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Malvin Traylor - or Mal Traylor Military Fraud, SpecialOps/Forces Fraud, Con-Man

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Mal Traylor or Malvin Traylor

Since at least early 2007, Mal Traylor or Malvin Traylor of Dark Gift Combat out of Houston, TX has touted himself to his students and peers to have come from a background of military training, in many cases Special Forces.  This is evidenced through several accounts of direct witnesses and in the form of sales pitches, elaborate stories, and often referenced while teaching his “reality based martial arts.” The fact is however, according to the Federal Archives and finally by his own rare admittance, that he was never even in the military.

Malvin Traylor never actually listed any military training in his credentials in writing anywhere but there is a long list of his former and current students, as well as peers, that have witnessed his claims. This is not coming from just me. Hock has even talked to a few of the other individuals and has heard their accounts as well. So far the list of claims includes:

1.   former Green Beret

2.   formerly “attached to a Green Beret unit”

3.   former Army Ranger/has had Army Ranger training

4.   referenced his former “military training” on several accounts while teaching to
        support whatever lesson or technique he was demonstrating at the time

5.   actually wore a seemingly authentic green beret in public in conjunction with
         civilian clothing

6.   trained SEAL team 6 with Paul Vunak "back in the day" (Vunak denied it)

7.   advertises he has trained several military, law enforcement, and government
        agencies including the CIA, FBI, DEA, etc. (He is piggybacking off of Vunak's
        advertisements but he doesn't make a clear separation between Vunak's systems
        accomplishments and his own system's.)

8.   passes himself off as a former military operator and tactical firearms instructor but
        according to Hock, he admitted to known gun instructor Rob Hamic that he has
        never even actually ever fired a live weapon. (Back then anyway. As of this
        posting it appears that he has now qualified on a live firing range.)

When asked as to why he doesn’t list these "credentials", he explains that he was dishonorably discharged, so he doesn’t list it as it may just cause more potential problems than it’s worth. To top it all off he has a nice elaborate story to explain his dishonorable discharge. More than a few people have heard it and it goes something like this:

“I was on an operation where we were dropping in behind enemy lines. Our window of opportunity had passed and the mission was now in jeopardy because there was now enough sunlight to silhouette us in the sky and we would be easily seen by enemy forces. My commanding officer gave us a green light anyway and ordered us to drop. The enemy fired on us and a few of my men were killed (Notice by this account he was not only Special Forces but he commanded a team.) When I returned from the mission I decked my commanding officer, thus receiving a dishonorable discharge.”

If I was going to make up a story like that, first off, I wouldn’t pick one from a Steven Seagal movie.

In rebuttal, Malvin Traylor  has claimed that all of this was “intentional misinformation” to see what his students would do with it. First, Bullshit. Second, why would you do that? And third, what kind of instructor, or person for that matter, would do such a thing? He has also claimed that I made all of this up because I am a local competitor and former business partner (more on that later). Well, again, there are several other witnesses and “victims” if you will; and, there are other “competitors” in this city that I get along with great. I am a *former* business partner because I wanted to disassociate myself with him for these and several other similar “career suicide” type practices.

The bottom line is that this is a clear case of using fraudulent military credentials (even if only used verbally) in order to promote one’s career and provide false credit and credentials. I am posting this because to this day Malvin Traylor  is still referencing his “military training” and duping students and peers, and they along with any would be students need to be aware of it. If he is going to teach in the “reality based martial arts” market, or any other combat art or style, he needs to do it on his own credentials and accord (more on that in a bit) and not by crapping on the honor of the men and women who have actually served (many of whom have passed while serving). However, by now it is a credibility and character flaw issue.

I will be asking several of the other witnesses to come forward on this thread as well in order to provide evidence and further corroboration.  I will be posting evidence and further claims on this thread as well, to include financial cons and fraud.

(Financial Cons Next... To Be Continued...)

According to federal law, you cannot own a firearm if you have a dishonorable discharge, nor can you obtain a CHL (Concealed Handgun License). Yet, he is claiming to be a tactical firearms instructor and according to his new website and new school, he offers CHL training. (I'm sure the CHL training is offered by his partner but he is still qualifying on the live range and is apparently working towards his CHL.) You also can't obtain a security officer license of any type or work for a security company. Yet his new company that he either owns part of or is working with/for has a PSB (Private Security Bureau) License#. They seem to provide security and private investigation services and training.

Even if we didn't have a witness to him admitting he wasn't in the military, and even if you couldn't get proof through the Federal Archives, this should still raise a red flag. It either proves he is lying, or puts him in felony status.

In teaching in the Houston, Texas area, I have had numerous ex-Malvern Traylor students look me dead in the eye and tell me that Malvern Traylor told them he was a former Green Beret. And, they told me some of the tall-tale stories. 

I am involved in this because Malvern Traylor was once a Basic PAC instructor in my PAC program and while he never lied directly to me or told me any of these tales, I liked the guy and he knew the PAC 1, 2, 3 material.  Now, of course he is no longer one. I can't abide by such common, low-life, military fraud and deception.

All I did sniff out was a few passing remarks about he and Paul Vunak that I knew could not be correct. I know Vu since 1987 and I know people very, very close to Vunak thru the years and right up to this day. This remarks did not jell.


Joe Hubbard:
This Dark Gift thing- wasn't this a system created by one of Vunak's senior guys from Arizona?  Isn't Snake linked to these guys somehow- the original Vunak instructors?  From Malvern's website you'd think he came up with this dark gift thing, but I'm sure it was another Vunak guy- can't think of his name right now.


Eric Bentzen is the founder of Dark Gift, back in California. I knew some of the original "Dark Gift" people in California in the 1990s. They were good guys just doing their thing and also coming to my Los Angeles area seminars. Malvern Traylor was not one of them.

In the past, Snake hosted me in his Los Angeles school and I think these guys may have attended some there too. No doubt Snake knows Eric Bentzen. Snake is an ADDICTED picture taker of everyone he meets and there might be some photos somewhere of him and the old Dark Gift hands. Not Malvern Traylor.

Traylor moved to Texas.

Eric is really good guy with a good program. I send him people. I just saw him about three years ago in Phoenix. Eric should not be confused with Traylor.

I'll bet Eric, like me, is just grimacing right now.



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