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One on One with Gokor Chivichyan

September 1, 2009 - Craig Harvey
Gokor Chivichyan's Hayastan grappling tournament is one of the best tournaments for grapplers anyone will ever find.

The point system is accommodating for every style. From Sambo, to Jiu Jitsu, to Judo, to wrestling, every stylist has an equal chance to demonstrate their skills.

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.

On Saturday, Chivichyan brought his tournament to Fredonia High School. Not only did he sit in and watch the entire tournament, he also held a two-day seminar teaching enthusiast the art of grappling.

"I do this every month," he said. "I do 27 states and 43 countries. I want to educate fighters so they know what they are doing when they go up against pro fighters. We are building champions."

Chivichyan has trained fighters such as Manvel Gamburyan, Karen Darabedyan, Sevak Magakian, Roman Mitichyan, and Karo Parisyan, who have competed in the arena of the UFC, WEC, King of the Cage, Olympic and all National Judo Championships.

The continuing climb in popularity Mixed Martial Arts is having in American comes as no surprise to Chivichyan.

"I (am not) impressed because I already know what it's going to be," he continued. "It's a beautiful art."

His career was amazing as he retired with an undefeated professional record. 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.

Just last year, at the age of 46, Chivichyan came out of retirement unexpectedly and took first place as the Winter Nationals. He came as a coach and after being persuaded by tournament officials, he was handed a Gi and participated in the event.

"Everyone wanted to see me fight so they convinced me and gave me a Gi," he recalled. "I had five fights and it took me three and a half minutes."

The end result — the title. The championship match was against the Cuban Olympic medalist.

"Today's fighters are more educated," he said. "I competed with people who didn't really know what they were doing. I have to be honest. Today they are educated. Every year that passes, the more educated they are."

The success on the mats has been passed down to his son Arthur who is training for the 2012 Olympics and Gokor is happy to pass the light to him.

"I am a teacher now," Gokor said. "Arthur is doing Judo. He just recently became a champion."


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Gokor Chivichyan gives a two-day seminar while at his Hayastan grappling tournament at Fredonia High School. They event was hosted by Norm Yonkers and the Karate Connection.