United States of America, Brazil and Japan

Michael Trasso: A Young Champion

July 29, 2005


By Alicia Staffa

The County Seat


Michael Trasso: A Young Champion

At the age of five, Michael Trasso was a very shy child. His father wanted to break him out of his silence and decided that taking martial arts was the answer. Now at 14-years-old, Trasso and his father have traveled all over the country to compete and have won over 50 tournament championships. He started out at Rising Sun Martial Arts in Lyndhurst, his hometown, and then moved to Jerry Jones’ Ultimate Martial Arts in Nutley. He currently trains in five styles which are Jiu Jitsu, Hapkido, Sambo, Kickboxing and Wrestling. Jiu Jitsu is the oldest Japanese martial art and its focus is to use the attackers force against him. Hapkido uses arm and leg joint locks and includes weapon and nerve pressure techniques, while Sambo is for self-defense and close combat.

Trasso is currently taking private lessons from Mike Mrkulic (Black Belt under Royler Gracie) for BJJ and Sensei David Tirelli, of Tiger Schulmann’s Karate in Hackensack, for kickboxing. Tirelli is pleased with how wonderful Trasso has become. “You can feel what a champion is all about and Michael is definitely a champion,” said Tirelli. He goes on to explain how it is a true pleasure to work with Trasso and says that when he competes, everyone just knows that he is a natural. Besides being a natural competitor, Trasso, who was sponsored by Thumanns Inc., of Carlstadt, was also honored with the male competitor of the year award from the USMA (United States Martial Arts Association) on July 23.

Trasso is now attending St. Mary’s High School in Rutherford and is on the wrestling team. Some of his other hobbies are playing guitar, playing video games and watching his two favorite martial arts actors, Bruce Lee and Jet Li. Trasso also hopes that one day he will be able to own his own marital arts school and Tirelli agreed by adding that, “I just know he is going to be a tremendous athlete, coach or even a Sensei one day.”