In this GracieBreakdown video, Rickson Gracy, Pedro Sauer, Ryron and Rener Gracie discuss the future and a few changes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
According to BJJ experts of Gracie Academy, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art and a self-defence system that usually involves ground fighting. It’s a self-defense system that encourages a weak person with the idea that he can take his opponent down if he has the right technique and uses his ground fighting skills efficiently. Thus, this Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s concept is what makes it to be considered the fastest growing sports globally.
Gracie Academy’s original path in the past years was it teaches Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students what should be done and practiced to learn basic self-defense. This is because during the early times, there was a need to learn this self-defense system as situations were hostile and critical. In addition, private lessons of self-defense were taught, starting from simple lessons to complex ones. Once a student learns the essence of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu which is self-defense, it becomes a comfortable and a sporty game for him; a competition on Jiu-Jitsu against Jiu-Jitsu.
Though Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s mission is to teach its practitioners basic to complex self-defense as time goes by, this mission is being forgotten and the sport is misled, because practitioners do not have the right guidance to perform Jiu-Jitsu perfectly. In addition, the essence of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu being done as a self-defense was lost, because there was a lack of basic knowledge and self-defense in practitioners.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu’s identity as a self-defense was lost because practitioners forget the real thing, which is to basically defend themselves when situations become critical. In addition, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in these modern times is done in groups of 25-30 students per class. As a result, the essence of the martial art and sport is not within these students, since they are not focused on doing this sport for self-defense but basically to fight with each other.
With this predicament, the Jiu-Jitsu experts of Gracie Academy thinks there is a great need for every practitioner to go back to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu basics, because this will result for the martial art to be corrected until it makes the right substantial difference for its future practitioners.
There must be critical steps that should be taken for the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu sport and martial art to be preserved. In addition, these experts from Gracie Academy suggest that there must be collaborations and discussions within the Jiu-Jitsu community regarding the current state of this sport and martial art, and there must be something done for the preservation of Jiu-Jitsu as a whole.
Students and practitioners of this sport need a better guidance to increase the sport and its presence in the industry. Thus, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is going to be re-established to help unleash the full potential of Jiu-Jitsu practitioners. In addition, it must be corrected that Jiu-Jitsu must start with 100% self-defense first, then afterwards, be done as a sport.
Thus, according to the Jiu-Jitsu experts of Gracie Academy, practitioners must earn their way to getting a “perfect blue belt”, to purple belt, to brown belt, and lastly, to black belt. A practitioner has to score self-defense skills so that if he starts to play Jiu-Jitsu against Jiu-jitsu, he will become comfortable doing such.
For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students to earn their way to getting the “perfect blue belt”, these 3 very significant changes were done in Gracie Academy’s belt system:
1. “Gracie Combatives Belt” was formed
This “Gracie Combatives Belt” is granted to a student when he has completed the 12-month lesson period and has become proficient in his foundation regarding self-defense. The “Gracie Combatives Belt” is a white belt with a navy blue stripe running through the centre.
2. There is sparring required before earning a blue belt
After earning the “Gracie Combatives Belt”, the student will start doing the Master Cycle – Gracie Academy’s advanced program in Jiu-Jitsu. During this cycle, the student will learn techniques on how to defend himself and defeat a Jiu-Jitsu trained opponent. In addition, in this cycle, the student will be able to develop his resilience and flexibility skills by way of sparring against opponents, whether it is with or without strikes. This Master Cycle is done around 6-12 months and afterwards, the student can be promoted to getting the “perfect blue belt”.
3. Granting Online Blue Belts was stopped
The “Gracie Combatives Belt” is the only Gracie Academy’s Jiu-Jitsu belt that can be granted through video evaluation. All succeeding belts including the blue belt can only be earned through evaluation on practical live sparring at any certified Jiu-Jitsu training centre.
With these changes and efforts done to revive the true essence of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, eventually, there will be balance regarding Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a sport as well as a martial art.