Antonio "Tony The Tiger" Vernón's Personal Interests
"Have nunchucks. Will travel." - Antonio "Tony The Tiger" Vernón

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Tony use to compete in powerlifting and still enjoys lifting weights to keep in shape. While captain of the Princeton Powerlifting Club, he became the strongest man pound for pound to ever attend an Ivy League School by performing a deadlift of 3.7 times his everyday bodyweight. FYI, the traditional single event test of strength is how much weight one can lift off the ground (not the bench press, which is a football performance measure). As a result, one could say the deadlift, although less prestigious, serves as weightlifting's traditional single event test of strength in the same way that the 100 meter dash serves as track and field's traditional single event test of speed. Thus, despite the fact that Tony added over 175 lbs. to his maximum bench press during the rigors of an Ivy League education, it is his deadlifting accomplishments that establish his claim to fame. For a better explanation . Tony was also the youngest middleweight (75 kilo/165.25 lbs) to deadlift 600 lbs. without using steroids. He was nationally ranked for 3 years according to Powerlifting USA magazine and the American Drug (Steroid) Free Powerlifting Association (it is rare for a collegian to achieve a #4 national ranking given that a man's physical strength peaks after age 29). (One can only wonder what Tony's rightful place in history is among the pantheon of American collegiate athletes of the 20th century).

Tony's first brush with athletic excellence on the national level occurred at the age of 11 while following in the footsteps of his father, Dr. Carlos Henrique José Antonio Rogelio Miguel Rafael Vernón de Coates, (Republic of Panama Athlete of the Year (1957, track & field), 1976 National Athletic Federation Honoree), arguably the greatest sprinter in Latin American history. Tony was a member of an AAU 10-11 year old national record setting sprint medley relay team. Tony credits his athletic successes mostly to good genetics.

Tony should also note a role model of his youth whose small role has become an example for large part of Tony's way of life. Neighbor and two-time World Freestyle Frisbee Champion John Houck showed a teenage Tony how to be a positive role model with his regular public practicing during the summers.

I would like to thank the many people who have contributed to my ability to practice poi balls and the manriki. There were many helpful performers in Costa Rica who valiantly attempted to help me overcome myself and my limited coordination. However, due to my broken digital camera and inability to record video, I was unable to really learn these weapons effectively until my trip to Hawai'i. Both Ani Isaacs and Michaela Larson (Hawaiian name Lehuanani), Hilton Waikoloa Beach Resort Recreation Manager, gave instruction with the closely related poi balls and allowed me to take video to improve my techniques. I appreciate their willingness to share their culture with me. Of course, not all skills transfer across these similar implements. In addition to weightlifting, he also enjoys performing martial arts exhibitions with his Tae Kwon Do, Wei Chi Ryu Karate and over a dozen "weapons":. Tony has been a martial artist since 1995 at various schools and obtained his Kukkiwon-certified first degree black belt (first dan) in Tae Kwon Do in 1998. He likes to globetrot internationally to beaches & parks. These travels have taken him to 11 states and 8 WTF countries. Tony has participated in a few demonstrations.

Tony does use the following extensive list of "weapons":

For information regarding legal issues pertaining to weapons such as case law, statutory code and legal interpretations navigate to the legal issues page.

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