Neil started training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 2015 in Bonnyville, Alberta when he was posted to nearby Cold Lake with the Canadian Forces. He took a year away from grappling in 2016 due to a lack of training partners in the Lakeland area. Steady classes returned to Cold Lake in fall 2017. Neil was promoted to blue belt by Matt Cochrane under the WAMMA Canada affiliation in 2020. He then started filling in as a teacher at Kempe’s newly opened gym downtown in 2020 and continues to this day at Kempe’s uptown gym with his own no-gi class on Monday. Bernie Antle promoted Neil to purple belt in Dec 2022.
Outside of grappling, Neil enjoys time with his girlfriend Alisa, drumming, and spending time in the woods camping, fishing and kayaking.
“I’ve never found anything that interests me more than grappling. It doesn’t matter what else is happening in life, I always think about the good things grappling has done for me and I get myself to the mats where I always feel comfortable and at home. One especially good feeling is seeing a student successfully using a technique you just taught them.”