It’s a healthy new collaboration and true leadership has been shown by these legends of Gracie Jiu Jitsu. I don’t normally delve into the politics of Jiu-Jitsu but over the last while, one couldn’t help but follow all the disagreements of some big names in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
What is awesome is that differences have been put aside for the betterment of the sport and it could change the future of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and BJJ in general.
With Rickson Gracie and Pedro Sauer having joined Ryron and Rener Gracie at Gracie university, only good things can happen.
Here’s the video they have released to explain the changes. Below is the original video description:
Video source: Gracie Breakdown
Jiu-Jitsu has reached a critical point in it’s evolution. On one hand, it is one of the fastest growing sports on the planet, on the other hand, it is at risk of losing its identity and suffering the same fate that has negatively affected nearly all other martial arts. What made made jiu-jitsu famous in the 80s and 90s was its unprecedented effectiveness in real fights, yet today, most jiu-jitsu academies do not teach the elements that make the art applicable in a real fight.
In this groundbreaking gathering, Rickson, Pedro, Ryron and Rener sit down to discuss the current state of jiu-jitsu and the critical steps that must be taken to preserve its original identity as a complete system of self-defense. Acknowledging that the formative years are most critical for any jiu-jitsu student, Rickson discusses his vision for the “perfect blue belt” and the critical roll of a structured curriculum in preserving this path.
To fully align themselves with the Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation, and Rickson’s vision for the perfect blue belt, Ryron and Rener have made three significant changes to the Gracie Academy belt system:
1) Creation of a “Gracie Combatives” Belt
All students who complete the Gracie Combatives course, which takes approximately 12 months, will earn a “Gracie Combatives” belt as a symbol of their foundational self-defense proficiency. The belt is white with a navy blue stripe running through its center.
2) Sparring Required Before Blue Belt
Upon earning the Gracie Combatives belt, a student will start the Master Cycle, the Gracie Academy’s advanced jiu-jitsu program. In the Master Cycle, the student will learn techniques for defending against a jiu-jitsu trained opponent while continuing to enhance their arsenal of street self-defense techniques. Most importantly, the student will develop resiliency and adaptiveness through live sparring against resistant opponents (with and without strikes). Only after 6-12 months in the Master Cycle, will a student be considered for promotion to blue belt.
3) No More “Online Blue Belts”
The Gracie Combatives belt is the only Gracie Jiu-jitsu belt that can be earned through the Gracie University video evaluation process. The fact that the course is comprised of set number of techniques (approximately 75), which are exclusively designed for an non jiu-jitsu street aggressor, means that an experienced instructor can effectively verify a student’s proficiency visually, in person or via video upload. All other belts, including blue belt, can only be earned via hands-on live sparring evaluation at an authorized Certified Training Center.