Steve, people do the same thing with "American" jujutsu too. If they study a little karate, and a little judo, all of a sudden they are "jujutsu masters" because they can throw, grapple a little bit, and punch/kick.
Funakoshi bitched about Ohtsuka (the founder of Wado) for the same thing. In one of his books, he complained about people doing strange arts that aren't karate, and not jujutsu either. His complaint about Ohtsuka was about his "creation" of the Wado Ryu. So, as we can see, this crap has been going on for quite some time. ;-)
That's my trivia contribution for the day, fellas. Doesn't contribute much to this thread except to show that the same phenomena exists in all systems for quite some time.
I can cast some light on the whole Tony Tucci/Ranieri Piava situation. My name is Steve Mitchell and I am a black belt under Mast Ricardo Murgel here at KnuckleUp Fitness in Atlanta. I was first awarded my belt by Kazeka Muniz a little over 2 years ago. About 8 months later I was training and working at X3 where Tony, whom I have know for about 18 years, introduced me to Ranieri. Im not sure who gave Ranieri his belt but let me tell you that he is one of the most talented guys I have ever had the pleasure of rolling with. For 6 months that man worked with me and made me a much better Black Belt than I was before. His status is more than legit.
Tony's story is one that goes way back to 1993-94. I introduced him to the grappling game when I was a white belt as well. We trained under Darren Pordash in Sambo back then and I believe that Darren has since become incarcerated but nevertheless his grappling skills were top notch. I stopped training but Tony kept training and then eventually fighting. I cannot verify his whole 40 fights but I know for a fact he fought often, I was present for several of them. Keeping in mind that these were back in the days when there was no sanctioning and it was No Holds Barred, not the rules we have today; No rules, no time limit and no gloves. He also fought in Hawaii at least twice. In 99 he moved to Atlanta and started training with Jacare at Master Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, now just known as Alliance. I soon followed and we trained there for a couple years until KnuckleUp(LaBoxing then) split from Alliance. Tony continued his training and eventually got his belt under Allen Goes I believe. Due to a personal dispute we lost contact for several years but I can attest to his grappling skills and experience. I am in no way saying I have exact dates and names but in my mind his skills are there for sure.
One thing to keep in mind is that I am back at KnuckleUp and X3 is considered a rival. Tony and I are no longer close. I have no reason to talk him up but I believe a Black Belt is a serious achievement and to be respected. That being said, Tony is legit and Ranieri is an amazing instructor and BJJ stylist. Hope this clears up some of the talk. Of course a simple session of rolling with either of them would remove all doubt :)
I think that I can also vouch for Tony. I've been around grappling in Atlanta since 95. I trained out of Obake, Jacare's nemesis in Atlanta at the time. And Tony's name really, really rings a bell, even the part of belting under Goes.
So has this issue been cleared up and anyone find out if they are "Legit" I mean I read the entire forum and the last two posts kinda cleared up any confusion and I do believe RP responded directly to contact him. I am just wondering if anyone followed up?
Originally Posted by bigchadmark
I can certainly provide some follow up.
I've since taken 3 private lessons with RP; and the dude is good people. Fantastic teacher, and the environment in the school itself, is one of learning, mutual respect and shared hard training.
If you're in the ATL area (I'm in Sandy Springs) I'd gladly hook up with ya for a cup of coffee to discuss.
FWIW: His students do very well at every NAGA event. I'm not training there currently, but have come to know some VERY solid guys that do.
I will inbox you, Thanks for the response.