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Warning of fake BJJ instructors and blackbelts in North and South Carolina

Important – Read the Admin reply in the comments below.

Being that there was an immediate and overwhelming response, as can be documented in the comments below, concerning this article what we did was leave it up to the readers as to the disposition of this post. They voted and so we are removing it. This is the first time we have decided to exercise our right to edit or delete a post. We did this because it became obvious that Mr. Arel is a legitimate Jiu Jitsu blackbelt and he was vouched for by other reputable Jiu Jitsu experts. The writer had a concern and their concern with respect to Mr. Arel was found unwarranted. We left the post and its fate to our readers. The readers voted to remove it unanimously. The comments will remain at this time that were posted as this clears Mr. Arel’s and Mr. Togno’s name and left a record of good things said on their behalf. Thank you to all who had a part in this and remained professional.


The staff at ScreamingReviews

Additional information as of 3/14/2013. A video has surfaced of Roberto Gordo Correa in 2012 talking of or about his relationship and training with Mr. Arel. In this video he specifically states that Jeremy was a purple belt when he started with him in Brazil and then earned his brown belt. He then went back to America and then later returned to Brazil and earned his black belt same as his brown belt under Mr. Correa. Mr. Correa and his background are unquestionable in Jiu Jitsu. This further solidifies his reputation as an outstanding member of the Brazilian jiu jitsu community. The video can be seen here:

Here are links to Mr. Correa’s background in BJJ if anyone has any questions:

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49 thoughts on “Warning of fake BJJ instructors and blackbelts in North and South Carolina

  1. I think it is horrible to lie and manipulate people for any reason but I also think it is worse to lie about training. Not only are you failing your students by not teaching them properly, you are risking seriously injuring them (especially in this type of activity where safety is very important.) Not to mention, some people seek training as a form of self-protection after they have been attacked or put into some threatening situation. By lying to them, you are only hurting them further and you become the person they are trying to protect themselves against.

    1. Mr. Arel has been fighting his whole life. My husband and I were getting him discounted airline buddy passes to take his long trips to Brazil for his training. Before you speak about some “competitor’s frivolous article”, maybe you should do your research! I used to take a class with Mr. Arel when he was younger and he was a certified power machine even then! This man is going above and beyond to teach men, women, & children how to fight and protect themselves. Mr. Arel was even teaching the police before he was Jiu-Jitsu certified because of his extensive background of other reputable martial arts training. Mr. Arel also has a great education from college in the physical fitness field! I challenge anyone who thinks otherwise to show us proof; before you try to talk about something you obviously know nothing about!

  2. I invite the author of this completely bullshit article to state his or her name for the record. While it is true that Scott shields is a complete fraud, the other 2 people you named, Professor Arel And Professor Togno are some of the most legit black belts there are. For you to come here and speak this way of Luis, who is dead (RIP) tells me EVERYTHING about you. I can name a few of his students I would LOVE to see show you just how legit they are. I BEG of you to walk into Jeremy’s school and state to him your opinions in person, you sir, are a coward and a fool. I SERIOUSLY doubt you have the integrity nor courage to post the reaction and answer you get from Gordo. It really feels to me like you are actually some butthurt white belt fanboy and not a true practitioner in this sport and art. PLEASE stop by my place in Myrtle Beach if you ever want to discuss my lineage or Professor Arels. Be sure your medical coverage is up to date before doing so.

    Piece. of. Shit.

  3. Thankfully someone pointed out this website to me and thus gives me an opportunity to defend myself.

    There are so many things wrong with this post it’s infuriating. First of all, why not pick up the phone and call me or send me a message. Considering I’m the first 50 results when you google “Jeremy Arel” it would have been easy to edit the content of your post accordingly. Seeing you did not do that, let me make a couple of points very clear.

    1. To suggest that my instructor Roberto “Gordo” Correa sold me a belt is laughable. I look forward to the response that you get from his facebook, especially considering it’s moderated by the one other gringo black belt under Gordo.

    as far as making a quick trip to “buy” my belt you should probably know that I chronicled my whole trip on a blog starting here

    the time that I spent in Brazil could hardly be considered “a quick trip”.

    2. I never trained with, nor received rank from Scott Shields. I have never even seem in grapple, spar or roll. The only interactions that I have with Scott Shields were at two benefit seminars where I was asked to instruct. One for a baby with a heart problem and the other was to help cover Luis Togno’s funderal costs.

    3. I did train with Luis Togno. he was a very controversial figure in the BJJ community. People either loved him or hated him. I can tell you that when I trained with Luis he was a certified 2nd degree black belt under Romero “Jacare” Cavalanti (the head coach of Alliance). Luis owned and operated the Alliance affiliate school in Charlotte.

    I earned both my blue and my purple belts from Luis Togno. I earned both my brown and my black belt from Roberto “Gordo” Correa.

    To suggest that I bought any of my accomplishments is appalling and offensive. I have over 10 years of hard training and the documentation to prove it. I have medals AND footage of me competing through every belt rank and I have literally dozens of black belts that can vouch for my ability.

    If you have any questions about me, my linage, how I train, where my school is, where I am or anything of the sort please feel free to contact me through my website and I will get back to you ASAP.

  4. “Volvo makes terrible cars”,

    While I appreciate the regulation of “false” BJJ instructors or inappropriatly ranked practitioners, in this case there is no reason to doubt Jeremy Arel.

    My name is Dennis Asche, I am the first foreigner to receive a black belt under Roberto Correa de Lima. Nearly ten years of my life have been spent on Brazilian soil, in the city of Rio de Janeiro. My business Connection Rio and livelyhood revolve around Jiu-jitsu.

    Jeremy Arel, aside from being an outstanding professor with an extensive knowledge of Jiu-jitsu technique, put in his time on the mats of Gordo Jiu-jitsu. In fact he lived at one of our locations and was sponsored by Connection Rio. I was here and can personally vouch for his dedication and in fact witnessed him receive his brown and black belt by the hands of Roberto “Gordo”.

    I recommend you remove this article involving the questioning of Jeremy’s credability from the site.

    Thank you for your time.


    Dennis A. Asche – Gordo jiu-jitsu black belt & Founder of Connection Rio

    1. After receiving this reply from Mr. Asche we here at ScreamingReviews have to side with Mr. Arel being a real, bonified instructor. We will not publish the profane responses, physical threats of abuse/assault, death threats (yes there were those too) etc. that go both ways (for and against). Everyone needs to understand that we do not take sides here at ScreamingReviews. We publish what our readers write and submit to us. We cannot possibly check out every review, complaint, opinion, etc. We are glad to receive a professional and timely response from Mr. Arel – that shows us that he has nothing to hide. We are sorry if this contributor looped him in with two other individuals (Scott Shields and Luis Togno – whom apparently passed away – We are sorry about that and don’t think its right to bring those that are dead into question without serious, undeniable proof, which I don’t see here). So, with that in mind, we have not as of yet received a response from the writer or Gordo Jiu Jitsu. If we receive a response it will be posted here for all to see and we don’t see how it could or would differ from Mr. Asche’s reply/response.

      We believe the response from the vetted Mr. Asche in Brazil is enough for us here. We don’t edit posts except for serious grammatical errors, but reserve the right to under the CDA (Communications Decency Act). With that in mind, we will leave it up to our readers to determine what to do with this post here. We find it interesting that out of all the emails, comments, etc. not one person ever disagreed with this Scott Shields person in regards to this post. So, at this time we would like to extend our apologies to Mr. Arel, his school and students. We would also like to apologize to the family of Luis Togno as we don’t think that was right. This is a unique case and we will leave it up to our readers as to ideas on what to do here. This weekend we will review all the comments and decide on what steps to take with respect to this post. Make no mistake, this post along with Mr. Asche’s words does, in fact, clear any doubt of Mr. Arel’s training and legitimacy and should, in fact, actually further and strengthen his reputation.

      On another note, to those that sent the hate messages, comments, threats, etc… please remember this is an open forum for any and everyone to post their thoughts, complaints, reviews, opinions, etc. In every case someone has a concern, right or wrong and it needs to be addressed and/or corrected. Like in this case. The claims of validity of Mr. Arel were questioned, addressed and then corrected. Obviously someone was wrong here. You don’t go threatening them with physical harm, death, etc. Instead, you take a step back. Think and voice your opinion nicely (ex: you are wrong and here’s why…., I disagree and here’s why….). Don’t respond by stating “I am going to kill you and your family”, “I am going to shoot you”, “I’m going to break every bone in the writer’s body”, “I hope to see you or I am coming to get you…”). Again we apologize so many people got interested in this post in such a hateful manner. Regardless of what side you are angry at that is the wrong way to respond and can get you into trouble. As long as the hateful, hurtful and threatening comments cease we will let them all go. We will continue to post comments that are written without profanity, threats, etc.

      Again, thank you for everyone’s input. Lets all follow Mr. Arel’s lead and stay professional.

      The staff at ScreamingReviews

      1. Admin- we appreciate your response to this matter. As I’m sure you’re aware, Google is a powerful tool and one that prospective students use to make their decision on where to trust their training and money when it comes time to choose a school. For that reason, in the interest of the business that is the livelihood of my husband and I, I would respectfully request that this entire article/page be removed from this website. The fact that something like this could show up when someone googles Jeremy’s name would be a shame considering that his lineage and training history is beyond reproach, and our school has a pristine reputation. Thank you.

      2. You need to remove this ASAP. I rely on Google and online reviews to make many decisions on businesses to patronize. Online reviews can really impact a business. I don’t know anything about Scott Shields, bit defaming a dead man is beyond decency in a forum like this.

        As for Jeremy Arel… I watched his blog about getting his black belt in Rio. That was no hoax… just a lot of hard work. I may not be a bjj practitioner, but I know hard, grinding work when I see it.

        If you want to be considered a legitimate source of information, you need to step up and remove things that are blatant lies.

  5. Jeremy Arel is a legit black belt under Gordo and I’m sure he will verify shortly. If you are interested in learning more about his time in Brazil, he has two threads on this topic on Sherdog’s grappling forum. They can be found at these links. These were his blogs about his time in Rio, including pictures and descriptions of his time there.

    I’m interested to know why you think he cannot hold up to a Royce Gracie blue belt?

    Here is BJJ Hereos page in case you were wondering and didn’t want to shift through that many pages.

    For the record I have no affiliation with Mr. Arel and if you wish to verify that, feel free to email me personally.

  6. I trained in Brazil with Jeremy at the end of his lengthy stay in the country, and shortly after he earned his black belt. I thoroughly enjoyed his class, he is a great instructor and definitely a legitimate black belt. Having trained at Gordo’s gym for over a year, I can attest that everyone there thought highly of Jeremy’s abilities as a fighter and a teacher.

    Jeremy also has competed and won in IBJJF tournaments as a black belt, proving his ability.

  7. Time to start approving some of the comments that folks are leaving you so they can be seen on this thread. If you had questions and doubts, there were plenty of routes you could have taken to verify Jeremy Arel’s credentials. I understand how you are infuriated by fake BJJ black belts- I am too. I saw first hand what my husband sacrificed to earn this rank. He sold all of his belongings and moved to Brazil where he trained for over 2.5 years full time to earn his black belt. We have spent the past 2 years giving 100% of our life to our business. People who claim to have a rank that they don’t cheapens the sacrifices that athletes like Jeremy have made. I’m afraid you’re horribly mistaken with this accusation, and I would very much appreciate an immediate and public retraction of your statements.

  8. Jeremy is legit.
    Gordo himself was at our academy not long ago.
    Dennis Asche will verify that Jeremy was sponsored by Connection Rio and lived at the house on both of his trips to Brazil.
    He never trained under Scott Shields.
    I’d like to see the Blue Belt who can beat him.
    He is recognized by the IBJJF and Gordo signed his certificate.
    You won’t allow this to be posted though because you are a coward.

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