Buzz on Business: Mastery Martial Arts EG Celebrates 10 Years; Thirsty Beaver Opens

by | Sep 21, 2023

Above: The Thirsty Beaver on Frenchtown Road is open for business.

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It’s been 10 years since Mastery Martial Arts opened next to CVS on Main Street in East Greenwich and 30 years since the first Mastery studio opened, in Johnston. Michael Pezzillo, EG’s chief instructor, believes Mastery has done well because they focus on six core life skills even more than they focus on kicks. 

Those skills – discipline, self esteem, respect, honesty, communication and belief – are what is going to help a child grow into adulthood and succeed, Pezzillo said in a recent interview at the studio. And that was the idea owner Greg Horton started with.

“He has always had a vision of not martial arts but kids’ leadership,” Pezzillo said. Things like making eye contact, having a clear voice, standing tall. 

“The kick-and-punch, we can teach that, anyone can teach that,” he said. “I always like to say this: the kick-and-punch would not help a child get a job.”

Pezzillo said another distinction about Mastery is that the instructors come from within Mastery. He himself rose through the ranks of Mastery, as did EG instructor Chanel Cotatgis.

The EG studio has seen thousands of students through its doors in the past 10 years, including adults and individuals with developmental differences including autism, ADHD, and Down syndrome. That niche has become a part of MMA EG. 

“I found a passion,” said Pezzullo of the work with children and adults with differing abilities. “We find joy in it.” 

You can learn more about Mastery Martial Arts in East Greenwich HERE

Mastery Martial Arts instructors Chanel Cotatgis and Michael Pezzillo.

Mastery Martial Arts students after a board breaking challenge. Credit: Michael Pezzillo


The Thirsty Beaver in the Stop & Shop plaza on Frenchtown Road is – finally – open for business. With a focus on sports but also families, the restaurant offers a menu with casual favorites – everything from burgers and wings to pizzas and salads. This TB is a bit more modern looking than some of the older outposts – airy, with garage door walls that can open on nice days. And there are lots of TVs for easy viewing. 

Devon Jacob is the assistant manager as well as head of bar programming for all five Thirsty Beavers. Under his direction, the bar offers weekly martini specials, different sangrias, and 13 craft cocktails – including 2 that are easily made zero proof. 

The restaurant is having a soft opening this weekend, with shortened hours Saturday – 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. but then the regular hours starting Sunday – 11:30 to 1 a.m. Soft opening means working out the kinks, so keep that in mind if you decide to visit.

Find out more about the Thirsty Beaver HERE.

Thirsty Beaver bar manager Devon Jacob at the Frenchtown Road location.

Author’s note: My adult son is a student at Mastery Martial Arts. 

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