“Wricksta,” as he is known by his friends and students, is a 10 year U.S. Navy Veteran. It was in Pensacola, FL where he began his Jit Jitsu training at a Pedro Sauer school under Scott Yasson. Shortly after he began he moved to Tampa, FL and began his training under the tutelage of Royce Gracie’s 1st black belt, Rob Kahn at Gracie Wesley Chapel. In 2011 he moved over to Gracie Brandon and began teaching Jiu Jitsu. In 2013, he was awarded “Coach of the Year.” He began teaching Jiu Jitsu closer to his hometown in Wesley Chapel around 2014 out of a local Krav Maga school where he built up a large student base. In 2016, his dream of opening up his own Jiu Jitsu Academy under his longtime instructor, Rob Kahn, came to fruition with the opening of Gracie Wesley Chapel. In a little over a year he has amassed over 100 students and still growing, which is a testament to the training environment they have created.
Q&A Session Between Wrick Tomas and Elite Sports
Question: 1. What will you suggest to the newcomers?
Answer: Keep an open mind. Have fun! BJJ is difficult, and the most important thing is consistency in training. The only way to stay consistent is if you are having fun.
Question: 2. What does it mean for you to be a fighter?
Answer: I am not a “fighter.” I am a Jiu Jitsu Instructor and Practitioner. But I have to set a good example for my “lil ninjas,” as well as the adults. That means conducting business professionally, and being a good friend to my students.
Question: 3. What are the essential things for the training?
Answer: I am big on having fun. Training can be a grind, but you’ve gotta be able to crack jokes and have a good laugh. Besides that; motrin, ice packs, and Epsom salt are your friends lol.
Question: 4. What separates you from every other fighter in your division?
Answer: I don’t think there is anything that separates me. But I devote 150% of my attention to my students. I try my hardest to not only teach them jiu jitsu, but to be their friend and let them know I got their backs on and off the mats.
Question: 5. What is the meaning of success in your mind?
Answer: The meaning of success to me is building an academy where people can come to train in a clean, safe environment and be able to defend themselves if needbe. And being able to pass down jiu jitsu to my students.
Question: 6. With whom you would like to fight, and why?
Answer: I would like to roll with BJ Penn. He is the reason why I started training jiu jitsu.
Question: 7. Is there any difference b/w your common days’ diet and during competition training diet?
Answer: I don’t diet. I like steak and I’m too old lol. My last competition, was the 205-225lbs weight class so I didn’t cut weight.
Question: 8. How does a beginner will prepare for the competition? Any advice for beginners?
Answer: Simplify it. Pick your 2 favorite sweeps, submissions, escapes from every position and work on them. Do not put too much pressure on yourself on your 1st competition. Go have fun.
Question: 9. How is it helpful to have the information about your competitor?
Answer: In the higher levels, it is very important. It allows you to gameplan. In the lower levels, not so much. It’s part of the learning curve with how to adapt to body types and different games.
Question: 10. Is the martial arts necessary for a common person? How?
Absolutely, I believe any martial arts will benefit the average person. Of course, I have a bias towards Brazilian Jiu Jitsu though. I see people come in shy and timid, and over the course of their first year I can see a huge change in them. It’s one of the perks of the job.
Question: 11. Which moment is memorable for you in your past competitions?
Answer: MMAC in Tampa is very memorable. I had just started teaching so all of my students were there to support me. I only had one opponent in the Advanced 205-225lb division so I had to put on a good show. Luckily, I was able to secure a kneebar in a little over a minute.
Question: 12. How do martial arts help to build a leader?
Answer: I believe martial arts builds leaders by instilling good core values in an individual. The one benefit I see in both kids and adults is the growth of self-confidence and self-worth in martial arts.
Question: 13. What would be your dream fight?
Answer: I would like to get some good rolls with BJ Penn. He is my idol and the reason I started training jiu jitsu.
Question: 16. How much importance has the sports gear in any competition?
Answer: The is a huge benefit in gear in training and competing. It all about comfort.
Question: 17. What should we learn from the legends /or from the seniors? Who is your inspiration?
Answer: I believe it is important to carry over the techniques from our seniors/legends of jiu jitsu, but more importantly to learn the way they carry themselves and treat others. When I talk to people more experienced than me, I always ask them this: “Got any advice for me?” They always reply with a mistake they made along the way and help me not to make it on my journey. I draw my inspiration from my wife, Lynn. She supported me when I wanted to change career paths and follow my aspirations of teaching jiu jitsu and eventually opening an academy.
Question: 18. To whom you would like to compliment for your success?
Answer: My longtime instructor Rob Kahn aka HobbyK. He taught me jiu jitsu. Nowadays, he’s mentoring me more in how to be a good instructor and how to run my academy. He’s a big brother to me, I’m lucky to have that relationship with him. He comes up to my academy to teach a class once in a while and he comes up for poker nights with the fellas so I see him often. He tells us stories of training in L.A. with Royce, Rorion, Royler, and Rickson and in return we let him win lol.
Question: 19. Who is your favorite legendary fighter? Why?
Answer: I’ve got 2. First is Royce Gracie. He started it all, changed martial arts forever with his UFC performances. My lineage also falls under Royce. My instructor was among Royce’s first group of blackbelts. He is a funny guy too. When he comes into town and teaches, he’s always busting someone’s balls. I can see where my instructor gets it from, and I am the same way. Second is BJ Penn. First American to with the Mundials in Brazil. It was awesome to see an island boy do his thing.