Scott Shields MMA BJJ academy review – it’s all just a fraud and sham!

Scott Shields MMA BJJ academy review – it's all just a fraud and sham – he is not a BJJ black belt and lies to his students!

Before I get too far into this I want you to understand there are some very credible people looking into and investigating this matter right now. Scott Shields has been teaching martial arts and in particular Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for over 12 years. His first location was off Lawyers Rd. Now he has relocated to Matthews NC (right below Charlotte).

All these years he has claimed he was a 3rd degree and then a fifth degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It has become public knowledge now that this was completely false. His supposed teacher, a Marcus Renato. What’s funny is that numerous people have been trying to locate this Marcus Renato or anyone that he was under. Whom really gave Scott Shields his black belt in BJJ?

Here is a interesting link that summerizes most of what is really going on right now – Scott Shields martial arts scam. Basically no one out there is standing behind this Scott Shields and his fraudulant claim of having a true Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. I find this very interesting as it takes many more years to get a black belt from a traditional system in BJJ then karate or any other martial art.

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This also makes it so that the true BJJ practitioner and his teacher are very proud of their achievement and always stand behind their students. I persoanlly took jiu jitsu from Scott Shields years ago and now I know why I left. He was teaching from books and videos. He would go home and pop in a video or read a technique from a book. Then he would teach the small group this technique.

All his techniques were just basic stuff. This is why his students learned the techniques wrong and always got their asses handed to them. Other students of real schools would own them as they were taught from a real BJJ black belt or brown belt that knows the moves inside and out. You cannot learn solely from a book and you definitely should not teach from a book or videos.

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There is a purpose for books and videos – they supplement true learning, but no one ever became an excellent grappler, martial artist, etc… from reading books or watching videos. Scott Shields is truly a sham and should be forced to return all the money he fraudulently took from his students over the years. I hope he ends up going to jail or at least gets his ass wipped by a real BJJ guy that earned their belt.

It also turns out that many other of his claimed black belts may also be false claims. His acclaimed teacher Marcus Renato never existed. His claimed BJJ world championship title is a complete lie. Here is a interesting forum with over 60 pages of people investigating this Scott Shields fraudster and what they found – he is a complete fraud!

It turns out that now Scott Shields has recanted and removed his claims of having a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt – check his website. I wonder if he will be returning money to those that were mislead and took classes under him thinking he was a real Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt. Apparently now he is teaching American combat jiu jitsu (a Japanese version) and not Brazilian jiu jitsu. Through his website it says Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is only offered through private lessons – that is weird.

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Basically, Scott Shields lied, took peoples money, ripped people off and didn’t deliver on teaching them Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I have been by his dojo and his number of students dropped massively. It must be that word got out he is a scam. That is so wrong to claim you are a brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and even give out belts to students when you are not qualified to.

There are also other martial arts that we will soon find out he is not qualified to teach either. No wonder Scott Shields would never roll with anyone in his classes – he might lose! I am fairly skilled in BJJ now. Maybe what I should do is go to his school for a intro class and submit his pathetic self. He deserves that for ripping me and many other people off over the years. Need more proof Scott Shields is a scumbag? Just look at the Better Business Bureau report on his business: Scott Shields Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts Academy BBB Report. He has a ranking of F – the worst grading the BBB gives and this is only reserved for the worst businesses out there!

Maybe he should start teaching karate, taekwondo or kung fu instead – there are lots of unqualified or under qualified and improperly trained black belts teaching karate, kung fu and taekwondo in Charlotte NC – Scott Shields would feel right at home.

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19 Responses to Scott Shields MMA BJJ academy review – it’s all just a fraud and sham!

  1. Chris F on November 21, 2011 at 2:55 PM

    Thank you for letting us know about this fraud operating in Charlotte. Luckily for people in Charlotte there are a number of quality schools led by instructors who actually have legitimate lineage and can trace their black belts very easily and will provide proof with no hesitation. Stay away from Shields, what a fraud!

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  2. UFCrocks on November 21, 2011 at 7:42 PM

    I am a local area purple belt in BJJ (Alliance academy). I am proud of my instructor and training in BJJ. I have heard of this Scott Shields guy and what I am hearing is not good. Lots of the local black belts have been talking about this situation. I wonder what will come of it? Will he be stripped of his black belts? If he really didn’t earn them then that is what should happen. I don’t like BS.

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  3. admin on November 22, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Wow, what a interesting day it has been. Earlier I got a phone call from an Ashley (if that really is her name) on a blocked number. The woman claimed that this article that VietnamVet posted here is defamation and illegal, and therefore wanted it removed from our site immediately. She left me a number to call to talk to her – funny thing is it was a number used frequently for various activities attached to the Scott Shields martial arts academy (this was easy to find on the internet). They also sent me an email from someone named Steve:


    I kindly ask you remove this libelous posting on your site. There is obviously (and maybe you are part of this group) a bunch of trolls on a witch hunt. You can be held accountable for this. I am NOT Scott Shields but someone who knows him and knows his accomplishments and background. The group is a bunch of internet cowards shamelessly making accusations and dragging his family into it as well- simple low rent tactics.
    I don’t think anyone from that site would want their personal info dragged out in public. Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

    The email was interestingly almost exactly what was sent to someone else from Scott Shields on another forum.

    We don’t bow to intimidation and threats of defamation and such here at RYC. We are for the truth and are a voice of the people. Apparently the folks that emailed and called us threatening us with “defamation” and such have not done their homework. This is not a post done by me. This post, like most of our posts, reviews and complaints comes from 3rd parties – real consumers.

    These people have a right afforded them under Amendment 1 to the US constitution – the freedom of speech. Yes, you might say that in this case they are targeting Scott Shields personal name, but there is a problem with that. The moment Scott Shields decided to use his name in the name of his business he became a public figure. And he clearly now is a public figure by anyone’s definition. Per Clarkson’s book on Business Law public figures, which Scott Shields most definitely is at least in the Charlotte and Mecklenburg county areas, are considered “fair game.” In general, false and defamatory statements about them (which no one is saying this post is except for this Ashley and Steve whom contacted us earlier today, that are published in the media (like here on will not constitute defamation unless the statements are made with actual malice.

    To be made with actual malice, a statement must be made with either knowledge of its falsity or a reckless disregard of the truth (from pages 121 – 122 of Business Law Text and Cases by Clarkson 2011) – neither of which is occurring here from what I can see. These are just consumers and people asking for the truth from a public figure of which you have not been able to deliver as of yet and they are mad that you are not forthcoming with the truth – I would be mad too. And From reading his post, VietnamVet sounds like he was once a student of yours. That makes him a consumer of your services no matter how recent and he has a right to voice his opinion on those services.

    So, let’s see here. Scott Shields by his own choosing has made himself a public figure and it is obvious he is in the limelight as a quick little look under his name and martial arts academy reveal lots of websites where people are calling into question his credentials and black belts – especially this Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Sambo. This is not simple accusations and a witch hunt as Steve called it in his email to me. Anyone can search Google under Scott Shields MMA or Scott Shields Jiu Jitsu fraud and find a lot of credible information on this.

    These people on many websites and forums have tried contacting Scott Shields teachers and have mostly come up with negative information. This should not be the case for a martial arts teacher that has been in the business for many years and by now should have many students and even black belts beneath them.

    I am trying to be impartial here, but to a reasonable person the simple solution for Scott Shields would be to bring forth the truth – if he really was taught Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and had a blackbelt in it and a black belt in Sambo then he should be able to come forward with whom really taught him and not people that no one can verify. The fact that he is not forth coming with this information other then names which cannot be found looks really sketchy and shady.

    From my experience real businesses are always more then willing to come out with a plethora of information in cases like this. They don’t hide. They are proud of what they have achieved, whom their instructors were, and more.

    So, Mr. Scott Shields if you want to come out from behind these anonymous threatening helpers of yours and bring out the truth to dismay the naysayers I will give you that opportunity. Tell us who your real Brazilian Jiu Jistu teacher was and prove the lineage and I will gladly display it here for everyone to see. The choice is yours.

    Oh, and one more thing – I recommend that you read up on the Communications Decency Act (CDA). It states that websites like cannot be held liable for 3rd party posts, reviews and more. We are just a medium for consumers to express their opinions on businesses, products and similar. So, don’t use your friends or similar and waste your time threatening us with defamation.

    It makes you and your business look bad. Instead, my advice here would be to be honest, bring out the proof if you have any and then let the ball roll where it may. If you have been falsely claiming to be something you are not then you will probably be publicly outed over it (as has already happened from what I can see) and if not then the opportunity is yours to clear your name.

    I take no side in this matter. If you or your friends continue to call and threaten I or anyone else here at you will leave me no choice but to use my connections and report you and your business to the Mecklenburg County prosecutor’s office and the state attorney generals office for investigation as that behavior is clearly indicative of a possible fraud and I don’t like frauds.

    Another piece of advice is to go call up the Better Business Bureau and do whatever it takes to clean your businesses name. I looked at that link the poster put in there and your business does have a ranking of F on its report. That doesn’t look very good for potential customers of yours. Most people do look up businesses at their local Better Business Bureau.

    Above all, you are a public figure – own up to it and act accordingly. The choice is yours. You can hide or you can embrace the people and show them your true martial arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu lineage if you really do have them. If not then I advise you buckle up for the long haul as it sounds to me like this thing is just getting started and it isn’t going to go away.

  4. admin on November 22, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Got up today and got another email from this Steve person (It is of my opinion that this “Steve” is Scott Shields).


    I am pretty disappointed that you have decided to re-post this review as it is again a witchhunt and lies.

    “Before I get too far into this I want you to understand there are some very credible people looking into and investigating this matter right now. ”

    who are these credible people?? what are their credentials and have you seen proof of said credentials and credibility?

    “He was teaching from books and videos. He would go home and pop in a video or read a technique from a book. Then he would teach the small group this technique.”

    This is simply not true. I have (as all of his students) seen all of his rankings, photos, etc. I have seen some of the “credible” people in the martial arts community come to our school (and not as a paid seminar but in many cases just showed up) including Luis Sacuri Tongo before his unfortunate passing.

    and this
    “need more proof Scott Shields is a scumbag? Just look at the Better Business Bureau report on his business: Scott Shields Jiu Jitsu and Martial Arts Academy BBB Report.”

    If you wish to see any credentials and “the truth” as you seek. Please come by Mr. Shields academy and he would be happy to show you Keith.

    there were only 2 (two!!) complaints listed due to some billing issues.

    as far as you statement of a “public figure” Scott Shields is not according to the law “a public figure.”


    Uhm, hello, Scott Shields credibility is in question on numerous websites, his name is on the business itself, he claims and has for years to be a leading local area martial arts instructor – he is a public figure by all standards.

    Tell your Scott Shields that all these consumers want is proof of his credentials. Send them to us and after verification to the best of our ability we will post them here for all to see. There is no simpler solution to restoring your name and credibility.

    As to credible people investigating – what are their names? Whom are they or are they just a myth in someone’s mind? Kind of like a fake lineage? And if there are only 2 simple billing issues with the Better Business Bureau that have given Mr. Shields and his academy an F rating then it should be easy for him to fix or remedy that situation. I mean, doesn’t he want to have happy customers? And a proven, positive track record?

    To our readers – please chime in and give us your opinions here. Stick to the facts (where there are some) and let us know what you think? We love to hear from you. And Scott Shields (Steve?) we would love to hear from you also on this matter.

  5. Zeke J on November 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM

    I have been following some of the multiple sites that call into question Mr. Shields credibility and legitimacey, (there are even some from a few years back, not just recently) and in every single one of those sites, there are a handful of “students” who type and claim the same things “Steve” seems to have sent you in his message. They all have eerily similar typing styles and all seem to use the exact type of wording, grammar, etc.

    As far as removing the BJJ black belt claims, Mr. Shields did remove them, but did not come out and deny that he was indeed a black belt. He stated that he is more or less boycotting and staying away from BJJ until said community “earns back their respect.”

    I know a couple black belts, although from different arts, and I know for a fact that they would NEVER “boycott” the art that they love and have dedicated a great portion of their lives to simply because a group of “witch-hunting internet tough guys” questioned their credentials and asked for proof of the rank they had earned.

    They WOULD gladly, and DO (emphasis on the do) gladly show any and all who ask or question about what theyve earned, over the internet, on person, or otherwise, simply because earning a black belt in any art is an achievement worthy of the utmost respect and pride.

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  6. Chris F on November 22, 2011 at 12:33 PM

    You, admin sir, are the man. Thank you for spelling this out so clearly, and hopefully Mr. Shields and his fiance Ashley will understand that this is a very real problem of fraudulent claims that will not go away by sending threatening emails or phone calls.

    To address “Steve’s” statement:
    This is simply not true. I have (as all of his students) seen all of his rankings, photos, etc. I have seen some of the “credible” people in the martial arts community come to our school (and not as a paid seminar but in many cases just showed up) including Luis Sacuri Tongo before his unfortunate passing.

    Just because “credible” people come to your school to earn money off of you, does not make your instructor or his claims any more credible or any less fraudulent. In fact, I believe a VERY credible BJJ black belt with a lineage beyond dispute is scheduled to teach a seminar there in January. Do you think his reason is because he believes Shields to be an upstanding martial artist deserving of the claims? Or do you think it’s to show his student what a real BJJ black belt teaches and trains like?

    Here’s the deal: unless the “evidence” that Shields so vehemently claims he has is an ID card from the IBJJF, he’s a fraud. Did you know that he can’t even compete in the Pan-Ams, Mundials, any of the Opens, Nationals, or International championships without that card? Do you know what has to happen for you to get that card? Your instructor has to be legit and registered with the IBJJF (which Shields clearly stated at one point he’d seen Renato’s cert). Your instructor’s instructor has to be registered. And on back to Carlos Sr. or Helio Gracie. This is SO easy to verify and every black belt I know who take about 30 seconds of questioning before they whip their ID out and tell you to call IBJJF to verify their lineage and rank.

    Keep going, Admin. The public supports you in a very big way.

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  7. Christian Darrow on November 22, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Yo Scott, it’s yer boy Wargod, Christian Darrow. MMAGuy30 shut down my gym too because I was a fraud. Then I smoked some crack and took an mma fight with one of the guys on the UG. He knocked me out cold and posted the video on the UG, so I feel your pain brah.

    I know that you took down most of your black belt claims off your website, but these guys wont quit until you apologize publicly for lying about your belt.
    And stop threatening with the libel garbage. If you actually pursued that, you would be forced to prove your black belt in a court of law, and let’s be honest, that’s the last thing you want to be forced to do. Trust me, I tried using this attack and it didnt work.

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  8. Darci on November 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM

    I went to Scott Shields martial arts school a few times about a year ago and it was nice. He was nice man.

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  9. BJJJorge on November 22, 2011 at 1:36 PM

    For what its worth, I applaud your support of the effort to show Scott Shields to be the fraud that he is. His web of lies and deceit go very deep in the community. Anyone that he has belted or promoted in rank – and there are many – are victims of this fraud, and have been duped by him into believing that they are something they are not. It is unfortunate, but it is what it is. Perhaps justice will be served in this case, perhaps not, but the goal here is to prevent Scott Shields from defrauding other unsuspecting victims.

    Best regards.


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  10. Shaun on November 22, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I am apparently one of these so called “trolls on a witch hunt” because I was one of the first people in this newest investigation into Scott Shields to have contact with him. I was very respectful to him and never threatened him in any way. Questions were asked in regards to his claims of being a BJJ black belt, which he never would answer. He would simply walk around the questions and never give direct answers.

    A basic rundown of our conversations went something like this:

    Shaun: Are you a black belt in BJJ?

    Scott: Yes.
    Shaun: Who gave you your black belt in BJJ?

    Scott: Marcus Renato, he was a black belt under Carlson Gracie’s team.

    Shaun: I checked out this information and Carlson Gracie’s team has never heard of a Marcus Renato.

    Scott: Oh, well, um, I know he was IBJJF certified, I saw the documents myself.

    Shaun: I checked with the IBJJF, they have never heard of Marcus Renato. Could you provide me with a contact number, email address, or FB account for Marcus?

    Scott: Um, well, um, I um, you see, I um, well, I have proof, but I don’t want to show you.

    Shaun: Well, I know many black belts and when questioned they would be more than happy to show their proof. Why are you so hesitant to show proof?

    Scott: Well, see the reason why is I’m writing a book that’s going to come out in a few months and um, well, I don’t want to spoil it…all the proof will be in there so just go buy a copy.

    To anyone that thinks this is a joke…it’s not. This guy danced around the subject of Marcus Renato so much I wasn’t sure if I was talking to an actual martial arts instructor or watching Dancing With the Stars.

    After this there were several discussions opened up about Scott on various sites…all of which we had people popping up supporting Shields…surprisingly most of them sound almost identical to so called Steve from the emails sent to the administrator here. At this point Scott has so many alter egos I’m not sure how he keeps up with all of them.

    Not only did we do a lengthy investigation into Shields that leads us to believe this guy is a grade A fraud, but we have also spoken with numerous former students who admit that he not only taught BJJ as a black belt, but had other people in his BJJ class that were wearing the rank of black belt. So in this case you not only have a fraud, but you have a fraud spawning more frauds. Probably the most notable of these frauds (the one that started our investigation into Scott) is Scott Morin. He claims to be a 1st degree black belt in BJJ under Scott Shields (he has stated this to our investigators via email) and teaches classes and gives out rank in BJJ.

    What did Scott Shields have to say about Scott Morin and him claiming to be a black belt in BJJ?

    Shields: Scott Morin knows he’s not a black belt in BJJ and would never claim such.

    Investigator: Scott Morin told us in email that he was a black belt in BJJ under you. We also have former students who said Scott Morin was seen on multiple occasions in your BJJ classes wearing a black belt.

    Shields: …………

    To this day we don’t have a response to that question.

    There is much more to this story than what I have just posted here. I was made aware of this site and wanted to see what was going on. I applaud the administrator for not tucking and taking the site down when threatened by Shields (Steve).


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