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Scott Kaplan

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Scott Kaplan is a jiu-jitsu black belt under Marcelo Garcia who worked extensively with Vinny Magalhaes, Fredson Paixao, and Cameron Diffley. Kaplan had a wealth of experience coaching many mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters in grappling before becoming one of the head instructors at the Marcelo Garcia Academy in New York, US.

Scott Kaplan Jiu-Jitsu

Full Name: Scott Kaplan

Nickname: N/A

Lineage: Carlos Gracie > Helio Gracie > Rolls Gracie > Romero Cavalcanti > Fabio Gurgel >Marcelo Garcia > Scott Kaplan

Main Achievements: N/A

Favorite Position/Technique: Well-rounded

Weight Division: Peso Leve (76,00 kg / 168.0 lbs)

Team/Association: Marcelo Garcia Academy

Scott Kaplan Biography

Scott Kaplan was born on September 4, 1986, in White Plains, New York, USA, though he moved to Saratoga Springs, NY, during his pre-teens, where he went to high school.

As a child, Kaplan played several sports, from soccer, basketball, hockey, skateboarding, etc as well as traditional martial arts like kempo, karate, and kung fu, though he eventually stopped these combat activities around 12 as he didn’t believe they were practical in a real-life circumstance.

Obsessed with self-defense and hand-to-hand combat, Scott started researching the subject, coming across the Gracie Challenges and (through it) jiu-jitsu sometime around 2003. He opted to buy books on the matter and drill the techniques with his childhood friend, Matt Riddle, who was also his sparring partner for several years.

At 17, Scott Kaplan started working in construction to afford jiu-jitsu tuition at a physical school under the guidance of a black belt, which he did. As the school had a limited schedule Scott would supplement his training daily with like-minded friends at home.

4 years later, his friend Matt Riddle, who had since gone to wrestle D1 in college and participated in The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) MMA show, was starting a career in mixed martial arts and invited Scott to move to Las Vegas with him, which Kaplan accepted.

In Vegas, as part of Riddle’s team was a strength and conditioning coach named Norm Turner, who eventually befriended Scott Kaplan and started bringing him to the training camps of many top-shelf MMA athletes like Forrest Griffin, Amir Sadollah, Matt Brown, Evan Dunham, Mike Pyle, and others for sparring.

During his time in Las Vegas, Scott became a student of jiu-jitsu coach Cameron Diffley who graded Kaplan with his purple and brown belts. Diffley eventually opted to pursue an MMA career and suggested his position as an instructor at the Throwdown Training Center (later called Syndicate MMA) to Scott and the gym’s owner. After accepting the offer, Kaplan led the grappling program and cornered many of the training center’s MMA fighters, including in the UFC.

In late 2013/early 2014 Scott left his position as a coach in Las Vegas and moved to New York City where he started training at Marcelo Garcia‘s gym. Kaplan fit in the team well, and after 1 year of practice at MGA he was invited to assist the head instructors there, eventually getting his black belt from Garcia on May 10, 2017. In 2018, Scott Kaplan would also earn a black belt in the 10th Planet system from his friend Vinny Magalhaes.

With time, Kaplan became one of the instructors at MGA and although the gym closed down during the COVID-19 pandemic, it re-opened months later in March of 2021 with Scott Kaplan and Matheus Diniz as the head instructors.

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One Comment

  • Gizme Zyabelt says:

    Scott is the Man!!!! #KAPCITY

    One of the best MMA instructors I have encountered and an even better person!!!

    Excited to see he’s getting the flowers he is well deserved of and more importantly that he earned!!!!!


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