I ran across a story from The New York Post and thought I’d share it with you guys. The article states that a former city firefighter is now practicing and competing in mixed martial arts events. Practicing and competing is not the problem. The problem is the fact he has been getting nearly $75,000 a year, tax-free, in disability pension for the last seven years that he was given because of alleged lung problems.
Forty-two year old John Giuffrida has been training and competing in Muay Thai kickboxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for the last two years despite a career-ending diagnoses of lung disease and post-traumatic stress disorder, and some people are upset and believe he’s cheating the system.
One anonymous person close to Giuffrida said, “He’s scamming the city and slapping all these widows and widowers in the face.” The source went on to add that he (Giuffrida) got divorced and took up hiking and scuba diving in his retirement along with martial arts.
Giuffrida claims that he was forced to retire by a Fire Department medical board and states, “I have nothing to hide. The conditions that precluded me from being a firefighter in no way preclude me living an active life in order to preserve my health.”[pullquote]Giuffrida claims that he was forced to retire by a Fire Department medical board and states, “I have nothing to hide.”[/pullquote]
While I’ve never been a firefighter, and don’t plan on it, I do know about training for MMA activities. And let me tell you, if you are not in top physical condition, you can not participate to the extent of Mr. Giuffrida. You just can’t. Your lungs have to be in tip-tip shape, so if he was forced into retirement because of lung issues I have to question whether or not he has these problems.
Giuffrida has participated in, and won, a couple of N.A.G.A (North American Grappling Association) tournaments and fought for a local MMA circuit, winning their championship. Just this year he took home bronze at the N.A.G.A. World Championships in April. Please. Your lungs have to be cured, or were never that “injured.”