Stephen Moss, the manager of Verizon in Warwick, has grappled with success and adversity. Moss is a grappler which combines the skills of Ground Combat, Wrestling, Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Sambo, and other Mixed Martial Arts.
Moss moved from California to New York with nothing more than a job offer, a suitcase, no knowledge of New York or the East Coast, no family and only one friend. As a kid, he was always interested in Mixed Martial Arts and even professional wrestling. When he saw an ad in 2011 about Grappling, a Mixed Martial Art that was taking place at the Asylum Fight Team back in Ramsey, NJ, he decided to try it.
“I got much more then what I anticipated. I got a sense of confidence, humbleness, and friends that I will carry a lifetime. The added benefit is there is much to learn. All Martial Artists respect everyone else’s art. You may be training with someone in grappling who is also a black belt in Karate or Tae Kwon Do, and now you have knowledge they can pass to you. I would encourage anyone of age to participate in any Martial Arts as it is a great foundation to build character,” said Moss.
Moss mainly competes in “No GI” competition, which means that no grappler is to wear a GI like in traditional Martial Arts. Moss is currently training at Soul Fighters in Brewster, NY under the guidance of Vladislav Koulikov. He also trains at his house with fellow mates twice a week. Moss competed at Grapplers Quest and NAGA (North American Grappling Association), placing second at the Lake George Championships last year in Masters Light Heavyweight, Division: Intermediate.
He had plans in 2016 to compete at the expert level, however his health turned to the worse. His C7-T1 (a disc in the spine that connects the neck to the spine) was severely herniated He could barely move his right arm due to this injury. For the better part of 2016, he woke up every morning, rolling out of bed in pain and was told he would need surgery.
Moss was defiant and determined. Starting with minor physical therapy exercises then progressing to more exercises under the guidance of his chiropractor, he gradually got his feeling back in his arm and the pain in his back went away. Everyone assumed he would be having surgery in November of this year, but instead of surgery, he will be competing in one of the biggest grappling events in the country, working toward his dream of competing on a bigger scale.
“I wanted to show any athlete who holds a full time job and wants to compete and has to battle adversity with health that anything is possible, just put your mind to it, and you will achieve,” said Moss.