TDC MMA + Fitness’ Mission
TDC MMA + Fitness, a Chicago MMA and fitness studio and community, isn’t just another place to break a sweat or throw a kick. It is a true lifestyle academy created and run by the best martial artist and fitness professionals in the world where you come in as a beginner and develop into a serious and capable martial artist. We’re in it to become better fighters at life and all that entails, and we do it in a comfortable, fun, and stylish setting that you’ll want to spend all day in. Everything at TDC MMA + Fitness is taught by the highest-grade instructors in a world-class fight and fitness facility. Our physical training isn’t about the newest gimmicks or fads, but rather tried and true programs designed by expert coaches to make you stronger and fitter, that you can stick to and use throughout your life. We’re about living a better life, in every way that truly matters. We’re a community. We’re a team, and all you have to do to join our team is to show up with a smile, and a good attitude! This is Chicago MMA. This is TDC MMA + Fitness
Chicago MMA Coach
MMA – Jiu Jitsu – Muay Thai – Wrestling
Dino was already a black belt and a martial arts school owner when he discovered Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, back in 1994. After experiencing the effectiveness of the style first-hand, however, the lifelong martial artist knew he had found a new truth and pursued it with all of his energy. Dino traded in his black belt for a BJJ white belt and traveled around the country searching for the real stuff. Renzo Gracie referred Dino to his cousin Rickson – the champion of the Gracie family – and his garage academy in Los Angeles, and so that’s where he went.
Dino traveled back and forth from Chicago to Los Angeles to train with Rickson and his deputy Luis “Limao” Heredia, and has flown that flag for decades, eventually earning his black belt in Jiu-Jitsu from Heredia. Dino sought early-on to test his Jiu-Jitsu skills in MMA competition, back before the sport was even well-regulated.
From there, he continued to refine technique for himself and his students and became a coach to many local and international fighters. Ultimately, Dino has become a Chicago MMA figure.
Dino coached Andrei Arlovski from his first UFC fight all the way to a world title and beyond, and has also coached other top fighters like Clay Guida, and Mark Miller.
Despite all his success coaching professional fighters, however, Dino takes the most satisfaction in creating a team and academy where people from every walk of life, with widely varied goals, all feel at-home, safe, and have a blast while life-skills that can help them protect themselves and their loved ones.
As a coach and practitioner, Dino leads by example, carrying with him a “white-belt” mentality and peerless work ethic. In addition to his BJJ and traditional martial arts training, Dino studied Muay Thai for nearly a decade under Said Hatim, who is a TDC BJJ brown belt.
No one puts in more hours on the mat and on the bag than Dino, and that drives the whole team to continue their hard work. Dino uses an old-school, attentive, caring, and intensive approach to make sure all his team members become great fighters in life. Outside of coaching MMA in Chicago, Dino loves spending time with Nola his dog and a gift from Andre Arlovski. Dino also enjoys taking action shots of his students and peers and displays them on his Instagram account.
Director of TDC Strength, TDC Wrestling + Assistant BJJ Instructor
Personal Training/Strength & Conditioning – Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (Brown Belt) – Wrestling
Tim has spent the last 25 years as a health and fitness professional. He has taken pleasure in helping hundreds of people achieve their fitness goals as well as in helping dozens of athletes perform at their best. Fitness is a lifelong passion for Tim, and has thoroughly enjoyed sharing that with people of all ages and abilities. Tim trains TDC members one-on-one in private sessions, as well as semi-private groups to help them meet their fitness and performance goals. Tim is also a former NCAA Division I wrestler, and pairs those elite wrestling skills with the deep understanding of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that he’s gained from nearly 20 years of training the art with Dino. Tim is currently a TDC Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu brown belt. Tim oversees the TDC Strength, and TDC Wrestling programs, as well as coaching BJJ classes daily.
BJJ Coach and Trainer
MMA – BJJ (Black Belt)
The NHL Lockout of 2004 drove Thor from a professional hockey career into professional MMA career. As the rise of Mixed Martial Arts to place, Thor decided to take his newly unexpected free time and cross-train in The Martial Arts. From his first JiuJitsu class with Dino Costeas, he was hooked for life. Having the privilege of being one of the former UFC HW Champions training partners, didn’t hurt to motivate him either.
While working hard toward his current rank of TDC Brown Belt, Thor studied Kinesiology/Movement Science with Double Major in Nutrition at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He was certified in Nutrition and Personal Training from UIC. He is also certified in Personal Training from The National Personal Training Institute, and ACE along with Certifications in EMT/CPR/AED and First Aid.
Thor had not only played hockey, but also trained and coached youth, teen and adult Hockey teams on and off the ice.
Thor has Competed and won numerous NAGA Championship Belts in the Expert Division. He has also competed and won the USA Midwest Grappling Championship.
Thor has helped Coach Dino lead Andrei Arlovski to win and reclaim his UFC Championship Belt on numerous occasions.
Thor has been featured in numerous magazines such as “Ultimate Grappling”, “Ultimate MMA”, and “Train Hard, Fight Easy”, just to name a few.
Along with teaching classes and privates in numerous Chicagoland gyms, Thor has taught Jiu Jitsu and MMA seminars across the country. He has even held pro bono seminars and classes for active military personnel and law enforcement for those real warriors looking to improve their combat effectiveness.
Thor has a professional record of 3-0 in MMA.
He loves to travel and is always looking to expand his knowledge of Jiu Jitsu and MMA by visiting other gyms across the country.
Thor recently joined the professional grappling circuit with a win at his first professional bout at the XFO Pro Grappling Fights. He is currently training for his next MMA fight.
Top Dog aka Everyone’s Boss A gift from former UFC Heavyweight World Champion, Andrei Arlovski to Dino, Nola has won the hearts of many while keeping every in-line. Nola loves snuggling when he isn’t practicing Jiu Jitsu with Team TDC.