74-year old earns black-belt

James Terlecki is not your average 74 year old.  He’s an all out competitor with 30 years of martial arts experience.

“I still feel very strong. I feel as strong as I was when I was 20 years old. But the thing is, my bones don’t break or nothing. I get rolled around and everything, but they’re strong, and this keeps your bones strong,” he said.

Terlecki picked up Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu thirteen years ago, and earned a black belt in early March.

His son is also active in the sport, as the owner of Next Level Martial Arts.

“A black-belt is something very few people achieve, even in the state of Ohio. There’s a couple handfuls of people with a black belt,” the younger Terlecki said.

And, at 74 years old, Terlecki is one of them, and he’s always up for a new challenge.

“At first I thought, you had to be gentle with Mr. T. but that lasted about one minute until I was unconscious I think. And after that I kept going after him. I tell you what, you can’t ease up one bit,” Blue Belt Rob Sullivan said.

And Terlecki’s son, James, relishes the time spent with his father in the sport.

“It’s awesome, because how many guys….I’m 38 years old, and when I was rolling around the living room floor when I was four years old,” said James Terlecki, “We’re rolling around in here, and I’m 38 and he’s 74…how awesome is that? How many people get to do that with their dad?”

And, despite his age, Terlecki shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

“I think it’s a great feeling. I’m not bragging or nothing, but my wife never felt like she was afraid to go anywhere with me,” said Terlecki. “She always felt like she was protected.”

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