ã€€From National Champions to World Champions
Eskrima is a Philippine martial art that is taking the world by storm. It is an exciting, fast moving sport that is practiced in over 26 countries. Many of the best "Eskrimadors" come from the United States. After competing in the National Championships a group of the gold medalists are from PIMA Academy in Jersey City, New Jersey under the tutelage of Grand Master Dong Cuesta. But in order for these National Champions to become World Champions they will need financial assistance. Each player is responsible for paying their own way to get to the WEKAF World Stick Fighting Championships in Debrecen, Hungary. These games occur in the latter part of July. The plane and hotel fare alone is $2,000.00 per person. These men have worked and sacrificed much to reach the top tier of this sport in the United States. It is imperative that they have the opportunity to show the world that the American Stick Fighters aren't just the best in the country, but are the best in the world. Please support their dream.
Here is a brief biography of the five champions:ã€€
Juan "Little John" Cruz has been practicing Eskrima for sixteen years. He was talented enough to win a World title early in his career. At a recent World Championship he earned a Silver Medal in a hot and heavy match. In this year's National Championship Little John earned a US Team spot in both the Single Stick and Double Stick competition proving that gold is the only medal that should be hung around his neck. Outside of his martial arts training Little John is a dedicated paramedic and medical simulation specialist/educator. He also volunteers his expertise in international medical missions. He was on one of the medical teams that served in Tacloban, Philippines after they were devastated by Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.
Jeremy Ho has been an Eskrimidor for ten years. He won a Junior World Championship title as a member of the 2008 US Team. He is ready to compete on the international scene as an adult for the first time after earning a spot on the US Team during this year's National Championships. Jeremy is currently a Criminal Justice major in Rutgers University. His keen mind and body will keep him at the top of his game in the college arena as well as the competition floor.
Keith Kelly has been practicing Eskrima over ten years. He was a member of the 2008 US Team and proudly represented the United States in the World Championships. This year he is far more experienced and prepared for the challenge ahead. His first step to international gold was winning a national title and earning a berth on the 2014 US Team. Keith is a high school teacher in the Jersey City public school system. He has dedicated the latter part of his life to the education of these children. By winning the gold medal in Hungary he can be proof to his students that no goal is to high to reach for.
Rossini Solatorio is a champion of local, national and international competition. He has been practicing Eskrima since 2004. Rossinis is a fierce, dynamic fighter. After blazing through his first World Title in 2012 he was given the monicker of "The Beast." So it was no surprise when he earned another spot on the US Team after a champion performance in this year's National Championships. Outside of the ring Rossini participates in local charity events and is a dedicated family man. He is currently employed with GlaxoSmithKline in East Durham, New York.
Paul Marcazzo has been a serious student of Eskrima since 2005. His natural athletic ability and iron will led him to be a force to be reckoned with in the Eskrima community. It was only a matter of time until he fought his way to the top and became a national title holder and US Team member. Paul is an award winning realtor. The strength and genuiness of his character is the source of his success. Paul seeks to continue grow and enrich the lives of those around him through his Eskrima training and international competition.
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