Antonio Estepanian - "Rickson Brown Belt" at Guildford Martial Arts in the UK

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Bellicose, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Bellicose

    Bellicose Blue Belt

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    I didn't see this posted here yet so I figured I'd share, in case y'all were going through some Paredes withdraws.

    Someone on the UG posted a thread asking for help in confirming an instructor's lineage claiming to be a brown belt under Rickson back in Torrance... it doesn't seem to be going so well so far...

    Academy's webpage with Antonio's qualifications:
    http://www.guildfordmartialarts.com/ourinstructors.htm

    Cliff Notes:
    • Antonio Estepanian claims brown belt under Rickson @ Torrance in 90's
    • UGer posts a photo of email reply from gym owner Alex Kennedy @ Guildford Martial Arts Academy stating Antonio's claims:
      [​IMG]
    • A "friend" of Antonio's chimes in to back up his claims
    • A Carlson blue belt supposedly taps out Antonio, ironically
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  2. domstormclay

    domstormclay Brown Belt

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    The blue belt who went down to visit Antonio is from my club. I've copied and pasted below his write up of what happened. I've put it in a spoiler because it's quite lengthy and some people may not want to read it.

    Hello BJJ Underground, it is I, the Ginger Ninja, and I have a full report on my evenings training with Antonio Estepanian.

    Firstly I want to start out by saying that I was a bit of a childish troll in this thread when it started and since going to train in Guildford martial arts center, I kind of feel my behavior was not that of a thirty something martial artist and for that I apologies (not to anyone in particular but more the team I represent).

    I know what many of you are thinking, "shut it already ginge and get to the good stuff. Did you smash him and did he say who gave him his belt"? All of which I'll get to. But firstly, after seeing how upset and distraught Antonios wife was, I promised her that all I was going to do was to present what I found honestly, fairly and unbiasedly.

    Firstly, arriving at his dojo (I'm only a blue belt for what it's worth, so clearly not bullet proof and a half decent grappler could of left me with a broken arm, out of anger about the situation, so I did get last minute butterflies, but then had a quick shot of 'man the fuck up' and went in.

    Once inside, I have to say that the facility was pretty awesome and the staff were all really friendly. Antonio himself met me as I walked through the door and again was very welcoming. To my right were a bunch of MMA guys that were fairly new to Gi BJJ (like 4-8 months on average) and again, were all polite enough, although it turned out that they were waiting for a group of brown and black belts to actually turn up 'dojo storm style'and take his belt from him.

    So from their perspective, I get the feeling that Dan and I were kind of, well, an anti climax for them?
    (That's just how it seemed/felt).

    I was very upfront about my motives for being there and I was very friendly the whole time (as were they). I said I was going to write a blog post, but my blog seems to be down and so I'm just posting it here.

    The first thing that I didn't like was the fact that Antonios wife was constantly taking pictures of myself and Dan (I know I'm sexy, but it felt a bit over kill), on her smart phone. She looked very uneasy at first and restless.

    The warm up started and it was standard stuff. Jogging, rolls etc and then some stretching (the stretching was actually very good and this 41yr old guy put me to shame).

    After this he showed the class just one takedown and one submission and then it was sparring. Although this is not what I'm used to, I hear in Brazil it's often the case that only one or two techniques are ever taught per class (I've never been so can't say from first hand experience) and the class was only an hour long, so could of been a time issue. One thing that bothered me a little was Antonios wife again with the pictures. Antonio demonstrated some moves on Dan and myself and his wife was taking pictures of this. I am being factual in this write up and I hope she does the same and doesn't start posting them as evidence that he smashed us, as it really was just him demonstrating take downs and a kimora to the class (oh and if the kimora didn't work, he did some rear naked on me that I think she snapped too).

    Straight away Antonio picked me to spa with for the first round. The first thing that struck me -- for a class that was so small -- was he only wanted to do 2 minute rounds. Again, I don't know if this is normal for his class or not, I'm just used to five minutes, or if Wilson is pissed about living in the UK that day, ten to 15 minutes ha ha. But I digress.

    The round began and Antonio pulled guard which (again, I'm just being honest Antonios wife, don't hate me) I passed in seconds to side control, then to knee on belly, to mount and then attacked for a choke which he defended and then I finished in close to a straight arm lock (me applying to him) as the 2 minute round ended. I think it's fair to say that I was totally dominant in this round. But I also want to point out that I'm ten years younger than him and about 15kg heavier.

    After this he sadly injured his elbow and couldn't spar anymore and I sparred with about 6 white belts (not all at the same time). To be perfectly honest, they were very good for their level of experience. For 8 months tops of Gi training, they really could grapple (read into that what you will).

    Sadly in my last round, I pulled something in my back and was unable to continue. Antonio, the staff and his wife were all lovely and fetched me water, pain relief and were very attentive.

    After the class I asked Antonio if I could have five minutes to ask him some questions, he immediately said sure and we went and sat down. I told him that I only know of his gym from the BJJ UG witch hunt and that there is only one question that needs answering and it all goes away (the witch hunt). At this point I could see his wife getting upset and distressed. I was as empathetic as I could be and she walked out of the room. Antonio asked me what is was that I wanted to know, so I asked "who gave you your brown belt?" He said he trained all over the place and essentially never answered the question. I asked again, "yes I get that but the UK BJJ community just want to know who your instructor was that promoted you and I'd love to put your side of the story to them" He then said that he was upset about pictures of his wife being on facebook and that's not the way of a martial artist. I agreed and said there have been some childish antics but in the interests of stopping it, all you need to do is tell them who gave you your belt and it all goes away, you get on teaching and your wife stops being so upset. He responded that he's just coming back to training after a motorbike accident and again never gave me a straight answer to a simple question.

    At that point I could see that I wasn't going to get an answer and so decided to leave things in as friendly vibe as I could.

    In short, the gym in lovely, the staff are really nice, Antonio seems like a nice guy, his wife is visibly distraught by the whole thing. Does that make him a legit brown belt? Well I'm not the judge or jury, I'm just a Carlson Gracie blue belt that thought this would be an interesting story.

    I'll leave it with you guys.

    Train hard, tap before you snap, Ooooooosssssssssssss

    Ginger Ninja
     
  3. domstormclay

    domstormclay Brown Belt

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    One of Antonio's friends also posted this on another forum, although the post may have since been deleted. Once again quite lengthy so I'll put it in spoilers.

    To be honest, Antonio has been my friend for about 10 years. He might not like me talking to you but firstly, I dont think a blue belt tap antonio out, the guy was 15kg heavier etc. plus I know antonio is not up to competition strength. I know this because I do physio work and on numerous occasions Antonio has asked me to fix his back etc.

    When I read all your comments about blue and black belt for what ever age. This guy has been talking about and showing me jujitsu for the past 10 years. Before most of you'd guys even knew what jujitsu was.

    Your putting up photos of his wife. I heard one guy say he was going to fuck him up. Listen Antonio is like my brother, if you behave appropriately it's cool. But your all behaving like you want to linch someone. You guys need to have a bit more respect.

    I'm a London boy and I'm not a stupid guy. So if you going to threaten my friend I take it personally. If you want to find the truth that's your prerogative.

    All I'm saying is most of you'd have acted like children. I saw someone say something about shooting? Listen we are not idiots down here, so ain't nobody doing anything like that.

    And again I would like to say I don't think this blue belt tapped my friend out. To this guy he thought he dominated. But it doesn't meaning if your dominating your winning. It just means you only know how to fight one way.

    The other thing is this gentlemen mention the white belts we're very good and he pulled his back. Did he say that he dominated the white belts? I don't think so. He said they we're all good. He didn't say that he dominated everybody in the club. Meaning the white belts we're good and gave him a run for his money.

    So if my guy wasn't good then he would say the white belts we're shit. He didn't he said they we're all good. And another thing like I said before Antonio only needs to train with compete tribe people to reach their level. And I know from first hand experience he is carrying a few injuries etc.

    Anyway I've seen your witch hunt. And I understand most of you guys are substandard bjj artists. And your claim to fame are nothing. The bbj artist I respect are the ones that know how to handle themselves. Antonio knows how to handle himself and have respect for others. The way you've acted breaking into his face book account etc.

    I don't do bjj, but I'm starting up next week. You guys just make enemys of yourselves. Watch this space

    I think he also claimed to have a video of the two blues from my club being tapped out easily by Antonio's white belt students, although it appears these posts too have been deleted.
     
  4. BJJArsenal

    BJJArsenal Brown Belt

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    Couldn't say where he got his belt, don't believe him.

    If he hadn't been training at a fixed period for a long time, he could say where he got his belt.
     
  5. domstormclay

    domstormclay Brown Belt

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    I find it hard to believe that he is legit as well. I believe the owner of the gym is conducting his own research into the situation now.

    Being promoted is a fairly significant moment, especially to brown belt. You'd be able to remember who put that belt round your waist.
     
  6. TheHereticJay

    TheHereticJay I scoff at your belt rankings

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    Oh the drama in BJJ this week. It's like Big Brother on PEDs, all this real shit going down and the whole bjj community is watching every move.


    Does it make you feel bad that you care so much of the lives of others?
     
  7. Bellicose

    Bellicose Blue Belt

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    Does it make you feel bad that you care so much that other people care?
     
  8. Bellicose

    Bellicose Blue Belt

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    That's what I was thinking. How can someone not remember that? Heck, I remember when I got stripes.
     
  9. Katus

    Katus White Belt

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    Nice read
     
  10. robotsonic

    robotsonic Brown Belt

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    LOL, why does his 'London boy' friend write English like a Brazilian. What a goofball
     
  11. Nozza

    Nozza Purple Belt

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    Looks like the guy has now been booted out of the martial arts centre.

    A challenge has been thrown down by one or both sides for an MMA style fight between the carlson gracie blue and the supposed rickson brown. Looking at the fakers one and only MMA match it doesn't look promising for him. In that televised cage fight from a few years back he is claiming to be a black belt!

    Looks like he has a history of making false claims so I'd be surprised if the fight ever happens.
     
  12. TheHereticJay

    TheHereticJay I scoff at your belt rankings

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    He's already had an mma fight... years ago. Back when he was a lowly 2nd degree gracie jiu jitsu black belt. Let me go find this video and ill be back.

    Enjoy. And I guess his name got demoted with his rank.
    [Yt]hzxrDGNKsuQ[/MEDIA]
     
  13. beeran1

    beeran1 Purple Belt

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    Mother of God
     
  14. arconnell

    arconnell White Belt

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    I like how Antonio used the highly effective headlock from side control bottom :rolleyes:

    Thats first day white belt type stuff.
     
  15. Nuclearlandmine

    Nuclearlandmine Shreddin' Double Yellow Card

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    He cannot even regain guard. Goddamit. I cringed.
     
  16. jujijimmy

    jujijimmy Blue Belt

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    Why did he tap?
     
  17. arconnell

    arconnell White Belt

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    Im thinking he got a wedgie from his TMA pants
     
  18. TheHereticJay

    TheHereticJay I scoff at your belt rankings

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    Well as you hear from the announcers, he obviously realized he was in a bad position and that all was lost. So he did what any smart martial artist would do and tapped out early and often.


    Ooor he's a clear belt.
     
  19. taylonr

    taylonr White Belt

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    Looked like the guy on top put his elbow across the throat, and the guy tapped.
     
  20. jujijimmy

    jujijimmy Blue Belt

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    Looks like he's been cut from the gym. Your work is done.
     

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