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Gym Bag: Island Jiu-Jitsu school strikes gold, boxing winners and more

Staten Island Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in West Brighton may be only less than a year old, but the martial arts school made big waves at the Grappling Industries Tournament Saturday at the Showboat Casino in Atlantic City, finishing first among 80 schools from all over the northeast .

The school seized four gold, seven silver and four bronze medals in the competition. Couple that with total points from the other competitors and Staten Island Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wound up at the top of the heap.

“I feel like a proud daddy,” said Joe Peteroy, one of the school’s coaches and part owners. The two others are Mark Fileccia and Marcio Bittencourt, two guys who have been around martial arts for years. “I’ve been pushing these guys real hard with 10-minute rounds. We are very competition driven. I want to see these guys succeed.”

The reason for the school’s success at this tournament?

“We were in better shape than our opponents,” said Peteroy. “We went down there to take first. We wanted to put Staten Island on the map. (Other parts of the city) have really established themselves in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but Staten Island really hasn’t had that success. There really hasn’t been a lot of consistency here.”

Until now, however!

“We want to keep winning and grinding,” said Peteroy. “I think we really hit a demographic on Staten Island of people who just want to compete and work hard. We are not into bullying or anything, just hard work and making our students better.”

Some members of Staten Island Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu pose with their winnings from Saturday’s tournament. (Photo courtesy of Christine Albano)

The gold-medal winning performance was made even sweeter considering Peteroy had to undergo emergency surgery the day before and couldn’t be there in person. To boot, Fileccia was recovering from recent ACL surgery, forcing coach Bobby Brown to stand in for both of them and the competitors excelled under Brown’s tutelage.

The night before the competition Peteroy was working his phone, calling some of his students to give them a personal pep talk and encouragement.

After the school claimed gold, his students Face-timed him to let them know they had won. It was an emotional call to say the least.

“I shed some tears,” admitted Peteroy.

Two highlights of the event were Tyler Rivera and Dan Argenzio’s bronze and silver-medal performances, respectively.

“Tyler was down 10 points with about 20 seconds left when he got a submission,” Peteroy explained. “It’s just a testament to how hard he trained.”

As for Argencio, “we pushed him so hard he opened the door and threw up and then came back and won four of his five matches.”

The list of competitors who won medals:

(Editor’s note: Gi means when competitors wear a uniform one can gran and even choke with it. No-Gi means a competitor wears tight-fitting clothes and one can’t grab the uniform, somewhat similar to wrestling)

Lorenzo Soto: Adult, 135 lbs, Gi: 1st

Stanley Joseph: Adult, 145 lbs, Gi: 1st and No-Gi 2nd

Aidan Capasso: Teen 135 lbs., No-Gi: 1st and Gi: 2nd

Diego Oquendo: (Age 30+) 185lbs No-GI: 1st

Maria Demiro, Teen, 105 lbs, No-Gi: 2nd

Daniel Argenzio, Adult 155 lbs, No-Gi: 2nd

Ronnell Fish: Adult 135 lbs Gi: 2nd and No-Gi: 2nd

Michael Mariano: Teen, 155 lbs, No-Gi: 2nd

Tyler Rivera: Adult, 135 lbs, No-Gi: 3rd

Nigel Walters: (Age 30+) 200 lbs, GI: 3rd and No-Gi: 3rd

Rich Velluzzi: (Age 30+) 215 lbs No-Gi: 3rd

ABOUT STATEN ISLAND BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU

The school first opened in Westerleigh last October, but quickly outgrew its original facility and relocated to West Brighton at 1230 Castleton Ave.

The gym’s motto Train Hard, Fight Easy is backed by the fact that its “instructors bring decades of mixed martial arts and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu experience to the hands of our students. We provide them with the tools to succeed in reaching their goals. Building fighters, building confidence, building a healthy lifestyle.”

Staten Island Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Staten Island Brazilian student Michael Albano, left, puts a big maneuver on an opponent. (Photo courtesy of Christine Albano)

In addition to Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, the other martial arts the school specializes in kickboxing and Muay Thai.

The school currently trains 130 students. They have teen classes, adult classes and are looking to have all-female classes.

Interested fighters can email sibjjmma@gmail.com or call 917-873-3503.

These boxers are golden

From left, are coach Lou Manfra, boxing champs Enrique Garcia, Nihad Demiri, Carmine Gentile and coach Pat Basciano. (Photo courtesy of the Berry Houses NYC Cops & Kids Gym)

Three Islanders take boxing crowns

Congratulations go out to Enrique Garcia (139-pound Elite champion), Nihad Demiri (165-pound Novice champion) and Carmine Gentile (138-pound Junior champion) for winning crowns at the USA Boxing New York Tournament last week.

The three fighters hail from the Berry Houses NYC Cops & Kids Gym and are coached by Lou Manfra and Pat Basciano.

Do you have any good sports news? Send it our way

The Gym Bag publishes on Wednesdays on the web and will appear in the Staten Island Advance shortly after. This is where we will feature short stories, tidbits and morsels about your players or teams going forward in place of the daily game results we used to take.

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If you have any news or tidbits like that, please email the sports desk at sports2@siadvance.com where we will evaluate the message and see if the content qualifies for our notebook.

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