Michael Trasso doing Jiu Jitsu as a young kid
Michael Trasso wrestling
Michael Trasso during a competition

About Michael

Michael began his journey on the mats in his hometown of Lyndhurst, NJ. At just five years old, Michael started learning “Freestyle Jiu Jitsu” at Rising Sun Martial Arts: a style of Jiu Jitsu that is of Japanese origin and includes a mixture of both catch wrestling and sambo. What began as a way to break his shyness as a young boy quickly became a passion for the art.

Starting in 1999, Michael broke into the Jiu Jitsu competition circuit and a year later began wrestling for the Lyndhurst middle school program. After eight years of training at Rising Sun and receiving a black belt, Michael embarked on a new journey in expanding his Jiu Jitsu. In 2003, he began training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) under Mike MrKulic—a student of Louis Vintaloro and a representative of the RGDA (Royler Gracie/David Adiv partnership).

Michael’s incredible pace as an adolescent earned him a feature in the 2003 summer edition of Sports Illustrated Kids Magazine, where he was ranked top kids & teens competitor (World and US respectively) for the aforementioned BJJ promotions. His 55+ tournament gold medals also paved the way for Michael’s “Top Teen Grappler” award by NAGA/Grappling Hall of Fame Gala (2005).

Michael continued his wrestling career at Saint Mary’s & Queen of Peace High School under head coach Scot Weaver while also investing in private lessons with Purdue University’s All-American, Jason Silverstein. Michael credits a majority of his wrestling development and future success to Silverstein. Michael’s team went on to win three State Championship titles and his other high school accomplishments include District 16 Champion, Region 4 Champion, and NJSIAA State Qualifier.

In 2008, Michael was recruited by Rhode Island College Anchormen’s head wrestling coach, Jay Jones. Trasso dedicated most of his time to wrestling throughout the next five years, but he never lost sight of his BJJ training goals. Trasso was the Anchormen’s starting 141-pounder for three years and in 2011, was ranked #9 in the nation. Starting his senior year, he served as one of the Anchormen’s captains as well as their starting 149-pounder. Michael ended his college wrestling career as a 4x “All New England” medalist with 229 career takedowns. He is the 12th wrestler in the program’s history to receive 100+ career victories.

After graduation, Michael landed a full-time job in the IT staffing industry and a role as assistant wrestling coach for Hope High School in Providence, RI. In his spare time, Michael trained at Tim Burrill BJJ under Tim Burrill & Jimmy Connor.

In 2016, Michael accepted a career opportunity in San Diego, California. This opportunity allowed Michael to move to one of the biggest grappling hubs in the world and take full advantage of its competition scene. In San Diego, he trained under Gracie Humaitá’s team leader, Regis Lebre. It was there where Michael would receive his black belt, instruct classes and accomplish some of his most notable awards in Jiu Jitsu competition. Michael Trasso was ranked on FloGrappling’s “Top 20 No Gi Adult Black Belt Middleweights in the World” in 2018 and 2019.

In 2020, Michael made his way back to Lyndhurst, NJ where he began training with his old friend, Gianni Grippo, and other standouts like Paulo Miyao & João Miyao. It was here where Michael also started his online instructional video series called “The Merge”. “The Merge” is the wrestling guide for Jiu Jitsu. This series helps practitioners learn how to efficiently utilize wrestling techniques in Jiu Jitsu and blend both arts. Michael plans on opening a Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling academy in the near future.

Off the mats, Michael enjoys running, lifting, and listening to Classic Rock & 80’s music.

 

Awards & Achievements

2020

Fight 2 Win 136

No Gi Superfight Winner - 180 lbs

2019

Ranked Top 20 No Gi Adult Black Belts in the World

FloGrappling’s 2019 Middleweight Rankings

2019 IBJJF San Jose International Open (No Gi)

1st Place - Adult Black Belt Middleweight

2018

IBJJF Las Vegas International Open (No Gi)

2nd Place - Adult Black Belt Middleweight

Ranked Top 20 No Gi Adult Black Belts in the World

FloGrappling's 2018 Middleweight Rankings

2018 IBJJF Pan American Championships (No Gi)

2nd Place - Adult Black Belt Middleweight

2017

IBJJF World Championship (Gi)

3rd Place - Adult Brown Belt Middle-Heavyweight

IBJJF Pan American Championships (No Gi)

1st Place - Adult Brown Belt Middle Heavyweight

IBJJF World Championship (No Gi)

3rd Place - Adult Brown Belt Middle-Heavyweight

2014

NAGA Battle at the Beach (No Gi)

1st Place - Adult Expert Middleweight

NAGA Battle at the Beach (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Brown Belt/Black Belt Middleweight

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Adult Expert Cruiserweight

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (Gi)

3rd Place - Adult Brown Belt Cruiserweight

NAGA New England Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Adult Expert Middleweight

NAGA New England Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Brown Belt/Black Belt Middleweight

2013

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Brown Belt Middleweight

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Adult Expert Middleweight

2012

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (Gi)

2nd Place - Adults Brown Belt Middleweight

NCAA Wrestling New England Conference Championship

3rd Place - 149 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling Doug Parker Springfield Invitational

4th Place - 149 lbs.

2012 Rhode Island College Wrestling

100th Career Win Milestone

2011

NCAA Wrestling Doug Parker Springfield Invitational

4th Place - 149 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling Roger Williams Invitational

1st Place - 149 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling New England Conference Championship

5th Place - 149 lbs.

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Purple Belt Featherweight

2010

NCAA Wrestling Citrus Duals Invitational

2nd Place - 141 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling Doug Parker Springfield Invitational

3rd Place - 141 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach (Gi)

3rd Place - Adult Purple Belt Lightweight

NAGA Battle at the Beach (No-Gi)

3rd Place - Adult Expert Featherweight

NCAA Wrestling New England Conference Championship

6th Place - 141 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling Ursinus Invitational

2nd Place - 141 lbs.

2009

NCAA Wrestling Citrus Duals Invitational

2nd Place - 141 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling Doug Parker Springfield Invitational

4th Place - 141 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach (No Gi)

3rd Place - Adult Advanced

NAGA Battle at the Beach (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Purple Belt Featherweight

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Adult Advanced Featherweight

NCAA Wrestling New England Conference Championship

3rd Place - 141 lbs.

Grapplers Quest Copa Atlantica Championship (Gi)

2nd Place - Adult Purple Belt Flyweight

MBJJ Absolute Tournament (No Gi)

1st Place - Adult Absolute

MBJJ Absolute Tournament (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Absolute

2008

NCAA Wrestling Rochester Institute of Technology Invitational

4th Place - 141 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling Doug Parker Springfield Invitational

4th Place - 141 lbs.

NCAA Wrestling Roger Williams Invitational

2nd Place - 141 lbs.

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Advanced Featherweight

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Purple Belt Middleweight

NJSIAA Wrestling Region 4 Championship

1st Place - 140 lbs.

NJSIAA Wrestling District 16 Championship

1st Place - 140 lbs.

Grapplers Quest Copa Atlantica Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Purple Belt Flyweight

NAGA Battle at the Beach (No Gi)

1st Place - Expert Featherweight

2007

NAGA Battle at the Beach (No-Gi)

1st Place - Teens Expert Lightweight

NJSIAA Wrestling District 16 Championship

3rd Place - 135 lbs.

Grapplers Quest Copa Atlantica Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Adult Blue Belt Featherweight

NAGA Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens Expert Lightweight

NAGA World Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Teens Expert 130-149 lbs.

NAGA World Championship (Gi)

2nd Place - Teens Purple Belt 130-149lbs.

NAGA U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens Expert

NAGA U.S. National Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens Blue Belt

NAGA Battle At The Beach (Gi)

1st Place - Teens Blue Belt Lightweight

2006

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced Welterweight

Grapplers Quest Copa Atlantica Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Teens Advanced Welterweight

Grapplers Quest Copa Atlantica Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced Welterweight

ADCC North American Trials (No Gi)

3rd Place - Teens Advanced Middleweight

ADCC North American Trials (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced Welterweight

2005

NAGA World Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced

NAGA World Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Teens Advanced Lightweight

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced Lightweight

NAGA Battle At The Beach 6 (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced

NAGA Battle At The Beach 6 (Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (Gi)

2nd Place - Teens Advanced Green/Blue Belt Welterweight

NAGA 10 Year Anniversary North American Grappling Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens Advanced

NAGA 10 Year Anniversary North American Grappling Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens Blue Belt

2004

Hurricane in Hackensack 2 (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens 90-110 lbs.

Arnold Classic World Submission Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 95-105 lbs.

Grapplers Quest "Beast of the East" Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-94.9 lbs.

NAGA World Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Teens/Kids 90-99.9 lbs.

NAGA World Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 90-99.9 lbs.

NAGA Chicago Open Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9lbs.

NAGA Chicago Open Championship (Gi)

2nd Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs.

NAGA Pro-Am Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs.

NAGA Battle At The Beach 5 (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs.

NAGA Battle At The Beach 5 (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs.

NAGA North American Grappling Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs.

NAGA North American Grappling Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs

New England Grappling Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs.

New England Grappling Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids Advanced 100-114.9 lbs.

RGDA Gracie Championship (Gi)

Superfight Winner

2003

NAGA World Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

NAGA World Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

All American Grappling Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

Tiger Schulmann's Challenge of Champions

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

Challenge of Champions Freestlye Standup

1st Place - Teens/Kids

NAGA Pro-Am of Grappling (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

NAGA Pro-Am of Grappling (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

NAGA Pro-Am of Grappling (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

NAGA Pro-Am of Grappling (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

Grapplers Quest Las Vegas Jiu Jitsu Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-94.9 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach 4 (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

New England Grappling Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

New England Grappling Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-89.9 lbs.

Grapplers Quest World Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-94.9 lbs.

Copa Atlantica Brazilian Jui Jitsu Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 80-94.9 lbs.

Hurricane in Hackensack Submission (No Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 90-110 lbs.

North American Grappling Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Teens/Kids 90-99.9 lbs.

North American Grappling Championship (No Gi)

2nd Place - Teens/Kids 80-94.9 lbs.

2002

New Jersey State Grappling Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

New Jersey State Grappling Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

Grapplers Quest U.S. National Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

Copa Atlantica Brazilian Jui Jitsu Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach 3 (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach 3 (No Gi)

2nd place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

New England Grappling Championships (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

New England Grappling Championships (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

Metropolitan Grappling Championships (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 72-82.9 lbs.

NAGA National Grappling Champion (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 80-89 lbs.

NAGA National Grappling Champion (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 80-89 lbs.

2001

Garden State Grappling Challenge (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 60-69 lbs.

Garden State Grappling Challenge (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 60-69 lbs.

Mat Madness / Proving Grounds (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 60-69 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach 2 (No Gi)

2nd Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach 2 (Gi)

2nd Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

NAGA NAGC National Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

NAGA NAGC National Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 70-79 lbs.

2000

NAGA Battle at the Beach (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 60-69 lbs.

NAGA Battle at the Beach (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 60-69 lbs.

NAGA NAGC National Championship (Gi)

1st Place - Kids 60-69 lbs.

NAGA NAGC National Championship (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids 60-69 lbs.

1999

Tri-State Ground Control Classic (No Gi)

1st Place - Kids