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Farmboygrappler
9/11/2017 3:01pm,
Greetings martial arts sleuths,

I come to you today with an unusual request, to check the legitimacy of a wrestler / coach by the name of Laren Grey Umphlett who claims to have wrestled for 25 years, yet the wrestling techniques he teaches are so technically lacking, and his name is nowhere to be found in connection with any organized wrestling.

I think its unusual because people usually fake that theyre kung fu, karate or mma guys, Ive never met anyone who faked being a wrestler. Ive wrestled through highschool and college, and its never been a glamorous or cool credential and I could never grasp why anyone would want to fake being a wrestler, other than maybe that weir Ron Cotterill guy who pays guys to wrestle him on mattresses, but thats another story entirely.

So I saw this guy's youtube channel where he was teaching a pummeling drill that had his students pummeling really hard and basically slamming into each underhook, and I made a comment questioning the technique asking where he learned to pummel like that and he replied that he learned it in his 25 year wrestling career. So I asked him where he wrestled and he deleted my comments.

So I googled him and found no wrestling history, which doesnt necessarily mean he's fake because plenty of people wrestle at D2 and D3 schools and dont make it into any online databases, but this guys technique was so poor and his attitude so smug that something just seemed off.

Then I found his history on the Underground website Florida section where he posted in the early 2000s under the name kansetsuwaza, where he was known for criticizing everyones technique while claiming that tournaments and competition are beneath him and that he dislikes the grappling scene because its all about muscling bad technique, and that his competition days are over and he just wants to coach small private groups of advanced wrestlers. Then it came out that he was tapped out to a body triangle to a blue belt named Billy Cola at the one tournament he competed in. He was basically downing everything while refusing to back it up on the mats.

He then made the mistake of criticising the grappling skills of Royce Gracie black belt Rob Kahn, who got really pissed off and let him know he better back up his words if hes going to criticise him on a public forum. At that point the guy tucked and left florida.

Is this guy legit or a fraud, as my instincts tell me he might be?

You guys are far better at this than I could ever be, what are your thoughts?

Michael Tzadok
9/11/2017 3:54pm,
Well I could only find four videos of him teaching wrestling that were a few years old. It honestly didn't look that bad. It didn't look great, it was all basic, but I don't know what audience he was aiming at to be honest. I mean I could link videos of Olympic level wrestlers demonstrating core curriculum for Folkstyle and Olympic style wrestling and point out how very basic it is, and the many minor details they either ignore, or from an advanced perspective get wrong, because it is ultimately about skill development. Sure ultimately when you shoot a double leg your knees should never touch the floor, and all your momentum should go right into your opponent, however almost nobody teaches it that way to beginners. That is advanced level skill development.

I couldn't find most of the other stuff you mentioned. It seems from his youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcGoZGlq1XJen86bkPt1XjA and his Facebook https://www.facebook.com/laren.umphlett it seems that he has given up the wrestling thing and has become some sort of yogi that gives fringe left youtube rants.

hungryjoe
9/11/2017 3:58pm,
We have a forum leader/moderator here who is connected through LinkedIn (shared connection). I won't name names in the event his connection is purely through the subject's job as a home inspector.

Farmboygrappler
9/11/2017 4:00pm,
Well I could only find four videos of him teaching wrestling that were a few years old. It honestly didn't look that bad. It didn't look great, it was all basic, but I don't know what audience he was aiming at to be honest. I mean I could link videos of Olympic level wrestlers demonstrating core curriculum for Folkstyle and Olympic style wrestling and point out how very basic it is, and the many minor details they either ignore, or from an advanced perspective get wrong, because it is ultimately about skill development. Sure ultimately when you shoot a double leg your knees should never touch the floor, and all your momentum should go right into your opponent, however almost nobody teaches it that way to beginners. That is advanced level skill development.

I couldn't find most of the other stuff you mentioned. It seems from his youtube channel it seems that he has given up the wrestling thing and has become some sort of yogi that gives fringe left youtube rants.

Yeah, I couldnt link the pummeling video because of my post count, have you seen it? Im just trying to establish if the guy ever actually wrestled anywhere. I laughed at the fringe left comment, I noticed that too, those rants go round and round and make zero sense, maybe the poor guy is just nuts. Stiill shouldnt be teaching people wrestling if he doesnt really know it.:D

Farmboygrappler
9/11/2017 4:08pm,
We have a forum leader/moderator here who is connected through LinkedIn (shared connection). I won't name names in the event his connection is purely through the subject's job as a home inspector.

Surely Bullshido isnt about shielding peoples friends from legitimate inquiry. Im not saying the guy's a fraud, just that he appears not to have much wrestling experience yet claims to be a coach with 25 years of training. And the whole Rob Kahn thing seems odd as well, why would you publically criticize a well know jiujitsu instructor then back down when asked to back it up. Rob told him, if you think my tecnique is so poor, come on over and show me your skills. Apologizing and taking it back wouyld be the respectable thing to do, tucking just reeks of fakery imho.

hungryjoe
9/11/2017 4:14pm,
Surely Bullshido isnt about shielding peoples friends from legitimate inquiry. Im not saying the guy's a fraud, just that he appears not to have much wrestling experience yet claims to be a coach with 25 years of training. And the whole Rob Kahn thing seems odd as well, why would you publically criticize a well know jiujitsu instructor then back down when asked to back it up. Rob told him, if you think my tecnique is so poor, come on over and show me your skills. Apologizing and taking it back wouyld be the respectable thing to do, tucking just reeks of fakery imho.

That's just it. I don't know if the Bs member is a friend, acquaintance or someone who is connected by job association only. I'll send a PM to see if he has any knowledge or interest in wading in.

BKR
9/11/2017 5:16pm,
Greetings martial arts sleuths,

I come to you today with an unusual request, to check the legitimacy of a wrestler / coach by the name of Laren Grey Umphlett who claims to have wrestled for 25 years, yet the wrestling techniques he teaches are so technically lacking, and his name is nowhere to be found in connection with any organized wrestling.

I think its unusual because people usually fake that theyre kung fu, karate or mma guys, Ive never met anyone who faked being a wrestler. Ive wrestled through highschool and college, and its never been a glamorous or cool credential and I could never grasp why anyone would want to fake being a wrestler, other than maybe that weir Ron Cotterill guy who pays guys to wrestle him on mattresses, but thats another story entirely.

So I saw this guy's youtube channel where he was teaching a pummeling drill that had his students pummeling really hard and basically slamming into each underhook, and I made a comment questioning the technique asking where he learned to pummel like that and he replied that he learned it in his 25 year wrestling career. So I asked him where he wrestled and he deleted my comments.

So I googled him and found no wrestling history, which doesnt necessarily mean he's fake because plenty of people wrestle at D2 and D3 schools and dont make it into any online databases, but this guys technique was so poor and his attitude so smug that something just seemed off.

Then I found his history on the Underground website Florida section where he posted in the early 2000s under the name kansetsuwaza, where he was known for criticizing everyones technique while claiming that tournaments and competition are beneath him and that he dislikes the grappling scene because its all about muscling bad technique, and that his competition days are over and he just wants to coach small private groups of advanced wrestlers. Then it came out that he was tapped out to a body triangle to a blue belt named Billy Cola at the one tournament he competed in. He was basically downing everything while refusing to back it up on the mats.

He then made the mistake of criticising the grappling skills of Royce Gracie black belt Rob Kahn, who got really pissed off and let him know he better back up his words if hes going to criticise him on a public forum. At that point the guy tucked and left florida.

Is this guy legit or a fraud, as my instincts tell me he might be?

You guys are far better at this than I could ever be, what are your thoughts?

I used to post extensively on the UG back before it got modernized, in the Judo/Sambo section.

I recognize the username "kansetsuwaz", but don't remember any specifics about him.

I used to get online via modem, that's how long ago it was...

BKR
9/11/2017 5:24pm,
“Like simple minded goldfish, we often believe the boundaries of our bowl to be the entire ocean.”
― Laren Grey Umphlett, The Power of Perception

ad nauseum...

Farmboygrappler
9/11/2017 6:23pm,
“Like simple minded goldfish, we often believe the boundaries of our bowl to be the entire ocean.”
― Laren Grey Umphlett, The Power of Perception

ad nauseum...

Yeah, I gotta admit I find that part of his youtube channel hilarious, I guess he thinks he's a deep thinker of some sort, and in trying to prove it hes unintentionally very funny.

Like he did one video explaining "why whataboutisms are not appropriate" and he goes into this convoluted explanation with some inane examples and analogies and at the end he says "I hope you all understand some of this, although you probably dont because of your psychological need to reinforce a position", although philosophy and wrestling arent directly related I get the feeling that his wrestling claims are about as legit as his philosophical credentials.

I could be wrong, the guy could be an elite wrestler thats just really excentric but Im getting a strong vibe that the guy is either full of crap or delusional.

Id love to see some footage of him wrestling or even rolling, anything at all, if anyone knows, Im willing to admit Im totally wrong if the evidence so indicates.

BKR
9/11/2017 6:32pm,
Yeah, I gotta admit I find that part of his youtube channel hilarious, I guess he thinks he's a deep thinker of some sort, and in trying to prove it hes unintentionally very funny.

Like he did one video explaining "why whataboutisms are not appropriate" and he goes into this convoluted explanation with some inane examples and analogies and at the end he says "I hope you all understand some of this, although you probably dont because of your psychological need to reinforce a position", although philosophy and wrestling arent directly related I get the feeling that his wrestling claims are about as legit as his philosophical credentials.

I could be wrong, the guy could be an elite wrestler thats just really excentric but Im getting a strong vibe that the guy is either full of crap or delusional.

Id love to see some footage of him wrestling or even rolling, anything at all, if anyone knows, Im willing to admit Im totally wrong if the evidence so indicates.

I vote for delusional. Or trying to make money writing e-books and making it up as he goes along. Or maybe both?

Michael Tzadok
9/11/2017 9:27pm,
Yeah, I gotta admit I find that part of his youtube channel hilarious, I guess he thinks he's a deep thinker of some sort, and in trying to prove it hes unintentionally very funny.

Like he did one video explaining "why whataboutisms are not appropriate" and he goes into this convoluted explanation with some inane examples and analogies and at the end he says "I hope you all understand some of this, although you probably dont because of your psychological need to reinforce a position", although philosophy and wrestling arent directly related I get the feeling that his wrestling claims are about as legit as his philosophical credentials.

I could be wrong, the guy could be an elite wrestler thats just really excentric but Im getting a strong vibe that the guy is either full of crap or delusional.

Id love to see some footage of him wrestling or even rolling, anything at all, if anyone knows, Im willing to admit Im totally wrong if the evidence so indicates.

I don't really see where he has ever claimed to be an elite wrestler.
He said he is a wrestling coach($50 and a background check and you are an AAU wrestling coach, $80 and a background check for USA Wrestling). Being a wrestling coach requires absolutely no verifiable experience wrestling. In fact in places like New Jersey there have been some power house teams started by coaches who were little more than willing match teachers with some instructional videos and USAWrestling lesson plans(downloadable free from USAWrestling).

He said he as 25yrs experience wrestling. Well that could mean a lot of things, and if he lived somewhere like Florida(a major grappling state) be entirely possible to do and still be a hack. Start Wrestling when you are 5 in peewees until you are 18, there is 13 years right there. Then move on to some adult club(they have those in certain states), where you are little more than a hanger on and training dummy. You may even win some off year tournaments. I mean to be fair the best guys often don't compete in off years because of risk of injury, and they have nothing to prove.

Here are his videos of wrestling online:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sFEkEb3AOc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtR7pqJiHcw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSM8NEwRlt0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGAgGWMSbHY
Nothing mind blowing in those videos but nothing horrible either. It's decent instruction for an adult beginners club. Clearly he isn't coaching D1 wrestlers or Olympic hopefuls in those videos.

From hunting around a little bit more on this guy, it seems that he was a wrestling/catch wrestling coach at Rubicon Fightsport in Austin, Texas until they closed in 2013 or 2014(which incidentally was also about the time he stopped uploading wrestling videos). They apparently had some legit BJJ and MMA going on there with fighters winning BJJ championships and MMA bouts. I know a fake black belt managed to worm his way into a UFC Gym franchise, but honestly, I have a hard time thinking that someone who wasn't legit at least to some degree was in a gym with legit BJJ grapplers and MMA fighters as a coach and didn't get called on it.

Weird political rants aside this guy pretty much seems to pass the sniff test.

Farmboygrappler
9/12/2017 12:10pm,
I don't really see where he has ever claimed to be an elite wrestler.
He said he is a wrestling coach($50 and a background check and you are an AAU wrestling coach, $80 and a background check for USA Wrestling). Being a wrestling coach requires absolutely no verifiable experience wrestling. In fact in places like New Jersey there have been some power house teams started by coaches who were little more than willing match teachers with some instructional videos and USAWrestling lesson plans(downloadable free from USAWrestling).

He said he as 25yrs experience wrestling. Well that could mean a lot of things, and if he lived somewhere like Florida(a major grappling state) be entirely possible to do and still be a hack. Start Wrestling when you are 5 in peewees until you are 18, there is 13 years right there. Then move on to some adult club(they have those in certain states), where you are little more than a hanger on and training dummy. You may even win some off year tournaments. I mean to be fair the best guys often don't compete in off years because of risk of injury, and they have nothing to prove.

Nothing mind blowing in those videos but nothing horrible either. It's decent instruction for an adult beginners club. Clearly he isn't coaching D1 wrestlers or Olympic hopefuls in those videos.

From hunting around a little bit more on this guy, it seems that he was a wrestling/catch wrestling coach at Rubicon Fightsport in Austin, Texas until they closed in 2013 or 2014(which incidentally was also about the time he stopped uploading wrestling videos). They apparently had some legit BJJ and MMA going on there with fighters winning BJJ championships and MMA bouts. I know a fake black belt managed to worm his way into a UFC Gym franchise, but honestly, I have a hard time thinking that someone who wasn't legit at least to some degree was in a gym with legit BJJ grapplers and MMA fighters as a coach and didn't get called on it.

Weird political rants aside this guy pretty much seems to pass the sniff test.

What didnt pass the smell test to me was the pummeling drill video, it is completely wrong to teach it that way on any level.

Furthermore, in 2006 he was claiming that he used to compete and grapple "back in the day", and was criticising others techniques while refusing to show his own because he was "disgusted with the grappling scene", then when called out by Rob Kahn, he tucked and disappeared for a while until he surfaced as a wrestling coach in Texas.

If he is legit, it should be fairly simple to share where and when he actually wrestled. To me it appears that he may have been involved with some grapling at some point, got a taste of losing and then decided to become his own master. Which is perfectly fine and nobody's business but his.

However, at the point where he decided to teach others he crossed the line if he doesnt have legitimate verifiable wrestling credentials. In that case he has no business teaching others something he made up.

Raycetpfl
9/12/2017 1:33pm,
I don't really see where he has ever claimed to be an elite wrestler.
He said he is a wrestling coach($50 and a background check and you are an AAU wrestling coach, $80 and a background check for USA Wrestling). Being a wrestling coach requires absolutely no verifiable experience wrestling. In fact in places like New Jersey there have been some power house teams started by coaches who were little more than willing match teachers with some instructional videos and USAWrestling lesson plans(downloadable free from USAWrestling).

He said he as 25yrs experience wrestling. Well that could mean a lot of things, and if he lived somewhere like Florida(a major grappling state) be entirely possible to do and still be a hack. Start Wrestling when you are 5 in peewees until you are 18, there is 13 years right there. Then move on to some adult club(they have those in certain states), where you are little more than a hanger on and training dummy. You may even win some off year tournaments. I mean to be fair the best guys often don't compete in off years because of risk of injury, and they have nothing to prove.

Here are his videos of wrestling online:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sFEkEb3AOc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtR7pqJiHcw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hSM8NEwRlt0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGAgGWMSbHY
Nothing mind blowing in those videos but nothing horrible either. It's decent instruction for an adult beginners club. Clearly he isn't coaching D1 wrestlers or Olympic hopefuls in those videos.

From hunting around a little bit more on this guy, it seems that he was a wrestling/catch wrestling coach at Rubicon Fightsport in Austin, Texas until they closed in 2013 or 2014(which incidentally was also about the time he stopped uploading wrestling videos). They apparently had some legit BJJ and MMA going on there with fighters winning BJJ championships and MMA bouts. I know a fake black belt managed to worm his way into a UFC Gym franchise, but honestly, I have a hard time thinking that someone who wasn't legit at least to some degree was in a gym with legit BJJ grapplers and MMA fighters as a coach and didn't get called on it.

Weird political rants aside this guy pretty much seems to pass the sniff test.

99% of catch guys are fucking hacks. The lack of creditials with belts and certs. in catch makes it easy for them to pretend to be experts. He looks like he sucks.

Farmboygrappler
9/12/2017 2:01pm,
99% of catch guys are fucking hacks. The lack of creditials with belts and certs. in catch makes it easy for them to pretend to be experts. He looks like he sucks.

I just watched the mnatches from the Gotch memorial tournament and gotr the same impression. I watched a pretty decent wrestler named Curran Jacobs just run through everyone using solid wrestling fundamentals. His opponents didnt have a clue, and these guys are supposed to be top of the food chain in catch.

The problem, I think, is that they learn different submissions one by one, but they never learn stand up and fundamentals. They can probably demonstrate a million cool locks and submissions but cant put it together in an actual match.

Real wrestling is hard, gritty and humbling. A lot of people want to be badasses but find the road too hard, and they look for shortcuts. This guy in particular, he really wants to be a wrestling wrecking machine but couldnt handle losing and took his mats home so to speak Thats my impression anyway.

I'll be glad to admit Im wrong if his wrestling experience is verified, I just dont think that will happen, but who knows.

Michael Tzadok
9/12/2017 3:11pm,
What didnt pass the smell test to me was the pummeling drill video, it is completely wrong to teach it that way on any level.
What exactly is your problem with his pummeling drill video? Can you perhaps offer time codes and specific critiques?


Furthermore, in 2006 he was claiming that he used to compete and grapple "back in the day", and was criticising others techniques while refusing to show his own because he was "disgusted with the grappling scene", then when called out by Rob Kahn, he tucked and disappeared for a while until he surfaced as a wrestling coach in Texas.
Do you have any proof for any of these claims? I mean you want to go after this guy and call BS on him, you need to be able to back up the claims you are making against him.


If he is legit, it should be fairly simple to share where and when he actually wrestled. To me it appears that he may have been involved with some grapling at some point, got a taste of losing and then decided to become his own master. Which is perfectly fine and nobody's business but his.
If he were even still coaching I could see where this might be a concern for his students and/or his employer if he is working out of a club. However, it is pretty clear from his Facebook page that he considers his grappling days and coaching days over. His Youtube page doesn't even link his wrestling videos anymore, you have to hunt those up with long google searches. What exactly made you want to try and get an investigation rolling on this guy?


However, at the point where he decided to teach others he crossed the line if he doesnt have legitimate verifiable wrestling credentials. In that case he has no business teaching others something he made up.
I'm sorry but the two primary wrestling organizations in the US, AAU and USA Wrestling do not require you have a wrestling background to teach, and become registered coaches. USA Wrestling doesn't put in an experience requirement of any sort until you want to go for gold level certification, which includes you actually traveling with and assisting in the coaching of the US National team...


99% of catch guys are fucking hacks. The lack of creditials with belts and certs. in catch makes it easy for them to pretend to be experts. He looks like he sucks.
I didn't say he looked good. I just said he doesn't look like a fraud.


I just watched the mnatches from the Gotch memorial tournament and gotr the same impression. I watched a pretty decent wrestler named Curran Jacobs just run through everyone using solid wrestling fundamentals. His opponents didnt have a clue, and these guys are supposed to be top of the food chain in catch.

The problem, I think, is that they learn different submissions one by one, but they never learn stand up and fundamentals. They can probably demonstrate a million cool locks and submissions but cant put it together in an actual match.

Real wrestling is hard, gritty and humbling. A lot of people want to be badasses but find the road too hard, and they look for shortcuts. This guy in particular, he really wants to be a wrestling wrecking machine but couldnt handle losing and took his mats home so to speak Thats my impression anyway.

I'll be glad to admit Im wrong if his wrestling experience is verified, I just dont think that will happen, but who knows.
Really this isn't the place to trash catch wrestling. That would be the YMAS subforum.

What is your connection to this guy? How did you come across him? Why do you care? Why do you want him investigated?

Raycetpfl
9/12/2017 3:54pm,
What exactly is your problem with his pummeling drill video? Can you perhaps offer time codes and specific critiques?



It should go with foot work imo.