Where did Neil learn to grapple? Neil is a black belt under Karo Paryisian. Neil started off learning grappling in the Hayastan school – it has roots in Catch Wrestling, Judo & Sambo under world famous coaches Gene Lebel and Gokor Chivichyan. To say it was a strict school would be to understate the reality by a mile. Gokor told Neil that he would have to learn the bottom game very well, since his training partners such as UFC star Karo Paryisian were too advanced in their takedown games that Neil would not be able to catch up anytime soon.
Neil did as he was told but he was forced due to his body type to pick and choose the moves that worked for him. Sambo and Catch Wrestling don’t have as well defined moves from the bottom as does BJJ so Neil developed a lot on his own. What he came up with speaks to his own mind: he’s obsessed with independent and free thinkers like Nicola Tesla and in Grappling he is Tesla and beyond. What Neil came up with was pure brilliance.
Neil created a unique system that is not familiar to Catch Wrestlers or Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioners, the way Neil grapples is a hybrid system where he takes what is useful and discards what is useless, much like the great martial artist Bruce Lee. Neil has an excellent understanding of the fundamental principles of grappling, he understands concepts and body mechanics. Neil can break a technique down that he has never seen before and understand what makes it work, what can be improved, and what can’t. His grappling and fighting I.Q are beyond belief.
Neil has been considered a “Mad Grappling Scientist” by many of the best UFC and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighters. What makes Neil so unique is the fact that he is one of the best MMA coaches in the entire world and this platform has allowed him to learn how to translate grappling into effective MMA and self-defense. Not only is his grappling I.Q ingenious, his fight I.Q is also unbelievable. He can look at a MMA match and understand immediately what is working and what is not, he can coach a fighter through the toughest of situations because of the depth of his own knowledge. On of Neil’s other greatest characteristics are his ability to teach. He is an excellent instructor. If you have ever seen Neil’s instructional videos than you understand what we mean, if not, continue reading and you will find some below.
Asides from all of Neil’s unbelievable grappling and MMA accomplishments, Neil also served 7 years for the United States Navy and 5 years as a Federal Air Marshall. You can rest assured that his techniques are not only functional for grappling, MMA, but also for Self-Defense. Neil lives a quiet life off of the mats, and is one of the most humble and down to earth people that you can encounter.
Neil has an extremely unique grappling methodology; he has a system that is not similar to anybody else in the grappling world. He is known for is Irish Collar System, his K Control system, Getting off the center line, and his Leg and Foot control from guard. Neil’s unique approach to grappling allows him to have a competitive edge on people because of the lack of familiarity with his movements. Check some of his techniques out below.