170 Center Lane Levittown NY

Renegade Blog

1st Mediterranean Sambo Championships

Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on December 28, 2019 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Poussan, France, May 2018

       I competed this past weekend in Poussan, France, at the 1st Mediterranean Sambo Championships. I won 5 matches to win the 90 KG category. I did very well, winning 3 matches by submission; armbar, knee crush, and achilles lock, and the other 2 by points, 8-0 and 7-0. I am very happy with my performance, but even happier and amazed by how nice I was treated by everyone in Poussan! Someone had joked that I may have been the 1st american to visit Poussan lol.

      One thing that stood out from any competition I have been to is that the competition was over at 5pm, and I was told there would be food served after. I assumed this meant something simple. I saw some cheetos and nuts and sangria, and thought that is nice of them, but then out of nowhere appeared trays of fresh oysters, pots of mussels and white wine and more sangria. Wow! That was incredible because I love seafood and this was amongst the best I have had. But this was only the begininng, part of the gym was now set up with tables and now more food, pasta, sausage, red wine, the best cheese, desserts, and rum. This went on to after 11pm! I am amazed by this type of party after a competition. This was to be followed by more drinks at Guillaume's home. He has traveled and competed the world over, and seemed to have a bottle of alcohol from each country and we tried them all :)


   Special thanks to Guillaume Alberti for organizing the tournament, letting me train at his club, and for having me stay as a guest in his home. Guillaume and Laure Fournier went out of their way to make me feel at home and to experience the true culture of the south of France! They are great sambists, friends, and exceptional hosts. Merci!


    It was also nice to meet and spend time with Laure Fournier, Maria Guedez, Matt, Sebastion, max, and everyone from Montpellier Sambo club.


      For this tournament I asked my long time friend, sambo brother, and coach Stephen Koepfer if I could honor our friendship and represent his club New York Combat Sambo. I have trained there so many times over the past 15 years and he is the one who introduced me to Sambo. I liked the added pressure of representing his club and it motivated me to perform at my best.


      Otherwise thanks to everyone that put on a sambo jacket and helped me train, especially Jeremy Piaser, Paul Tramontana, Chris Mesonero, Kyle Nigro, the guys at NYCS and everyone else.


I had a great time, a truly great adventure, I feel 15 years younger and couldn't be happier.


I'm bringing home the trophy for my son Peter as I promised him I would!

2017 in review

Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on June 19, 2018 at 1:35 PM Comments comments (0)


Grand Cayman Seminar

In January 2017 I visited The Cayman Islands for my 3rd seminar, this time at 1 More Round Martial Arts. I always like the vibe of training and teaching in the islands, and grand Cayman is starting to feel like a 2nd home! It was good to see and train with my old friend Flloyd Moxam and the rest of the other guys. Flloys is a good coach that cares about his students training and progress and is developing a nice team. This trip was more of a holiday than an intense training vacation (if that exists). I don't have any pics from the seminar, which is a shame because 1 More Round is a beautiful facility and a huge upgrade from the previous location of Cayman Fight Factory. It was nice to see my friends Jesse Livingston and Tristan W., who are now running a different gym. All great people and I had a great time teaching, training, sailing, swimming with the rays, turtle farm, crystal caves and exploring just about everything on the island!


Welcome Wantagh Martial Arts to our Dojo! (see my previous post about our merger)


2017 USA Sambo nationals

  Congrats to Jeremy Piaser for winning Bronze at the USA Sambo Nationals! I really have to get Jerem'y Bio and medal list up here, he's won or medaled in just about every tournament that he has competed in. He's a great instructor at our gym and fierce competitor.


Shuai Jiao

  I have competed just about every year since 2005 except 2006 and 2012. My mother had some illness in 2017 that required me to look after her, and that kept me pretty busy, along with a family and a Dojo to manage. I still had the urge to compete in something so I signed up for the USA Shuai Jiao Championships. Shuai Jiao is a Chinese martial Arts which basically involves trying to throw your opponent to the ground to score points, with no grappling on the ground allowed. i decided that because the tournament was to be held 20 minutes away in Queens, that I would go and give it a try. Unfortunately, I went to the tournament to find out that nobody else had signed up for my weight class. The rest of 2016 kept me very busy, and I did not get a chance to compete this year.


Peter's 5th Birthday!

   My son peter turned 5 years old on October 9th! We had his Birthday at the Dojo and invited all of our young students. My son loves Batman, hates The Joker, and at 5, still believes that they are real! I had my friend Eric Fuchs, who is an aspiring stuntman and current Karate instructor, dress up as Batman and formulate a choreographed fight sequence. Instructors Shannon and David dressed as The Joker and Harley Quinn. We had them try to steal the presents at the party and then batman showed up to save the day! It was awesome and I will post a link to the video. It was so much fun and the acting and fighting were very well done! Thanks Erc, Shannon, and David for making my son's party great!


R.I.P. Robert Follis

  Rest in peace coach Robert Follis. I was sad and shocked to find out my friend Robert Follis passed away in December 2017. Robert was an amazing coach and person who had a gift to connect with and inspire others. I only had a chance to train with him for a few weeks back in 2003 and 2004, but the lesson I learned from him on coaching, training, and life, have continued to serve me and my students well. Not only did he change my approach to training, but he inspired me to question what I believed I was capable of, and to push through new limits. Like so many others, my life is better from having known and trained with him. Thank you and rest in peace my friend.

February 2017

Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on June 7, 2018 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Welcome Wantagh Martial Arts!

             In February 2017, Wantagh Martial Arts merged into Tiger Martial Art!. We are happy to welcome Wantagh instructors Craig Sherman and Jeremy Piaser, as well as all of their students, to our dojo in Levittown. I have known both Jeremy and Craig for over 20 years. Craig and I used to teach and train together at the old Westbury Dojo back  in the early 90's. Jeremy was our junior student back then, and he later became an assistant instructor, Black belt, instructor, and then went on to compete under me in Sambo, grappling, MMA etc... Jeremy was also an instructor at Tiger Martial Arts before opening Wantagh Martial Arts with sensei Craig. We are very pleased with having their students train with our current Tiger martial Arts students, because we are martial arts family, our curriculum is very similar, and the students have adapted nicely to each other. Having Wantagh Martial Arts merge with us has allowed us to expand our mat space to about 2800 sq ft of mats, with 4 sparring rings!

World Championships

Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on December 3, 2015 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Combat Wrestling World Championships - Varna, Bulgaria - August 2015

Getting ready...


        Over the past few months I had been preparing for the Combat Wrestling Worlds. I planned out my training for 3 months and adjusted based on my progress. It was quite an experience to prepare for, as only the champion of each country is able to compete, so every opponent you will face is the very best in their weight class in the country they are representing. I have competed so much, especially in Sambo at the international level, that I felt I would have an advantage over most opponents. I don't get nervous when i compete anymore. It took years to learn how to control the anxiety and 'butterflies' that competitors exerience from time to time. In past competitions I would sometimes get that nervous feeling and other times I would not. I found that nothing is more important than feeling 'on' at competition time. I could write a short book on how I learned to master being relaxed in competition, but, for now, it's something that I have confidence in, the fact that I will be in a peak mental state at match time.


        A big part of my training is avoiding injuries. Leading up to this tournament I eliminated Kickboxing and MMA sparring, as well as Judo and Sambo Randori with a Kurtka/Gi. Another important aspect of my training is to not over train. The internet is full of memes about people 'crushing' training, or training like there is no tomorrow, and other stuff about "leaving it all in the gym". There is no need, in my mind at least, to train to the point that you can hardly move the next day. It will negatively affect performance. To me, it's like training a racehorse by running it to failure everyday, or to increase demand on it until it's at a breaking point by stacking weight on it's back. Although I know nothing about horses, let alone training them, this seems counter productive. Wouldn't it be wiser to run the horse just hard enough that it wants to do more, but deny it from running to exhaustion, so it wakes up wanting to push itself more? So it looks forward to training the next day? Training does not have to be a painful breaking point experience. Breaking your body down so your weary mind has to overcome physical fatigue and exhaustion almost daily is a recipe for injury and disaster.

Training and diet....

     From the paragraph above it may seem that I am against training hard, but that is not the case. I just don't like to glorify extreme training, especially to new people just starting out. A new student to grappling should not do the workouts of experienced grapplers and competitors.  Combat Wrestling is 5 minute matches, so I would grapple for 5 minutes, take a minute break and go again right away. The idea is to condition the body to go hard for 5 minutes without having to slow down the pace. My training went roughly something like this, 2 hours of grappling 5 days a week. Weight training 3 times a week,  non grappling cardio 3 times per week (stationary bike, other sports). I also taught 10 to 15 classes per week which allowed for additional light workouts and stretching. My diet was high protein, moderate amount of fats, low carb, very little sugar. Meals/snack were every 3 hours. 1 cheat meal per week was required. With fairly strict diet discipline I went from 214 lbs to 205 lbs in about 6 weeks.

The Team and weight cutting.....

    The night before Team USA left for Bulgaria, we all met at New York Combat Sambo in Manhattan for a team meeting and workout. Although we were a team of 5 competitors and 2 coaches from around the United States, we seemed to all get along, share techniques, and started to bond as a team. We were going to spend the next week together, without any of our friends or family nearby, in a strange country, with only each other to count on. I have known the head coach, Stephen Koepfer for well over 10 years and have spent endless hours training together. Stephen is also the  first person to introduce me the martial art of Sambo. USA Team member Denny Lenormand from New Orleans is another Sambo practioner that I have spent time with at competitions and is a student of my good friend Reilly Bodycomb. The other team coach, Tim Kuth, as well as the other 3 competiors, Roli Delgado, Kevin Sniff, and Morgan Bracken, I had only met briefly at the USA Team Trials back in April. Although I had seen Roli Delgado fight on The Ultimate Fighter and then in the UFC a few times. It was good to have a UFC veteran on the team.

   Weigh-ins were to be on Friday, the day before the tournament. We arrived in Varna, Bulgaria, on Wednesday morning. The week of competiton I was drinkink alot of water and limiting sodium. The idea is to get your body used to flushing water and not to retain water. The last 2 days I began to limit my water intake in preparation for the final weight cut. The morning of the day of the weigh ins i was 203 lbs and needed to get to 198 lbs. I drank a little coffee and sipped some water until about 3 hours before weigh ins. I did not have access to a sauna or exercise equipment at the hotel, so i planned to cut weight in the hotel room. I turned the hot water in the shower on to rasie the tempeture of the room, I then put on 2 t-shirts, a sweatshirt, anda pair of shorts under exercise pants. I always bring resitance bands away to tournaments to warm up with, but in this case it was to be used for exercise to move my body to break a sweat. Along with the bands, I did wrestling drills with Coach Tim Kuth and Roli Delgado, who both hungout and supported me during the weight cut. After about 2 hours of constant moving I made it to the goal of 198lbs. It was by far the easiest weight cut I had ever done. i did not feel drained or tired but was fairly thirsty and hungry. After going to the venue and making weight, I immediately began to rehydrate with water and coconut water.

Competition day.....

    I feel I did good, I made it to the finals and lost 4-1 to a very high level freestyle wrestler from Bulgaria named Nural Nazmiev, who was just in Sweden for several weeks helping Alexander Gustaffson with his wrestling in preparation for his UFC title fight with Daniel Cormier. Yeah, he is that good, and I am honored to have had the chance to compete against him. I did many things right leading up to and competing at this tournament. My diet, nutrition, training, and weight cut was just about perfect. On the mat, I felt no pressure, no anxiety, and was supremely confident. Technically i did many thngs well, I threw an opponent with an Uchimata off of a single leg attempt that won me a match in over time. I avoided giving up pin points vs the best wrestler I have ever competed against, so that is a small victory, even in a match I eventually lost.


All in all, it was a great experience, I got a silver medal for my efforts. Thanks again to everyone who supported me and the rest of the team!

Team USA after World Championships 1 gold, 2 silver,  and2 bronze medals. The only country out of 13 countries to have every team member earn a medal!

Competitors Mathew Kaiser (Canada), Adam Lindop (Great Britain) and Anthony Sansonetti (USA)


U.S. Combat Wrestling Team Trials

Posted by Anthony Sansonetti on November 12, 2015 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

U.S. Combat Wrestling Team Trials - April 2015 - Lowell, Arkansas

       I had been following the recent developments in Combat Wrestling, a sport that was very popular in Japan in the 1990's and had led to several of the best Japanese Combat Wrestlers becoming very successful MMA fighters. It is a sport which has rules that try to give an even playing field to all grappling styles. Throws and pins are rewarded with points, groundwork must be active or competitors restart on their feet, and a submission wins the match immediately.

  (More on the history of Combat wrestling here http://www.mmamania.com/2015/3/22/8268575/combat-wrestling-world-championship-aug-22-varna-bulgaria )

      The idea of competing in a new sport is very intriguing to me, and I decided in February of 2015 that I would prepare to compete at the US Team Trials. The winners of each weight division would then represent the Unites States at the World Championships in  Bulgaria. I headed down to Arkansas with long time Renegade Jeremy Piaser, who was also competing in the weight class below me. Jeremy did very good winning all of his matches and getting to the finals. He was doing very well in the finals until he made one small mistake that lost him the match.

     My biggest opponent was the weight cut, I had to make 90 kg, which is 198 lbs. I cut about 5 lbs the day before the tournament. The morning of the tournament I was 2 lbs heavy after my first weigh in attempt, so I had to put on sweats and move and wrestle for 30 minutes to make weight. That left me little time to fully rehydrate and I did not feel truly at my best. Weight cutting aside, I won all of my matches and became the U.S. Champion at 90kg! Now it was time to think ahead to Bulgaria and the World Championships in August.

Team USA above from left to right, Anthony Sansonetti, Kevin Sniff, Roli Delgado, Denny Lenormand , Morgan Bracken

A picture with all of the guys that competed from the American Sambo Association