Xtreem Jiu Jitsu in El Paso, TX
One of my friends in El Paso, TX was looking for a place to train jiu jitsu and came across this. He knows next to nothing about martial arts so he asked me if I thought it would be a good place to train.
The head instructor is a guy named Benny Benavides. I did some digging and there were a lot of things that I see as red flags. My Google-fu isn't as great as some of yours but I wasn't able to substantiate any of the claims this guy is making.
He claims to have won a gold medal in jiu jitsu at the 2007 Pan American Games but I can't find any record of jiu jitsu being a competition category in the 2007 Pan Ams. There is a Benavides in the Judo category from Cuba but he was a silver medalist. I was also unable to find anything on him on Sherdog for MMA.
He also claims to have recently won the Abu Dhabi but I there is no listing of any Benavides on the Emirates website.
There are 4 videos on the website, 3 of them are of a white belt and some kid in basketball shorts and the other is a sweep on a guy "ground and pounding" with really terrible posture. The gym has puzzle piece mats which go right up to the door so you will have people walking on them with shoes on (hello staph infection) and the door facade is all glass so someone is eventually going to end up going through the door. There are also mirrors on the walls with no padding that I could see. Looks pretty unsafe to me.
I told my buddy that it looked pretty disreputable to me but I live in Indianapolis so I can't really go down there to take a look. Is there anyone in the El Paso area who can do a face to face?
Last edited by lucistius; 1/02/2010 8:03pm at .
A guy by that name won his weight/age class(blue belt feather/senior 3) at the 2007 BJJ pan ams
Originally Posted by lucistius
Damn my luck, if I wasn't injured I would totally check this place out.
I just remembered, I did train with Benny out of El Paso Jiu Jitsu around '07 and I remember talk about this tournament (and he did take the gold in his division).
He might want to check this place out
I'm pretty sure someone who has fought in Bellator has a gym here in El Paso, I just can't seem to find the link.
Last edited by GoldenArms209; 1/03/2010 2:59pm at .
They do have puzzle mats but there is a walk space off to the sides where you take off your shoes before you get on the mat. There is a cage in the back that is used for MMA training. I used to train under Benny when he trained at another school and he did win the Pan Ams in Blue Belt. Benny is a skilled grappler. He also won the Pan Ams in wrestling back in the 80's. While his school isn't as nice as some name schools I do recommend him. The instruction I received from him is was very good and I would say Bennys skills were far beyond that of a normal blue belt probably closer to a high purple or brown belt.
If I remember correctly they have
Jorge Ortiz teaching some classes there
Last edited by biomed190; 1/04/2010 1:44am at .
Thanks for the responses, I appreciate the feedback.
I'm not sure about the ADCC thing:
Not saying Wiki is the end-all-be-all but there is no mention of him in the results listing of winners. Also, on his website, he specifically mentions the following:
Screen capture for posterity here:
Originally Posted by website
Now, symantics being what they are, he doesn't SPECIFICALLY state Abu Dhabi Combat Club but "the Abu Dhabi tournament in Dubai". With that said, it may be a good idea if clarification is provided before any "conclusions" are jumped to.
I couldn't find any reference to Benevides in any of the regional ADCC competitions either.
What's funny is that his Grappler's Quest and Pan Am credentials are verifiable and good. Why make up one?
I'm actually the webmaster for www.xtreemjiujitsumma.com. I have recently updated the site with the correct information. We are still in beta development of the site and will continue to work to improve the site over time. The information provided initially was not intended to mislead any would be students but was a misunderstanding of what exactly the details were when I was gathering information for the site. The only misprint that I made was that the site stated he “won” the Abu Dhabi tournament when in reality he placed 2nd. The error has been rectified and the blame lies completely on me for not making sure exactly what the details were before I published.
That being said I hope anyone interested will drop by and see what Benny is capable of for themselves, I assure you, you will not be disappointed!
Jaebeard. Thank you for the information. It's good to ensure the information is correct as many students will look into an instructors credentials/claims first as a means of filtering out the good, the bad, the ugly.
Originally Posted by jaebeard
Not to be a bother but if possible, can you provide further information on this Abu Dhabi tournament. There is the major one or "World Championships" if you will that are recognized by most, if not all, of the BJJ community as the highest level of submission grappling tournaments. There are also qualifier and basic tournaments held under the Abu Dhabi name.
Again, from the information I found, I could not find his information being in first or second place in the major Abu Dhabi tournament. See my above post. Considering all of the other information, with the exception of that, was easy to verify, it seems odd that this is the one thing that sticks out.
I used to train with Benny at El Paso Jiu jitsu. We got our blue belt at the same time, but with his pretty extensive wrestling background he could usually crush most people.
I was unaware that he had opened his own school since then. I'm assuming he did so after James, the other owner of El Paso JJ passed passed away in '07.