Is AfricanMMA.com a Fraud? Who is Dr. Edward S. Thalheimer?
Hello! My name is Mohseen Lala, and I'm about to embark upon my journey of learning BJJ. I found a Dr. Edward S. Thalheimer claiming to be one of the only two Black Belts in Brazilian Jujitsu in Africa. I'd like to confirm if this is fact.
He teaches at africanmma(.com)
Picture of him with Royce Gracie (notice the white belt) is on the site, he's the Caucasian gentleman.
His instructor page claims he is a 7th degree Black Belt and a single picture of him with Royce is provided as evidence (in which he's wearing white belt with a black strap), I've not been able to find much else.
I have utilized my Google-do skills to the max, but with little fruit to show for it.
The classes for adult BJJ are also marked as "Gracie Combatives", which can be learned from a DVD set (which I have).
BJJ is fledgling art in Kenya, so I don't wish to waste my time by learning under a non-certified teacher.
I know it takes a solid decade to even get a basic Black Belt, this gentleman claims to own 7th degree one in BJJ, but there is nothing on him (that I've been able to find) on le net outside of the africanmma website. Also, are there any BJJ black, purple or even proper blue belts in Kenya at the moment?
I found David Thompson, a Canadian Brown Belt, and I did manage to verify him as true to his word. His all over Google and pretty authentic. Trained under Fabio Holanda.
Basically, going through the entire website, it appears his Black Belt rank is in Kempo. In the scrolling pictures, on the home page, it looks like a Brown Belt teaches the BJJ classes or they are seminars.
The instructor page, which is common, doesn't denote what style he is ranked as a 7th degree. So, no, it is not considered fraud. Also, if you look at the rank structure in the brochure, the Kempo ranking of this school matches the BJJ rank system.
They have a 39 minute class and ask you to contact them with questions. Ask them who teaches the BJJ and their rank, then you'll know the truth.
James "Bobby" Ware is one of two black belts in Kenya that is certified by legendary fighter Royce Gracie,
I can't find a pic of him wearing anything other than a white jits belt though, could be a poorly worded website....???
I don't see the place listed here:
More on Bobby Ware
"2011 - International All Styles Budo Federation level-1 Master Instructor. For Kenpo and Brazilian jiu jitsu."
Which means something. Possibly.
He asked if it was fraud and I see none.
Do I see mcdojo trappings and poor wording? Yep.
Does it look like a typical Semantic based advertisement? Yep.
Sure, but again it is vague enough to cover his ass.
Originally Posted by AKRhino
Okay, so you're right about the good doctor not necessarily lying about his BJJ rank. Poor wording and all that put into context, where does that leave the actual level of BJJ instruction in this place? First of all, the wording in my opinion is misleading rather than "poor", but that's another thing entirely.
Okay, so it's fairly obvious that both Bobby and the Dr. trained at least one session with Royce Gracie, as white belts. And My only assumption is now that both Bobby and the Doc teach BJJ. As blue belts at best, because they're really pushing the Combatives thing hard. Which begs the question, how exactly do they promote people? Higher belts from the US fly in for seminars and promote? And notice that they have not mentioned their BJJ ranks ANYWHERE on the site.
And Rhino hasn't found them affiliated in anyway with Royce. Smells like a Mcdojo misleading people when it comes to BJJ. They're not outright claiming anything as bold as "I'm a 7th degree BB in BJJ", but they aren't being open about the actual BJJ training they do have.
So, I should go take them up on that free class, just for a test? Any tips on how to spot a BJJ fraud? I've only rolled once with a US Marine. I'm also going to take up David Thompson on a free class.
Also, is Kenpo Karate by Ed Parker held in any regard here? I know the man himself is a fraud, but maybe the art isn't too bad? Opinions?
I sent them this e-mail:
I'd like to know who teaches the BJJ classes, what his/her rank in Brazilian Jujitsu is and whom they studied under. Also,is the school actually affiliated with the Royce Gracie academy?
I'd also like to take a free introductory class in BJJ, when and what time are they held?
Now to sit on my ass and wait.....patiently......hmmmm.
I think you have plenty that you can learn under a BJJ Brown Belt.
Originally Posted by Milk_
As for the other guy having a black belt in BJJ doesn't look like it to me. He does seem to use weaselly language to imply he has a black belt in BJJ but he doesn't actually say that he does.
I personally would train with the Brown belt.