Posted On:5/01/2014 1:40pm
Reposted from my thread over at the UG for everyone's reading pleasure. Mods feel free to move this thread if it does not comply with Bullshido standards.
Buckle up, it's going to be a long ride.
Here's the back story. My gym was first started back in 1996 by a good friend of mine. I took overrunning things when he got married and moved to another state around 2002. We originally started training out of a local fitness gym where we would lay out our mats in the multi-purpose aerobics room. It wasn't the greatest training facility, but back in the day it was the only training facility within hours.
A few years ago we had the opportunity to link up with a local boxing gym called OC Fight Club run by Charlie Rites. Charlie Rites is a talented boxing coach from the Baltimore area. I've worked with him and learned quite a bit and saw it as a chance to fill in the lack of quality striking my grappling oriented program had. So we partnered up and things were great for about 2.5 years. Membership was on the rise and we were quickly outgrowing our small warehouse facility. I had mentioned to Charlie about expanding to a bigger location and while I was on business up in Pennsylvania he signed on a lease for a new gym. We moved about two weeks later to the new facility which was spectacular. Cage, ring, bags, open mats. Hell we finally even had a bathroom, heat and a/c.
Then it all fell apart. One of my guys informed me that he found out Charlie's assistant boxing coach is a Tier III sex offender.
I was shocked. This was bad. Very bad. I spoke with Charlie in private and showed him the printout from the sex offender registry because I didn't think he'd believe such a heinous accusation about one of his trusted friends, Ruben Martinez,without proof.
Charlie told me to go **** myself.
He knew. He had known the entire time and exposed all of us to the risk. I don't have the exact details on the specifics of his conviction, but I have heard rumors that he was involved with a ten year old female which makes sense considering Tier III is considered the worst of the worst and the most likely to reoffend. Either way, it's irrelevant what he did. Being a sex offender is the modern day Scarlet Letter. I cannot and will not be associated with such a person while teaching martial arts. I will not stake my professional reputation on the chance that a convicted sex offender does not reoffend. We all know what happened in the Lloyd Irving case. I'd be done as both a coach and a competitor if I allowed something like that to happen on my watch. I tried to reason with Charlie. I told his how bad this could be if something happened or even if anyone found out. He told me that if I had a problem with it I could "roll up my mats and get the **** out".
So I did.
We are temporarily housed at a friend's place until we find a more permanent location. Most of my guys made the move with me. Except one. This is where the fake black belt business comes in.
Here's the backstory on that. Like I said before, we started training out of a local fitness gym. Years ago someone told me that Dave Hertzog, a black belt under Rogerio"Tatu" Taborda was teaching classes on my mats in our gym on nights we were not there. As you can imagine, I was quite pissed and put an immediate end to it. Hertzog moved on to teach at a kid's TKD school on the other side of town till he opened up his own school which failed and closed in a year or so. A couple of his guys came to train with us and I was far from impressed. One of his blue belts confided that he didn't think he should have gotten a blue belt as he didn't really know what he was doing, but Dave gave it to him anyway.
My experiences with Tatu BJJ have been less than impressive. Again, all of this is my personal opinion and without proof, but I believe they are selling rank. My first experience with Tatu BJJ was about ten years ago when I was still just a blue belt. I stopped in at a Tatu affiliate up in Pennsylvania because I like to train at different schools to broaden my game. After my first night training there, the coach (who was a mediocre purple belt) said I should come with him that weekend to see his coach, Tatu,to get my purple belt. All I had to do was pay the "promotional fee". It sounded quite shady to me and I politely declined. Now I'm hearing rumors that there has been a falling out between Dave Hertzog and Tatu because Hertzog never paid the $1,600 promotional fee for his black belt. Again,I have absolutely no proof and these are only rumors that I have heard. But here's where it burns me. The one guy who didn't make the move with us is Omar Serrano, a Tatu "black belt". Omar was left hanging when Hertzog's school failed and he abruptly closed its doors. We invited him to come train with us about three years ago, but he said wouldn't stop talking about why he needed to stay with Tatu to get his black belt. I casually reminded him that he was only a purple belt (and not a very good one) and that his black belt was likely years and years away. He since has not been training at all except for attending a few seminars up in Pa every other month or so. Well, he showed back up at my school a few months ago with his black belt (that he paid $1,600 for) and was promptly beaten by my blue belts. But Omar is a nice guy (or so I thought) and if he was ok with taking a beating,than I was ok with him wearing his silly black belt. At this point, Omar isn't so terrible. He probably has a purple belts level of knowledge but still rolls like a blue belt. Anyhow, I reached out to him to see if he'd like to help coach a beginner gi class at the new facility I'm putting together and he declined because he's the new head grappling coach at OC Fight Club. So once again, I have a Tatu affiliate trying to swoop in and steal my thunder. Omar absolutely knows why we left. He is willingly exposing women and children to a Tier III sex offender. He bought his belt and he is not a good person.
So that's my story. Yeah, I'm pissed. I made what I feel is the right choice to disassociate myself from a gym that thinks it's ok to let sex offenders work with women and children. And one of the guys who I graciously allowed in to train with us despite his dubious ranking stabbed me in the back in an effort to capitalize on the grappling program I built there.
**** Charlie Rites. **** Ruben Martizez. **** Omar Serrano. And **** OC FightClub.
These are not good people. This is not the kind of gym you should train at. It especially isn't the kind of gym you should let your wife or child train at. I know a lot of Baltimore/DC/southern PA people come to Ocean City on vacation looking for a place to train. OC Fight Club is most definitely not the place you want to be.
Oh and to back up my claim as to what a shitty organization Tatu BJJ is, here's a pic of the UG's favorite fake black belt, David Lang training with Rogerio "Tatu" Taborda while rocking what appears to be a 3rd degree BJJ black belt.
pro nonsense self defense
Posted On:5/01/2014 5:00pm
Style: FMA, WMA, doumbek
Man, that sucks. Good on you for standing by your convictions and trying to run a respectable martial arts group. Students will come and go from a shady martial arts club, but you'll probably manage to keep students who want to learn from a coach with integrity.
NOTE TO SELF - MOAR GRAPPLE - GET A NORMAL HAIR CUT - REPEAT
Posted On:5/02/2014 9:13am
Style: Submission Grappling
Cowboy, any chance you could make a short post with a link to this thread in the IBJJF decoded thread (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/show...php?t=122202)?
I'd like to have this information available for the people already following that thread, but not keeping up with MABS.
Now darkness comes; you don't know if the whales are coming. - Royce Gracie
KosherKickboxer has t3h r34l chi sao
In De Janerio, in blackest night,
Luta Livre flees the fight,
Behold Maeda's sacred tights;
Beware my power... Blue Lantern's light!
Posted On:5/02/2014 10:37am
The OC Fight Club response to Cowboy's accusations is here, according to the Underground thread. He hasn't addressed this response yet in the thread.
His heart was visible, and the dismal sack that maketh excrement of what is eaten.
Posted On:5/02/2014 10:59am
Aaaaaand the plot thickens.
Posted On:5/02/2014 1:12pm
Style: Thai Boxing
Does the sex offender have a name? This should be easy enough to verify.
Posted On:5/02/2014 2:10pm
Originally Posted by Magpie McGee
Does the sex offender have a name? This should be easy enough to verify.
The name in the registry link is Ruben Huberto Martinez.
Posted On:5/02/2014 2:42pm
Style: Aikido, Muay Thai
Well, the UG thread points to the offender in question having been convicted twice of his deeds, one case dropped. Also, there's this rebuttal from the gym owner:
"Press Release - There is certain person who used to be associated with this gym running around providing information that is not the true facts. Our intent with this message is to provide you our followers with the truth as we know it.
We have been accused of having a Registered Sex Offender as a coach at our location. There has always been only one coach at OC Fight club and that is Charlie who is a Registered Boxing Coach and the single owner of OC Fight Club. We have recently added a Certified Black Belt Jiu Jitsu trainer to our gym who brings with him valuable knowledge and credentials, he competes in International tournaments every year and places most of the time. Neither mentioned above are sex offenders and have no criminal records. The individual they are accusing of being a trainer was a former member of the gym not a coach.
The person who used to be associated with our gym under a different name and who is making these accusations was asked to leave. The real reason that he was asked to leave was that we found out that he was telling people that he was the owner of OC Fight Club. This was not true he was only to rent space to train people for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under a different business name. We had also found out that he was calling our gym members and providing false information. We are being informed that this person has a history of not being able to stay at one location due to his inability to run a successful business and this would be the reason (that we think) he was trying to steal our business that we built on our own.
We are assuming that he is unhappy with the decision that we did not want to deal with this kind of business ethics and asked him to leave. We feel this is the reason that he is trying to publicly slander our business. We are in the process of evaluating a civil suit against this individual as we will not tolerate these types of lies.
We hope that you our followers do not give in to his lies and continue to support us as our members are very important to us and we strive for a risk free environment!! If you are supportive of us we are asking your to help get the truth out there by sharing our message.
Thank you for your support!!!"
So we should wait or at least expect an answer from OP. Seems like there are two valid sides to this coin.
Posted On:5/02/2014 5:39pm
Here's all I'll say, LOL@pressrelease.
At one they were pimping a convicted Tier 3 sex offender as a fighter, all of those FB pages are now deleted, on their Facebook page. The best they can do is go after the ethics of cowboy, with no proof I might add, instead of apologizing or attempting to say it was a mistake?
Someone needs to get a PR person and learn to prioritize their response.
Posted On:5/02/2014 10:33pm
Just a friendly public reminder to anybody using the Maryland SOR for any particular purpose..
Warning - Do not use this information to unlawfully injure, harass, or commit a crime against any individual named in the registry or residing or working at any reported address. Such action could result in civil or criminal penalties
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