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  1. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/20/2011 1:23pm

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      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    From the UG thread:

    A former student from Team Beast signed up and is posting under the username 'ALabTerm'.

    His first post:

    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Hi, I'm an ex-Team Beast/Matt Barvo student. What would you guys like to know?

    A couple of notes:

    To the hippy dude (I forgot your username), I was in that same BSU class. I don't remember who you were but I do distinctly remember the question of his lineage being asked and his Machado brothers response. At the time, I didn't know very much about BJJ but recognized the name and assumed he had credibility as a result.

    Some of you guys seem to be blowing up the whole student loyalty thing that people have to Matt, based off of little information. As far as I know, his only loyal student is Kaleb. A lot of his core group of students have left and gone off to legit instructors in town, according to former Team Beast students I've kept in contact with.

    I also haven't heard very much about the current state of Team Beast but Matt is currently working as security for a concert house called The Knitting Factory. His Facebook profile confirms this as well.





    Okay apparently I can't figure out how to embed images into a post because regular HTML and BB code don't work.
    I was able to ask him some questions. I will interlace my questions with his answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy
    Can you confirm if Matt is still teaching in any capacity?
    Whether it be for Team Beast, Team Hardcore MMA, or just private lessons?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    From what I can tell, he's still affiliated with Team Hardcore MMA as their BJJ instructor and possibly private lessons as well, but he hasn't really pushed the latter very much lately.
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy
    Were his students aware of the controversy around his lineage? What did Matt say about it?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Most students went into his class without a reason to doubt his legitimacy. His lineage was never really brought up or asked about. Personally, I never asked myself either, mostly due to his Machado brothers response he gave when I first got a lesson from him through BSU. I never thought I needed to confirm these kinds of details and I'm sure most other students who went through his school needed to do either.
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy
    What did Matt tell his students about his own training and lineage?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Generally, Matt would just say his experience is that he's a 2nd degree BB in JJJ and plain ol BB in BJJ with an X amount of years of experience in each of them. Typically, this answer satisfied concerns.

    I was shocked to have heard about all of this and felt stupid for falling prey to the scam. Some of it was his conning and some of it was me being generally knowledgeable about most of the BJJ world. I only wish I had found these threads (this forum, Sherdog, Bullshido) earlier. I've read through every single page in this thread and I'm featured in one of the pictures but I wish to remain anonymous since I still maintain contact with Matt.
    ALabTerm then posted a picture of the blue belt certificate that Matt issued to Kaleb (one of his blue belts):



    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy
    I'd like to hear your comments or opinions on the difference in quality of instruction and drilling/training if you're willing to offer it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    While this is shocking and I fell prey to this, it doesn't bum me out. I learned a little bit of grappling where I had no knowledge prior. Even of it's not perfect or in accordance with traditional BJJ standards, it can still be refined [...]

    While it will take me a few classes to get a feel for the quality of instruction and drilling/training, there were some points of learning under Matt that struck me as odd.

    As noted before, his sideline coaching wasn't necessarily the best. I went to one of the tournaments with him and the team (as a spectator and moral support) and the type of advice he offered sounded very generic, broad, I dunno, just not very helpful. This stuck out more when hearing coaching instructions from other instructors such as Mitch Coats and Keith Owen.

    Whenever I rolled with Matt, I would usually ask him for advice on how to improve my game and areas that I could focus on or things I could do differently. His responses would never be very technical or exacting, typically along the lines of "work on your technique" or "improve your top game." Obviously for a new student, neither of those would be very helpful since they're not very specific.
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy
    Did Matt ever comment on where he picked up any of his BJJ knowledge?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    I don't believe he mentioned where he picked up his knowledge and I can't be sure of how he picked them up. What I do know is that his chokes are still tight and his joint locks still hurt.

    I can also make the comment that Matt is a fan of grappling, MMA and K-1. He watches UFC, WEC (when it still existed a month ago), DREAM, and all those kinda events and his recent Facebook activity talked about how he wants to train and prepare himself for some ADCC trial.

    It's also possible he got instructional DVDs. He was a big fan of Marcelo Garcia and it's possible he could have downloaded instructionals from him.

    The last point seems possible because I ended up picking up some various techniques to try out from Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinya Aoki, and Masakazu Imanari DVDs haha.
    ALabTerm provided the following screenshot:

  2. Whacker is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/20/2011 1:31pm


     Style: jits da variedade brasile

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Keep me honest here, but aren't the ADCC tourneys for black belts and invite only?
  3. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/20/2011 1:37pm

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      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    From the UG thread:

    UG user 'EatonBeever' then picked up the questions from there (I had to sleep).

    It should be noted in this thread that EatonBeever has been instrumental over at the UG in keeping the thread moving and working behind the scenes to coordinate the people chasing different leads. It is due to his work along with GOREILLAMAN, Bo Bice, Hillary Williams, Kevin Howell, and a few others, on top of the work that was done here, that the UG thread progressed and the outcome was what it was.

    Anyways...

    Again, I'll interlace EatonBeever's questions with ALabTerm's answers.

    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    How did you find out about this forum / topic of Barvo on the UnderGround
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    I googled Matt Barvo and found a couple of links. I think it was first Sherdog, which led me to Bullshido, which led me to here.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Is Matt Barvo aware of the walls closing in on him ? Does he know about this forum ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    He must be since the Team Beast Facebook page is gone, the MySpace page is gone. He still lists Team Beast on his personal profile for work info.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Are you upset you gave him money when you realized the kid was a con artist ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Not really. Is he a con artist? After all this evidence getting thrown out there, yes. Did I learn something from him, regardless of him not actually having a black belt? Also yes. While it may not be as good of instruction as it would be from a legitimate black belt, I was able to hold my own against other people (within and outside the school) in my same skill level.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    How long did you train at Team Beast ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    About a year-ish.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Is Ricky a part of the scam or is he just a victim like the rest ? ? ? If you read everything you know Ricky is NOT a black belt either...
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    From what I remember, Ricky was a guy that Matt met through the gym and told us that he had a black belt in BJJ. He then brought him in to train with us and eventually, Matt made him like an assistant instructor or something. I'm thinking he's part of the scam though.

    [from the post after]

    What I noticed with Ricky was it seemed like he didn't know technique very well for fairly simple holds or locks. I thought it may have just been rust. Whenever I rolled with him, I remembered he had trouble trying to lock in an Americana. At first, I thought he was just trying to go easy on me.

    Also, that dude is HUGE. I'm not very big and having that guy grapple with me means I might as well have no guard position at all.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    How much of a douche is Matt Barvo ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Actually, he's a pretty nice dude in person. I've never had an issue with him and he's always been friendly..
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    can you explain barvo's last days before Check Mat shut him down ? What did he tell students ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    I wasn't around when that happened. I was mostly around when he initially got the Check Mat affiliation and got Leandro to come out to Boise.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Do you think Barvo will return to teaching ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Honestly, I have no idea.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Did he ever lie about his nationality, did he say he was Brazilian ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    He said he was Brazilian on his dad's side.

    [...] he also enjoys Brazilian drinks and food. Not worth a screenshot so I'll just quote one of his Facebook updates: "so stoked, i found all the ingredients to make pćo de queijo locally, so now i'm gonna bake some Brazilian cheese rolls!"

    He also makes some sort of Brazilian lemonade.
    ALabTerm then went into a bit of the history of Team Beast:

    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Team Beast has been seemingly going through a slow downhill spiral since it got booted out of the TKD studio they were first using. The pictures posted in this thread earlier where it showed huge mat space with the Team Beast logo Photoshopped on were from the TKD studio. Real cool place and the owners were good people.

    Team Beast first started in his house. He had a small room with mats where he held classes.

    Eventually, he moved to the TKD studio for a few months before getting booted.

    After that, I believe he partnered with a CrossFit gym in town. He started adding CrossFit-esque workouts to the regime, calling it BeastFit.

    After this, he got a new house and moved Team Beast back to it, splitting between a room in the house and laying put mats in the garage.

    Then the most recent was partnering up with Team Hardcore, despite making fun of them a bunch while back at the TKD studio.
    EatonBeever then asked a few more questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Do you know why he was kicked out of the Karate school ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Matt said it was a difference in money and that they all of a sudden hiked up his rent out of no where. That sounded very odd to me but I didn't really question it. I never did find out the other side of the story.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Do you know how Leandro / Check Mat officially shut down Matt ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    I know that Check Mat stopped supporting Team Beast but I don't know the details of what went down.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Did Matt bash the other schools around him like Mitch Coats and Keith Owen ? I heard he did.
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Of course. He talked a lot of trash about both Mitch Coats and Keith Owen. I think he disliked Keith Owen the most. He boasted a bit when one of the (at the time) white belt Beast students beat one of his Keith's blue belts.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Have you read this entire thread ? If so, what are your thoughts ? ? ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    I have read the entire thread. There's a good thing being done here to help promote a culture of honest and legitimate teachers who have earned their rank and are doing things the right way, by exposing the bad parts of the BJJ community and trying to weed it out.

    Although to start off this whole thing, I felt like it should've been more important to contact Team Beast students as well as anyone associated with Team Beast (like the gyms) and inform them of the situation. People have been asking about Matt and his black belt since early 2010. It's now January in 2011 and I've barely found out. It kind of feels more like a smear campaign and the people who were victims of the situation are a minor priority.

    At this point in time, it doesn't matter since about everyone has gone elsewhere.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Did Matt Barvo roll with his students on a daily basis ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    He'd roll with students in every class he held.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Did Matt ever say who he got his black belt from ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Machado Brothers
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    How many students (estimated) did Barvo have ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    Umm, not very much but I'd say probably up to the 10 range at one point?
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Can you go into detail about Leandro Vieria / Matt Barvo connection ? Do you know how he got Leandro to go out there and become an affiliate ? Did they seem like good friends ? What did Barvo tell everyone what the connection / relationship was with Leandro Vieria ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    I'm not exactly sure how it started actually, mostly because I wasn't around that often when he got the affiliation and had Leandro come out to visit. I talked with Leandro myself at one point through Facebook in trying to get pictures from him to design a flyer for a seminar but that was the extent of my contact.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Has Matt ever competed in a grappling competition ? Not what he said, but can you confirm he actually competed ? Did you witness him compete ?
    Quote Originally Posted by ALabTerm
    I have not witnessed Matt compete in any tournament.
  4. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/20/2011 4:34pm

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      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Summary on the fallout so far:

    - Kevin Howell and Hillary Williams both contacted Leandro, Rico, and Leo Vieira about Matt Barvo.

    - Hillary Williams received a text message from a Checkmat representative (who it was is not clear) stating that Matt is not a Checkmat blackbelt, is not an affiliate, and would need to start over at white belt if he wanted to train with Checkmat. All references to Checkmat would need to removed from Matt's and Team Beast's web site and materials.

    - The Team Beast web site came down on January 13.

    - Former students have said that most Team Beast students have sought instruction at other academies.

    - Matt might still be teaching for Team Hardcore as their grappling instructor. That more than likely would not involve handing out rank.

    A couple of other things to note:

    - He told students on different occasions that he received his black belt from the Machados or from "Tom Cicero".

    - There is no evidence nor any talk of Matt having ever competed. That isn't necessarily to be condemned, but the push for him to get his students to compete is odd. Usually a school that competes has a head instructor with a competition record.
  5. Flappyhead is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/20/2011 8:13pm


     Style: Watching from the stands

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy View Post
    - Matt might still be teaching for Team Hardcore as their grappling instructor. That more than likely would not involve handing out rank.
    Just curios here, has Team Hardcore been made aware of all this? Even if he's not belting people there they may wish to know the exact details of Matts rather colorful history if they're paying him as an instructor.
  6. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/21/2011 12:47am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Flappyhead View Post
    Just curios here, has Team Hardcore been made aware of all this? Even if he's not belting people there they may wish to know the exact details of Matts rather colorful history if they're paying him as an instructor.
    I believe somebody on the UG has sent one or more e-mails to Team Hardcore asking about their relationship with Matt. I don't know if those e-mails contained information pointing to this or the UG thread.
  7. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/21/2011 12:56am

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Whacker View Post
    Keep me honest here, but aren't the ADCC tourneys for black belts and invite only?
    Sorry Whacker. You got buried there.

    The ADCC trials are open registration, 'expert' level only which usually translates to black belt level (though some brown belts have done well). Regional winners then advance to fill the world championship bracket slots.

    The event Matt is referencing is hosted here:

    http://adccna.com/
  8. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/21/2011 1:16am

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      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    From the UG thread:

    Another former Team Beast student has joined the discussion with some interesting information regarding the forged IBJJF certificate.

    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    You mentioned you confronted Matt Barvo about his lies and fake certificate - how did you find out about that forged ibjjf certificate ?
    Quote Originally Posted by vikingson
    I came in t practice and some guys were talking about it. He said he had just not paid the dues and some other stuff. I wrote IBJJF an email myself, actually to defend him. They wrote me back and told me they had no Matt Barvo in their system.
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    When you confronted Barvo about his big lie, how did he react - nervous ? calm ?
    Quote Originally Posted by vikingson
    He seemed pretty bummed but assured me everything would be explained in the near future
  9. Whacker is offline
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    Posted On:
    1/21/2011 1:46am


     Style: jits da variedade brasile

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy View Post
    Sorry Whacker. You got buried there.

    The ADCC trials are open registration, 'expert' level only which usually translates to black belt level (though some brown belts have done well). Regional winners then advance to fill the world championship bracket slots.

    The event Matt is referencing is hosted here:

    http://adccna.com/
    Before I continue, you deserve a couple of extra big hamster treats for all the work you're doing for this effort. And some definite nods to the UG guys for the heavy lifting going on over there.

    I had a couple of thoughts but it seems to me things will probably end up working themselves out.

    First, the beauty of competition is that it weeds out the wieners pretty quickly. If Barvo is as relatively (un)skilled as others are reporting, then that should be it's own end if he actually does compete in the ADCC trials, and the results will speak for themselves.

    Second, if I try to put myself in Barvo's shoes as to why he's doing this, a few things come to mind. If no one has ever seen him compete, then this could potentially be a 'selling' point for him, in that he can claim that he's competed at an ADCC level. Doesn't matter if he loses in the first 15 seconds, it's still a claim. Given what's been said across the threads so far, I'd wager a guess that he's probably a decent blue in terms of actual skill. Competing at a local level, such as at NAGA events or the like, would logically make it readily evident that his skill isn't remotely up to black belt level. Witness the video of Ricky vs the purple belt posted much earlier. The other, potentially bigger reason I can see him doing this is a form of self-justification. He knows that his BB isn't legit and that he's caught in the lie openly at this point. If he can somehow get to the ADCC trials and (at least in his mind) compete on an "even" level with higher belts, it will provide some level of justification in his mind that he deserves the belt regardless if he actually earned it or not. What defines "even" may also be somewhat loosely defined as well, but again given what I've read I'd be surprised if he lasts more than a minute against a real BJJ BB in a competition setting. He could then continue teaching as in his mind, he's fulfilled some self-made arbitrary criteria that validates his point of view. I guess the only thing that can really be done here is just to publish the relevant facts as they've been uncovered, and hopefully people will be smart enough to do research, just like with any other product or service.

    The last thing I was thinking about is wondering how he's going to register from a representation point of view for ADCC. If he were to claim Checkmat affiliation, that would easily be something that could be brought to the attention of the Viera brothers and they could deal with as necessary. But the more I got to thinking about this, it seems to be largely redundant and maybe even pointless compared with what the actual competition results would/should be.
  10. Uncle Skippy is offline

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    Posted On:
    1/22/2011 7:55pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    From the UG thread:

    Tommy Turner, who was previously (up to ~April 2010) listed on Matt's page as an instructor and was a "purple belt" at Team Beast, joined the discussion.

    He was mentioned previously in this thread and it was quickly determined that he was a legitimate fighter due to video and official record evidence.

    Quote Originally Posted by tomtiz30
    I run a boxing gym and teach self defense to women..why would i myself make a site stating i run THEE best gym in the northwest when i am not a belted bjj guy..i am a 1X state wrestling champ and pro boxer..and my partners in the gym is my boxing manger and rick reyna which is a bjj blue belt..not exactly the making for a top notch mma/bjj gym so why wouold i make it seem that way..i rolled with the dude once in 2009..which wasnt really even roll due to him always stopping and trying to coach..i was one of the first guys to call this guy out..
    EatonBeever asked him some questions:

    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Can you tell us your experience when rolling with Barvo the one time you trained with him ?
    Quote Originally Posted by tomtiz30
    yeah..he had contacted me..i knew nothing about him except what he told me..bjj black belt,japanese black belt..found it stragne to be both! anyway he said he would like to meet and roll and have me work his students stand-up..he came to my boxing gym in Oregon. he started rolling my training partner(steve capps who competed against his student levi beating him i beleive) he kept stopping and trying to coach..when i started to roll with him he did the same..nothing real live..even if we asked him to go live he would turn it down and just try coaching..
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    What was his motive putting you on his site as the official kickboxing trainer ?
    Quote Originally Posted by tomtiz30
    honestly i am not sure!? he did bring it to my attention about a year ago..saying he wanted me to train his guys..i started talking money he had nothing to do with it..then i heard i was on his site as a blue belt..and seen other lies about me on the site..called him and he took me off the site..now i see he made the site for my gym..i only agreed to letting him make my team sign..the team samurai mma/turner boxing stables..he took it a little far and made a site..i found out about yesterday
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    It said on his site he promoted you to purple belt in Feb.2010 - Did he ever ask you if he could put that on there?
    Quote Originally Posted by tomtiz30
    never asked me no! he did however always say that he thought i was better than his students..he could easily belt me..never said where though..being he only "rolled" once with me and just seen fights i found it strange..
    Quote Originally Posted by EatonBeever
    Did he agree to make your website for Team Samurai in Oregon and used that business deal to align himself with you and thus adding you as his number one student and a purple belt?
    Quote Originally Posted by tomtiz30
    only thing i agreed to was the team logo..he did make my logo for me..never brought up a site..he would randomly ask me questions on my history..looks like he put that info to use! and added a few more championships to my name!
    The summary of Tommy's posts indicate:

    1) Tommy did not create the web site (samuraimma.weebly.com) which listed Matt as a "Guest Instructor" at one point. Matt created that site for Tommy's school without Tommy's knowledge.

    2) Tommy didn't train with Matt outside of 1 rolling session. Even that session was not really a roll. Matt would stop and coach during the roll. Coached rolling can be helpul when used properly, but as Tommy explains his roll with Matt, it was used as a method to avoid being submitted or preserve position.

    3) Tommy was not associated with Matt's gym, nor Matt with his, in any way. Matt did not guest instruct at Tommy's gym, and Tommy did not instruct at Matt's gym in any capacity.

    4) The resume posted on teambeastbjj.com about Tommy contained information that Matt inflated. Tommy provided Matt with his real stats at times without knowing Matt was going to post them on the Team Beast site with embellishments.

    5) The only professional courtesy Matt did for Tommy was to design a logo.

    For the record, here is a screen capture of samuraimma.weebly.com (the site which Matt created without Tommy's knowledge) when Matt was still listed as a "Guest Instructor":



    And here is a screenshot of Tommy's Instructor entry on Team Beast's former web site which shows the inflated stats:



    Other pages where Tommy's name was used by Matt without Tommy's knowledge:

    http://wikibin.org/articles/team-bea...ng-center.html

    And on eHow.com:
    http://www.ehow.com/list_6752035_sam...g-schools.html

    Last edited by Uncle Skippy; 1/22/2011 8:12pm at .

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