The history of Scranton MMA is a many chaptered tale, and one that oddly enough began in Denver, Colorado. The martial arts world was forever altered when Royce Gracie in 1993 defeated three opponents in one night during the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship in Denver. At 6’1”, 180 pounds, the slight Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Fighter from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil shocked the world by defeating masters from discipline after discipline with relative ease! The viewers were in awe, including among them two brothers from Jessup, PA that made it a mission to seek out and learn this amazing art known as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
Less than one year later, brothers Steve and Mark Brunetti began training with the Gracie family. There were only two places to train during that time: Torrance, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Brunettis made the commute from NEPA to Philadelphia, PA multiple times a week to train at the Gracie Academy. Steve and Mark studied with Royce and Rorian Gracie as well as the Grandmaster himself, Helio Gracie. The brothers spent 3 years training in Philadelphia until at the behest of Royce they opened a small academy in Jessup, PA. Thus in 1997, the Royce Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Network Northeastern Pennsylvania Chapter was born.
The infancy of the academy was an exciting time! Many curious martial artists came to train at the newly forged training center. Among the Brunettis’ first students was Steve Polito, a life long martial artist fresh out of high school. Over the next several years the student-teacher relationship flourished into a bond of friendship, brotherhood, and family. Steve continued to train in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai becoming an expert in both theory and technique. Steve still trains and instructs with unmatched integrity, loyalty, and love for martial arts.
In a short time they were thick as thieves and working collectively towards the vision of a full-time academy. In 2006 they opened their first location on MullBerry St in Scranton, PA. With an experienced staff of instructors and a vastly talented number of young students, the academy quickly became the most dominant competition team in NEPA. Steven Polito took over as the primary owner of the school during this time, creating what we know now as Scranton MMA.