Jose Tellez (CA)
Young Champion in the Making
By Bill X. Barron – RMN Events Writer
Just six years old, Jose Tellez IV has already been named Outstanding Wrestler of RMN Events five times and recently cruised through Tulsa Nationals, pinning all opponents in the first period except for his finals victory by decision. Training in California with MMA world-class fighter Daniel Cormier, dad Jose III describes his son’s prowess: “At his age, we let it come naturally. The things that Jose does with his body is a feel you can’t teach. He utilizes push, pull, leverage and seems to know when he is in danger.”
When he was but three, Jose’s wrestling began with a spontaneous roll-around with the Los Banos High School coach’s son. Coach Julian Gomez then suggested that Jose try the local club. It was there that a love for wrestling was born in both the son and the father. At first Jose practiced three days a week with no pressure. By age four, Jose began competing with immediate success.
Dad and son revel in the atmosphere created by RMN Events. States dad: “RMN is a true Christian family. Ed (Gutierrez) leads a prayer before the start, and the event promotes pride in the country and honors servicemen. While some are afraid of being politically correct, Ed stays true to his faith. Everything about their tournaments speak to quality: the referees, the amazing venues, the second-to-none awards. Every place is new. RMN pays attention to detail, gives recognition to the kids, and stays on top with creative award designs.”
A convert to wrestling, dad Jose celebrates “how even in defeat, kids learn to carry themselves with pride. I have taught Jose that no matter what happens, shake hands and keep your head up. At first, he took losses hard. But it’s how you rebound that will determine your character. Live your life with dignity and pride.”
Daniel Cormier is not only a coach, but also a mentor and role model who is still an active fighter. Jose says, “I have never seen him out of hand, in or out of the ring.” While competing for the DC club, every kid knows he is “a target that everyone else is out to get.” In dad’s opinion, “we are training at the best MMA (AKA) gym in the country.”
Cormier, the #1 world-ranked MMA heavyweight, was a 3-time state champion wrestler (LA), as well as an NCAA All-American and Olympic team member. Daniel’s fame attracts all sorts of competitors, nationally recognized clinicians, and opportunities to practice with Coach John Smith at places like the Oklahoma State University room. Jose is also ably coached by Kyle Crutchmer, a 2-time NCAA All-American, who like Daniel is an OSU grad and MMA fighter.
When asked how he balances success and high expectations at an early age, dad comments: “We travel all over to find the best kids. Sometimes we bump him up to 8-and-under to keep him humble. At 55-60 pounds, Jose is big for his age, so he is partnered in practice with older wrestlers. Coach Cormier rotates kids in practice; some he can beat, while he gets beat by others.”
Dad has a larger vision for his young protégé: “Wrestling is a vehicle, a way for kids to go to college. DC stresses that both wrestling and academics are equally important. I did not go to college myself, but I have vowed to help Jose get there.”
Jose III has learned that it is best that he not be Jose IV’s coach. “I remember when Jose was 5 and he took 8th out of 23 kids in an older weight class. I didn’t let up on him. Coach Bill Pigg told me to bring my wrestling shoes to practice the next day. Then he had young Jose coach me the way I had coached him. That opened my eyes to consider my kid’s feelings. Since I stopped directly coaching him, our relationship has improved.”
What makes dad as proud as he is about Jose’s accomplishments is his heightened sense of sportsmanship. “Jose is fierce when the whistle blows, but afterward he hugs and consoles his opponent,” relates his father. After finishing wrestling, Jose can be seen hanging out with his former foes, eating and hanging out as best buds “like nothing happened.”
As MMA fighter Tito Ortiz once told dad Jose: “You have raised Jose to be a man.”
COACH DANIEL CORMIER (NO. 1 UFC HEAVYWEIGHT) WITH DANIEL CORMIER JR. (L) & JOSE TELLEZ (R) AT RMN-NUWAY FREAK SHOW - Pic by Deonna Tellez
Jose Tellez, CA - 6U OW - with RMN CEO Ed Gutierrez