Jiu-Jitsu & Grappling are growing sports on the East End, thanks to Greg Melita and Hamptons Jiu-Jitsu.
Following the opening of HJJ in Southampton in February of 2017, Hamptons Jiu-Jitsu has seen an influx of students to the point where it needed a bigger space. Thankfully that space was just two doors down to the west in the same shopping center.
Hamptons Jiu-Jitsu held its grand reopening of the bigger academy in June 2018, a year after its initial grand opening, and just like last year, the first half of the day was dedicated to Jiu-Jitsu, the second half was a celebration with teachers, students, family and friends.
“We outgrew the old space,” Melita said. “Now we’re in the new space, it’s double the size, we have the locker rooms with full amenities. We have the addition of the Infrared lighting for our Infrared Yoga program with renowned Yoga instructor Jacqlyn Grace. We’ve been adding more kids and adult classes, we’re being engaged in the community a lot more, so it’s been really good.”
In addition to doubling the mat space, which was the key reason for the move, to make room for the school’s students, the new location has a number of new features, including full men’s and women’s locker rooms with a bathroom and shower in each one. Jacqlyn Grace Melita, Greg’s younger sister, still leads the yoga classes. A traditional Judo program with Sensei Joe Turchiano, and Melita still offers Sports Performance training for all sports teams in the area.
Melita, the owner and Professor at Hamptons Jiu Jitsu, is well versed in the art. He has been training in BJJ since 2000 and received his black belt over seven years ago. He also holds a 5th Degree Black Belt in Isshinryu Karate, being inducted to the Hall Of Fame in the category of “Adult Male Competitor of the Year. In addition, he holds a 1st Degree Black Belt in Judo under Sensei Turchiano. He also wrestled in High School for East Islip, further rounding out his Grappling background. After he helped train new recruits at the U.S. Marines Corps base in Garden City in hand-to-hand combat with the assistance of Grand Master Ed McGrath from 2004 to 2006, Melita won a bronze medal at the IBJJF U.S. Open in 2007, and multiple BJJ state and local gold medal Championships to add to what is a long list of accolades.
Greg is also a founding member of the KASAI Elite Grappling Championships and serves as the company’s Marketing and Media Director. He also runs Jiu-Jitsu Motivation, a grappling social media community that includes a podcast, and instructional content.
Hamptons Jiu-Jitsu is proudly the exclusive training entity for the USAF Pararescue 103rd Squadron in Weshampton Beach.
Melita is also a Certified Personal Trainer, a Level One CrossFit Trainer, and certified Sports Performance Coach. Other accomplishments include a Bachelor’s Degree from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY, and being a sponsored Motocross racer in his childhood.
Melita, along with some of the other instructors at Hamptons Jiu-Jitsu, learned from the lineage of Professor Milton Regis and Grand Master Francisco Mansor, one of six men outside of the Gracie family who has received a Red Belt from Helio Gracie, one of the founders of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Melita is a certified instructor who received his black belt in 2013 from both Mansor and Milton Regis.
Hamptons Jiu-Jitsu, other than its home location, is also featured in many different summer camps on the East End. Eventually Melita would like to open up multiple locations on the South Fork to offer more opportunities not only for seasonal visitors but for the year-round residents. Currently their main location is inside Southampton Gym in Southampton, and they have a satellite location at the Ross School in East Hampton.
Melita also founded Hamptons Youth Camps, Inc. in 2020. HYC is a non-profit organization that offers scholarships for exclusive camp activities year-round for kids in the area that need extra activities after school or have a lack of activities available to them throughout the year.
“We’re really looking to benefit everybody on the East End, especially for the kids that don’t have much to do when it’s not summertime,” Melita said.
“It’s like a dream come true,” he added. “It’s really coming to fruition, seeing everything done now.”
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