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BJJ Instructor Openly Sells ‘Evaluations’ For Non-Members & Belt Promotions


 

Aloisio Silva

Aloisio Silva

I was reading the undergroung BJJ forum today and one thread caught my attention: It was about a certain person that had recently been promoted to black belt under professor Aloisio Silva in California. It appears that Prof Silva openly advertises ‘Non Member testing’ Which means that non members of his schools can come in and book an evaluation with him and after just a 1 hour ‘evaluation’ he would promote them in the belt that he deems is fair.

Aloisio Silva is well known and well respected in the BJJ community and has produced some very good BJJ players such as Leka Vieira, Alexandre Cafe Dantas or Joe Camacho for example so this comes as a surprise that he so openly advertises this type of ‘service’ that up to now has not existed in BJJ (or has not been openly advertised at least)…

Asking for a belt or rank is a taboo subject in BJJ as most instructors require a long term relationship to be established before any kind of belt promotion can be mentioned. You can’t really fairly evaluate someone’s rank in just one hour. A belt is not just someone’s level in rolling. It’s also knowledge of Jiu-Jitsu, how they treat their team mates, if they are mentally mature for that belt level, if they understand the BJJ code of conduct, mat time, loyalty, competitions etc… Call me old school but at least I’m not selling out. 

On Aloisio Silva’s website:

Non-Members requesting to be assessed by Aloisio Silva BJJ must request a private class of one hour to have a certified instructor assess technical knowledge of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and determine belt rank in accordance with out Belt Rank Promotion Technique Requirement. Belt Rank Requirements are available upon request.

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Blue Belt – $80.00
Purple Belt – $150.00
Brown Belt – $200.00
Black Belt – $350.00

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18 thoughts on “BJJ Instructor Openly Sells ‘Evaluations’ For Non-Members & Belt Promotions

  1. Rhadi Ferguson

    That’s fair. You should be able to come in for an evaluation and get ranked where you are. The title a little inflammatory but that is correct.

    Reply
  2. Fred

    I agree. I’m not up to speed on who the gentleman is, but if he has, as you said, produced quality people for years prior, he’s probably qualified to test someone and correctly assess them. I understand the argument of not understanding character and such after an hour, and maybe that’s a valid argument and maybe it isn’t, but for the sake of understanding techniques then why wouldn’t you be able to walk in and test?

    Reply
  3. Robert Frye

    This is actually a good thing for people who go to smaller schools who only have say a Purple or Brown belt instructor who can belt within the school, once they are ready to get belted they could go to this guy and get tested/evaluated to see if they know their stuff and are ready and if they pass they get their belt if not he does not belt them simple as that. I started in such a school we did not have black belt and it sucked. It was not till 5 years later that I got to train at a school that had a black belt and I was able to get my Blue Belt. I am sure I could have got it earlier if I had the opportunity to test, 5 years is a long time. especially with the extra hours of training I put in training combatives which is based on BJJ in the Military I attended all 4 courses and was the highest level you can achieve in the Army.

    Reply
  4. Carlos Miiler

    Being assassin and evaluated verses selling a belt are two different things. The Gracie’s have a online course to get promotedfrom the comfort of your own home so for Master in the art to charge for evaluating is perfectly fine.

    Reply
  5. Fredrik Zels

    I think this is not the way to go! And also I don’t agree with the Gracie’s “new” way of online promotions! And then I wanna say, I have always respected the Gracie family! To me this is just a way to make more money and it’s kind of lazy in my eyes! I would rather get my belt promotion becouse I show up for class, train hard and when my teacher thinks Im ready! This is not the way of Jiu-Jitsu! Oss

    Reply
  6. Joel Pettit

    Sadly, I think this has the potential to produce jiu-jitsu-ka who lack the traits and values embodied by the belt they held. Were they to be referred by a trusted instructor, I would be less concerned. This art is a journey rather than a destination. Is the distance runner evaluated by a single 100-meter stretch of the race?

    Reply
  7. Cane Prevost

    A black belt is about more than just technique. A good coach won’t give one to someone unless he’s had a chance to evaluate their character over a long period of time. Once you give someone a black belt they are your blackbelt forever. Maybe private lesson test for blue. Maybe even purple. Beyond that I don’t think so.

    Reply
  8. Chris Hewitt

    I would tend to disagree with being able to walk into a foreign place and test for a belt. BJJ academies that are run by brown, purple, or blue belt instructors should affiliate with a local black belt in order to receive mentorship and training if possible. I believe that there are no lies in BJJ; if you represent yourself as a certain belt level, this truth will be tested every time you step on the mat. If you are found wanting, it will be evident in your performance. Online belt testing with the Grace Univesirty is the same though. I think black belt instructors are probably capable of knowing someone’s skill level after one training session, but this doesn’t take into account other qualities that make someone a expert martial artist. BJJ is known for having a high level of quality control, taking 10 plus years of dedicated training to reach black belt. I hope new practice does not dilute the art. But again, if you get a belt and are lacking, you will get smashed every time you step on the mat.

    Reply
  9. Jami

    I think it’s a fair option for non-affiliated clubs. I have a friend who runs his own independent club and has been brown belt for nearly five years because there is noone to promote him. He is definitely black belt skill wise.

    Reply
  10. Garry

    The bigger point is… WHO CARES! This is for rank chasers only! I feel a little sting when this kind of stuff goes on after telling all my non GJJ friends that, “Jiu-Jitsu isn’t like Karate where you buy a black belt in a year!” but even with that, the rank is arbitrary. I see whites tap blues; blues tap purples; purples tap browns and so on and so forth. The belt, however much coveted by all of us, is only a symbol of the training from OUR instructors, drilling with OUR training partners, and of OUR hard work. A black belt under Marcelo Garcia is not the same as a black belt under Rickson Gracie. That said two Marcelo black belts have different attributes that got them to where they are. I guess what I am saying is to enjoy YOUR journey and don’t sweat where or how others are finding their glory. Oss

    Reply
  11. Julio Rodriguez

    Hi everyone, before I share my thoughts, a little back ground on me. I’m a purple belt, have been for the last 27 months. I’ve been doing Jits for close to 6 years now. I received my Purple belt Oct 2011 and 1st rank in 2012 from Gracie Barra Professor Hector Vasquez in Panama. 2 months after my 1st rank I had a falling out with GB. Soon afterwards I traveled to Japan and to Brasil and trained with a team I admired greatly Bonsai BJJ. During that time I was a ronin, I would visit other gyms in Panama and roll, I trained with Judoka as much as I could until one day I opened the doors to my own gym this past Oct. 1st 2013 and officially became an affiliate to Bonsai. I’m a Muay Thai/Kickboxing professor and a Pro MMA fighter. Yet, I am still a purple belt. On my second trip to Brasil I participated in the year end graduation and I was excited because I thought I would finally, after two years, receive my brown belt, but I didn’t. I received my second rank on my purple belt. The words spoken to me by Professor Dai still echo in my ears, “keep polishing your techniques, keep that heart strong and never lose your will. Keep coming back to Brasil and demonstrating your conviction”. Now onto my thoughts. I believe that many Jiujitero sooner or later change schools because of work or life situations and find themselves without a professor. Some open up schools to teach and make a living from what they love but lack guidance from a higher authority. What Aloisio Silva is doing is providing a service for people who aren’t affiliated and don’t belong to large teams with huge networks. On his page it clearly says that he doesn’t belt you but rather gives you an evaluation and then offers guidance regarding the belt you are aiming for. Obviously a person will always look to the next belt vs skipping one. I think it’s fine if you want to go that route, I’m sure somewhere in that game plan of his there will be a sales pitch to join his team but that’s his marketing strategy. Personally I’m Ok with traveling every few months to Brasil and training with world champions because even though I really wanted a brown belt I realized that the belt represents nothing more than a book mark on the life journey and so do my students. I’m fine being a Purple belt that can tap Brown and Black belts and I like the fact that I’m being hard pressed to show my conviction because you train for you and not a belt. The belt is just a re cognitional piece of cloth. My final words, many people are selling or giving away belts all over the world but at the end of it all, a belt doesn’t make the Jiujitero, the Jiujitero makes the belt.

    Reply
  12. Simon Hayes

    I am disgusted at this blatant erosion of the core values of BJJ and this Instructor selling his art out for a quick buck.

    Reply
  13. Turo Toiminen

    The advertisement doesn’t actually say anything about skipping belts, or not honoring ibjjf promotion guidelines. Even thought they sell evaluation for black belt for $350, i believe they still require the person to be brown belt at least 2 years to begin with. I agree with Julio R, that the service is mainly for people that aren’t affiliated with just one school, or people who move a lot or something similar.

    Reply
  14. Real BJJ

    Fuck you and you rigged BJJ tournaments, Also fuck you for trying to sell belts. Yeah you could kick my ass but in the end your just a peice of shit selling out the sport and making yourself look bad. I cant wait to beat one of your “black belts” as a blue belt. Im going to jizz myself

    Reply
  15. Joao Silva

    To whom it may concern, Our family is very disappointed with the misleading article published by this website. Our family has worked our whole lives in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and has established our name based on dignity, honesty, and good, hard work. My father and Grand Master Aloisio Silva has a lifetime in martial arts; with over 40 years in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a red and black belt world champion that has formed many students from white to black belt, has made many world champions, and is proud to say that he has never sold a belt. As you see, our academy headquarters has been based in California since 2000 and since we opened we have made many champions and have received many titles which brings attention to other participants of our sport that many times want to move to our academy/ team with some prior level of knowledge and or belt. Many times, these new students want to continue using their existing belt and want to be certified and/or recognized on their existing belt at our academy. At our academy we don’t believe in a test for a belt, we believe in hard work, dedication, discipline and technique however there are the circumstances in which a new student with some prior knowledge moves to our academy/ team with the intent of representing our team. Due to this, we developed a way of evaluating their level of knowledge to determine if that particular student’s level of skill/belt is equivalent to our team’s standards. We do not believe in a test for a belt as you can also read in our website, http://www.aloisiosilvabjj.com/index.php/about-us/grading-and-promotions. The article posted in this website has not only made our team look bad, but defamed a lifetime image that my father has created for himself throughout his years of dedication to this great sport. I suggest that you take a look at our entire website to see some of my fathers accomplishments. For bjjee.com staff, I believe that in the future you should not publicize something that you just read in a forum and perhaps do your own research. Our team has many tittles and medals to prove the quality of our work. We have never sold a belt and there is no one who can say that they have bought or received a degree, belt, and/or promotion through this means. To those of you who have shared this misleading article and made false accusations regarding our family and team, see you on the mat. Joao Silva

    Reply
  16. Robert Bozulich

    I am currently a blue belt under Grand master Aloisio Silva. There is no indication of “belt selling” on our website whatsoever. As Joao Silva has already mentioned in this post’s comment section, our school is based on heart, discipline, technique, and hard work. Belts in no way come easy around our gym. With a line of loyal students and made-champions, we prove our worth. This article’s title is extremely misleading and beyond inappropriate. I once used to very fond of this website but this is simply some shameful journalism.

    Reply
  17. Tony Owens

    I found this article after an internet search on bjj belts being sold. I have no comments to make about master Silvia I am sure he is a very good bjj instructor. The reason for my search was from what I am seeing here in Italy. It is becoming increasingly obvious that many bjj students are switching schools and paying for belt promotions. I personally know two who have switched schools and then been promoted after paying a fee. I think it is a great shame to the sport and a shame on the masters that are doing this. There are now here alot of blue and purple belts that if they were to step on a mat would be tapped out by a decent white belt. I myself am only a white belt but love to roll with anyone. I regularly tap out blue belts and win on points against purple. At the end of the day the mat doesn’t lie! The problem is that these types don’t ever roll. They want the belt but not what goes with it. I gave zero respect for these people and anyone who wants to train with a good teacher is going to look at what that person has done on the mat. I will get my belt when I deserve it and it will mean more to me than those who have bought theirs.

    Reply
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