Chris Dellarocco - Fearless Ink
Although being afflicted with a life-altering injury at an early age, Chris Dellarocco was determined to make something happen for himself.
Pushing himself and his bikes to the limit is not only something he's dedicated to but also something he enjoys doing. His determination also led Chris to take up mixed martial arts, eventually landing him on "Fighter Life" - a reality show based around MMA fighters. His ink details his life and times as a rider, his penchant for martial arts, and his undying fortitude to make it to the top - despite what the haters may say.
REBEL INK: The piece on your upper right leg depicting a motor vehicle accident of some sort looks like it carries a story with it. Can you talk to us about that piece?
Chris Dellarocco: The piece on my upper right thigh and knee is about an accident that occurred around nine pm on March 26th, 2008 - the first night ride of the season. A car abruptly cut me off. The eight-inch scar on my knee is from my foot-peg. After that night, I took a long break from riding. I picked it up again in late 2011. I'm 100-percent back now.
Can you talk to us about the events that led to the loss of your arm?
In 1990, right after finishing the ninth grade, I went to the beach with a few friends. Coming home that night in excessive high speeds, we hit a barrier wall and then lights out! I woke up the next day in the hospital with nerve damage to my left arm, which left it with no movement at all. Years later, I had my arm amputated. That was the worst of it for me, aside from a lot of road rash and about 200 stitches. There were five people in the car that night, but only three survived.
When did you begin stunt riding?
I started stunt riding when I was young - around 15-years-old. My first quad was an automatic 125cc [laughs] - many quads and dirt bikes after that to follow. Riding those quads and dirt bikes helped me to get on a street bike a few years later. I just didn't want to ride with one arm, I wanted to do more - and so I did. I love stunts and tricks. I like to push myself and the bike.
How were you able to overcome the challenge of having to ride with one arm?
I had to move the clutch to the right side to overcome that challenge, but after that, I just rode using my legs more and leaning more.
Have you participated in any competitions for stunt riders?
I have participated in many events and have put on many stunt shows. I am a member of a stunt team called TeamRisk, founded by Vinny Risk.
Have you won awards or prizes for your riding?
I won third place at the Excalibur Power Sports 2006 N.E.I Series stunt quad and first place at the Falcon Extreme Motorsports 2006 Off-Road Warriors stunt quad.
What are some other gigs you've gotten dealing with stunt riding?
Well, I made it into the newspapers in Poland [laughs]. That was huge for me. I also was asked to be a part of a stunt DVD called Judgment Day 3. It was awesome! I was on the bonus section. Check it out!
I want to go back to your tattoos. A lot of your other tattoos have Asian influences to them. What is it about this style of tattooing that attracts you?
The Asian style of my tattoos comes from my mixed martial arts background and training. Very peaceful.
I also caught some nunchucks tattooed on your back. How long have you been studying martial arts?
The nunchucks on my back are great and very special pieces for me. I've been studying nunchucks since I was eight-years-old. I started martial arts when I was around 15.
I hear that you're also part of the Wand Fight Team. How did you come to join the team?
The Wand Fight Team is great! Great people, awesome training; it's like a family over there. I tried out for a TV show called "Fighter Life" in 2009 in Vegas. They needed 15 people for the show, and I was one of them. Out of over a hundred people, I got picked. The show was great. Fifteen people from all over the world in a house training and competing. It was an awesome experience.
Do you still participate in MMA matches? If so, where can our readers go online to find out about your next match?
Right now, I'm training for tryouts for XFC mixed martial arts. Also, you can find me on "Fighter Life" at wandfighteam.com or YouTube and Facebook.
Who's your tattoo artist, and how can our readers get in touch with him/her?
Well, I have a few artists. Go check out Shelton Tattoo and Park City Tattoo.
Are your tattoo artists primarily the ones to design your pieces, or are you really hands-on with the designing process?
I am definitely hands-on with my tattoos - they're my life, my stories, my visions.
What advice do you have for anyone trying to reach a goal out there?
My advice is never give up, follow your dreams and heart, and work harder than everyone else. Let no one tell you "No, you can't do that." Dreams can become realties. Stay focused and positive. Keep your head up and shoulders back. Stay strong. Stay grounded.
Photography by Steve Prue
Article by Emmanuel Urena