T Nation

Martial Arts/Combat Sports Fraud Stories

We’ve all met these guys. We can all spot an obvious fraud in martial arts/combat sports. What are some of your funniest and/or most outrageous stories? I’ll go first:

  1. During my Christmas break I was helping out with the wrestling team at my old high school. There was a sophomore on the team this year who just moved to my town from California. He told everyone that he placed in states in California. I was pretty excited to see a Cali state placer wrestle for my high school, so I was looking forward to the first dual meet I could attend. He wrestled in the JV match. He won one JV match the entire season. During practice, all of our wrestlers routinely pinned him, even a kid who weighs 70 lbs (our fraud wrestles at 132).

  2. My roommate is in a frat and one night he invited me to a party at his frat’s off-campus house. When the brothers found out that I’m on the wrestling team, one of them told me that he has a third degree black belt in MMA who routinely won AAU tournaments in Albany in which there were no weight classes.

  3. Years ago a new family moved into my neighborhood. My dad went to go meet the new family. It came up in conversation that my dad wrestled in high school and was (at the time) a high school wrestling coach. The dad of the new family told my dad about how he was a two-time state qualifier here in NJ. Little did this guy know that my dad had a book which had every NJ state tournament bracket in every weight class up until the mid-90s. This guy’s name was nowhere to be found in the book.

[quote]ThugLifeGoldie wrote:
We’ve all met these guys. We can all spot an obvious fraud in martial arts/combat sports. What are some of your funniest and/or most outrageous stories? I’ll go first:
[/quote]

I walked into a dojo.

Then I walked into a reality martial arts class.

That’s about it…

My favorite is when somebody casually mentions that they have a blackbelt or that they know a blackbelt and “their hands are registered with the police as deadly weapons.I’ve had a blackbelt for 20 years and i know a shit ton of blackbelts who can’t fight”.

Reason I never tell anybody I train karate.

[quote]Josann wrote:
My favorite is when somebody casually mentions that they have a blackbelt or that they know a blackbelt and “their hands are registered with the police as deadly weapons.I’ve had a blackbelt for 20 years and i know a shit ton of blackbelts who can’t fight”.

Reason I never tell anybody I train karate.[/quote]

In the words of the immortal Pat Morita

Daniel: “Hey What kind of belt do you have?”
Mr. Miyagi: “Canvas. You like? J.C. Penny. $3.98”

lol

They aren’t always easy to spot for everyone…even for people who should know better. Lloyd Irvin comes to mind.

There is a guy who says he was a PJ in the air force and says he has several MMA fights in a different state and that he can’t wait to fight here. The only thing he does is Gi jiu jitsu and Krav on occasion. Jiu jitsu skills are not bad but if you take off the gi or start striking it unravels pretty quick. He loves to tell people how good he is and things that he “used” to do.

Once when I was working on a new combo against the bag he tells me “you’re not gonna learn shit hitting that bag”. “lets go in the back here and I will work with your striking man” LO fucking L Really? I am not being big headed here but my striking is lifeteimes beyond this guy I have KOed more guys than he has ever fought WTF. So I say ok and we go in the back and he want to spar a bit just hands only. 45 seconds in he says damn your striking is pretty good (no shit!?) so I say yeah Im just trying to work a combo and get it straight in my head bro.

We also have a guy who is just the opposite. He will not say where he has trained or in what. His style looks traditional to me and is crisp but movement is somewhat liking in the striking. However when I met this dude for the first time he asked me to roll for a bit and I said what the hell lets do it. The next thing out of his mouth is hey man I haven’t really been training that long so lets go easy. Ok sounds good…start rolling and I give him lots of space and just try to feel it out because he is “new”

Next thing I know this MF is going for submissions like crazy, real smooth and I ended up tapping to a inverted heel hook. No fucking beginner does a inverted heel hook! so we roll again and I step up the game a bit…holy shit kind of stalemates and I hold him in guard we decide to break for a bit. I was kinda pissed because he lied so I aproach him again and say ok lets roll. I took it to him and we rolled for about 7-8 minutes and I finally got him in a real nice mounted triangle. He tapped but said it wasn’t tight he was just tired of smelling my balls…LOL either way I win.

When I was an agent we had a guy in my office who claimed he had been trained as a tunnel rat knife fighter while in rhe Corps, and who “ranhis own ninjitsu dojo.”

Now he really was a Marine, but our training guy got ahold of his record jacket. He was a box kicker, never left the country, shot marksman. Tubby bastard may have actually been charging people for ninjitsu lessons, he had a trunk full of poor quality martial arts weapons, but if he wad a master of hand to hand combat he had the best disguise I’ve ever seen.

Had a kid claim to be a 7-time state wrestling champ in high school. Our BJJ coach says “You were in high school for seven years? You gotta be the dumbest motherfucker around.” lol

[quote]Josann wrote:
My favorite is when somebody casually mentions that they have a blackbelt or that they know a blackbelt and “their hands are registered with the police as deadly weapons.I’ve had a blackbelt for 20 years and i know a shit ton of blackbelts who can’t fight”.

Reason I never tell anybody I train karate.[/quote]

True, not all black belts are created/earned equally, and even among legit black belts, there is always going to be some variation in skills between individuals.

You get a legitimate black belt though, under a legitimate instructor and it means something.

If your black belt test consists of doing some katas, breaking a board or two, and demoing some pre-arranged defensive skills, then yeah, your belt probably isn’t worth much in and of itself. You go through a legit test though where you truly earn your belt and prove that you not only have skills (can fight), but have an unbreakable fighting spirit and will never give up, then a black belt means something.

Heck, our yellow belt (first belt in the system) tests are harder than most black belt tests in other systems that I’ve seen.

[quote]devildog_jim wrote:
When I was an agent we had a guy in my office who claimed he had been trained as a tunnel rat knife fighter while in rhe Corps, and who “ranhis own ninjitsu dojo.”

Now he really was a Marine, but our training guy got ahold of his record jacket. He was a box kicker, never left the country, shot marksman. Tubby bastard may have actually been charging people for ninjitsu lessons, he had a trunk full of poor quality martial arts weapons, but if he wad a master of hand to hand combat he had the best disguise I’ve ever seen.[/quote]

Well…you know that it’s never a good idea to judge a book by it’s cover.

Last August I got a chance to train with Sabum James Rosenbach (Robert Bussey’s highest ranking student in Ninjutsu) and at first sight the guy is anything but physically imposing. But holy crap, once he actually starts moving or gets his hands on you the dude is LETHAL! He can drop down into a splits like it’s nothing, put any kind of weapon in his hands and you’re done, the guy could climb like a freaking human squirrel, he can sneak up on you anytime he wants to, and he even though at this point he doesn’t spar full contact too much, and I’m told he could scrap with the best of them in his prime (he was Jeremy Horn’s first instructor and even early into Jeremy’s professional career, Sabum could put a whoopin on him if he chose to).

Because of this tendency to underestimate him, he’s probably one of the most dangerous guys out there. But woe unto you if you did.

I’m not saying this guy is the same way, just warning against judging him by his looks alone. A true Ninjutsu practitioner is all too happy to let you believe that they are nothing, that gives them the element of surprise.

[quote]Melvin Smiley wrote:
Had a kid claim to be a 7-time state wrestling champ in high school. Our BJJ coach says “You were in high school for seven years? You gotta be the dumbest motherfucker around.” lol[/quote]

When do you start you job as a comedian? Thanks for the laugh flippin awesome

Sentoguy - never saw him work any muscle but his mouth, so not sure how good he was. But the weapons he carried were poor quality and poorly kept, and I tend to believe you can tell a lot about a man by hos weapons. Unless those were part of the act too, in which case this guy was really good, because I wouldn’t consider him more of a threat than any otther average skill pistolero.

[quote]devildog_jim wrote:
Sentoguy - never saw him work any muscle but his mouth, so not sure how good he was. But the weapons he carried were poor quality and poorly kept, and I tend to believe you can tell a lot about a man by hos weapons. Unless those were part of the act too, in which case this guy was really good, because I wouldn’t consider him more of a threat than any otther average skill pistolero.[/quote]

Fair enough, as I said, I don’t know the individual in question. Just trying to give a word of warning based on an experience that I had of totally underestimating someone based on looks alone, only to find out that I had been dead wrong, and had I been a criminal making those assumptions I may have just been dead. :wink:

The Ninja have been using the principles of disguise, deception, and stealth (which doesn’t just mean sneaking around in the dark) for hundreds if not thousands of years. Today’s spies and espionage agents continue to use these same concepts when in the field to avoid detection.

So, someone who is really applying the concepts will not appear special, extraordinary, or intimidating at first sight, they will let the other “tough guys” tell you how tough they are, how many fights they’ve had, how many belts they’ve won/earned and let you keep underestimating them. This might be a good argument against this guy being a Ninjutsu practitioner though (depending on the context of how his Ninjutsu training came up and whether he would broadcast it regularly to random people or only tell those he trusted in private or if pressed/asked).

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]devildog_jim wrote:
Sentoguy - never saw him work any muscle but his mouth, so not sure how good he was. But the weapons he carried were poor quality and poorly kept, and I tend to believe you can tell a lot about a man by hos weapons. Unless those were part of the act too, in which case this guy was really good, because I wouldn’t consider him more of a threat than any otther average skill pistolero.[/quote]

Fair enough, as I said, I don’t know the individual in question. Just trying to give a word of warning based on an experience that I had of totally underestimating someone based on looks alone, only to find out that I had been dead wrong, and had I been a criminal making those assumptions I may have just been dead. :wink:

The Ninja have been using the principles of disguise, deception, and stealth (which doesn’t just mean sneaking around in the dark) for hundreds if not thousands of years. Today’s spies and espionage agents continue to use these same concepts when in the field to avoid detection.

So, someone who is really applying the concepts will not appear special, extraordinary, or intimidating at first sight, they will let the other “tough guys” tell you how tough they are, how many fights they’ve had, how many belts they’ve won/earned and let you keep underestimating them. This might be a good argument against this guy being a Ninjutsu practitioner though (depending on the context of how his Ninjutsu training came up and whether he would broadcast it regularly to random people or only tell those he trusted in private or if pressed/asked).[/quote]

I am actually consciously working on cultivating my “grey man” attributes right now. I am by nature somewhat extroverted and outspoken. This combined with being physically large and tending to “look the part” a little too much makes me a little more conspicuous than I would sometimes like to be.

It’s actually a really interesting challenge to try to blend in and fly under the radar.

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]devildog_jim wrote:
Sentoguy - never saw him work any muscle but his mouth, so not sure how good he was. But the weapons he carried were poor quality and poorly kept, and I tend to believe you can tell a lot about a man by hos weapons. Unless those were part of the act too, in which case this guy was really good, because I wouldn’t consider him more of a threat than any otther average skill pistolero.[/quote]

Fair enough, as I said, I don’t know the individual in question. Just trying to give a word of warning based on an experience that I had of totally underestimating someone based on looks alone, only to find out that I had been dead wrong, and had I been a criminal making those assumptions I may have just been dead. :wink:

The Ninja have been using the principles of disguise, deception, and stealth (which doesn’t just mean sneaking around in the dark) for hundreds if not thousands of years. Today’s spies and espionage agents continue to use these same concepts when in the field to avoid detection.

So, someone who is really applying the concepts will not appear special, extraordinary, or intimidating at first sight, they will let the other “tough guys” tell you how tough they are, how many fights they’ve had, how many belts they’ve won/earned and let you keep underestimating them. This might be a good argument against this guy being a Ninjutsu practitioner though (depending on the context of how his Ninjutsu training came up and whether he would broadcast it regularly to random people or only tell those he trusted in private or if pressed/asked).[/quote]

I am actually consciously working on cultivating my “grey man” attributes right now. I am by nature somewhat extroverted and outspoken. This combined with being physically large and tending to “look the part” a little too much makes me a little more conspicuous than I would sometimes like to be.

It’s actually a really interesting challenge to try to blend in and fly under the radar.[/quote]

To further derail the thread:

I find this idea really interesting. I’ve always believed that ‘real recognises real’, and that you can tell when someone can handle themselves. In my experience, that’s why you rarely see two genuinely dangerous fighters come to blows outside of a sports setting. I see mismatches all the time, where some wanna be tough guy picks a fight with a genuine badass, but I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve seen two legitimately mean bastards throw down. On those occasions, a whole load of people ended up in the nick or the ER.

To those of us who are familiar with the rougher shades of life, I can’t be alone in recognising clearly when someone is a genuine hard bloke, from the way they carry themselves (not a swaggering poser) and the look in their eyes. It sounds like a cliche, but even the guys on here who are at the top of their game and living life at the sharp end, must have had at least one moment when you’ve looked into someone’s eyes and realised that this was the kind of man you wouldn’t want to have to find out if you were better than.

In my highschool there was a fat guy who claimed to have a cousin in the marines participating in military mma torunaments and that he was routinely training with some of the best Aikido guys out there.

Because I was curious about the entire marine story (there is an american base not too far from where I live) I asked him if he could teach me some of the military moves and he gladly invited me to his home later that day. During school he was talking to me about how he could split coconuts with his bare hands and once broke a guys forearm just by punching it.
Later that day I paid him a visit. He had a pretty decent home gym with a couple of mats on the floor, and I decided to just let him do stuff with me until I tapped out. Well the very first move he did was a pretty bad guillotine. (Remember, I was just standing there waiting for him to do something and learn new techniques.

Who the fuck woul pull off a guillotine to a standing opponent?!) I wouldnt even call it a guillotine, it was just a bad headlock. He didnt even combine it with some kind of softneing technique …Anyways, he made a step (me still being stuck in the headlock) and then paused dramatically with the words: “If I turn any further your neck will break”

I told him: “I dont feel anything, try again.”
So the fat sucker tried again and the only thing I could feel was… well that the guy was using a headlock on me. That was the first time i started to get that he was just a fraud. Anyways he knew a couple of basic wrist throws and controls but that was it. He could not even execute a clean shoulder throw.
He then wanted to introduce me to some striking. he could not even kick about knee height (because as he claimed he fractured both of his knees in an accident last year). He had no guard whatsoever and when I told him that he basically had no freaking idea about boxing he just said: "I would use my weight.

You see vereybody has their own kind of unique striking style. I would run my oponent over" Then he did something a Wing Chun practitioner would call “the worst straight punch bursts in existance” while marching into my direction.

When I asked him about his cousin in the marines and where he was now he would say: “I think he’s in Fallujah right now, hell be back in a few weeks”. In the end he told me:“hes a military hand to hand combat instructor you know, he would lose his job teaching civilians”. Once he came up with an out of this world excuse for stupidity: “I cant tell you my cousins name, he also works for deep undercover CIA operations.”
Are you laughing yet?

When i asked the same bastard about his Aikido teachers he would actually give me a name for a well known instructor teaching not even 60miles away! Per coincidence the instuctor was a friend of one of my Taijutsu teachers and during a cross training lessen with that guys school I asked the aikido instructor during a break about the dude from my school. he denied to have ever instructed anybody with that name or look ( I described the fraud in detail)

Confronted the wannabe “hero” later about his so called teahcerts not knowing about him and he just told me that he had a fight with that guy and that his “teacher” had lost. So to keep up his reputation the instructor decided to keep it a secret. LOL BULLSHIT.
Because the fraud had barely seen anything I could do I talked him into a full contact sparring which he denied in the beginning, but then agreed, but only if punches and kicks to the face would be forbidden.

Without going into detail he took a good ass whooping and later on tried to tell people that he had only lost because he had an injury from training that was causing severe pain during the match.

That was the worst case of human behaviour I have ever seen and I would love to spar this guy over and over again. Looking back at it I am impressed how long he managed to lie to me. Maybe I am just way too naive?

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:
To those of us who are familiar with the rougher shades of life, I can’t be alone in recognising clearly when someone is a genuine hard bloke, from the way they carry themselves (not a swaggering poser) and the look in their eyes. It sounds like a cliche, but even the guys on here who are at the top of their game and living life at the sharp end, must have had at least one moment when you’ve looked into someone’s eyes and realised that this was the kind of man you wouldn’t want to have to find out if you were better than. [/quote]

Not going to claim any magic powers here, but yeah, occassionally somebody can be completely unassuming in every way and still set off the alarms. Case in point: went out with a buddy, his brother and a bunch of his friends (older than me, people I don’t know). One of them is a little asian dude. Quiet, slight, just regular as all hell, maybe a little on the shy side. But there’s a vibe there. Something ever so slightly off. Towards the end of the night, there’s a bit of a scuffle with another group of guys and the first thing I do (besides staying the fuck out of it) was check for the asian dude. I spot him on the edges of the situation, looking just like he’s done all night, and I swear nobody’s giving a shit about him, but I can feel the tension from this fucking guy, just a loaded spring. Eventually, nothing more came of the whole thing, but turned out that guy was this guy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=zGfWDAZ1ZG8#t=97s

Now I know MMA fighters aren’t necessarily hot shit out of the ring, but apparently his brawl record is better than his official fight record, which is about 40 fights, and there’s no doubt in my mind that a sucker punch from this man brutally ends your night.

I have a ton of situations where dudes have turned out to be more (or much, much less) than they appear from my time bouncing, but this one always stuck in my mind.

[quote]LondonBoxer123 wrote:

[quote]batman730 wrote:

[quote]Sentoguy wrote:

[quote]devildog_jim wrote:
Sentoguy - never saw him work any muscle but his mouth, so not sure how good he was. But the weapons he carried were poor quality and poorly kept, and I tend to believe you can tell a lot about a man by hos weapons. Unless those were part of the act too, in which case this guy was really good, because I wouldn’t consider him more of a threat than any otther average skill pistolero.[/quote]

Fair enough, as I said, I don’t know the individual in question. Just trying to give a word of warning based on an experience that I had of totally underestimating someone based on looks alone, only to find out that I had been dead wrong, and had I been a criminal making those assumptions I may have just been dead. :wink:

The Ninja have been using the principles of disguise, deception, and stealth (which doesn’t just mean sneaking around in the dark) for hundreds if not thousands of years. Today’s spies and espionage agents continue to use these same concepts when in the field to avoid detection.

So, someone who is really applying the concepts will not appear special, extraordinary, or intimidating at first sight, they will let the other “tough guys” tell you how tough they are, how many fights they’ve had, how many belts they’ve won/earned and let you keep underestimating them. This might be a good argument against this guy being a Ninjutsu practitioner though (depending on the context of how his Ninjutsu training came up and whether he would broadcast it regularly to random people or only tell those he trusted in private or if pressed/asked).[/quote]

I am actually consciously working on cultivating my “grey man” attributes right now. I am by nature somewhat extroverted and outspoken. This combined with being physically large and tending to “look the part” a little too much makes me a little more conspicuous than I would sometimes like to be.

It’s actually a really interesting challenge to try to blend in and fly under the radar.[/quote]

To further derail the thread:

I find this idea really interesting. I’ve always believed that ‘real recognises real’, and that you can tell when someone can handle themselves. In my experience, that’s why you rarely see two genuinely dangerous fighters come to blows outside of a sports setting. I see mismatches all the time, where some wanna be tough guy picks a fight with a genuine badass, but I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve seen two legitimately mean bastards throw down. On those occasions, a whole load of people ended up in the nick or the ER.

To those of us who are familiar with the rougher shades of life, I can’t be alone in recognising clearly when someone is a genuine hard bloke, from the way they carry themselves (not a swaggering poser) and the look in their eyes. It sounds like a cliche, but even the guys on here who are at the top of their game and living life at the sharp end, must have had at least one moment when you’ve looked into someone’s eyes and realised that this was the kind of man you wouldn’t want to have to find out if you were better than. [/quote]

I agree entirely. I reckon it’s all about subconscious body cues that you pick up when you have trained those same instinctual responses to dangerous situations. So if you have been trained to respond effectively to a crisis situation and have the experience doing so, then people with similar or more experience will knowingly or unknowingly pick up on those subtle cues.

The swagger is always an alarm bell for me that an idiot doesn’t have a clue. Chest out, leading with the head. I call it the knockout pose. But if I see someone quietly hunch their back a little, drop their chin a bit, stagger their feet and reach for an ashtray… I bet my money on that guy.

Also, you pronounce it 'Ard Blokes, yeah.

I had a friend (past tense because he’s an idiot) who uses facebook to pump up his image with people. Stupid shit like, “Heavy squats at 5am, followed by Gracie BJJ in the afternoon? Heck yeah!” or “Going to get my Pro Boxing Card in one month time! A warrior is always calm under pressure!” and other assorted bulshido quotes. The guy ALWAYS had this air of superiority and this deep seated belief that he could take anyone. He created this persona that to someone who didn’t know him like I did appeared impressively dangerous. truthfully, beyond his impressive size and weight lifting ability he really was not impressive at all.

Essentially, in real life he is a washed up bodybuilder turned personal trainer who likes to think he is some kind of badass. When he told me he was thinking of getting into the local MMA scene as a heavyweight, with a few years of TKD as his primary source of Martial Arts experience I warned him that there were guys his weight with more experience, more flexibility and much better striking and grappling skills than him currently competing. He actually told me that he could just “use his strength against them”. Then, in a moment of introspection, he suggested he might not actually pursue this budding fight career because “I just don’t want my nose to get fucked up.”

I shut him down a couple times with reality, he didn’t like it and he blocked me on facebook like a bitch. Months later I got a random message from him out of the blue: “I thought you’d want to know, I’m joining the Royal Marines.” He’d changed his profile picture to one of the Royal Commando insignia and was announcing to the world that he was off to become a special operations badass. He got really upset with me when I told him that at the core of it I didn’t care but wished him good luck.

A year or so later, he never went to the UK, hasn’t fought a single ring fight, hasn’t got his pro boxing card, hasn’t done any kind of martial arts training of any significance and hasn’t entered a body building competition since college. Oh, and in his late 20’s he still lives with his mother. However, he often refers to himself as an athlete.

[quote]Pigeonkak wrote:
I had a friend (past tense because he’s an idiot) who uses facebook to pump up his image with people. Stupid shit like, “Heavy squats at 5am, followed by Gracie BJJ in the afternoon? Heck yeah!” or “Going to get my Pro Boxing Card in one month time! A warrior is always calm under pressure!” and other assorted bulshido quotes. The guy ALWAYS had this air of superiority and this deep seated belief that he could take anyone. He created this persona that to someone who didn’t know him like I did appeared impressively dangerous. truthfully, beyond his impressive size and weight lifting ability he really was not impressive at all.

Essentially, in real life he is a washed up bodybuilder turned personal trainer who likes to think he is some kind of badass. When he told me he was thinking of getting into the local MMA scene as a heavyweight, with a few years of TKD as his primary source of Martial Arts experience I warned him that there were guys his weight with more experience, more flexibility and much better striking and grappling skills than him currently competing. He actually told me that he could just “use his strength against them”. Then, in a moment of introspection, he suggested he might not actually pursue this budding fight career because “I just don’t want my nose to get fucked up.”

I shut him down a couple times with reality, he didn’t like it and he blocked me on facebook like a bitch. Months later I got a random message from him out of the blue: “I thought you’d want to know, I’m joining the Royal Marines.” He’d changed his profile picture to one of the Royal Commando insignia and was announcing to the world that he was off to become a special operations badass. He got really upset with me when I told him that at the core of it I didn’t care but wished him good luck.

A year or so later, he never went to the UK, hasn’t fought a single ring fight, hasn’t got his pro boxing card, hasn’t done any kind of martial arts training of any significance and hasn’t entered a body building competition since college. Oh, and in his late 20’s he still lives with his mother. However, he often refers to himself as an athlete.

[/quote]

Ye, my stories are all along these lines too. I used to go to a commercial gym briefly, and every time there’d be a bunch of (sloppy) body building types, wearing tapout tshirts, who were doing pullups and getting a mate to throw shitty punches into their guts at the bottom of each rep. Then they’d swagger around the gym giving bad looks to anyone who looked at them. Eventually, I was waiting to use the chinup bar and asked one of them what they trained and where. All I got by way of answer was ‘just don’t fuck with us, that’s all you need to know’. Turns out they were both PTs at the gym. I was chatting to one of the girls who worked at the desk a week or two later, and mentioned the bloke’s bad attitude. Turns out ‘ever since those two started running the boxercise classes, they had been picking fights with everyone.’ Didn’t speak to them again, as I stopped going to that gym a month or so after that, so didn’t have any cause to call them on their bullshit.