American Top Team Trainer Quits Over “McMMA” Controversy


American Top Team trainer Andere Benkei has left the team, due to disagreements with the way ATT franchise out its name to various schools. Appearently ATT is letting “karate schools” use their name after paying a franchise fee and taking a simple seminar. Benkei criticised the move calling it “a big McDonalds”.

“selling our work to people that take advantage of our name and never went to ATT, owners of karate gyms, that simply do a seminar and now have a right to teach MMA with ATT’s name”.

Benkei was particularly critical of Liborio, who he accuses of turning ATT’s “dream and hard work into a big McDonald’s”.

Benkei will now work a freelance trainer for fighters regardless of their team affiliation. He is apparently well respected among the ATT elite:

Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva and Marcus Aurélio are among a number of athletes that have apparently told Benkei they will continue to train with him.

I have to agree with Benkei on this one. Selling out your name which was built on the backs of fighters such as Thiago Alvas, Din Thomas, Thiago Silva, Marcus Arelio, Gesias “JZ” Calvancanti, Wilson Gouveia and Alessio Sakara, so you can squeeze out a little more coin, is weak.

TG: Fighters Only via Fightlinker


  1. garth

    August 19, 2008 at 6:50 am

    he should have quit over that weak-ass logo. graphic designers need work, don't do it yourself!

  2. kom34

    August 19, 2008 at 8:54 am

    i think its a decent logo myself. but yeah franchising names and credentials is not right. doesn't mean its not going to happen more often as mma gets bigger.

  3. derek

    August 19, 2008 at 1:41 pm

    garth, FYI, that logo is the picture of thiago silva all blacked out.

  4. Paul

    August 31, 2008 at 8:26 am

    Really confused by people and the hating of this idea. The ceritfication (which I have done) is not unlike certifications by many other organizations and almost all sports and disciplines.. Frank Shamrock, Bas Rutten, Royce Gracie, AFAA,ACE..etc.

    The cetification which takes 3 long 8 hour days for level 1..which is basically saying that you can teach the basic fundamental ATT MMA curriculum. Which Master Libario and all of the trainiers entusiastically stress during the training. During and after the seminar it is explained to all participant that upon completion you are not ATT. You only represent level 1 which you must do and teach for 1 year before going to level 2.

    Let me stress that this is only the basics. And furthermore in my ceritfication weekend there were about 25-35 people that represented 10 schools made up of the owner and a chief instructor..out of the class probably 90% of the people had had amatuer and professional fights.

    For those of you who are so short sighted and closed mind I feel that your attempts on trying to hold onto what you might belief is the dignity of the art or sport are misguieded and making you seem more like zealots (or even worse fans that just watch or read then comment ala Larry Merchant) than true proponents of MMA.

    This ceritfication is exactly what it says it is not what your wild imaginations are making it out to be.

    Like I said I did the certification I personally have 27 years of experience in the arts and traveled to florida people in my class came missouri, california, austrailia via thailand. to do this ceritfication what does that show? Dedication and believe in American Top Team.

    Those of you that think American Top Team is selling out need to look at what real.

    American Top Team is leading the way for those who think that MMA is for goons to showing how honorable and facinating in its complexity it is.

    It is introducing quality instruction for those who would never have an opportunity to study with Master Libario and the greatness that surrounds him at ATT. And for us to spread the word almost like dicsiples(little bit on the zealot side there)

    Then the fact that it is Master Libarios intent that the world finds out about MMA to help those other traditional styles who have had not other way to adapt this type of training into their program a proper vehicle to do it with proper instruction.

    So let me see if I understand your complaint people get to say they are American Top Team

    They do not and they are not. They get to say that American Top Team has taught me this and how to teach it to you.

    Those who take the Certification are Martial Artist albeit from many different arts mostly striking arts but what makes you think that masters cannot pick up the basics and teach them?

    Well this is getting too long and like I said I am probably dealing with cauch potoatoe fans..But I hope that those of you who are real understand the great things and doors that this opens for MMA..

    look at the UFC,WEC,PRIDE,elite xc and all of the other shows now they all come from the original UFC look where we are and from where we started..would never be there with out change and progress..But for those of you standing Guard to what is real and keep standing guard we need you and appreciate the checks and balances that you represent.

    Thank You for your Time.

  5. Paul

    August 31, 2008 at 8:34 am

    apologizing in advance.

    was writing that whole comment while taking care of my three children and the dogs so please forgive any spellings or rantings..I am sure you will get most of the intent of my post..

    Thank You again

  6. kom34

    August 31, 2008 at 11:15 am

    that clarifies it better. thanks paul. i'm glad someone wrote who actually went through the class because i was thinking it was just a money making scheme.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>