From the rubble of World War II there arose
a legend about a great Armenian fighter who fought on the streets
of Middle East countries. After his death sometime in 1946 his sons
and widow, with thousands of other Armenian refugees, moved back to
Armenia in the former Soviet Union.
Two decades later this fighter's grandson was born and another
legend was created.
The youngest of three
brothers, Gokor Chivichyan was born
May 10th 1963. Gokor was a very aggressive
child, beating up all the older kids on the
street he lived on. After seeing the
boy fighting in the streets of Yerevan, a student at the Dinamo
Studio invited the five-year-old Gokor to train at his school. Right
from Gokor's first day at the school, the head-wrestling instructor
knew he had great athlete in the making.
After only one year of wrestling, Gokor began his training in Sambo.
He trained a minimum of 4 - 5 hours a day with larger and more advanced
students, often besting them in class.
In 1971 Gokor competed in his first tournament and won his first
Armenian Junior National Sambo Championship. He won all of his matches
quickly and with ease.
At the age of nine, Gokor fought in his second Junior National
Sambo Championship, taking first place in the 10 - 12 year old division.
He won the Gold Medal and qualified to go to Russia to fight in
the '72 Soviet Junior National Sambo Championships.
1973 was a big year for Gokor, beginning his training in Judo;
he would go onto win Armenian Junior National Championship and then
compete at the Russian Junior National Judo Championships. It was
in Russia at these games that Gokor would experience his first loss.
Making it to the finals, Gokor would go home with a Silver Medal
after losing by referee's decision to the three times Soviet National
Champion. This loss haunted Gokor and drove him to train even harder,
promising himself that he would never lose another competition in
1974 brought Gokor back to Russia to fight in the Soviet Junior
Judo and Sambo National Championships. Fulfilling his promise to
himself, Gokor took Gold Medals in both competitions.
From 1974 through 1979 Gokor continued to compete and win competitions
in both Judo and Sambo not only in the Soviet Union, but Europe
and at the world games.
In 1980 Gokor qualified for the Soviet Olympic Judo team, but was
passed over for an older more experienced athlete, who went to win
the gold. Gokor although greatly disappointed by not being able
to compete in the Olympics.
One year later Gokor and his family would find themselves moving
to America. (Los Angeles).
Gokor didn't give up on his dream of competing for Olympic gold.
He was rewarded for his perseverance by meeting and training with
the Legendary "Judo" Gene LeBell. Gene began teaching
Gokor techniques he had never encountered before, and quickly Gokor
added these techniques to his training.
These were tough times for the seventeen-year-old Gokor who was
training, learning English, working and trying to learn as much
as he could about American Culture.
Starting in 1982 Gokor began competing in Judo Tournaments again,
and Professional No-Holds-Barred fights. Some fights were for money
others just for the experience and excitement.
His professional fighting and hunger for competition took Gokor
to many new places like France, Japan, Thailand, Mexico, Canada,
Germany, and England to name but a few. While competing in numerous
no holds barred fights Gokor started training in Boxing and Muay
Thai to improve his already formidable standing fighting skills.
Gokor's dream was to train hard and become a U.S. citizen so he
could compete in 1984 Olympics for the U.S. Judo team, but was unable
to become a citizen soon enough. Traveling back and forth between
America and Russia, Gokor qualified for the Soviet team but again,
did not get to compete in the Olympics because of the Soviet boycott.
In 1987 Gokor competed for the Judo International World Cup in
Spain. After 8 wins, Gokor made it to the finals against a strong
competitor from France. Three minutes into the match, Gokor won
by full point (ippon).
Gokor met some very strong fighters from Brazil that trained in
Jiu-Jitsu. They were so impressed by Gokor's skills they invited
him to train with them. To this day they are still good friends
exchanging techniques and visiting each other's schools.
The United States Judo Federation helped Gokor acquire his US Citizenship
in November 1987 to qualify for the US Olympic Team in 1988. Unfortunately,
as a late citizen, Gokor did not have enough time to acquire the
necessary points to compete in the Olympics.
By 1989 Gokor had won 4 Professional World NHB Championship Titles
and was ready for a completely new challenge, Marriage! Proving
to be a worthy challenge, Gokor chose to retire undefeated as a
professional fighter and instead dedicated himself to his wife Narine
and raising his first child, Arthur, who was born on May 16th 1990.
But fighting was in Gokor's blood, and the long awaited Hayastan
Grappling Academy opened in Hollywood California in 1991. With his
long history of winning championship titles and his unique fighting
system, Gokor found his new school and instant success with hundreds
of ambitious students.
The Hayastan Grappling Academy has drawn students from around the
world to train there, establishing a reputation in the fight community
as THE place to train for No Holds Barred Fighting.
Right from the beginning Gokor's students have gone forward to
become champion s in Judo and NHB competitions, including extreme
fighting, Pancrase and even in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Gokor receives many invitations to fight in these competitions
but prefers his role as teacher to the champions.
With all this going on in his life, Gokor still found time to compete
in and wind the US Judo Nationals in 1994.
The only thing that could possibly eclipse his student's successes
happened on July 17th 1996 with the birth of Gokor's second son,
In January 1997 Gokor received a call to come out of retirement
to fight another Professional No-Holds-Barred World Championship.
His opponent was the 1996 N.H.B. World Champion from Japan. Mr.
Maeda's record was over 200 wins and no defeats.
For Gokor, this wasn't viewed as a challenge, but more like another
opportunity to display the devastating effectiveness of Gene LeBell
and Gokor's style of mixed martial art fighting.
The match took place in mid 1997 broadcast around the world via
pay-per-view and before a tremendous crowd in Alabama. Gokor fought
Mr. Maeda and beat him in 51 seconds to the cheers of his friends,
family and students.
Gokor shocked many of the spectators with his speed, strength and
This was also the year Gokor was inducted into the Black Belt Hall
of Fame and awarded with the prestigious "1997 Judo Instructor
of the Year".
Gokor's school and his role as it's founder has been written about
for cover feature articles in Kung Fu Magazine, Black Belt, Jiu-Jitsu,
Grappling, Karate, Germany's Budo Magazine, the Los Angeles Times,
and newspapers around the world.
Living out another dream Gokor has appeared as an actor and stunt
man in feature films like Blood Sport II, Streets of Rage, Personal
Vendetta and also on televisions shows like JAG, It's On Your Good
and many Armenian and American sports and news programs.
But nothing can compare with training his sun and watching him
win as the 5 time Judo Junior National Champion and winning the
Junior Judo Olympics in 2000. With this kind of success, Arthur
is moving onto grappling and no holds barred training.
Gokor currently trains professional fighters and amateur students
in judo, sambo and no-holds-barred fighting.
Many NHB world champions today, come and train at the Hayastan
studio, to exchange knowledge with Gokor.
He has affiliate schools across North America, in Europe and his
homeland of Armenia.
Gokor does seminars around the world and has been training the
LAPD self-defense instructors since 1996. He has received city commendations
for his services to the Los Angeles community and was recently given
a commendation for teaching the LAPD. Gokor has also taught for
FBI, numerous SWAT teams and Interpol in Europe.
At 38 years old, Gokor is looking forward to competing again maybe
for fun, maybe for money. But his dream is that Gene LeBell & Gokor's
Grappling World branch out across the world and that their students
can go on to become as successful as Gokor has or even more so.
Gokor has competed in over 400 NHB, judo, and sambo fights, and
has never lost as a professional fighter. Though hugely successful
in the fighting world, Gokor is humble, honest and friendly to everyone
he encounters. His respect for all mankind is something that you
will see the first second you meet him. It is this extraordinary
attitude, which makes him a true champion and not only a champion
in fighting, but also a champion in life.
For more information about Gokor or to book him for a seminar,
please call the Hayastan Academy at 323
660-5202 or visit us at 5123 Sunset Blvd. Suite 214, Los Angeles
(Hollywood) Ca 90027. If you are interested in any of his other
video tapes, books or merchandise you may order from his website