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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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

 

 

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 member of the Strike First Fight Team as well as a constant competitor in races, challenge sprints, and obstacle runs.

L.T. TAYLOR

 

Motto: "Hard work beats talent when talent refuses to work hard."

 

Lateef "LT" Taylor is the founder of RaRe Roots BJJ and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Purple Belt under the world renowned Gracie Barra team. L.T. began training while completing his Bachelor's degree at Adelphi University. He discovered the mental and physical benefits of BJJ had a profound, positive affect on his ability to focus, prepare, and perform while in school. That inspired him to begin sharing the art with others

 

With over four years experience coaching and teaching Brazilian Jiu Jitsu to male and female athletes ages 4 and up. Coach L.T. uses a unique blend of fundamental, classic, and modern BJJ to maximize each student's potential. As a dedicated instructor, his proven system aids students in attaining their individual goals by creating an environment that is flexible to their personal learning style. 

His students ranging from 6 yrs old to adult have won championships in the U.S. and Canada in Grappler's Quest, IBJJF, NAGA, and Abu Dhabi Combat Club to name a few. 

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MATT MCGUIRE
 

Bio coming soon!