Jul 1, 2009

Clarifying my views on Ari Bolden (Submissions101)

*Update 2/2011* I'd like to add that it's been 2 years since this post, and I know that Ari's training and competing at blue now. Kudos to Mr. Bolden for continuing on and working on something he clearly has a passion for.

I've gotten more than a fair share of emails regarding Ari Bolden, the young man who you know as the face of Submissions101, and now a 10thPlanet Affiliate, asking how I could defend such a fraud and whatnot by using his videos, and I'd like to just explain myself and explain to those of you who don't know what the issue was.

Now, why is Bolden hated by a good number of those in the Jiu Jitsu community? I'll go ahead and just bullet point the main issues:
  • He's a JJJ Black Belt (unsure of lineage) teaching BJJ.
  • Well, actually, when you press him, he doesn't say BJJ. He teaches "10thPlanetJJ."
  • His videos don't cover a lot of crucial details, and relatively often show techniques that will get you countered to hell and back.
Probably the funniest thing I've heard about Submissions101 before 10th Planet Victoria is this:
"They have no rank in BJJ, but presume to teach grappling because:
a) They put in a hell of a lot of time on JJJ knife-defence and
b) they once shared a joint with Eddie Bravo." -PointyShinBurn, Bullshido Forums

Now, why do I not hate on the guy, despite being generally committed to taking out the trash when it comes to frauds? Well, because while I think he misrepresents himself, I do believe he knows the 10th Planet stuff fairly well, has pretty good students and people to learn from currently, he's fairly dedicated to learning it, and while his videos aren't top notch, it's still pretty good stuff to show to get the general gist of the techniques I'm trying to explain. I believe that for free, he's done a pretty good thing.

Read Eddie Bravo's thoughts on the whole thing:

Would Eddie have been so supportive if Ari hadn't brought throngs of 10th Planet supporters together online? Probably not, but he has, and I am confident that he'll be just fine of a Jits teacher in the future once he puts his game together and patches the holes that are there.

So, hate him if you must, but don't expect me to blast him online. If you're a fan of his videos, just make sure you take some of them with a grain of salt, and review them with a proper instructor. If you're a hater, just don't watch his videos, and inform the ignorant so that they can make a decision for themselves.


Anonymous said...

While I don't like Ari or Subs101, I do agree with you.

Anonymous said...

He competes at blue belt, so you have to give him some credit for getting out there. He's not avoiding judgement by hiding.

Anonymous said...

At least he's out there. And Japanese Jujutsu has some pretty awesome applicability to self-defense. I don't know about anyone else, but as a police officer I am not going into the guard with a suspect, especially when his buddies show up. I'm hugging him and they are kicking me. Does BJJ work against 3 or more opponents???

Anonymous said...

Ari is a liar and a fraud. The ONLY reason he even altered his antics is because he was called out on his fake black belt, and then called on his 10th planet nonsense. And him trying to do fancy high level rubber guard crap was another case of how ineffective that system is if you dont have a real bjj foundation.

Then he finally starts bjj at a school much futher away than the best school in his area because they knew he was complete bullshit.

Fuck you ari. We know you're a joke and a bullshit artist.