Three local martial artists come up big at last weekend's World Martial Arts Games.
Friday, September 24, 2010
The three fighters from John Wolf's Wolf Fitness Systems studio in Salinas who competed in the World Marital Arts Games in Vegas last weekend have returned packing a little more weight.
That's because they each won medals in their respective weight and class divisions for grappling. (That division included fighters from all over the world from white belts to brown belts.) Woody Brister and Jim Romig each won gold in their division and a silver overall, and Cameron Stelling won silver in his division and bronze overall. About a couple hundred fighters competed.
"There were three fights in each division and you could be in multiple divisions," says Wolf, who attended the tournament after returning from Georgia where he trained special forces soldiers. "It's not a blood sport. It's more traditional martial arts. [The governing body] is trying to offer a mixed martial arts tournaments format that's agreeable to a general public. There's some progressive stuff happening."
Romig was also awarded his black belt, in an emotional tie-on ceremony, from U.S. team coach and Honorable Master of Sports, Scott Sonnon, the first Westerner to be licensed to teach Russian sambo, says Wolf Fitness Systems founder John Wolf. Footage is viewable at GoFreakMedia.com."This couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy," the website writes. "Go Jim, go Wolf Pack, and Go Team U.S.A.!"
"It was a great experience," says Wolf. "We got to see fighters from all over the world come and demonstrate their practice."
The only drawback: "It costs a lot of money [to go to Vegas]. I hate Vegas for that reason."
Brister and Stelling plan to compete at the World Martial Arts Games in 2012 in Sweden and Wolf is considering the prospect. Romig is training another fighter, Drew Britner, for a title fight at Ring of Fire in Palm Springs.