My paths have crossed with Mark DellaGrotte many times over the years. But until 2014, this path didn’t facilitate much conversation or interaction. When I worked as a free-lance writer for Ultimate Grappling Magazine covering many of the UFC events, the hustle and bustle of pre-fight interviews, and the frantic fight-time coverage did not leave much time for writers to socialize with members of the UFC media team. But since the inception of Revgear University, an educational conference for the martial arts community that is focused on training, business and programming, I have finally gotten to know the many magnificent layers of Mark DellaGrotte.
Mark DellaGrotte is more than just a pretty face! He is an ambassador for Traditional Muay Thai, a celebrity trainer (prepared Kevin James for the film Here Comes the Boom), a business owner, an educator, a presenter, a fight analyst for UFC, a coach, a fighter and a straight up cool Italian.
DellaGrotte and I have had a few great conversations about the challenges of being a dedicated martial artist and business owner, who thrives on also being relevant. Despite his pedigree, Mark also tries to differentiate himself from the ‘Burger King martial arts schools.’ “There are so many large brand names now that offer combat sports, MMA , muay thai and they are staffed by instructors that have no commitment to the martial arts. They offer martial arts with the ‘have it your way’, instead of the right way methodology.”
DellaGrotte owns Sityodtong Boston, Muay Thai & MMA Academy. Since opening in 1996, he has dedicated himself to becoming one of the most knowledgeable and truly fluent muay thai coaches in the west. He has traveled to the Kingdom of Thailand many times to learn the ancient ways of muay thai, including the culture and much of the language. He has accomplished immersion in the Nak Muay (or lifestyle of a Thai fighter). This engrossment has added to DellaGrotte’s character and style of instruction. “I love telling a muay thai practitioner a story about their technique and where it comes from,” explains DellaGrotte.
Today, DellaGrotte is a respected muay thai expert. Beyond his commitment to teaching and preserving ancient muay thai in the United States, his modern applications keep him relevant which is why the UFC and MMA covet his expertise. DellaGrotte teaches with a tangible enthusiasm for muay thai. He has an amazing ability to personalize your training experience and understand a person’s natural body mechanics. Because of this skill, he can then provide customized corrections. What is also impressive about his teaching style, is his respect for all martial arts. Many of his seminars are filled with students/instructors that come from different martial art styles, he embraces their willingness to experience muay thai instead of alienating them from the training. It is because DellaGrotte perpetuates this attitude that he is a headlining presenter at the most highly regarded education conference, Revgear University for the martial arts industry.