February 26, 2013

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Striking Guru Mark DellaGrotte's Leap of Faith

May 3, 2014

Mark DellaGrotte didn’t really have many words to say. All he had was a bad taste in his mouth left from some less than pleasant breakups he’d had with his homegrown fighters; fighters that he had trained since the beginning and brought up to the highest level. And over what? Money? Fame? Attention? Jealousy? DellaGrotte wasn’t even sure what had gone wrong.


Part of him just wished he could go back to those days when he first went to Thailand. He was a 23-year-old only looking to do one thing: get better at Muay Thai. There were no TV deals. There were no sponsorships, fighter contracts, no politics—none of that bullshit. He was just there for the fun of it. There weren’t any grand plans, he just wanted to get better for the sake of getting better like you would at trying to beat the high score of Pacman.

When he told some of the children that at the Sityodtong Muay Thai Camp in Chonburi, Thailand, he would always get the same puzzled look. For fun? Thai boxing was not fun; it was a way to make some money to send back to their parents.


DellaGrotte was lucky enough to have the luxury of really loving his training in the martial arts. The mentality was just to learn as much as possible, and have a good time doing it, but somehow over the years that feeling had evaporated. Those awesome, grueling training days in Thailand were behind him. DellaGrotte needed a way to find that love again for the thing that brought him all the success in the first place: martial arts.


“My uncle Joe got me involved in martial arts at a very young age,” said DellaGrotte. “He’s somebody that I always looked up to growing up, and somebody that has always been the free spirit of the family, so to say.” Full Article




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