Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Next Level Guy

Jan 14, 2021

Today’s guest is legendary Head Coach Greg Nelson.

Greg has his roots in athletic training and competition. Mr. Nelson is a former University of Minnesota Wrestling Team member and All-American high school gymnast. In 1983, he started training in numerous martial arts, obtaining a high level coaching qualifications. 

A grappler at heart, the first Black Belt under 8th Degree Red and Black Belt Pedro Sauer, he is now a 4th Degree Black Belt and is the highest-ranking Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Black belt in the state of Minnesota.

Head Coach Nelson is well known as one of the best Mixed Martial Arts coaches in the world and his team at The Academy have produced numerous World Champions, and other local, national, and international contenders and medal winners, in MMA, Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, etc, victories within all of the major fight organizations worldwide. Mr. Nelson and The Academy Team have also developed 3 UFC Champions at 3 different weight classes.

Over the years, Mr. Nelson has taught defensive tactics/Combatives to a wide variety of law enforcement and military personnel, creating training programs for local, state, and federal law enforcement divisions including the FBI, DEA, amongst others. Mr. Nelson is a combatives consultant to classified U.S. Army Special Forces units, and the Naval Special Warfare Development Group (SEAL Team 6). He is very proud to be one of the few civilians selected to work with the military and the soldiers.

Though his professional pedigree and success in martial arts is what he is known for there is nothing Coach Nelson deems more important than being a father to his 2 children, a daughter and a son. Being a 2-time cancer survivor, Greg holds health and happiness as job ... #1,“Ultimately, my goal is to improve emotional, mental and physical health and wellbeing through the practice of Martial Arts and a healthy lifestyle.” 

In this interview, we discuss his story, MMA, coaching, recovering from serious illness, and realising what is important in life and fighting your way back against life's toughest opponents.


In this interview, we discuss gems like:

  • Who they are
  •  How he entered into mixed martial arts and how his first coach (and opponent) was his older brother
  • Why Greg sees what his approach as 'Truly Mixed Martial Arts'
  • What is his opinion on MMA and the evolution of the sport
  • Does he believe all men should train in a combat sport like BJJ, MMA etc?
  • Why doe he think his fighters have been so successful over the years?
  • How does he work with a new fighter to help them along their journey to becoming a champion.
  • How his coaches his students - has he found the best way to do so
  • How does he prepare a fighter towards an upcoming fight (training camps?)
  • Where does he see fighters making mistakes with their training and beliefs of how 'hard' they go during their training?
  • How does he build a team of coaches as well as a team of fighters, or rather a family of fighters
  • How does he coach a fighter during real time competition and afterwards?
  • How the martial arts mindset helped him during his fight with serious illness - and two mindset hacks that may change how you view illness, poor health etc, they are epic!
  • Red flags to watch for with your health
  • What advice would he give people who are going through a severe illness or condition
  • How has becoming a father changed him
  • What does the future hold for him, what does he want his evolution to be
  • What does he want you to take from this interview
  • How you can connect with them