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Jiu Jitsu Federation of Guanabarais Requires a Black Belt to Teach

Earlier today I released a blog highlighting some of the dangers associated with “mixed martial arts” (a term I hate to describe it) has promoted in our societies.  Here’s another: The dilution of true combat martial art systems as taught to practitioners across the world.

You see:  What happens is someone goes to several fighting systems and borrows bits and pieces that fit into the rules of the sports event they’ll be competing.  (I’d rather call this a jack of all trades than mixed martial arts, for various reasons…. anyway….)  While competing in these sports competitions, they play the game to win the praise of the crowd, so, one day, they can market to that crowd: “Do you remember me?  I’m teaching this or that fighting system now.  You can be as great as me.”  And, having not mastered any of the martial art systems they borrowed from, they advertise that they teach that system and can empower others to master it, also.  The end result is the system is not taught, and is lost to the misunderstanding and misuse of the next generations.

Romulo Barral (bottom) at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in Long Beach, California, attempts a triangle choke.

A good example is what’s happened to Brazilian Jiujitsu.  Over the years there have been a number of these jack of all trade fighters leave amateur and professional sports competitions to teach Brazilian Jiujitsu who never mastered the system.  Interestingly enough, the Jiujitsu Federation of Rio, also known as the Jiujitsu Federation of Guanabarais, (the governing body of Brazilian Jiujitsu in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) has come out (2018) against these instructors in a statement which requires a black belt to teach the fighting system.

“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!” ~ Carlos Robson Gracie, the current president of the Jiujitsu Federation of Rio.

While I respect their efforts to protect the martial art system, there are others who are not happy about this announcement – even ignoring it.  They claim that without these less accomplished practitioners teaching the system some communities will be excluded from learning the martial art, as if it were the only credible fighting system out there.  (By the way, the evolution of the UFC and Bellator has proven that a myth.)  The reality is that these people are self-serving.  They are seeking to maximize some business opportunity for their own profit at the expense of the martial art they claim to have mastered.

The one good argument that they have is that the belt color doesn’t make the fighter.  I tend to agree with this one.  There are many instructors who have never applied their martial art system to street fighting.  They teach theory, exercises and drills rather than empower students to a true fighting ability.  That said:  They are claiming to teach Brazilian Jiujitsu – not something else.  And, if they want to teach that system they should do what it takes to earn the right to teach that system.  It’s not respectful to circumnavigate the governing body for self-profit; it’s self-serving and disrespectful.

This is a problem throughout the martial arts world.  Martial art systems are being diluted by instructors who have no real mastery or knowledge of their principles.  Consequently, their students and communities are being disabled rather than enabled, and the martial arts industry has become contaminated with the brand associated with sports competitions rather than true combat.

In the past I have shared some pointers on avoiding these types of schools.  If you’re serious about wanting to empower yourself to defend yourself, your family and others you’re responsible for, you owe it to yourself to learn from someone who can empower you in truth of combat not theories.  To learn more about us write to

Empower yourself to life!™

©2018 Yost Wing Chun Academy. All Rights Reserved.

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