Q&A with California Wrestler Tony Uchytil – Following His Dreams

TONY UCHYTIL - 2016 SJJIF World Champion

TONY UCHYTIL – 2016 SJJIF World Champion

Small TCW Bear Logo

 

TCW: “When did you begin the sport of wrestling?”
Uchytil: My sophomore year at Liberty High School in Brentwood (1999-2000 season). A good friend of mine encouraged me to go out for the team. I only won one match that season at the JV level.”

 

TCW: “What did you accomplish in high school?”
Uchytil: “Despite earning a varsity letter during my junior season, I failed to compete in the post season. Unfortunately, I was behind returning state medalist, Christian Bowerman and did not make the final line-up. Christian was a 2x state medalist and earned multiple All-American honors at the Cadet and Junior Nationals in Fargo. I also earned a varsity letter my senior year, but once again lost the wrestle-off at the end of the year to compete in the post season.”

 

Uchytil_Worlds_Coach

Tony with Coach Andre

TCW: “Did you continue your wrestling career after high school?”
Uchytil: “Not at first…I basically hung up my shoes and lost all desire to compete anymore, but it was my good friend and teammate, Christian Bowerman that encouraged me not to quit and make an attempt at earning a spot on the Junior National team in the summer.”

 

TCW: “Did you take Christian’s offer to train and compete for a spot on the California Junior National Team?”
Uchytil: “Yes! He advised me to compete at several of the regional tournaments in the western United States. I competed at the Northwest Regional, Western Regional, and Southeast Regional in New Orleans, placing fourth in each, failing to earn a spot to compete at the nationals. As a result, I continued to train with Christian to improve upon my skill set. Fortunately, it paid off when I placed first at the California Junior State in Greco-Roman and runner-up in Freestyle, earning a trip to Fargo.”

 

TCW: “How did you perform at the Junior Nationals?”
Uchytil: “I went 3-2 in Greco-Roman…I was up 9-0 in my final match, but was caught in a headlock and pinned. If I had won that match, I would have earned All-American status.”

 

TCW: “Did you compete after the Junior Nationals in Fargo?”
Uchytil: “Yes, I competed at several open tournaments and eventually placed 2nd at the FILA Junior State Championships.”

 

Uchytil_coaching_Iiberty


Assistant Coach at Liberty HS

TCW: “To date, what other accomplishments have you achieved in wrestling?”
Uchytil: “I’ve earned three national titles at the Veteran’s National Championships in Greco-Roman; 2009, 2013, and 2014 at 85 kg.”

 

TCW: “More recently, you won a Gold Medal at the Sports Jiu Jitsu International Federation (SJJIF) World Championships in the Blue Belt division. How did you get involved in the sport of Jiu Jitsu?”
Uchytil: “Around 2013, a father (Andre Dumdumaya) of one of my wrestlers at Heritage High School in Brentwood (Lania Dumdumaya – NCS Champion/4th at CIF State) encouraged me to give the sport a try.”

 

TCW: “Please provide more detail about Coach Andre Dumdumaya…What’s his background in Jiu Jitsu?”
Uchytil: “Coach Andre earned his Black Belt under Cesar Gracie, among the toughest Black Belts to earn in the sport.”

 

TCW: “When did you compete in your first Jiu Jitsu competition?”
Uchytil: “Around 2013…my first actual competition was about a month after training in the sport. I placed 3rd at the Gracie Invitational and from then on I kept competing in local competitions. It was awkward at first…positioning is much different than wrestling, but through time I adapted. In 2015, I placed 3rd at the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) World Championships, but desired the Gold.”

 

3x Veterans National Champion - Greco-Roman

3x Veterans National Champion – Greco-Roman

TCW: “How long have you coached the sport of wrestling?”
Uchytil: “My coaching career began after my senior year of high school in 2002. I was an assistant coach at my alma mater, Liberty High School in 2002-’03, assistant at Deer Valley High School (2003-’04), Liberty (2004-’05), and became the head coach at Heritage High School in 2005 (coached the school’s first NCS Champion and CIF State Medalist in 2013). Currently, I am an assistant at Liberty High School.”
Training with UFC Champion, Nick Diaz

Training with UFC Star, Nate Diaz

TCW: “What’s your future in wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, and coaching?”
Uchytil: “My future plans are to compete in a few more Veteran’s Nationals, as well as the World Championships. I recently passed the steamfitter test for local 393, so work will eventually consume most of my time, but as of right now, I’d like to stay active and compete some more after I heal. It’s also my goal to earn a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu…definitely a challenging journey.”

 

TCW: “Congratulations on your accomplishments, commitments to the sport, and inspiring story.”
Uchytil: “I want to thank my coach, family, and friends for always being there for me.”

 

Jiu_Jitsu_World_medals

World Medals – SJJIF Blue Belt Division