Mixed Martial Arts fighter turns teacher

Cassidy Coyle and lakecentralnews

Many teachers have special talents and hobbies. Most range from gardening to crafting, but Mr. Gino DiGiulio, English, is one who stands out. He trains in Mixed Martial Arts and participates in fights when he can.

“I got into MMA through wrestling and my older brother. He started training around the age of 15. He started going to the same gym, Gilbert Grappling, for all-season wrestling, and a couple years after he started going I started going with him, and just rose from there,” Mr. DiGiulio said.

His brother’s influence opened up a new world and introduced him to what would become a new-found passion.

“I started training probably when I was about 12 in jiu-jitsu at the gym Gilbert Grappling, which is the same gym I’m still with today. I started doing that after off season of wrestling and then I kind of continued in that doing stand-up a little more, probably a couple of years after. I had my first fight when I was 18,” Mr. DiGiulio said.

MMA takes much hard work and dedication, so a teaching job makes it difficult for him to balance time.

“[Balancing fighting and school] is tough. Usually teaching is my main thing to focus on while I’m here in school. Teaching’s my main thing. I need to make sure I get everything I can do and all relevant information for students. I do pretty much everything that’s for the student-wise and on my own time, like when I’m off school hours, it’s my training time. I really don’t have much free time besides that,” Mr. DiGiulio said.

Since it is a passion, Mr. DiGiulio uses his free time wisely. He hopes to further his experience in Mixed Martial Arts.

“I’m planning to [continue with MMA fighting]. I’m trying to balance teaching and fighting at the same time. It’s a passion of mine; something I’d like to continue to do, but it’s really something that isn’t in full career right now, so I’m trying to do as much as I can and balance as much as I can. The main goal is to get to something like UFC. It’s kind of the biggest organization for the sport. So it’s kind of the main goal to get to something like that, but to make it a full-time career is kind of hard to do,” Mr. DiGiulio said.