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Michael Trasso
"Martial Artist Student of the Month"

Talk about being in a zone, 10-year-old WorldBlackBelt Member Michael Trasso from Lyndhurst, New Jersey has now won six straight grappling tournament titles going into the upcoming North American Grappling Association's "Battle at the Beach2". With his success, Michael has already landed a corporate sponsor that is building him his own personal dojo to train in at his home and he's just getting started.

On his 10th birthday, Michael received his Black Belt in Free Style Jui Jitsu from Master Jerry Jones who recently opened the Jerry Jones Ultimate Martial Arts School in Nutley, New Jersey. "I've known Michael for about a foot of his life and through his very hard work, travels, bumps and bruises, he has developed into the character of a young beloved King who possesses a wise and understanding heart beyond his years, yet still happily retains the innocence, playfulness and curiosity of a lion cub."

Michael's father Ray enrolled his son when he was just 5-years-old. "I felt that introducing Michael to Martial Arts would be an exciting experience and a test to see if he truly liked it. Neither of us are disappointed!" Today Michael is a Junior Instructor and helps teach classes at his dojo. "Michael is a true leader in every aspect, and I have no doubt that he can accomplish anything he wishes," said Jones.

Michael continues to advance in his Martial Arts, training three days a week in Brazilian Jui Jitsu, Kickboxing, Sambo, Karate, as well as in grappling. Master Jones estimates that Michael has learned roughly four hundred techniques, including takedowns, choke holds and joint locks. "Plato once said that all learning has an emotional base, and Michael's great love of the Martial Arts has enabled me to push and guide him beyond all of our expectations."

The discipline Michael has learned through the Martial Arts is now also being applied outside of the dojo. Somehow he found the time to start his own community newsletter called "Zine", where he writes articles about safety issues in the Martial Arts and his other passion skateboarding. Michael also enjoys baseball, wrestling, basketball and he has been studying piano for three years. "Michael works harder than anyone I know, it just amazes me," boasts his father Ray. Michael also loves watching Martial Arts movies, his favorite being "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", and his Martial Arts hero is action film star Jet Li.

Being ranked number one in the United States by the N.A.G.A. (North American Grappling Association) for his weight and age attracted the attention of "Thumann's -THE DELI BEST", a major deli meat manufacturer located in Carlstadt, New Jersey. Thumann's has agreed to sponsor Michael by covering all of his tournament costs, uniforms, training and equipment. After winning the County Junior Wrestling district title on February 25th, Michael then advanced to the Regionals on March 4th, 2001 where he won the bronze medal. "I am so proud of Michael, it seems like every week he is winning another tournament", says WorldBlackBelt's Graphic Designer and Web Master Gail Trasso. Way to go. Keep up the good work!!

If you would like to contact Michael you can reach him at

To view previous honoree click here

if you wish to nominate a candidate for Student of the Month, please contact us by email at

*Only WorldBlackBelt members can nominate and/or be nominated.

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