Local Grappler Wins Gold At Wrestling Tournament
Rockaway native, Juan Velazquez, age 36, recently competed in the New York Submission Wrestling Tournament in Fishkill, New York. Velazquez had five matches in the Super Heavyweight division, finishing four of those matches by submission in less than 30 seconds.
He took home three Gold Medals for his efforts.
Velazquez has been a semi-pro football player for the past 16 years, and played for Beach Channel High School.
The Gold Medal winner has long been interested in wrestling but never had access to formal wrestling training – although he did have the opportunity to test the waters of professional wrestling with World Championship Wrestling (WCW). When Velazquez tried out for their wrestling school in Atlanta, he was ranked in the top 4 out of 100 students.
However, his professional wrestling career was not to be, as he had to return to Far Rockaway where his wife gave birth to their first daughter – the day after he arrived home.
For the past five months, Velazquez has trained at the Renzo Gracie Rockaway Jiu Jitsu Academy, where he has developed a passion for the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His professor, Stewart Carroll, states, “Juan not only possesses rare physical gifts, but he also has a steady intellect that has enabled him to progress very quickly in this sport. More importantly, Juan is a very nice person and an excellent teammate.”
Velazquez looks forward to continuing his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training at Renzo, and to competing in many more grappling tournaments.