#34 Michael Trasso


Michael Trasso was an extremely shy little kid. Noticing Michael's shyness, his kindergarten teacher recommended to his parents that maybe enrolling Michael into a sport might help him overcome his shy nature. Also like many kids Michael had a love of Bruce Lee movies. Putting two and two together, Michael's father decided some kind of martial art would be the sport of choice.


After looking into a few different martial arts, Michael and his father found themselves at Rising Sun Martial Arts. Learning a combination of Japanese Jiu Jitsu, Sambo, and Catch Wrestling, this is when Michael's martial arts journey took off. He was excelling at Rising Sun and after 8 years he received his Black Belt. It was about that time that Michael began training a more traditional BJJ style with Mile MrKulic, a Brown Belt under Royler Gracie. Michael became recognized as one of the top teen grapplers in the world. Michael was featured in the ‘Kids Sports Illustrated Magazine’ (Summer 2003 edition), and ranked top kids/teens competitor (World/US) for his outstanding performances in the NAGA and Grapplers Quest promotions. And in 2005 along side Gianni Grippo, Michael won the “Top Teen Grappler” award at the NAGA/Grappling Hall of Fame Gala after amassing over 55 gold medals.


By this time, Michael had also been wresting for a few years. He went on to an outstanding high school wrestling career and his team won 3 state championships. In addition, Michael was taking private lessons from Purdue University’s All-American, Jason Silverstein. All of Michael's hard work and dedication paid off when he was recruited to Rhode Island College. There he continued his success, becoming the 141 pound starter for 3 years, ranked #9 in the nation his junior year, and was a team captain and the 149 pound starter his senior year. He also finished with over 100 career wins and as a 4x “All New England” medalist.


After college, Michael left the east coast for a job opportunity in San Diego, California. He began training at Gracie Humaitá and soon received his BJJ Black Belt from Regis Lebre. He continued his competition career taking 2nd place at the IBJJF Pans No-Gi Championship in 2018, 2nd place at the IBJJF Las Vegas No-Gi Open in 2018, and1st place at the IBJJF San Jose No-Gi Open in 2019.


Michael is now back in New Jersey training with his childhood competitor, Gianni Grippo, and has started his own online training platform. This platform, The Merge The Wrestling Guide to Jiu Jitsu is dedicated to merging wrestling and Jiu Jitsu to "efficiently utilize wrestling techniques in jiu jitsu and blend both arts".


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