Dallas resident Gerry Tena won the Male Senior 178 and Male Senior 198 divisions while also placing second in the Male Senior 220 division. He will now represent the state of Georgia at the 2015 National State Games of America next July in Lincoln, Neb.
“It was an exciting tournament because the competitors are local,” said Tena. “Once the divisions are set up at an event like that, you can figure out who your opponents are going to be because they’ve been doing the sport a long time as well.”
Tena, 28, has trained in judo for 11 years and teaches classes at the Striker Fight Center facility in Kennesaw. His athletic background extends to high school where he became a top wrestler at Forsyth Central High School in Cumming. Tena then attended Kennesaw State for continued focus on his judo training since his original dojo was located near the campus.
Tena has transitioned into other combat sports and martial arts such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, traditional boxing and kick boxing. He even pursued a career as a mixed martial arts fighter but retired in 2011 due to a head injury.
After his retirement, Tena has focused on grappling and increased his training to enter more competitions in the future like the Georgia Games. He also has become a mixed martial arts coach for several fighters and runs their training camps before a fight.
“The Paulding County area has several strong martial arts gyms and is a good area for the sports,” said Tena.
He will compete in other events throughout this summer in Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina in preparation for the National State Games.