The barber and the boxer
By David De Rurange/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore. -- A local barber and boxer were once mixed up in Rogue Gangs, but now they say they've changed. They continue to run their own local businesses.
A year ago, Alex Trujillo and Troy Wohosky talked about the gang life they left. Now they are continuing the dialogue on how they use their businesses to prevent gang activity.
Alex Trujillo: A fresh perspective.
As a teenager, Trujillo said he got into trouble with gang members, but now that's faded into his barbershop in Medford.
"Some gang members or former gang members that are actively involved in gangs right now have actually came to the shop and they sit there and get a haircut," Trujillo said. "They usually don't tend to speak up on it. They usually try to stay quiet, but once in awhile they'll talk about their experiences and how it actually messed with their lives and put them in prison. It messed with their family lives."
Trujillo listens to his clients, as he creates fresh styles and perspectives. Customers who knew Trujillo from high school recognize him as associating with gang members.
"I just tell them everybody grows up. When we mature we can blossom into something better." Trujillo said.
To contact Alex Trujillo at West Main Barbershop, call 541-773-FADE(3233).
Troy Wohosky: Channeling the aggression.
Troy Wohosky's boxing gym has doubled in size and renovated its equipment. Last year, he revealed a tattoo he got as a gang leader. He lifted his shirt at a gang awareness meeting in White City. The skin on his stomach has black inked letters spelling "RAW." It stands for Ready And Willing. Wohosky said RAW has spread throughout Oregon, with a stronghold in Salem. He said it isn't part of his life anymore.
"That lifestyle is out of my system. That was a phase of my time where I was adolescent, with a lot of anger built up inside." Wohosky said.
Now he channels anger through boxing, helping others, like Daniel Saldivar-Anaya, do the same.
"My dad was a gang member," Saldivar-Anaya, one of Wohosky's boxing students said. "Because of that he got shot when I was not even born yet. Because of Spartan Boxing and Troy, he's not my family by blood, but he's like my uncle. He's family to me. I thank Troy for it because it's boosted my confidence and I've kept away from it."
Troy's boxing gym has been open for a year now. Membership has grown. Most of his students are minors, and some of them are still in gangs.
Wohosky said if his students truly discipline themselves in boxing -- they can better their lives in school and overall behavior. Erica Ibarra has noticed those benefits from her sons.
"I live on the West side of Medford and I've seen some gang activity around our neighborhood where we live at and I know they've seen it too. It's an opportunity for me to bring them here, so they can get some guidance." Ibarra said.
"It teaches you morals. It teaches you discipline," Wohosky said. "There's places even I'm trying to look at that you could get boxing scholarships."
Wohosky doesn't allow his students to use his boxing tactics on the streets. It's something he reminds gang members who enter his gym.
"They want to change their lives. They want to find an outlet for their way of thinking and channeling their aggression. For me, I just want to be able to train these kids and hopefully get them off the streets." he said.
For those who can't afford membership fees, Wohosky said there are ways they can earn access, like gym clean-up or other community services.
To contact Troy Wohosky go to http://spartanboxinggym.com/
USA Boxing is sanctioning a show at Spartan Boxing on May 11, 2013 at 6 p.m. You can see his students compete in the show. The recognition will help boost what Wohosky is trying to do in creating an outlet for those battling anger and aggression. Wohosky said numerous boxing judges from across Oregon will attend. Below is a list of sponsors and friends Wohosky would like to recognize for assisting in the production of the local boxing show.
-Richerd Billin, Attorney at Law
-The Wohosky Family
-Clover and Lary Leanord
-Rico Gutierrez "As green as it gets."
-Hedrick Middle School
-Tom Cole with Kids Unlimited
-Jim Halstead Jr. & Sr.
-Hilo Display, Hersh Johnson
-Rogue Valley Bend
-Chris Silva Painting
-Tom Smurzynski Walking Tall
-David School Craft
-Alex Trujillo, West Main Barbershop
-Troy's wife and kids, "for giving me the inspiration and love and support."