Friday, 22 July 2011 09:33
Anthony Sansonetti is the owner of Tiger Martial Arts in Levittown, Long Island, and head trainer of its competition team, Team Renegade. To say that Sansonetti is passionate about martial arts is an understatement. He began studying Kempo Karate at the young age of seven. Over the years he’s studied “everything under the sun” including but not limited, to Aikido, Tae Kwon Do, Judo, shoot wrestling, Thai Boxing, Okinawa weaponry, Jiu Jitsu, Kung Fu, and of course Sambo, the style that he is most known for.
Sansonetti exudes a contagious energy and it is impossible not to get excited when he speaks about his journey through martial arts. It makes you appreciate all of the opportunities that are available today to those who want to study and train. Sansonetti explained that back in the early 1990’s if you wanted to train “you turned to martial arts magazines; that’s where you got your information because there was no internet.”
He studied Aikido for a year and in 1992 found a local school and began training in Thai Boxing. Shortly after that, the first UFC came out. His father, an excellent wrestler, had been extolling the benefits of wrestling for years. But Sansonetti had never seen that level of grappling before. “There you had this little Brazilian guy covering the range like a wrestler, and taking the guy down and applying an arm bar like a Judo guy.” He was determined to learn it. But “back in 1994 there were no BBJ schools, there were maybe two Thai Boxing schools, a lot of Kempo and a lot of Tae Kwon Do.” He found the closest thing in Judo and Japanese Jiu Jitsu. He would eventually train in shoot wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as well.