At the age of 13, when most kids are writing The Karate Kid fan fiction, David Martucci was beginning his martial-arts training.
He eventually transferred his punching prowess into a coaching career that has yielded title-winning students in tournaments such as NAGA and Grapplers Quest. As the head coach of the American Top Team training centers, he's overseen a team of professional fighting trainers that has produced more than 67 pro fighters competing in the UFC and WEC.
Inside the gym's 5,000-square-foot training space, trainers share their sage grappling advice and recipes for coffeecake, molding future champions disciplined in muay thai, MMA, and boxing. Students learn high-level takedowns in the martial-arts room where heavy bags hover over a floor padded in Zebra mats, or how to negotiate the grueling confines of a 22-foot competition cage. Just beyond the training room, people work on writing checks that their fists can cash in the workout facility stockpiled with dumbbells, weight benches, machines, and cardio equipment.