I began training Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in 2002 while living in San Francisco, CA.
In 2004, while working on my Masters Degree at New York University, I began training at Professor Fabio Clemente’s academy on the lower east side of Manhattan. At Clemente’s academy I studied with accomplished BJJ practitioners such as Babs Olusanmokun, Lucas Lepri and Marcelo Garcia. That is also where I met my present teacher Marcos Duarte.
Additionally, I received a blue belt in Judo from Dayn and Daryn DeRose of South Mountain Martial Arts in Madison, NJ.
Over the past 16 years I have traveled extensively to study and learn various arts. I’ve spent time in Brazil, the Dominican Republic and Cuba studying under some of the best teachers of Jiu-Jitsu, Judo and boxing.
I received my yoga teaching certification (RYT200) in 2014 from Flor Yoga of Jersey City. I have found a yoga practice to be an exceptional compliment to the physical demands required by Jiu-Jitsu.
Kids MMA Program Director
I began my study of the martial arts in the mid 1970s at around age 5 or 6 with a private teacher. A couple of years later, I joined a traditional Japanese Karate Dojo where everything was taught in Japanese, which is where the instructors trained. I received a 2nd Degree Black Belt in that style, Koei-Kan Karate-Do. After leaving that dojo, I began studying Aikido, first with private lessons and then through a school, The Aikido Schools of NJ. I never tested there, and therefore did not receive any ranks, although I would comfortably say that I was about mid way to a Black Belt. I then began my study of Hapkido. I trained in Hapkido for many years and completed the Black Belt requirements.
Along my journey I have also trained extensively in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Western Boxing, Iron Body Kung Fu, and No Gi Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Due to my over 35 years of training (at the time) I was awarded a Fourth Degree Black Belt by the World Seisukan Ninjitsu Association, my highest rank. Today, I have been training/teaching for over 40 years. I began teaching as a volunteer in my teens for the Meadowlands YMCA. I opened my first school in a small dance studio in Carlstadt, NJ in 1992. I began my full time teaching/school ownership in 1995 in Lyndhurst, NJ. Through a couple of name and location changes, my school has now been in existence for 26 years. I also have a BA from Rutgers University, graduating with honors in 1991.
I began my martial arts journey in 2013 in Fairfax Virginia. At the time, my intentions were to get in shape and to quit unhealthy habits, I had no idea I would fall in love with the lifestyle but that is exactly what happened. Along with Brazilian jiu-jitsu, I study Muay Thai kickboxing, boxing and wrestling. In addition to martial arts I am an avid practitioner of yoga and mindfulness meditation. My goals as an instructor are to provide both guidance and a sense of enthusiasm to all of our students at Dream!
child development Advisor
Dr. DeLia holds a master’s degree in education, an MSW and Ph.D.from New York University. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Certified Psychoanalyst. She has published articles on the effect of early trauma in children, and serves as Dean of Research at the Academy of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis in Livingston, N.J. where she supervises therapists from Iran, Cyprus and Australia through the distance learning program. She also is a faculty member for the MA in Mental Health Counseling degree at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis.
The Dream staff who work in the children’s martial arts program meet regularly with Dr. DeLia for professional development training.
Dr. DeLia is available to answer parent’s questions about child development as well.