BJJ Black Belt - Erick Bonifacio Confirmed
Has anyone heard of Erick Bonifacio ("Eric Bonifacio" on FB)? He's the owner of Livermore Got Kicks and his BB is VERY questionable.
I bring this up because only about 3 years ago he was seen taking a private lesson as a white belt w Joao Perini. Then less than a year later was training as a blue belt. My friend trained w him and said he was low white belt level at best (my friend was a solid blue then).
That same year he offered to buy a purple belt from a very legit BB, who turned him down and kicked him out of his school for this reason.
The next year he's a BB teaching BJJ at Livermore Got Kicks (livermoregotkicks.com/) and somehow convinced, of all people, Joe Moreira, into listing him as one of his own Black Belts. He's listed as a 1st degree BB, which is impossible since he was a white belt only a few years ago (joemoreirabjj.com/brazilianjiujitsublackbelts.html).
If you check livermoregotkicks.com, you'll see it mentions his name (Erick Bonifacio), but never states WHERE or WHEN he got his BB, or any of his BJJ history. It only says he's affiliated w Joe Moreira. I've also heard he never rolls w ANY of his students. Before on his website, he was careful not to show ANY pics of him wearing a BB. Now all the pics are gone.
However, I've managed to download pics of him wearing a BB w 1 stripe, but they're all pics of him posing w groups of very legit BBs. However, he doesn't roll, ever.
If you look at his website, you'll notice it's geared towards TMA/self defense/kids programs, not serious BJJ, so it's unlikely people there will know he's a complete fake.
I find what he's doing terribly insulting to the BJJ community, but this situation is difficult since he's managed to be listed under Joe Moreira (for clarity, I'm not questioning Joe Moreira or his other BBs at all; this is only directed towards Erick Bonifacio). If you call Joe, he'll confirm he did NOT promote Erick Bonifacio to BB himself, however. He even has the nerve to have his picture taken with Francisco Mansour, while wearing his fake BB!
I'm not sure what can be done as he's obviously carefully planned to build credibility by associating himself through affiliations and pictures of seriously legit BBs (Joe Moreira, Francisco Mansour, and many others), but wanted to post this to bring awareness to this fake. To make things worse, he's a law enforcement officer.
Pics below here