Home BJJ Karate Instructor Accused Of Being Fake BJJ Black Belt Speaks Out

Karate Instructor Accused Of Being Fake BJJ Black Belt Speaks Out

Ilya Murkis, the head instructor of Impact Novi Martial Arts and Fitness, was recently accused of misrepresenting his BJJ rank. Murkis is actually a BJJ blue belt; however, he was wearing a karate black belt while teaching the BJJ portion of his class.

The incident earned him the ire of some in the jiu-jitsu community, namely Justin Nazaroff, who posted his confrontation with Murkis on Facebook:

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Normally I don't do things like this but I'm incensed that there's a fake black belt trying to pass himself off as legitimate here in Novi.Wearing your karate black belt, while wearing a BJJ gi, and teaching a class labeled as 'adult Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' is ridiculous.

Posted by Justin Nazaroff on Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Jiu-Jitsu Times sat down with Ilya Murkis to talk about his run-in with Nazaroff.

Here is what he told us:

I was cleaning the mats like any other Saturday morning, getting ready for the family kids class. As I was vacuuming, in comes this guy who I have never seen with out-of-state plates and cauliflower ears. I assumed he was a friend of a student looking to train or whatever.

His first question in the door was who we are affiliated with, and who’s association we are under. I was absolutely caught off guard because no one comes in asking a question like that off the bat. So once I collected myself I tried to explain that I teach the jiu-jitsu portions of our curriculum, but I’m not sure his phone was rolling at the time.

I explained that we are not under an association, but my coach Fabio is under Marcelo Garcia. They don’t like to have associations in the same local place so then he asked, “How are guys getting their ranks?”

I told him I would normally have Fabio come down to the school every few months to do a seminar and to see that basically I’m respecting his teaching and doing his stuff rather than stuff I learned from my past coaches.

This wasn’t good enough for the guy and so once I realized what he was doing, I took him to our curriculum board to try and explain the way we operate and how we teach.


Murkis went on to explain that his school does not even award BJJ black belts, and students are well aware of this:

A black belt in our system is not a black belt in BJJ and everyone knows this. It’s one of the first conversations we have. People need to know that when they achieve a rank or stripe, their highest level in that art will have to be accredited by someone who has high ranking if they choose to pursue it further.

He continued:

The SEO for our website is set for karate novi, kids karate, novi martial arts. Yet the guy keeps claiming we are looking for marketing boosts…anyone familiar with search techniques can see what we do our SEO for. But again didn’t matter to him.

Still, Ilya Murkis apologized for wearing a black belt during the jiu-jitsu portion of his class, and said it will never happen again:

And lastly I will say this. I wholeheartedly apologize for the incident as a whole. I know how this community is tight knit and I appreciate that. I will be wearing the blue belt while teaching from now on. But I’m hopeful people will understand that we don’t do Bjj the way everyone else does and it is only a portion.

You can check out Impact Novi Martial Arts and Fitness here on Facebook.



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