Victory Martial Arts of Smithtown Head Instructor Sensei Nicholas Panebianco

Nick Durante

3rd Degree Black Belt in Kempo Jiu Jitsu

Active Mixed Martial Arts Competitor

I enrolled in my first martial arts class in March 2004, at the age of 12; and I knew from day one that martial arts was the activity for me. Although I spent many years playing various sports such as baseball, basketball and track, but martial arts was the only one that I can truly say I loved.

For me personally, martial arts was always more than just a casual hobby or a class I attended twice a week; martial arts were a way of life. Practicing martial arts has given me the discipline, courage, and drive to accomplish any goal I put my mind too in both my training and personal life. Through my training I learned many valuable lessons that I still hold dear today: lessons such as respect for others, discipline to achieve what I want in life, and strong confidence in my abilities. These lessons have guided my personal and academic lives, culminating with my graduation with a Bachelor’s degree from Farmingdale State College in Business Management.

The more I learned through my training, the more I wanted to give back to my school and use martial arts to inspire others as my instructors inspired me. First as an assistant instructor and eventually as a full time instructor, sharing my knowledge and beliefs with students of all ages has been a great honor and a wonderful learning experience. Finally earning my first degree black belt was a moment that I will carry with me for the rest of my life, a symbol of my own ability, as well fellow instructors' and students' faith in me. My goal is to teach students just how to "punch and kick," but also to help build esteem, raise self-confidence, and motivate them to be the best person they can be.

Victory Martial Arts of Smithtown Head Instructor Sensei Nicholas Panebianco

Steve Kasten

3rd Degree Black Belt in Kempo Jiu Jitsu

Certified Sampoorna Yoga Teacher

Certified Strength and Condition Coach under NSCA

Multiple Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Gold Medalist

I have achieved the rank third degree black belt under the Victory Martial Arts system. I began my training at the very young age of 4 and was able to get a jump start on the discipline and other characteristics I would need to carry myself through life. I first started in the style of shaolin kempo, where the mysticism of tradition martial arts sparked an interest in the spirtual side of the art. This soon led to his passionate discipline for yoga where soon after I became a certified instructor under sri yogi hari. I would take those teachings to a whole new level where not only could I teach my students to properyl defend themselves, but also provide the proper education on how to keep a strong mind and body. While on my long path of passing knowledge from student to student, my craving to keep pushing my own martial arts training and fitness level grew stronger. This thirst for knowledge was satisfied through my current passion of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I'm now an active Brazilian jiu jitsu competitor and fitness enthusiast with multiple certifications and achievements. I try and take my knowledge from inside and outside the classroom to teach my students how to live a healthy life style, and provide them with a competitive environment where everyone can learn through hard work.

Victory Martial Arts of Smithtown Head Instructor Sensei Nicholas Panebianco

Nick Panebianco

3rd Degree Black Belt in Kempo Jiu Jitsu

I believe everyone in life has a dream they want to achieve and they need to find the courage and drive to make it a reality. I happened to be lucky because for me those two are one in the same. I was 13 when I walked into my first martial arts school with a humble goal of becoming a Power Ranger. I trained every day there were classes available and if there weren’t I practiced in my basement for hours on end.

But my goals shifted when I turned sixteen and had my first opportunity to teach younger students. Walking into the dojo as a teacher rather than a student was a surreal moment. I remember looking at the students standing where I had stood, and seeing all their eyes now looking to me for guidance. I suddenly became the example, not just of what a martial artist should look like, but a person as well. I took my job as a role model very seriously. I trained harder than ever, because it wasn’t just about me anymore; my ambitions had grown.

When I finally started teaching adult Mixed Martial Arts and Jiu Jitsu classes, I knew this was what I wanted to do. If I could create a place for men and women to come together after a long, hard day and train, free of pressure and ego, I won. I went to SUNY Stony Brook so that I could stay local and continue to train. In 2007, I achieved my first-degree black belt: easily one of the greatest moments in my life. Finally in 2010, I graduated from SBU with a degree in Mathematics and one year later I opened Victory Martial Arts of Setauket.

Looking at it now, I think we’ve succeeded; our studio is a place for people of all ages and experience can share their knowledge, encourage each other, and better themselves both physically and mentally. I can’t complain. Every day I get up and live my dream. I walk into work and share with all my students the same knowledge and skills that gave me the drive to achieve my dreams.

Victory Martial Arts of Smithtown Head Instructor Sensei Nicholas Panebianco

Curtis Heath

Manager of Business Operations

As a seasoned corporate executive in my professional life, I have always looked inside myself for deeper meaning to the world around me. My love for martial arts has existed throughout my childhood and as a young adult I have explored many avenues for this passion; often leading to disappointment or inconsistencies. The one fact that remained true was a code I incorporated into my way of thinking many years ago (Bushido). This code has given me passion on a personal level and truly reflects the principles that I live my life by.

It wasn’t until a chance encounter with Sensei Nick Panebianco that has now changed my life forever. Finding an environment that complements my personal principles and magnifies the physical aspects of true self-discovery and self-improvement has reignited this passion. In our culture, we tend to focus on the outcomes and the dichotomoy that arises from this line of thought. You can either win or lose, gain weight or lose weight, these are potential outcomes with no middle ground and constrains us to limited outcomes. The true magic of the martial arts is growth; regardless of outcome.

A journey in the martial arts is a journey of self discovery and personal achievement. To that end, as we age we need not stop growing. Our limited view of the world is expanded by the ideologies and principles of the martial arst. Outside of my own personal development, I find additional motivation from the relationships, brotherhood, and environment of self-discovery that VMA inspires.



5:00 PM - 5:30 Little Dragons (6-7 Year olds)
5:30 PM -6:15 Teen MMA
7:00 PM - 8:00 Adult MMA


5:00 PM - 5:30 Tiny Tigers (4-5 Year olds)
5:30 PM - 6:15 Fighting Tigers (8 and up)
7:00 PM - 8:00 Cardio Kickboxing
8:00 PM - 9:00 Adult MMA


5:00 PM - 5:30 Little Dragons (6-7 Year olds)
5:30 PM - 6:15 Fighting Tigers (8 and up)
6:15 PM -7:00 Teen MMA
7:00 PM - 8:00 Cardio Kickboxing


5:00 PM - 5:30 Tiny Tigers (4-5 Year olds)
5:30 PM - 6:15 Fighting Tigers (8 and up)
6:15 PM - 7:00 Teen MMA
7:00 PM - 8:00 Cardio Kickboxing
8:00 PM - 9:00 Adult MMA


Bi-Monthly Belt Testing
Regional Black Belt Workouts


10:15 AM - 10:45 Open Little Dragons
11:00 AM - 11:45 Open Fighting Tigers
12:00 PM - 1:00 Teen MMA


Victory Martial Arts of Smithtown
33 West Main St. Smithtown NY 11787
(631) 265 - 6260



Mary Ellen Luksch

- "... Sensei Nick puts a twist on it with some cross training ...more "

"VMA Smithtown is an awesome place with great instructors and a fun classes for all ages, I love the kickboxing classes. Sensei Nick puts a twist on it with some cross training, it's a great workout! "

Marjorie Rokoff Rook

- "... a very supportive environment and great for building confidence ...more "

"My son has been going to this school for 5 years now and absolutely loves it! He find the classes to be fun and challenging. It's a very supportive environment and great for building confidence."

Vanessa Martinez

- "... hasn't stopped talking about it ...more "

"My daughter had her trial class today and she came home and hasn't stopped talking about it! Sensei Nick seemed to make the class fun and interesting for the young kids! Can't wait for her to start next week!"

Kevin Reed

- "an unprecedented gift for working with children...more "

"The head instructor at VMA Smithtown Nick Durante is amazing at his job and a dedicated martial artist with an unprecedented gift for working with children"

Amanda Kern

- "This place has literally changed my life...more "

"This place has literally changed my life. I have been coming here for about a year now and I don't think I have ever felt healthier and more confident. The instructor Nick Durante is amazing and is truly passionate about the arts and teaching. I would highly recommend this place to anyone looking to learn MMA or just get healthy!"

Amy Harkin

- "quality teachers and quality instruction...more "

"My two children (daughter and son) have participated in classes for nearly 10 months. They love it. The teaching is excellent, the exercise is great, and they are really learning self defense. I highly recommend VMA Smithtown for anyone looking for quality teachers and quality instruction, which is age appropriate and fun! The waiting room is comfortable for adults to wait for the children and watch them learn. Five stars all the way!"

Robert Elsmore

- "I really learn something new every week...more "

"My goal was to get back in shape and have fun while I do it. I joined VMA Smithtown at 177 lbs and now I'm down to 150. Sensei Steve helped me reach my goal and now is helping me to make new ones. The variety of wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, kempo, and kickboxing really keeps me from getting bored with the training and I really learn something new every week."