By George Demetriou
Tucked in the corner of a small, non-descript shopping center on Brentwood Road in Bayshore, NY, one can find the D'Arce Martial Arts Center(D'Arce Jiujitsu) . The school, much like the BJJ instructor who teaches there, doesn't attract much attention, but it's outstanding. There's no flashy sign on the building, no significant sign on the road to attract the motorist's attention and no advertising. All members are there by word of mouth.
We had the opportunity to interview the school's BJJ instructor, Joe D'Arce. Interviewing Joe was no easy task. D'Arce is immensely talented both as a practitioner and an instructor of BJJ, but he doesn't speak just to hear himself and he doesn't speak without purpose. He's not very keen on speaking about himself.
Joe D'Arce…equally great at instructing people or deconstructing people. (Author's quote–Joe would never say such a thing!)
Joe's competition record is spectacular, but when I asked him about it he didn't elaborate beyond his amount of wins and losses. When I asked him if he has defeated anyone that is, or was, well known he refused to answer the question. We did come to learn about some, but that was through pure investigative work. We learned Joe has beaten top rated Rafael Lovato Jr. (Grapplers Quest-Beast of the East-No Gi, 2005) and Murilo Santana. We also learned that D'Arce's guard has never been passed in competition, a feat extraordinary in itself. Joe even has a choke named after him!
Besides competition, the way to determine the talent of a BJJ instructor is to look at the people who train under him. How good are the instructors under the main instructor? How good are the competitors from the school? How good are the practitioners when working with each other, a lower ranked student or a new member?
D'Arce has three brown belts students with their own schools, Chris and Alex Vamos (Vamos Jiujitsu) in Holbrook and Greg Depasquale (Vertex Jiujitsu) in Riverhead. Extremely talented as competitors and instructors. The talent runs deep at every rank in D'Arce's as well. People of from all walks of life train together and the more experienced are always looking to help those less experienced improve. The attitude of every member that we've trained with at D'Arce's has been exceptionally positive. There's good espirit de corps and sense of "community" at D'Arce's. All a reflection of Joe D'Arce.
How often did you train at Renzo Gracie's from white belt to black belt?
What is your bjj/grappling competition record?
What events have you won?
What is your mixed martial arts record and what events did you fight in?
Who did you defeat and who do you have a loss to?
What other martial arts have you trained in?
Do you feel BJJ is beneficial for police officers to train in? Why or why not?
How did you come to popularize the "Darce Choke"?
What are you most proud of regarding your training/competing and/or instructing?