September 2015 BJJ Belt Test Videos

Congratulations to all who tested and passed our September 2015 BJJ Belt Test.  This is just the beginning of your BJJ Journey!

 

First Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Belt Testing at Grappling Mastery!

VIEW THE FIRST GRAPPLING MASTERY BELT TEST PICTURE GALLERY

Everyone has been working hard and improving!  Therefore, we will be holding our First Belt Testing on Saturday, September 5th!

A List of Members Testing will be posted in the Academy as we get closer to testing.  If you have 4 stripes currently and continue to train consistently you have a great chance of making the list!  If not, keep training hard as there will be more belt tests as everyone is improving substantially.

An Official List of Members Testing will also be posted HERE!

Be sure to print one of the Technique Lists to study.  We will be holding classes focused on review the week(s) before the testing and Private Lessons are available as well.

Some people will want to get one last competition in before they get promoted and have to face tougher competition.  The Florida BJJ Federation will be holding their State Championships on August 8th.

Members Testing:

BLUE:

Green:

Orange:

  • Houston Swinford
  • Landon Klaas

Yellow:

  • Max Weber

Grey:

  • Claire Weber

Testing starts at 11 a.m.  There will be an open mat afterward.

We will be celebrating at Gators afterward! Come watch UFC 191 Free with Grappling Mastery!

Master Carlos Gracie Jr. earns his 8th Degree Red and White “Coral” Belt

Carlos Gracie Jr. earns the 8th Degree Black and White Coral Belt Master in BJJ Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Congratulations to Master Carlos Gracie Jr. on earning his 8th Degree, Red and White “Coral” Belt

Carlos Gracie Jr., Head of Gracie Barra
Carlos Gracie Jr., Head of Gracie Barra

The belt was presented by 8th Degree Mauricio Robbe de Almeida.  Becoming a Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is not an easy feat.  Carlos Gracie Jr. is now 10 years away from joining the ranks of Grand Masters in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

At Grappling Mastery, we are honored to have Carlos Gracie Jr. in our BJJ Ancestry!  After Rolls Gracie died from a hang gliding accident, Professor Marcio Simas began training with Master Rickson Gracie and Master Carlos Gracie Jr.  Earning his 6th Degree Black Belt and moving to

Marcio Simas and Carlos Gracie Jr.
Marcio Simas and Carlos Gracie Jr.

Central Florida where eventually he met Brian Ruscio.  A Greco-Roman and Freestyle Wrestler, Professor Brian Ruscio studied under Marcio Simas and even worked for him at his BJJ Academy in Orlando, Florida for the next 8 years before moving and opening Grappling Mastery Brazilian Jiu Jitsu & MMA Academy in Mount Dora, Florida.

Brian Ruscio receiving his Black Belt on September 30, 2012 from Marcio Simas of Gracie Barra
Brian Ruscio receiving his Black Belt on September 30, 2012 from Marcio Simas of Gracie Barra

 

 

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How to become a “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu!

To earn the title of Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red and Black, Coral Belt

What entitles someone to be called “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Becoming a “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a long and rewarding journey. We have outlined the Guidelines to becoming a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) here.  But what is required to earn the coveted title of “Master” in BJJ?

First let’s answer a few common questions about Black Belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:

  1. Why is there a patch or bar on the belt? The bar is the place that the degrees are to be placed.  You may be aware of this already since most colored BJJ Belts and sometimes White BJJ Belts have a Black Patch/Bar for stripe placement.
  2. Why do some Black Belts have a White Patch/Bar and some Black Belts have a Red Patch/Bar?  The White Patch or Bar on a Black Belt signifies the Black Belt is a student or fighter.  The Red Patch or Bar signifies that the Black Belt is an Instructor.
  3. What are those white stripes that “frame” the red bar, and why do some instructors have the white framing stripes while some don’t?  The White Stripes that “frame” the Red Bar or Patch on a Black Belt signify that the Instructor or Professor owns the BJJ Academy or School.
  4. What do I call the Black Belts in my BJJ Academy?  This differs depending on the school and sometimes the individual.  Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a modern martial art and in some ways less traditional than others.  Formal greetings are always appropriate. Sir is usually a safe bet.  It’s best to err on the side of respect.  If the Black Belt says… “just call me…. ‘preferred salutation'”, then you can go with that.
  5. How should I address my teacher?  “Professor“.  Unless they qualify for the title of “Master“, then you should call them “Professor, Firstname/Lastname” (depending on their preference).  There are exceptions, as noted in IBJJF Guidelines Article 6.3 below.  It basically states that IF THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH BLACK BELTS IN THE REGION, that they may approve certain purple and brown belts to sign as Instructors.  Therefore, they should be referred to as “Instructor, Firstname/Lastname” (depending on their preference).
  6. When can a Professor promote his first Black Belt?  According to IBJJF Guidelines Article 6.2 below, an athlete can only be promoted to Black Belt by an Instructor with at least a 2nd Degree Black Belt. (We outline how to achieve 2nd Degree Black Belt later.  Essentially they must be a Black Belt and teaching for at least 6 years.)

ARTICLE 6 – PROFESSORS AND INSTRUCTORS
6.1 The membership form of an athlete graded in belts of gray, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple and brown must be signed by
an IBJJF affiliated black belt.

6.2 The graduation of an athlete to black belt can only be signed by a black belt instructor that promoted them and must have at
least 2 degrees certified by IBJJF.

6.3 In countries or regions where there are not enough black belts for the development of the sport, IBJJF will accept purple belt and brown belt athletes to sign as instructors. Once the minimum number is reached, the use of instructor status will be suspended.

6.31 Brown belt instructors can only graduate athletes to purple belt and purple belt instructors can only graduate athletes to blue belt.

Important Note: Belt Promotions are to be given by IBJJF Certified Instructors & Professors Only!

So how does one become a “MASTER” or “GRANDMASTER?

To be called a Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you must achieve the “Coral Belt”.  The Coral Belt is a Rank awarded by the IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) when you achieve the 7th degree as a Black Belt.  Carlos Gracie Jr. is an example of a BJJ Master.  Below you will find a link to a List of Masters in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

How do you earn stripes or degrees as a Black Belt?  Once you are a Black Belt, your Professor no longer awards degrees or stripes.  You must continue to learn and contribute to the sport by attending classes, teaching, competing, or refereeing.  Subsequent ranks are awarded by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation.  Each degree is awarded by applying to the IBJJF after the respective amount of years below:

  1. The 1st Degree is awarded after 3 years of receiving the Black Belt
  2. The 2nd Degree is awarded 3 years after receiving the 1st Degree. If an instructor, they are now granted the ability to promote others to Black Belt.
  3. The 3rd Degree is awarded 3 years after receiving the 2nd Degree
  4. The 4th Degree is awarded 5 years after receiving the 3rd Degree
  5. The 5th Degree is awarded 5 years after receiving the 4th Degree
  6. The 6th Degree is awarded 5 years after receiving the 5th Degree
  7. The 7th Degree is awarded 7 years after receiving the 6th Degree and the Black Belt is switched to a Red and Black (aka Coral) Belt and earns the BJJ Practitioner the Title, “Master”
  8. The 8th Degree is awarded 7 years after receiving the Coral Belt and the Red and Black Belt is exchanged for a Red and White Belt. This rank is also titled, “Master”
  9. The 9th Degree is awarded 10 years after receiving the 8th Degree and the Title, “Grand Master” is achieved and the Red and White Belt is exchanged for a Red Belt.
  10. The 10th Degree is a rank that is currently reserved only to the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Gracie brothers: Carlos Sr., Oswaldo, George, Gaston, and Helio Gracie

To be called “Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you must contribute to the sport of BJJ for 31 years as a Black Belt, achieve Coral Belt and adhere to the IBJJF Guidelines.

To earn the title of Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red and Black, Coral Belt
To earn the title of Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red and Black, Coral Belt

To be called “Grand Master” in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu you must contribute to the sport of BJJ for 48 years as a Black Belt, achieve Red Belt and adhere to the IBJJF Guidelines.

To earn the title of Grand Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red Belt
To earn the title of Grand Master in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, one must achieve the Red Belt

Is there a list of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Grand Masters?  We’ve compiled a list here we’ve gathered from various reputable sources:

Here is a List of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Red Belt Grand Masters and Coral Belt Masters:

Here is a list of BJJ Black Belt Athletes, Fighters, and Professors

For more information about Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Subscribe to the Grappling Community below!

Stripes are Earned, not Given.

Written December 13, 2013 by Brian Ruscio
Grappling Mastery, Where Stripes are EARNED!
Grappling Mastery, Where Stripes are EARNED!

This is NOT a parable about a Tiger earning his stripes… but it WOULD make for a great hyperbole…

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has traditionally been known for it’s higher demand on achieving new belt levels.  There are only 4 belt levels after white belt for students 16 years old and over.  It’s widely known that the “average” practitioner that reaches Black Belt level does so in about 10 years.  Some “above average” students may achieve ranks in less time.  In this understanding we can see that each stripe could easily take 6 months to achieve.  Meaning that one could be a white belt for up to 2 years on average.  Unheard of in other martial arts, but that is what makes Brazilian Jiu Jitsu so great.  When you EARN a belt or stripe, you KNOW IN YOUR HEART, YOU EARNED IT!  In fact, I personally know Brown Belts that have been at that level for 10 years, and white belts that have been so for 9+ years.  If your instructor is handing stripes out to people on a more than “average” basis, you need to question the standards that are being set or the intentions of his promoting students.

Sandbagging is a separate issue and refers to instructors intentionally holding their students belt rank back simply to acquire gold medals in tournaments and to hide their true skill level or to avoid the expectations that come with certain belt ranks.  This should also be discouraged.

Progression in BJJ is a very personal thing and is unique to each student.  It is represented by the stripes and belt ranks, but is realized through a personal relationship between your instructor and you.  Stripes are not to be given to promote the coach’s school or to accumulate as many high ranking belts as he can.  They are not meant to “buy you” as a student.  A stripe is supposed to recognize your hard work, perseverance, and understanding of the skills that are being taught.  They take time and are not to be rushed.  Was your last stripe easy to get?

“Everyone remembers their first stripe.”

How long did it take you to get yours?  How hard did you have to work at your new academy to reach that milestone?  Each stripe is a milestone, not just the belt levels.  Each stripe is hard work, harder than the last.  It is a personal journey guided by your instructor, there to help you in the tough times.

Coming into the New Year, let’s set some goals to reach new levels!  Let’s progress in our “BJJ Game” and show other schools that OUR STRIPES ARE EARNED, NOT GIVEN!!!

“Work Hard, Focus, Persevere, Move Forward!” – Brian Ruscio

Grappling Mastery, Where stripes are earned… and Belts aren’t given…