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    Local, U.S. Community Competes during 2nd Gladiator Junior Wrestling Okinawa Open Tournament

    Local, U.S. Community Competes during 2nd Gladiator Junior Wrestling Okinawa Open Tournament

    Photo By Cpl. Tayler Schwamb | MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan – Sgt. Luke Deornellis referees...... read more read more

    MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, JAPAN

    04.14.2018

    Story by Cpl. Tayler Schwamb 

    Marine Corps Installations Pacific

    Youth wrestlers from the local and U.S. community gathered for a friendly competition during the second Gladiator Junior Wrestling Okinawa Open Tournament at the Semper Fit Gym April 14 on Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

    The youth wrestlers met to build sportsmanship, mental strength and a passion for the sport of wrestling in a safe, competitive and friendly environment.

    “The informal motto of the league is: ‘A wrestler never loses. They either win or they learn,’” said Chief Warrant Officer Nathan Rogers, the president of Gladiators Wrestling League and an electronics maintenance officer with Marine Corps Installations Pacific-Marine Corps Base Camp Butler, Japan. “The goal of this tournament was to share that with our local friends. This youth league may never produce a professional, but we can build citizens of character, integrity and determination. That is the focus of everything we do in Gladiators.”

    According to Rogers, the Gladiator Junior Wrestling League has a spring and fall season, with six total competitions. The Okinawa Open Championship is the largest youth wrestling tournament in Okinawa, open to the local and military community. Throughout the tournament, the wrestlers, ranging from the ages of 5 to 15, portrayed exemplary sportsmanship by shaking hands before and after each match, eagerly accepting coaching from anyone, and playing tag amongst each other in-between matches.

    However, language was not the only obstacle the youth wrestlers overcame, the local and military community practice with two completely different wrestling styles. The Okinawa community utilizes freestyle wrestling while the U.S. community employs folk style, each with their own scoring system. The coaches and referees overcame the minor differences with ease.

    According to Rogers, through the tournament wrestlers built self-esteem, stronger work ethics and a deeper understanding of different cultures. Many of the youth wrestlers continue to wrestle and play with the friends that they find through this tournament, learning other fighting styles.

    “Personally I really like getting to see the relationship between the local and community grow,” said Lance Cpl. Ramfys Delgado Montanez, an announcer for tournament and a wireman specialist with G-6, communications, Headquarters and Support Battalion, MCIPAC-MCB. “I would definitely recommend that people come out to volunteer,” said Delgado. “The children had a blast, and so did we.”

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    NEWS INFO

    Date Taken: 04.14.2018
    Date Posted: 04.17.2018 03:00
    Story ID: 273295
    Location: MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, JP

    Web Views: 104
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