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  1. brodown is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/10/2013 11:51am


     Style: BJJ

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cephelapoid View Post
    I am a student at Guildford Academy.

    I do not know Antonio outside of the Academy, and I cannot add any input into verifying his credentials.

    However, I can testify to his Character and his dedication to his students along with his professionalism. Since joining the college last year as a complete novice, he has shown nothing but patients, along with a teaching ability that is clearly fuelled by a passion for all aspects of Martial Arts.

    You do not have to be in a class for very long to realize that he is clearly respected by his students and colleagues.

    Although what I have to say is largely irrelevant in terms of credentials, its important for people to not judge a man they have never met on claims that are, as of yet, unfounded.
    People asking the questions about his credentials are not concerned with his character or defaming him. I am sure he is a nice person IRL, however he has not done himself any favours by deliberately not being forthright with his BJJ belt lineage; refusing to post certificates stating that he does not have to justify himself; refusing to address any of the questions which are asked about his BJJ, TKD, MT credentials; threatening legal action upon discovering his credentials were being investigated rather than explaining anything; and getting defensive and upset about people starting the queries based on an an email which was sent out on behalf of the academy as if to a prospective student, detailing his claim for receiving a brown belt from Rickson Gracie in the Torrance academy in the 90s.

    If he has nothing to hide, why get upset, defensive, and threaten legal action? Again, not having a go at Antonio's character, but if he wanted to make this all go away then he needs to be forthright and honest.
    Last edited by brodown; 1/10/2013 11:54am at . Reason: typo
  2. brodown is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/10/2013 11:59am


     Style: BJJ

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Cephelapoid View Post
    I am a student at Guildford Academy.

    I do not know Antonio outside of the Academy, and I cannot add any input into verifying his credentials.

    However, I can testify to his Character and his dedication to his students along with his professionalism. Since joining the college last year as a complete novice, he has shown nothing but patients, along with a teaching ability that is clearly fuelled by a passion for all aspects of Martial Arts.

    You do not have to be in a class for very long to realize that he is clearly respected by his students and colleagues.

    Although what I have to say is largely irrelevant in terms of credentials, its important for people to not judge a man they have never met on claims that are, as of yet, unfounded.
    Oh and as for the claims being unfounded, it has already come to light that he could have never of been a Rickson brown belt, due to Rickson not giving out any brown belts at all to any students during his time at Torrance. Furthermore contacts on the UG have actually managed to ask Rickson himself who does not know Antonio at all, neither does Rorion Gracie, Allan Manganello, Henry Akins, all very important people who were at the Torrance academy in the 90s.

    People on the UG are working on getting something written or filmed from Rickson detailing this.

    Again this could have all been avoided if he had just answered the question and not deliberately shroud everything in mystery.
    Last edited by brodown; 1/10/2013 12:00pm at . Reason: typo
  3. scaramangaka is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/10/2013 1:29pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Braziilian Jiu-Jitsu

    0
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    In this UG thread - http://m.mixedmartialarts.com/mma-fo...lt-from-90s/14 - a poorly scanned picture that is a group photo taken at the Gracie Academy in Torrance, California (1996). This picture is of all of the instructors and assistant instructors at the time.

    On a whim I did a Google reverse image search and found a better quality version which can be seen here - http://www.hbjjc.evolutionfotos.com/...c%20Resize.jpg Also in the UG thread they are trying to name everyone in the photo but they are having difficulty due to the quality of the image. This website, unfortunately, only names a few of the instructors - http://www.hbjjc.evolutionfotos.com/...torlineage.htm -. I wanted to post this better quality image on the UG, however account validation takes too long. I hope this information is helpful.
  4. GingerNinja is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/10/2013 8:06pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     

    5
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I posted this on the BJJ underground and thought I'd share it with you guys too.

    Hello BJJ Underground, it is I, the Ginger Ninja, and I have a full report on my evenings training with Antonio Estepanian.

    Firstly I want to start out by saying that I was a bit of a childish troll in this thread when it started and since going to train in Guildford martial arts center, I kind of feel my behavior was not that of a thirty something martial artist and for that I apologize (not to anyone in particular but more the team I represent).

    I know what many of you are thinking, "shut it already ginge and get to the good stuff. Did you smash him and did he say who gave him his belt"? All of which I'll get to. But firstly, after seeing how upset and distraught Antonios wife was, I promised her that all I was going to do was to present what I found honestly, fairly and unbiasedly.

    Firstly, arriving at his dojo. I'm only a blue belt for what it's worth, so clearly not bullet proof and a half decent grappler could of left me with a broken arm, out of anger about the situation, so I did get last minute butterflies, but then had a quick shot of 'man the **** up' and went in.

    Once inside, I have to say that the facility was pretty awesome and the staff were all really friendly. Antonio himself met me as I walked through the door and again was very welcoming. To my right were a bunch of MMA guys that were fairly new to Gi BJJ (like 4-8 months on average) and again, were all polite enough, although it turned out that they were waiting for a group of brown and black belts to actually turn up 'dojo storm style'and take his belt from him.

    So from their perspective, I get the feeling that Dan and I were kind of, well, an anti climax for them?
    (That's just how it seemed/felt).

    I was very upfront about my motives for being there and I was very friendly the whole time (as were they). I said I was going to write a blog post, but my blog seems to be down and so I'm just posting it here.

    The first thing that I didn't like was the fact that Antonios wife was constantly taking pictures of myself and Dan (I know I'm sexy, but it felt a bit over kill), on her smart phone. She looked very uneasy at first and restless.

    The warm up started and it was standard stuff. Jogging, rolls etc and then some stretching (the stretching was actually very good and this 41yr old guy put me to shame).

    After this he showed the class just one takedown and one submission and then it was sparring. Although this is not what I'm used to, I hear in Brazil it's often the case that only one or two techniques are ever taught per class (I've never been so can't say from first hand experience) and the class was only an hour long, so could of been a time issue. One thing that bothered me a little was Antonios wife again with the pictures. Antonio demonstrated some moves on Dan and myself and his wife was taking pictures of this. I am being factual in this write up and I hope she does the same and doesn't start posting them as evidence that he smashed us, as it really was just him demonstrating take downs and a kimora to the class (oh and if the kimora didn't work, he did some rear naked on me that I think she snapped too).

    Straight away Antonio picked me to spa with for the first round. The first thing that struck me -- for a class that was so small -- was he only wanted to do 2 minute rounds. Again, I don't know if this is normal for his class or not, I'm just used to five minutes, or if Wilson is pissed about living in the UK that day, ten to 15 minutes ha ha. But I digress.

    The round began and Antonio pulled guard which (again, I'm just being honest Antonios wife, don't hate me) I passed in seconds to side control, then to knee on belly, to mount and then attacked for a choke which he defended and then I finished in close to a straight arm lock (me applying to him) as the 2 minute round ended. I think it's fair to say that I was totally dominant in this round. But I also want to point out that I'm ten years younger than him and about 15kg heavier.

    After this he sadly injured his elbow and couldn't spar anymore and I sparred with about 6 white belts (not all at the same time). To be perfectly honest, they were very good for their level of experience. For 8 months tops of Gi training, they really could grapple (read into that what you will).

    Sadly in my last round, I pulled something in my back and was unable to continue. Antonio, the staff and his wife were all lovely and fetched me water, pain relief and were very attentive.

    After the class I asked Antonio if I could have five minutes to ask him some questions, he immediately said sure and we went and sat down. I told him that I only know of his gym from the BJJ UG witch hunt and that there is only one question that needs answering and it all goes away (the witch hunt). At this point I could see his wife getting upset and distressed. I was as empathetic as I could be and she walked out of the room. Antonio asked me what is was that I wanted to know, so I asked "who gave you your brown belt?" He said he trained all over the place and essentially never answered the question. I asked again, "yes I get that but the UK BJJ community just want to know who your instructor was that promoted you and I'd love to put your side of the story to them" He then said that he was upset about pictures of his wife being on facebook and that's not the way of a martial artist. I agreed and said there have been some childish antics but in the interests of stopping it, all you need to do is tell them who gave you your belt and it all goes away, you get on teaching and your wife stops being so upset. He responded that he's just coming back to training after a motorbike accident and again never gave me a straight answer to a simple question.

    At that point I could see that I wasn't going to get an answer and so decided to leave things in as friendly vibe as I could.

    In short, the gym in lovely, the staff are really nice, Antonio seems like a nice guy, his wife is visibly distraught by the whole thing. Does that make him a legit brown belt? Well I'm not the judge or jury, I'm just a Carlson Gracie blue belt that thought this would be an interesting story.

    I'll leave it with you guys.

    Train hard, tap before you snap, Ooooooosssssssssssss

    Ginger Ninja
  5. battlefields is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/10/2013 9:34pm

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     Style: BJJ/ MMA/ MT

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    We appreciate the write up of your first hand experience, however, unfortunately it doesn't hold much outside of hearsay/ anecdotal. We need concrete facts in this thread, emails, certificates and screenshots.

    Once again, it is appreciated you keeping us informed of your movements relating to this, I understand you are probably a respected member of Sherdog etc and thus your account of your experience would hold weight there. Is there any way you could get those pictures the wife snapped posted here, or elsewhere? It would lend weight to your account of being there. Even if you inform the wife that she can post them all, or even just the ones where you "look" like you're getting owned, as we will not hold an opinion either way on either of your skill level, just that you were there.
    GET A RED BELT OR DIE TRYIN'.
  6. GingerNinja is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/10/2013 10:53pm

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    2
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Well I assume the poster 'respect72' is somehow related and if they do know Antonio personally, then feel free to post the pics, I just didn't want them taken out of context.

    I didn't feel it was appropriate to go into another guys gym and start filming or taking pictures, in fact I thought this would just be rude. The other blue belt that came with me also joined in the class, although he never sparred with Antonio.

    I wanted to keep it all as respectful and friendly as possible and I thought that would be the best tact in regards to being able to have a 1-1 conversation with him after the class, and thought he'd be less likely to oblige if I went in looking for a fight, having a bad attitude and filming it. (I wasn't looking for a fight for what it's worth).

    As far as my skill level, you can simply google Dominic Heydon. I am just an average blue belt, nothing special but I like to think not terrible either.

    I've been 100% factual of the evenings events, not tried to scew any details for any reason. I've simply gone to check out the gym and class, took part and given my unbiased opinion, for what it's worth.

    If it's not worth much, then I'm not sure that I can be of much more help.

    I did have a 1-1 conversation afterwards and I did directly ask him several times who he got his brown belt from, to which I never got an answer. This was surely the most pressing issue at hand?



    In any case, best of luck.


    Oooosssssss
    Last edited by GingerNinja; 1/10/2013 10:57pm at .
  7. battlefields is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/10/2013 11:26pm

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     Style: BJJ/ MMA/ MT

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As I said, bro, it really is appreciated. Legit props, please do not think we don't understand the balls required to walk into that situation.

    We are in the subforum of Bullshido called MABS where we conduct serious investigations. There are certain rules that must be abided by in order for the thread not to devolve into something that resembles the UG witch hunt thread that, although very entertaining (I just went through the last 5-10 pages), is stock full of people making off topic posts and throwing out claims at a fast pace.
    GET A RED BELT OR DIE TRYIN'.
  8. Dreamermma is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/11/2013 8:17am


     Style: BJJ, wrestling, kickboxin

    10
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Respect:

    I am a moderator on the UG and often monitor threads like this. I will offer you what I offered every other person we've investigated.

    If you provide the proof that is asked for I will personally delete the thread on the UG without hesitation.

    Nobody wants to hassle a legit instructor but we are all pretty sick of the frauds who charge people good money under false pretenses. Nobody is asking for anything difficult here, just a name, that name specifically being whoever gave a BJJ brown belt to the person in question.

    It has been verified on the UG already that Rickson has no clue who this guy is.

    I'd suggest you do it soon. Bullshido is very good at this but they are rather civilized compared to the UG. Once the UG mob forms it's very difficult to shake them and they are just getting warmed up.

    I have the same Screen Name on the UG as I do here, I'm sure someone here can verify who I am. Phrost, the owner of this site, knows who I am as do many others here who've actually met me personally so you can take what I say at face value.

    I'll say it again, the UG thread will go away the second you post verifiable proof of what is being claimed.

    Threatening the owners of Bullshido or MMA.tv with legal action is laughable and nobody is scared. That route has been tried many, many times and has failed miserably everytime. It's the desperate act of someone desperately trying to save face and everyone knows it.

    You shouldn't play these kinds of games, not with these people, nothing good will come of it.
  9. The Cap is offline
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    ORNYTHORINQUE!... BOIT-SANS-SOIF!... BACHI-BOUZOUK!

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    Posted On:
    1/13/2013 9:26pm

    supporting member
     Style: Judo, BJJ

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    "Dojo storm" number 2 just happened. This is a copy of a post from the UG forums by user sitchpack, which is itself a repost from facebook by one of the guys who went down:


    Posted by the dojo stormer on facebook:

    "Ok basically it's like this. I picked up 3 smaller guys - 1 76kg blue and 1 64kg blue, both with 2 years of BJJ and 1 60kg white who has been to 1 class lol but has done a bit behind doors training but not much - still a dynamo athlete though so videoof him smashing Antonio was the plan. I'm 85kg brown belt and senior category in age.

    We got there, went straight into reception which was quite busy with people everywhere and as soon as he clocked my gi Alex the manager shot out of his chair and impeded our progress to the mats by positioning himself as he started with "I know why you are here..."

    So there is video but ill explain what happened and why I'm not gonna post it.

    ...so he jumps out of his seat and positions himself between us and what appears to be the direction of the training room. We can't see where it is from the reception so we are basically penned in at the front door.

    I notice a few people, instructors etc who I recognise from their website, including the hottie. But mysteriously once I get into it with Alex they all melt away into the cracks. They literally scuttled away, I have no idea where they all went!

    Alex is professional and nice enough but he is one of those people who refuses to leave any natural pauses between his sentences for you to reply. So it begins not as a conversation but as him giving the same company lines that Brass Balls Dom already reported - line for line.

    I cut him off as I'm getting tired of hearing about the clubs kickboxing and MMA successes and how Antonio is a great Muay Thai fighter but Alex immediately refuses to let us into the training room where the class is saying "it's too late the class has already started" which seemed a bit desperate to me.

    Then he says its a nogi class today anyway! ...cool i got my shorts. Then he randomly starts going on about some guy called Dave who is a great fighter, he's done this, done that and he is taking the class today - "Antonio isn't here!"

    "Can we go into the class?"

    "You can't go and train with them it's too late"

    Can we watch "No... It's not advanced enough for you!"

    Tbh I think he was scared we would smash his students to bits, which I never would. So I tried to look at how many of my points I could resolve with Alex as getting some resolution was the whole point of me wasting my time and money.

    We then continued into a lengthy conversation where Alex tried to control the airwaves in an attempt to bore me to death. He's not a bad guy, just very obviously stuck not knowing exactly what to do - he kept saying "I am waiting for all my advisors to get back to me, then I will make a decision. I won't be railroaded or forced."


    Meanwhile my blues and mini beast white belt are getting annoyed because they want to just train, the noises from wherever the mat was were very frustrating for them and myself and I kept wondering if Antonio was actually there or not.

    So NO ANTONIO, no roll at all, we barely were allowed a foot in the door!


    So I took back control of the airwaves and broke down my mission to Alex. I explained how fraud will invalidate his insurance but I don't think he was listening as he kept replying "but I have 5m cover right here!"

    Next I asked him who gave him rank in kickboxing to which he replied immediately. I asked Alex to ask me, ask one of the blue belts. They replied Ze Marcello straight away. "What's your lineage?"

    "Carlson Gracie, Bolao Souza, Ze Marcello"

    Hopefully I'd done the job of showing how easy it was to answer the question and Alex agreed that yes it's a simple question which should be easily answerable. I also went on to say I don't give a damn if he's the best grappler on the planet, "you cannot claim to be something you are not" and I'm glad to say Alex took this to heart with full agreement.



    Then in response to some excuse type bullshit i heard i then went on to explain that the BJJ community globally is very tight with maybe only 1, 2 or very max 3 degrees of separation between absolutely everyone and that everyone will continue to jump on any bullshit with a passion because everyone has invested so much into the art.


    To which he explained that they never realised what they were getting into with BJJ and it was just a little side thing, Antonio was teaching MT or MMA whatever and basically said 'yeah I can teach BJJ too if you want'

    So basically I covered as many points as I could with Alex then it became clear that his next move, the only move they can ever make really, is future affiliation. I expressly said he can forget performing at Seni because that won't wash! I asked who is gonna give him a black? But no real answer. Then Alex seemed to outline his contingency plan that they will affiliate and work their way up properly. I said "yes from white!"

    So sadly we weren't allowed to spar with anyone, not Antonio or Dave, we weren't allowed to watch or enter further into the building passed reception. So I couldn't burn his belt


    I get the feeling that Alex really wants to legitimise the BJJ there by affiliating but I also get the feeling he won't sack Antonio as he seems to be popular with people.
    from UG member sitchpack's posts in thread http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/mma....112938&page=26
  10. Dreamermma is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/14/2013 2:14am


     Style: BJJ, wrestling, kickboxin

    1
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Seems this thread is slowing down here.

    It's still heating up on the UG. Seems they have contacted the dojo owner and he is requesting proof that the instructor is a fraud.

    Lot's of UGers know the Gracie's personally. This shouldn't be too difficult to do.
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