About Our Instructors

NEIL DOYLE

Owner, Master Instructor

 

Motto: "The ultimate aim of martial arts lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants."

 

At the age of 8, Neil began his martial arts career learning karate under Sensei Takahashi, who went on to award him with his brown belt. He wrestled from 4th to 10th grade for Amityville School District, where he also competed in many point sparring matches.

 

Neil then learned and become an instructor of krav maga under the watchful eye of Rhon Mizrachi for the Krav Maga Federation at the Flagship School in Manhattan. Neil is very thankful and appreciative to have had the pleasure to work with Rhon Mizrachi, as he inspired Neil to become the instructor and martial artist he is today.

 

Neil went on to test for his brown belt in Israel in front of a krav maga committee including Grandmaster Hiam Zut, the highest ranking krav maga instructor in the world. As part of the first group of Americans to do so, he's known as a true pioneer to the sport!

 

Other accomplishments include being a volunteer fireman for six years, a blue belt in jiu jitsu under Matt Serra, and a 3rd Dan black belt under the PKF Federation, to name a few. As a master instructor, he has helped multiple people become champions in the WKA, USMTA, USKBA, ISK, and PKF. Neil is always looking for new ways to give back to the community! He opened Strike First Fitness and MMA of Smithtown, NY so people could do what they love in a fun, safe environment and simultaneously reach their individual goals.

 

For more history on krav maga, and its founders Grandmaster Hiam Zut and Rhon Mizrachi, visit the Krav Maga Federation.

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NICOLE SHIMMY

 

Motto: "Strive to be #1, but don't step in #2."

 

Aside from being born in Atlanta, GA, Nicole "Shimmy" Scimeme grew up in Stony Brook, NY. She played four years of Division One volleyball at Loyola University in Maryland -- it was there that she started her career in martial arts. At Ground Control Baltimore, she trained Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and MMA under John Rallo as well as Muay Thai and boxing under Henry Smith.

 

Days after graduating from Loyola with her degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, Nicole boarded a plane for Bangkok, Thailand, where she lived, trained Muay Thai at Sor. Vorapin Gym, taught English, and travelled throughout Southeast Asia for two years. Nicole is grateful to have had this opportunity as she trained with professionals and amateurs spanning the globe, but more importantlty, for gaining a higher respect for Muay Thai and Thai culture overall.

 

Nicole previously worked as a teacher's assistant for children with physical and mental disabilities and as a college volleyball coach. She aspires to travel the world working with individuals with speech and hearing difficulties.

 

She is the WKA Muay Thai Jr. Lightweight Champion and an active member of the Strike First Fight Team.

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MATT SHAMLOO

 

Motto: "You don't have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great."

 

Born and raised in Smithtown, Matt fell in love with martial arts at the age of 12. In addition to playing football and running track at Smithtown West, he started taking Kempo karate and earned his brown belt with three stripes. Looking to expand his knowledge of martial arts, he decided to join an MMA gym. It was there where he met his current instructor Neil Doyle. Matt feels he has never been in better shape -- he has lost more weight and gained more muscle and endurance than he thought possible. He is proud to say that after many years as a martial arts student, he is becoming more of a true martial artist every day. The most rewarding part of his day is teaching and helping people reach their fitness goals. 

 

Matt is an amateur fighter, has earned his Associate's Degree from Suffolk Community College, and is an aspiring comic writer. 

CATHY RAPTIS

 

Motto: "Believe you can and you're halfway there."

 

Cathy has been involved in fitness for the past 6+ years. Through the help of her trainers, she lost 25 pounds -- this has not only increased her confidence, but it has allowed her to reach more of her fitness goals overall. Cathy now strives to reach out and make other men and women feel great about themselves and live healthier lifestyles.

 

Cathy was previously a Zumba instructor and personal instructor for Lucille Roberts, where she used interval training to supercharge fitness levels and boost metabolism to burn fat. In her free time, she is a dedicated member of the Strike First Fight Team as well as a constant competitor in races, challenge sprints, and obstacle runs.