BY DYLAN SKRILOFF
(UPDATE—Chino has moved his MMA center to Mt. Ivy/Pomona in the shopping center between David’s Bagels and Stop & Shop. Phone number is the same)
Rockland BJJ MMA on Main St. in Nanuet has gained the reputation as being one of the go-to gyms in Rockland for anyone serious about training in martial arts.
Owned and run by MMA champ and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master Chino DeLaPena, Rockland BJJ MMA not only has helped people get into shape and learn self-defense skills, the gym has won gold at major regional competitions. Some of their alumni have gone on to professional careers in the MMA and UFC arenas.
On February 16, Chino’s warriors had one of their best performances yet at “The Good Fight: New York Open 2013,” scoring the most points of any team for the second year in a row. There was competition from some 30 other groups of fighters and Rockland BJJ came out on top.
DeLaPena, who hails from Haverstraw, said, “Our team is number one in Rockland County. The guys did a lot of hard work to win this tournament, I’m really proud of them.” Entering the contest the coach said, “I was confident,” but he also admitted watching his team battle was “a little nerve-wracking.”
Teams from as far away as Virginia came to the event.
One of the team’s rising stars is Chino DeLaPena’s own 14-year-old son Felix. Other standouts include 140 lbs. Elvin Garcia, 155lbs. Tony Gonzaelz, and 240 lbs. Carl Delorme, each of whom won gold in their brackets.
DeLaPena said his coaching crew, including Ricky Martinez and Lino Rosa, are key to his program’s success. Students of DeLaPena credit him with not only improving their fighting but improving their lives. In some cases, the skills have led to professional careers in fighting.
Professional MMA fighter Nicholas “The Hunter” Viotto, also of Haverstraw originally, got his start with Chino and said his teaching was instrumental in his becoming a true fighter. Chino also gave Viotto his fighting name “The Hunter.”
Viotto told the Rockland County Times everything that he learned from Chino, “especially the aggressiveness,” is the basis for his own professional fighting style today.
You can reach Chino DeLaPena at 845-269-1982 or visit 134 Main St. in Nanuet. The gym’s website: www.animalhousefdny.com/rocklandbjjmma/ .