The first-ever U.S. gold medalist in Judo and a bronze medalist from the 2012 U.S. team will join other athletes in Fort Lee Saturday at the grand opening of a new martial arts training center on Lemoine Avenue.
Both will be at Renzo Gracie Martial Arts Training Center on Saturday afternoon, along with two-time Olympian Travis Stevens (81 kg), who placed fifth in Judo at the London Games.
The 4,000-squre-foot facility is co-owned and operated by Fort Lee residents Christopher Skelley, who was the team manager of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Judo Team, and Alan Teo.
“After spending eight years traveling around the world with the USA Judo Team and producing the first ever Olympic gold medalist, I look forward to teaching in the same town where I started my judo training at the age of 12,” said Skelley, who spent his early years training at the Fort Lee Judo Center with Sensei Bill Camal and his son, Sensei Tony Camal, who now operates a martial arts facility with Teo in Woodland Park.
Skelley said he will teach Judo at the new training center in Fort Lee.
Teo, a 16-year resident of the borough, is a Renzo Gracie 1st degree black belt and certified Jeet Kune Do instructor and has competed in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for many years. Teo, who has more than 20 years of martial arts experience, will serve as head instructor at the new Fort Lee facility that offers classes for all skill levels taught by world renowned instructors with black belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Judo and Muay Thai, as well as certifications in Jeet Kune Do and Training for Warriors.
Teo called the new martial arts training center a “dream come true” and said it has been his lifelong ambition to share his passion for the martial arts.
Also on hand for the grand opening Saturday will be professional MMA fighter Renzo Gracie, head of the Renzo Gracie Association, and UFC Heavy Weight Champion Ricco Rodriguez, among other professional mixed martial arts fighters.
The grand opening of Renzo Gracie Martial Arts Training Center, located at 2175 Lemoine Ave. in Fort Lee, takes place Saturday, Jan. 19 from 3 to 8 p.m. Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich and representatives from the Fort Lee Regional Chamber of Commerce will be on hand for a 3 p.m. ribbon cutting ceremony.