection,” said Arnett in an interview. “He’s just really committed and really driven. He’s a great coach.”
Arnett is now 11-0 in MMA and 1-0 in boxing since joining forces with Peacock, and holds championship belts in multiple promotions, including TKO in Quebec, and Hard Knocks in Calgary.
With the amount of time Arnett has spent with Peacock and spent at Dunamis, he said one of his qualities as a coach that make him so successful is the attention he gives to all his students, no matter what skill level they’re at.
“Whether he’s working with me, or a five-year-old boy, or a 30-year old woman, he gives the same amount of attention to whoever it is,” said Arnett. “Some coaches will half-ass it unless you’re a full-time fighter, but Jake’s not like that. I respected that of him right off the bat.”
Another person who thinks very highly of Peacock is his wife Christa.
They met five years ago while attending post-secondary school at Ambrose University in Calgary. She said one of the initial attractions she had towards him was his genuine and passionate personality.
“He’s not the type of guy who will just tell everyone what they want to hear, so if he gives you a compliment, you know he means it,” said Christa in an interview. “He’s super committed to what he does, he’s true to his word, and is a very honest, genuine guy.”
It takes a strong human being, both mentally and physically, to be able to accomplish what Peacock has today, and overcome the physical hardship he has.
It requires a great deal of passion, commitment, and a never-say-die attitude, which Christa says her husband has a plethora of.
“It’s incredible how he adapts to everything, not just physically, but in life in general,” said Christa.
“His work ethic is beyond any athlete I’ve ever seen.”