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 June 1st, 2011  
St. Lucie County County Detention Deputy Richard Medina medals at national martial arts tournament
St. Lucie County Detention Deputy Richard Medina won a silver medal May 21 at the North American Grappling Association tournament at Florida Atlantic University’s Boca Raton campus.

Deputy Medina, husband, father, and shoot-fighter (a form of mixed martial arts), started his career at the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office in December 2007. Deputy Medina’s wife, Tasha, is also in law enforcement. She is a Palm Bay police officer, who was present to help celebrate his wins.

Richard’s first athletic competitions began at the age of 16 with high school wrestling at Bladensburg High School in Maryland in the 135-pound weight class.

Without a match for 18 years, Richard began his march to the medal stand by shedding 23 pounds since he started his training for the event in March.

Richard said, "I set a goal for myself. I wanted to compete at NAGA."

And compete he did, making a short list of 97 other medalists among more than 700 who participated in the NAGA tournament, the largest submission grappling organization in the nation.

"Physical fitness is an important part of the job of a Deputy Sheriff," said Ken J. Mascara, Sheriff of St. Lucie County. "Deputy Medina has taken this skill and developed it to a high art. All of us at the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office are proud of his accomplishments."

Richard honed his skills at Kraken Shoot-Fighting, a private club owned and operated by Master Deputy Jason Wheeler.

At the Kraken, Richard worked on cardio, strength training, and over-all wellness. He was also introduced to Sambo, Jujitsu, Judo, Akido, Uechi Ryu, Muay Thai and Boxing, all elements that make up Kraken Shoot-Fighting’s discipline.

Master Deputy Wheeler said of shoot-fighting, “Ninety-nine percent of all fights end up on the ground, but 100 percent start standing up. You need to know a little of everything.”

He went on to say, “Cardio conditioning is one of the most important elements in survival. If you can’t breathe, you can’t defend yourself or anyone else.”

When Wheeler was asked what he thought Medina brought to the events that lead to his capturing the silver, he said, “He (Medina) is a very determined individual. I believe his work ethic in training for this event was superior to his opponents. Richard is like a sponge. "When I teach he takes everything in and absorbs it. I truly feel that you must have the right frame of mind to compete in these tournaments, and Richard does. He's the same way at work, dealing with inmates. He listens, he’s firm yet fair and overall has a good level head."

Videos of Medina's matches are posted at the Kraken Shoot-Fighting Club Facebook page. Search for "Kraken Shoot Fighting."

Information about Kraken Shoot-Fighting Club is available by e-mailing krakenshootfghtng@att.net

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