Instructors and Trainers

At American Eagle MMA and X-cel Fitness Professionals, we pride ourselves in providing our students and clients the very best in Martial Arts and Fitness Instruction. Your curriculum can only be as effective as those who deliver it. Our instructors are not only trained in our systems, but have extensive outside training, accomplishments, certifications and degrees in the subjects that they teach.

The school is headed by Master Instructor Phil Ross. Saya Phil Ross is an 8th Degree Black Belt with the East/West Martial Arts Alliance under Professor Jon Collins. He also has ranks in Bando, Aiki Jiu Jitsu, Bando, Taekwondo, Arnis, CDT and Shamrock Submission Fighting (Catch Wrestling). He is also a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Instructor under Professor Mitch Coats of The Base ( which is member of Checkmat BJJ, founded by Leonardo Vieira and Ricardo “Rico” Vieira. In addition the Martial Arts, Mr. Ross, aka “The Kettlebell King”, is a Master RKC, ACE Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Bodyweight Specialist and the developer of Survival Strong, the self defense and bodyweight strength system. A competitor on the National Level from 1979-2010, Master Ross won titles in kickboxing, wrestling, karate, taekwondo, submission fighting and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He was also a coach for fighters in the UFC and Bellator, Ring of Combat as well as many amatuer shows. A video star and producer, author and presenter, Mr. Ross has The S.A.V.E. Video Series, The Kettlebell Workout Library (in DVD and Online), featured presenter on the Leaders in Fitness website and the Advanced Kettlebell Workout to his credit, as well as two books due out in 2016, Ferocious Fitness and Survival Strong. He has also appeared in several commercials, television talk shows, corporate and educational events.

Instructor Joe Rubino: North American Boxing & Kickboxing Champion, 7th Degree Black Belt and life long Martial Artist, Coach Rubino runs our boxing program and helps to train our fighters. He has long history and string of accomplishments in boxing the full karate contact arena. As a 2X North American Boxing and Kickboxing Champion and a member of the famed Gleason’s Fight Team he gained an in-depth knowledge of boxing, striking, movement and strategies is second to none. Instructor Rubino earned his Black Belt Ranks from the founders of the extremely effective Nisei Goju Karate System under the founders, Frank Ruiz and Harry Rosenstein.

Instructor John Holster:  Sabom Yodan Holster is a 4th Degree Black Belt at American Eagle MMA and a First Degree Black Belt with the East-West Martial Alliance. He has been training in the Martial Arts with Saya Phil ever since 1989. Sabom was an accomplished motocross racer and has been a proponent of health and fitness as a lifelong passion.

Instructor Khyl Farrison: Khyl brings with him a deep and wide knowledge of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Wrestling. His grappling background and style fit right in with our Wrestlejitsu form of combat submission fighting. Not only is Khyl an accomplished competitor, but a seasoned coach on the collegiate level at Yale University. He is also a Law Enforcement Officer with the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department. Instructor Farrison is a World Champion Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Fighter and has won numerous titles in the IBJJF, NAGA, Gappler’s Quest, Good Fight and many other organizations. He uses his All State Wrestling pedigree to augment his pressure style of Jiu Jitsu. Instructor Farrison is available for one on one training in Jiu Jitsu as well as strength and conditioning.

Instructor/Trainer Nicole Ross: Has a deep passion and love for fitness, health, nutrition and the martial arts. She started training at American Eagle MMA at the age of 2 1/2 and had never looked back. She’s a Second Degree Black Belt, an RKC Level 2 Kettlebell Instructor and a Progressive Calisthenics Certified bodyweight instructor. Miss Nicole has competed and won titles in Sparring (Fighting), Forms and Self Defense over her career. She has now taken to the stage of Bikini Competitor and utilizing her talents in fitness, nutrition, dietetics and general health. Miss Nicole will be graduating from Montclair University with a degree in Dietetics in 2016 and is set pursue her Masters in the subject. Miss Nicole conducts classes, offers private instruction and heads our Nutritional Consulting Department.

Instructor Steve Levitan: Has been a student of American Eagle MMA since 1996. He earned his Black Belt at AEMMA and has been a contributor to the classroom passing his knowledge to the younger students. His life experience and dedication to the school is unparalleled.

Instructor Matt Burgos: Mr. Burgos is a lifetime Martial Artist and exceptional advocate for American Eagle MMA and our system of training. His diverse background includes skills of MMA, BJJ, Aiki Jiu Jitsu, Kung Fu and Boxing. Both he an his son Andres are high level students and Instructors at AEMMA.