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View Full Version : Jay Russell - Albany,NY - Questions about his BJJ Black Belt and BJJ lineage.



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Dojostormz
9/19/2010 12:57am,
Jay Russell has been teaching BJJ in the Albany area for years. We know have proof that his BB is illegitimate.

Jay has always claimed to be a BB under Jordan Damon. No one in the area knew Jordan well, or seriously questioned Jay until recently. There was recently some discussion about Jordan Damon having been contacted and not knowing who Jay was, and not even being a BB himself. This has now been verified as Jordan Damon has JUST been promoted to BB by Phil Migliarese, proving Jay's long time claim to be a complete and utter lie.

Jordan Damon gets his BB. BalanceStudios.net:
http://balancestudios.net/2010/09/17/congrats-newest-balance-black-brown-belts/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook

Jay Russell claims to be a Jordan Damon BB:
http://www.nyjiujitsualbany.com/node/20

:qtank:

Dojostormz
9/19/2010 1:05am,
http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/4967/jayi.png

Rock Ape
9/19/2010 1:21am,
Are all of Mr.Russell's claims false? :

-2002 MASS Destruction Superfight Champion
-2000 United States Vale-Tudo Champion
-1999 North American Grappling Super-Fight (2nd place to World Champion Jordan Damon)
-1999 Mat Maddness Champion - 3 Time Defending Champion
-1999 World Champion I.F.C. Caged Combat PPV Event
-1998 Mat Maddness Champion (2 Weight Classes)
-1998 A.A.U. National Grappling Championship Gold Medalist
-1998 Won East Coast Pan American Trials
-1998 Member Team USA Machado Jiu Jitsu in Pan American Games in Brazil-Semi Finalist
-1997 World Lightweight Championship of the World of Extreme Fighting PPV-Second Place
-1997 North American Grappling Championship Super-Fight-Champion
-1998 Mat Maddness Champion New England, Lightweight Division

Or is it just the issue of his lineage which appears to be in question ?

Does Mr. Russell have the abilities of a BJJ black belt with "ten years" worth of teaching experience ?

Who are you in relation to Mr. Russell and the NYJJ ?

If you weren't prepared to "discuss here" the issues regarding why Mr. Russell was apparently considered a "shady guy" why did you bother to include that statement in your opening post ?

Please answer these questions.

Thank you.

Rock Ape
9/19/2010 1:32am,
Just to add, I have emailed Mr. Russell and made him aware of this and invited him here to join in on the thread.

Dojostormz
9/19/2010 1:39am,
Sorry, let me clarify.

I do not know Jay Russell personally as I am new to the area. He is however a well known member of the BJJ community here.

I'll remove the comment about his being shady as it pertains to personal problems not related to Jiu Jitsu.

I am only questioning his lineage. Jay has certainly been actively teaching Jiu Jitsu for a long time, yet spent many years away from it (the first half of the decade from what I understand) dealing with his personal problems.

As for his competition record, I have done no investigation into that whatsoever.

As for his actual ability on the mats, I can't say from personal experience. From what I've heard he no longer rolls regularly.

Rock Ape
9/19/2010 2:09am,
I do not know Jay Russell personally as I am new to the area. He is however a well known member of the BJJ community here.What prompted you to comment on the lineage issue ?
I'll remove the comment about his being shady as it pertains to personal problems not related to Jiu Jitsu.You've just stated AGAIN that you consider Mr. Russell "shady" regardless of you removing your previous statement.

I am only questioning his lineage.Ok so why are you questioning it, what brought it to your attention?
Jay has certainly been actively teaching Jiu Jitsu for a long time, yet spent many years away from it (the first half of the decade from what I understand) dealing with his personal problems....and the relevance to the lineage question is what exactly ?
As for his competition record, I have done no investigation into that whatsoever.


As for his actual ability on the mats, I can't say from personal experience. From what I've heard he no longer rolls regularly.So, the only beef you have with the guy is that you don't think the statement about him being a black belt under Damon is correct.

Have you emailed Mr. Russell to ask him to clarify ?

Do you think your doubts regarding a lineage issue warranted you advising readers not to train with Russell - despite the fact you admit you don't know if he's actually very good at what he does or, if his competitive game reflects his abilities.

Forgive me for saying this but, you've left me with the impression there's an agenda here.

Please prove me wrong.

Dojostormz
9/19/2010 2:36am,
So, the only beef you have with the guy is that you don't think the statement about him being a black belt under Damon is correct.

I do not think he has a legitimate BJJ Black Belt. I feel that you're trivializing this for some reason, but I consider this to be a pretty severe charge. From what I understand he has been making this claim for years.


Have you emailed Mr. Russell to ask him to clarify ?

I did, though I never received a response.



Do you think your doubts regarding a lineage issue warranted you advising readers not to train with Russell - despite the fact you admit you don't know if he's actually very good at what he does or, if his competitive game reflects his abilities.

Absolutely, I would advise others to avoid any school where the instructor clearly lies about his lineage, regardless of his skill.


Forgive me for saying this but, you've left me with the impression there's an agenda here.

Please prove me wrong.

I see why you feel this way. I take great offense when someone claims to have attained a rank they have not which may have caused me to be a bit rash and unprofessional. Also please understand that there are elements to this that I will not talk about on this board which greatly color my view of Jay and the scenario. I realize that's vague but I'm not going to make claims about his personal character which are based on hearsay.


As further evidence of his questionable lineage, I emailed Jay's former student Nick Sanzo, who no longer wears the belt he received from Jay.


He offered the following response:


Hi John
I have been training and teaching for 17 years. I trained with Renzo Gracie until I was a purple belt and received a black belt locally under Jay Russell. I also trained with Fabio Clemente both when he was with the Machados and Fabio Gurgel, Marcello Garcias coach. I was uncomfortable with my Black Belt promotion and contacted Carlson as the person who promoted me claimed that was his lineage. He wasn't. I joined Carlson's Federation in June and am working towards my black belt certification through that organization.

Nick Sanzo
CPBJJ
Carlson Gracie Federation.
So in addition to Jordan Damon, he also at one point illegitimately claimed Carlson Gracie lineage.

Rock Ape
9/19/2010 4:47am,
I'm not trivialising this matter, if he's made claims about his grade and that information isn't correct then he needs to be called on it however, thus far all you've demonstrated is that Mr. Damon obtained his own black belt at a time which would make Mr. Russell's claim of lineage look doubtful, you haven't actually "proved" anything.

What I suggest you do, and we'll support you as we'd anyone willing to to do the donkey work, is provide evidence that Mr.Damon doesn't know Russell and or has never trained/graded Mr. Russell.

This can be done ideally by copy-pasting the content of an email between you and Damon to that effect including a means for us to validate that information should we so wish. IE Mr. Damon's email address.

Trust me when I say that whilst on face value the accusation you've levelled at Russell will be taken seriously here, provided you back up your statement, as I've highlighted. However, Lineage is a far less important issue over actual ability, I'm not suggesting it would be "ok" for Russell to have lied about his black belt but, if he's actually a credible fighter and teacher, that fopar can be rectified.

Like I say, I'm neither trivialising this matter or trying to excuse it, you just need to put in more work and provide more information than you've so far. The choice is yours.

Rock Ape
9/19/2010 4:50am,
So in addition to Jordan Damon, he also at one point illegitimately claimed Carlson Gracie lineage.Ok.. this is more like it.

When was that email dated and do you still have a copy of it available?

Dsimon3387
9/19/2010 5:07am,
Here are some interesting points for the OP to consider:

a) the whole time line involved with the Carlson Gracie situation is odd. You have the student you mention, the fellow who will not wear the BB given to him. It seems to me that he would have discovered this "problem" with his BB a bit earlier than he did. Did he have another issue with the teacher you are not mentioning? Is there more to this that is not being stated?

b) You say there are other issues that you do not want to mention. The problem here is that these issues may materially affect the real issue. You have at least two people (you and this BB) who decided to question rank.... yet this guy was able all this time to other wise make a claim that to my limited understanding is hard to make in that community. It makes me think that there are other things not being said here.

While this teacher speaks to the issue (not responding/responding) is there any way to elaborate on these other issues you characterize as being off limits? at least categorically describing them? issues of character, issues of Hygeine, issues of betrayal, differences of opinion, etc?

Can anybody confirm whether it is strange for a person in the BJJ community, a hypothetical person, to be able to claim a BB when, as I understand it, most of these claims are dealt with relatively quickly in the BJJ community?

Dojostormz
9/19/2010 1:59pm,
Ok.. this is more like it.

When was that email dated and do you still have a copy of it available?


September 15th 2010, Yes I still have a copy of it

Dojostormz
9/19/2010 2:19pm,
Here are some interesting points for the OP to consider:

a) the whole time line involved with the Carlson Gracie situation is odd. You have the student you mention, the fellow who will not wear the BB given to him. It seems to me that he would have discovered this "problem" with his BB a bit earlier than he did. Did he have another issue with the teacher you are not mentioning? Is there more to this that is not being stated?

b) You say there are other issues that you do not want to mention. The problem here is that these issues may materially affect the real issue. You have at least two people (you and this BB) who decided to question rank.... yet this guy was able all this time to other wise make a claim that to my limited understanding is hard to make in that community. It makes me think that there are other things not being said here.

While this teacher speaks to the issue (not responding/responding) is there any way to elaborate on these other issues you characterize as being off limits? at least categorically describing them? issues of character, issues of Hygeine, issues of betrayal, differences of opinion, etc?

Can anybody confirm whether it is strange for a person in the BJJ community, a hypothetical person, to be able to claim a BB when, as I understand it, most of these claims are dealt with relatively quickly in the BJJ community?

A) I have no idea what the circumstances were regarding the student leaving Mr. Russell. I know that it occurred some while ago. I contacted him asking him about his BB posing as a student so not to arouse his suspicion. Frankly, I was surprised by his candidness.

B) Let me explain the story a little bit better. 15 years ago there were very few people in the Albany area who practiced BJJ. Jay from my understanding was one of these original practitioners. All legit guys in the area either got their start with Jay and therefore seem unwillingly to openly criticize him out of respect (though they chuckle about the BB behind his back, long before there was substantial evidence that it was illegitimate) or they are newer to the area and either don't know him/don't care/ or consider him an oddity.

It certainly is strange that someone parading as a BJJ black belt would would have their claim unchallenged for so long. I am unable to explain this in any terms other than the ones I offered above. I realize that it appears strange that these claims would come so suddenly and so late. It simply stems from my happening across this information. As I do more research his story continues to appear more off.

I also found this thread on Sherdog:
http://www.sherdog.net/forums/f12/please-help-me-trace-someones-blackbelt-1196002/

Also, it appears at least a portion of Mr. Russell's resume is legit:
http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Jay-Russell-3031

Dojostormz
9/19/2010 2:28pm,
I also found this link where he claims that he is a BB under Jordan Damon AND that Jordan Damon is a BB under Carlson Gracie: http://www.myspace.com/russell_jiujitsu

CrapKnee
9/19/2010 8:47pm,
I live in Albany, and would love to help with this in some way. However, my own actual skills are next to nonexistent (the only hard sparring schools around here that I have so far found are either inaccessible to me for transportation reasons or far too expensive). But if there is something that I could do to help, I am at least in the area.

Lebell
9/20/2010 6:02am,
Absolutely, I would advise others to avoid any school where the instructor clearly lies about his lineage, regardless of his skill.



A few thoughts: i think it's a personal choice if you would or would not want to learn from a guy who'd lie about his lineage when his skills are good.

you could think the guy is a douchebag for lying about lineage, or you could be pragmatic and get tuition from a skilled grappler.
that's your own choice.

If the information you put up here is correct then it seems that Russell went along with the lie for as long as he could, and thus not showing any form of integrity/ personal growth that would make him come clean.

Part of me understands it must be hard to be trapped in such a lie, it could be funest for your bussiness to bring up such a lie.
On the other hand: if all his other accomplishments are legit and he's a good grappler, he should get a firm kick under his ass for being a douchebag, but hey, he knows his **** and it would be a shame to totally discard him.
We're all human and we all make mistakes.

Now what the original poster should realise is that a lot of people start these kinda threads/investigations out of a personal grudge.
I think ' Hugo Stiglitz' (don't worry it's ot the real one) is making sure you are honestly adressing a issue, and not trying to get back at this Jay Russell.

my two cents.

Dojostormz
9/20/2010 8:25am,
A few thoughts: i think it's a personal choice if you would or would not want to learn from a guy who'd lie about his lineage when his skills are good.

you could think the guy is a douchebag for lying about lineage, or you could be pragmatic and get tuition from a skilled grappler.
that's your own choice.

If the information you put up here is correct then it seems that Russell went along with the lie for as long as he could, and thus not showing any form of integrity/ personal growth that would make him come clean.

Part of me understands it must be hard to be trapped in such a lie, it could be funest for your bussiness to bring up such a lie.
On the other hand: if all his other accomplishments are legit and he's a good grappler, he should get a firm kick under his ass for being a douchebag, but hey, he knows his **** and it would be a shame to totally discard him.
We're all human and we all make mistakes.

Now what the original poster should realise is that a lot of people start these kinda threads/investigations out of a personal grudge.
I think ' Hugo Stiglitz' (don't worry it's ot the real one) is making sure you are honestly adressing a issue, and not trying to get back at this Jay Russell.

my two cents.

I agree which is why I've tried to take the steps to show that there is no agenda. I was definitely a bit overzealous to start, so I don't blame him for the conclusion he reached.

Perhaps you're right in saying that what Mr. Russell needs is a swift kick in the ass, rather than a true tearing down. I suppose that will be dictated by what we can find out about this. I'm having trouble tracking down a contact for Jordan Damon, to either legitimatize or deny Mr. Russell's claim, any help there would be appreciated.