Jiu Jitsu Federation Bans Purple And Brown Belts from Teaching

The Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Rio de Janeiro issued a statement where only Jiu Jitsu Black Belts are allowed to teach Jiu Jitsu.

The Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Rio, also known as Jiu Jitsu Federation of Guanabarais is the governing body of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Its president at the moment is Carlos Robson Gracie. This federation controls all teaching certificates for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

“In Jiu Jitsu, only those who can teach are those who have the black belt. Whoever has conquered the band has the authority and knowledge to teach art. Do not forget: the presence of a black belt on the mat is mandatory!”

BJJ Fanatics On SALE

No Jiu Jitsu, só quem pode dar aula é quem tem a faixa preta. Quem conquistou a faixa tem a autoridade e o conhecimento…

Posted by Federação de Jiu-Jitsu do Estado do Rio de Janeiro on Friday, 5 January 2018

This is a very controversial decision from Jiu-JItsu Federation Of Rio De Janeiro because it doesn’t take into count regions and even countries where there is no black belts or there’s only a few of them. You can’t actually expect someone to travel for miles to take a Jiu Jitsu class. Also you cannot expect someone to train somewhere where he is not satisfied no matter which belt is coaching at that place.

What about kids? Children will certainly not train Jiu Jitsu at a place that is more than a few hundred yards away from their home. And the situation is the same with adults, students without transportation etc.

Before Jiu Jitsu had its rapid international growth there was competition by belts. There were only Beginner, intermediate and advanced divisions in tournaments. It was about your choice where you would compete, but White belt would usually apply to beginner, blue for intermediate and Purple, Brown and Black would apply to advanced level in competition.

Even then, in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu purple belt was always considered as advanced Jiu Jitsu Belt. Or at least, it’s the beginning of an advanced Jiu Jitsu level of a practitioner.

We will only take one example of the top trainer who started teaching people as a blue belt thus qualified as one of the best in the world.. Professor Ze Radiola. He was a teacher of many great names in the BJJ world such as Braulio Estima, Otavio Souza and many others.

Fortunately, this decision will only apply to Gracie Jiu Jitsu Schools because we are sure that there will be a great resistance of the large part of the BJJ community that will not agree with this decision. Just as no one has accepted Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy Online Blue Belts until they decided to abolish them.

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  1. This is an interesting, but probably an inevitable decision that has some fairly significant flow on consequences.

    What this comes down to is an attempt at quality assurance, but it make a few critical errors in assumption. The first is that a black belt (or indeed any specific grade) granted on personal technical proficiency translates to teaching ability. These are not the same thing.

    Second, where there are no clear criteria for grade promotion, there is always going to be slippage in standards. Grades that are guarded and granted through a system of fealty mean that it is hard to know the real comparative ability of folk that even hold the same rank within a specific school, let alone between schools or between organisations

    And finally, where you have high barriers for attainment that are closely guarded and ambiguous in their standards, you will always have pressure to counterfeit/fake qualifications in order to exploit a market that does not know the real difference in quality between the options. Perversely, this sort of dictate has a tendency to reduce standards rather than increase quality assurance.

    So the solution? Well there needs to be a secondary recognition of teaching competence as well as technical competence. There needs to be a mentoring system whereby less experienced practitioners can certainly teach, but with regular input from a more senior “supervising instructor”, under formal arrangements for the development of both the individual and the school.

    Instead, this is a fairly classic move of product consolidation in an increasingly saturated market, which will not necessarily do the BJJ world good in the medium to long term ..

  2. When I read de history of Helio Gracie, he start to teach even without practice official jiu jitsu, I don’t know if I am right but if that is true, I not agree with this decision.

  3. I guess I’d have to better understand the requirements for each belt to have a strong opinion about this policy. It seems every school is different. But if Gracie’s were handing out blue belts online, maybe they’re trying to give out purple and brown earlier too? However, my son is also a new white belt and kids’ class instructor is 17 with his blue belt. He is a great guy and awesome with the kids. Also he regularly participates in different major championships around the world. The club has a great sponsor wealthy clinic Biotex so athletes are able to participate in tournaments. Personally, the only time I would be hesitant to take advice is when the teacher is the same belt as me. As a white there is a shit ton of stuff a brown/purple or even a blue can teach you. I have tremendous respect for the Gracie’s as a whole. Their “ownership”, in my opinion, is them trying to establish their “brand” as the best. Not any different than how a car or running shoe maker pushes their brand. The worst part about the entire “control” issue is the really nasty infighting that happened between the Gracie families as more of them wanted to strike out on their own.

  4. Actually, I can’t agree with this decision. I think that it is wrong. Nowadays there are so many highly qualified sportsmen! I think that some of them still should have an opportunity to teach other people. For example, I was at the Spain National Pro Jiu-Jitsu Championship and saw there a lot of awesome fighters! Moreover, I met there the coach of the Ukrainian BJJ team that was sponsored by the Biotexcom clinic. And I must say that I was impressed by the technique level and the results of this team! But I also saw that their coach is only brown belt now. So if he has the belt with such degree and at the same time he can teach his sportsmen on such high level – what will be in future? But I must say that if he will keep to the rules his activity will be illegal. I think that it is not fear. If somebody has enough knowledge for giving a nice base for students this coach should do this.


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