View Full Version : Moti Horenstein: TMA & MMA Bullshidoka

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Nathan McScary
10/22/2006 2:43am,
The only thread I could find on this guy (http://www.bullshido.net/forums/showthread.php?t=17474&highlight=moti+horenstein) is a little dated. Furthermore, I have some new information to bring to the table and Mr. Horenstein now owns three martial arts schools, and seems to be more of an actual treat to the martial arts community.

First off, for those of you who don't know, Moti Horenstein is one of those guys who claims to have about a zillion black belts and trophies in the martial arts. He has, to his credit, fought MMA, and even in the UFC (http://www.sherdog.com/fightfinder/fightfinder.asp?search=yes&FighterID=139), though is record is not exactly impressive. He teaches a style he developed himself called "Survival Hisardut".

I looked him up on wikipedia and he had a pretty interested entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moti_Horenstein). Apparently, he has done the following:

- Made up martial arts acheivements for himself.
- Claims to have won pro fights that he actually lost.
- Overcharging students (two 45 minute classes a week, $120 a month).
- Requires students to buy a new gi top with every belt progression.

He also makes some pretty bold personal claims on his schools website (http://www.mhka.com/miami.php?section=shihan) such as being the: 2002 World San Shou Champion, 2004 USA Super Heavyweight Kickboxing Champion, and 1986-1988 Champion Of Israel (!), etc.

It should also be noted that he offers a training program called 'Little Ninjas' where he teaches preschoolers how to improve their "basic motor and learning skills". This is a UFC veteren we're talking about here!

I think the most disturbing part about this is apparently he actually owns three fairly big schools, two in New York and one in Miami.

If anyone lives in the area, maybe they can pay one of Mr. Horenstein's schools a visit.

You'd think Mark Kerr, Mark Coleman, and company would have been able to beat some sense into him. Ah, well, I guess some jaded martial artists never learn...

10/22/2006 3:18am,
Wikipedia link has no article. Survival Hisardut, = Survival Haircut?

10/22/2006 4:53am,
Sounds like a bit of a ****. I pay £85 per month and for that i attened anywhere between 6-11 classes per week, time depending. Minimum class length is 45 minutes.

And that new Gi thing, what's that all about?!

10/22/2006 7:45am,
The Wikipedia article is here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moti_Horenstein): Nathan accidentally included the end bracket in the url, hence that link didn't work. However, as is common with a Wiki, it doesn't cite any sources. Looks like its taken directly from Horenstein's profile (http://www.mhka.com/miami.php?section=shihan) on his site.

Attempting to verify the claims he makes in his competitive record doesn't yield much.
I’m not sure exactly what he’s referring to by ‘2002 San shu World Champion’. Searching for "San Shou OR Shu World Champion" during 2002 brings up this ( http://members.tripod.com/shaolinwushu/sanshouresults.htm) page, which lists the world champions for that year in various weight divisions as Cung Le and Matee Jedeepitak. No mention of Horenstein anywhere on the page, though Le and Jedeepitak held IKF titles – Horenstein doesn’t specify the organisation on his website.

This ( http://www.angelfire.com/sd2/kingofsanda/newstate.html) site, presenting a report on San Shou in 2002, mentions "Possible opponents for Marvin are USKBA North American Champion Moti Horenstein and Jeff Ford", though I don't see 'USKBA' on Horenstein's site record.

He also claims to be a 'Kyokushin Karate World Champion', gaining the title at some championship in Costa Rica in 2001. Google does come up with a Kyokushin championship in Costa Rica during 2001, but its the Central American Championship ( http://www.iska.com/2001results.htm), not world, and didn’t feature Horenstein (which either means there was no World Championship in Costa Rica that year, or my google-fu sucks :icon_wink). He does appear later on the same page at a different event, ‘Moscow Storm’, losing to Dimitry Stephanov.

In the fight listing for UFC XIV provided by PR Newswire, Horenstein is described as:

The 1996 Shidokan Heavyweight Champion, and three-time Israeli Kickboxing Champion, Horenstein is a former self-defense instructor for the Israeli Special Forces and currently runs his own karate school in Rockland County, New York. This 6'2", 240-lb., 32-year-old karate specialist is making his second appearance in the Octagon.

Though that could easily be inaccurate. He's also mentioned as taking part in a superfight on 27th May 2000 against John Wyatt, in a Canada Newswire from 14th April 2000. That was apparently the 'KBX: World Professional Kickboxing Championships', but not sure of the result. Presumably he lost, as it doesn't feature on his site's record listing.

Also found an article from 2005 on Horenstein and his 'little ninja' program, from The Miami Herald, 20th November 2005:

Moti Horenstein told his class of Little Ninjas to ``run, run, run, like a cheetah.''

The preschoolers, dressed in black robes, ran in circles on the red and blue mats.

As part of the training at Moti Horenstein's Karate and Kickboxing Academy in North Miami Beach, students are taught to focus, work as a team, practice self-control, discipline, fitness and coordination through karate drills.

''The more we train, the more we gain. Train, train, train. Gain, gain, gain,'' Horenstein, 40, chanted.

The karate school, which opened October 2004, offers karate classes for preschool-aged children to adults.

''We have a variety of different programs at different tuition prices to meet a variety of students needs,'' program director Melissa Goldberg said.

All of Horenstein's classes are based on the martial arts technique, Hisardut is a martial art developed in Israel that teaches self-defense in real-life situations.

In one Little Ninjas Program activity, the instructor splits the class into groups to see who can kick targets the fastest. The activity is meant to help children interact with each other in and outside of the dojo, or training hall, Goldberg said.

To develop confidence and self-discipline, the Little Ninjas are required to complete a weekly to-do list with basic tasks, including cleaning their room and doing homework. According to the academy, turning in the to-do list, signed by parents, helps the children feel confident about themselves and their accomplishments.

''I like it because my mom writes it down if I do good or bad, and I always do good,'' Dylan Lugasi, 6, said.

After students learn a new skill, they receive a colored stripe on their belt. They are required to earn all eight stripes before advancing to the next colored belt.

''We try to set them up for success,'' Goldberg, 27, said. ``There are too many places outside the dojo where they are getting negative feedback, whether it's because they're not the best student in school or at home, so we try to find the good in them and show them that they can be the best in everything they do.''

Like the children, adults are also required to set goals, respect others and the dojo and learn to interact.

''It has made me more confident,'' front desk manager Adam Aronson, 22, said of his experience learning martial arts. ``I'm kind of a nervous and shy guy, and I have a hard time meeting new people. Ma'am is constantly pairing you with a new partner.''

Goldberg and Horenstein, owner and master instructor, are referred to as Ma'am, Sir, Sensei or Shihan, by all students.

Horenstein, who was born in Israel, has been involved in martial arts since age 5. He believes his training has developed his own character.

In 1983, Horenstein was went into the Israeli Army, where he served in the airborne Special Forces and in commando divisions. There, he taught survival techniques for three years. In 1986, he earned the title Champion of Israel in the adult heavyweight division, which he held until he moved to the America in 1989.

Living in New York, he opened a Survival Center in Spring Valley in 1992, which moved to New York City in 1999 and was renamed Moti Horenstein's Karate and Kickboxing Academy. In 2004, a second location opened in South Florida.

Horenstein, an eighth-degree black belt, holds world titles in six martial arts styles and is director and chief instructor of the World Survival Hisardut Organization.

Somewhat more bizarrely, he is also krav maga trainer for Anna Kournikova, according to an NBC News interview from 25th March 2006 and a piece in the New York Post from 21st July 2006. Strange he doesn't mention that on his website either - would have thought thats the kind of thing he'd try to plug in order to get more students.

10/23/2006 12:04am,
I met Moti a few years ago when he was in St Pete teaching a LEO class. Seemed like a cool guy. I believe he was supposed to be a champion karate guy although his UFC record (facing Kerr and Coleman in their primes) was obviously a disappointment. Still, he is a fighter (KO'd Pat Smith in a Superfight at Bas Rutten Invitational)) and veteran IDF paratrooper and tactics instructor.

I don't know anything about his business practices but the cost is probably in line with what many other schools are charging so that shouldn't be such a big deal.

5/20/2007 6:02pm,
I live extremely close to his NY schools and was interested in continuing my training there. I will update information as i obtain more.

5/21/2007 3:10pm,
Moti won a USKBA UNITED STATES TITLE in 2002... not world, maybe he got it confused or his web master did

He has won several pro MMA fights, just most people know about his 2 UFC losses

Moti won his match at the "King's Cup" in THailand in the super heavyweight divsion, you can say that is not a very competitive division, but he clearly isn't a lightweight and it's hard to blame the man for his size

All in all, Moti has over 60 MUay Thai fights, I am not sure his record, but again, he has over SIXTY... he also has shidokan, Kickboxing, San Shou, Kyokushinkai and MMA bouts

Don't know what defines "bullshido" anymore, but most would be inclinded to think that a guy who fights this much is NOT

International W
5/21/2007 3:22pm,
I've sparred with Moti before, he hits very hard. Call him what you will, but he had bad luck in who he fought in the UFC. Maybe he embellished his accomplishments or made them up, but shame on him if he did. It doesn't change the fact he's a legitimate tough guy and actually can fight. He hits like a train too. I knew he'd lose to Coleman and Kerr, but it wasn't as if nobody told him. Plenty of people did.

He's a better grappler than people give him credit for, he does some things differently than BJJ would, he's more judo based with his ground technique. Still a very nice guy who helped me a little bit with my striking. I showed him a few ways to avoid the takedown in turn and he picked them up very quickly.

Maybe we'll see him fight Tiger Schulman one day. haha.

5/21/2007 3:37pm,
Not a whole lot of red flags here.

Making up your own martial art is pretty lame, but since he actually fights, what are ya gonna do?

Some of the titles he claims to have don't really resolve out; that is weird. There is perhaps some embellishment on his part or the part of his promotion people. Also lame.

Little ninjas is stupid. The name is, at least. If it's a decent kids program, then I suppose he can call it whatever he wants.

I detect some definate McDojo-ism here, but it also sounds like he is a legitimate fighter. Losing to Coleman and Kerr hardly invalidates anything. Nothing really trips my Bullshido radar on this. He really should clarify the titles stuff, though. That's sketchy.

Ming Loyalist
5/21/2007 3:43pm,
bullshido? no i don't think so. not someone with a fight record like moti.

mcdojo? maybe. but who can blame the guy for trying to make his schools profitable? omega's school is a mcdojo and he has said so many times, so we can't give moti a hard time about that.

we need to spend our time on the guys who run schools and can't/won't fight and teach bullshit.

Tom .C
5/21/2007 4:17pm,
The kid's classes keep the lights on. If a person doesn't like the name "lil ninja's" try a little marketing experiment. Have four seperate kid's classes. Name one "Lil Bastards", name one "Diaper Dandies", name one "stupid babies", and name one "Lil Ninjas". See which class helps to pay the bills.
In our Dojo, the kids fill up the place for the early classes and the late classes are populated by a much smaller number of adults. The nice mats and equipment provided by dojo would not be there if it wasn't for the kids classes.
The record of Moti's accomplishments is somewhat suspect but if he has the goods and knows how to teach, that's the real requirement. It's a good thing to let him know that some of the bad information casts a cloud over him and probabaly should be clarified.

5/21/2007 4:17pm,
^ I have to agree. About the super ninjas-Kids just want to have fun and parents want day care. While there is a certain thug parent element, who want their kids to kick ass, most schools have a no touch policy, which may disappoint some ex school bullies, but I have not heard any kids complain that they can't hit each other.

5/21/2007 6:37pm,
For the record, I have been following MMA since UFC 4 or 5, whichever one it was where Royce and Ken had their rematch.

Hrenstein has indeed fought in MMA tournaments; I have seen him fight 3 times. He lost each time, and most unimpressively too. His record is 1 win, 6 losses.


I saw both is UFC fights and his loss to Taktarov. Coleman and Kerr both didn't just beat him, they humliated him. He didn't even last the first round.

If you can find the tape of his fight with Kerr in UFC 14, if you listen as he is being struck by Kerr's strikes Horenstein - there's no delicate way to put this - lets out a high pitched yelp like a little girl being slapped in the face.

This guy - to be blunt - got lucky in his one win, against an aging Patrick Smith and threw a wild haymaker that connected.

Anybody who is paying this guy money to learn Martial Arts or MMA fighting is being ripped off, in my opinion.

Tom .C
5/21/2007 7:03pm,
O:K! Here is the benchmark for bullshido. If you haven't won a UFC title you aren't allowed to teach martial arts. No other tournaments or experience matters. That goes for UFC 70 where the world was shown that K1 champions are easy. Only MMA is acceptable and no other martial arts should be taught.

International W
5/21/2007 8:59pm,

There were no rounds when Moti fought Kerr and Coleman. Hell back then there were barely any weight classes.

5/21/2007 9:57pm,
You are correct, though I did see the fights, it was almost 10 years ago. The Sherdog Fight Finder says each fight ended in round 1, which seems to have influenced my memory.

Sorry if I sound too harsh about the guy, but I did see him fight 3 times and he not only failed to impress me, he didn't even seem to mount any real fight in the 3 matches I saw.

He was taken down, mounted and dispatched in under 3 min. in the matches I saw.