One of the top Grappling coaches in the world,  Neil has been the head Grappling instructor for several of the biggest fight gyms in the US and has helped develop the ground skills of many of MMA ‘s elite fighters. In our discussion, we talk about tactics, techniques and Grappling as a universal system!  Click “Read More” for show notes!


  • His introduction to Grappling
  • Learning the Hayastan System of Grappling
  • His early interest in leg locks
  • Master Gokor Chivichyan
  • The advantage of having a strong leg lock game
  • Key technical details of the leg lock game
  • Tactics vs techniques
  • Why he focuses more on Grappling for MMA
  • How the equipment in Jiu-Jitsu can lead to a false sense of reality
  • Striking on the ground / Trapping systems
  • The concept of “Bottle Necking”
  • Rolling with Ruben Alvarez
  • Leg locks for MMA and how they change
  • His time as an Air Marshall
  • His exposure to Master Gene LeBell
  • Brutality in Grappling
  • How Gene Lebell changed the way he chews food
  • Learning from Karo Parisyan
  • Grappling as a universal system
  • Old school Jiu-Jitsu
  • Mat Wrestling
  • The future of Grappling
  • The most overlooked detail of the Triangle Choke
  • His book and DVD series
  • The most important “get up” technique to understand
  • Losing his eyesight at 28 years old
  • Training in constant pain
  • How being visually impaired affects him on the mat
  • His love for the Turtle Guard and how Professor Eduardo Telles inspired him to explore that position
  • His experience rolling with Professor Telles
  • His advice for new Grapplers