Smyrna family enjoys wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

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On a beautiful Wednesday afternoon before Father’s Day, the male members of the Ron Wuest family; Ron, Jr., Ronnie, III, and Tony, were all together in one of their favorite locations, working out in their Smyrna facility.

“Everything is going fine! It’s been a busy year,” commented Ron, Jr. “We competed a lot in the early part of the year, and against the best competition not only in the U.S., but in the world in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.”

Ron competed in the Boston Open in September and the Atlanta Open in August where he won a several gold medals and had a great deal of fun! “I competed with 20-25 year-olds on a dare from a friend. The younger guys are all in incredible shape…rugged and intense at that age.

Last year, in July, I competed in the biggest event in the Worlds in Los Angeles, and I won Gold (in age and weight categories).” He later went back to LA to compete in the Pan American games where he also won Gold. Late last year, he also competed in Abu Dhabi, Dubai where despite a broken toe, he came home with the second place trophy.

Wuest explained that with experience comes caution, “I hurt my knee in April, but I still train here vigorously.

I haven’t competed since April, I want to give it a couple more months, but I am still training hard all the time.”

At the facility, a number of student-athletes come out after wrestling season, there’s adult programs and women’s self defense programs.

A few months ago, Royce Gracie was here.  He’s a legend in the UFC,  and his family created the UFC. Royce was the very first champion, in fact he was the first, second and fourth champion. He’s the reason why Brazilian Jhu Jitsu is so big and popular now in the U.S.  Royce is the premiere guy in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

“But I’m focusing on these two guys right now, my sons Ronnie and Tony,” he said.

Ronnie III is a member of the state champion wrestling team, is a rising senior at Smyrna High School. He has already had a busy summer.  “After the wrestling season ends, everyone stops wrestling or working out. But the more you wrestle, the more it helps you improve.  I practice here, every other day, then I do Jui Jitsu after that. Over the summer we usually have tournaments every other weekend,” he said. But it doesn’t stop there,

“Since wrestling we practice everyday for Jiu Jitsu. I’ve been in here a lot more practicing. We compete all over the place, not just here in Delaware including some of the events with my father.”

Ronnie said he is starting to look at colleges with good wrestling programs, and he will continue to train throughout the summer and into the fall until wrestling season begins, “Then I will practice every day in high school.  I lift weights over the summer as part of my training, but not so much during the season because your body gets worn out.   I try to get as much mat time as possible over the summer heading into the season, while everyone else is doing spring and fall sports, or just relaxing. I don’t do as much Jiu Jitsu during wrestling season, because you do get tired out, he added. There are more wrestling tournaments during the season than over the summer, and Smyrna HS goes to a lot of tournaments during the wrestling season.

Ronnie’s goal to win a state championship in his weight class, last year he came in fourth!

“It’s my senior year, so I want to do my very best and help my team.  We’re going for three state titles in a row!

Anthony, “Tony” Wuest is a 14-year-old rising freshman at Smyrna High School, where varsity wrestling coach Kurt Howell is, no doubt, anticipating a good class of freshman this year. 

Tony also knows about winning in the sport of wrestling. He was a member of the Smyrna Middle School wrestling team that has won an incredible 127 matches in a row.  “I want to do well in school and make the varsity team, but if I don’t I will have a great opportunity to learn and practice with the best,” said Tony. “I hope to help Smyrna win a few more state tournaments over the next few years,” he added. Ironically, the two brothers may end up in the same weight division in the fall. “I think I can beat my big brother,” he quipped.

Tony also has a very busy summer ahead. After lifting and practice, Tony and Ronnie help teach Jiu Jitsu to the little kids that attend the facility. Then they will stay longer and help with the adult practices.  That adds up to about four or five hours a night.

At the end of April, the two brothers went down to Richmond for the American Nationals the “East Coast National Wrestling Tournament” where they both competed in two weight classes.  Both had a lot of matches and both got gold in each division.

All three family members are competing in a tournament in Richmond, VA, in about two weeks.