5 martial arts phonies who tried to pass themselves as masters

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Martial arts instructors and ‘masters’, as we all know, can vary quite wildly in ability. You can have some instructors who are as legit as it gets, and then have some others like we see in the following examples, who have no ability whatsoever and are complete and utter charlatans.

For those of us who grew up before the internet, it was almost a complete matter of luck on the martial arts instructor you got and it was usually just whoever is teaching closest to where you lived.

Nowadays, though, it’s pretty easy to find out who is legit and who is not. These types of phony martial arts masters are usually found in the realm of traditional martial arts, where not having much ability is unfortunately pretty common.

In more modern arts, however, like BJJ and MMA, these instances of fraudulent instructors are much rarer as they’re going to be found out. But, like we see in the first couple of examples, it still occurred a couple of times.

5) Rafiel Torre

This guy hung around the early days of the sport where he claimed to be a BJJ black belt from Brazil who then since turned reporter. He fooled a lot of people and even hung around high-level grapplers and fighters like Eddie Bravo and Tito Ortiz before they figured out what was up.


Here he is competing in a grappling competition and it is quite clear he has no ability whatsoever. Torre ended up getting convicted of first-degree murder in 2011 and is currently serving a life sentence.

Next: David Lang