60% Of Gracie University Affiliates Are Lead By Blue Belts

60% Of Gracie University Affiliates Are Lead By Blue Belts


We crunched the Gracie university affiliate numbers in order to gain some sort of insight into the big picture when it comes to gracie jiu-jitsu practitioners.

After researching all the affiliates listed on the Gracie university map, accredited schools tab, results indicated that 60% of all affiliate academies are led by blue belts. Exact stats for USA are 60% of academies are owned by blue belts, 20% by purple belts, 5.3% by brown ones and finally 14.6% by black belts.

When we go worldwide, the numbers don’t really change, they are as follows: 60.57% blue, 20% purple, 4.8% brown, and 14.4% black. It’s also worth noting that Rener’s Torrance HQ and Ryron’s Beverly Hills academy count as black belt led Gracie academies which further colors the numbers.

This particular statistic counted just the person listed as the owner/headcoach on the website because many of the websites we visited didn’t feature an instructor/about us page or were further misleading. Also a number of these academies use facebook pages as opposed to internet presentations which made it additionally difficult to count the co-instructors. *side note: owners who own multiple academies were not counted multiple times




Typically most of the websites we visited featured a picture of the certified instructor with his belt standing between Ryron and Rener. This is nothing to gawk at if it weren’t for the fact that many of the users opted to be deceitful about their ranking. While some opted to crop the picture above the belt, others filtered into black and white or used some other type of filter that would darken the picture.

While the Impulse to make the presentation aesthetically pleasing is nothing new, frequent photo manipulation gave off the impression that these individuals thought they had something to hide or misrepresent. In many of these cases Gracie website was used to verify instructor ranking- but how many average individuals looking to learn Brazilian jiu-jitsu have it in mind to search for their instructor in this database?

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Another frequent type of instructor research produced was: long term martial artists primarily involved in some sort of traditional martial art like karate or taekwondo but looking to offer bjj at their dojo. This type of user is probably predisposed to favor the Gracie system because of its clear structure/time constraints but what might cause some concern is that many of these individuals have acquired their blue belts a number of years ago and there hasn’t been much progress even in terms of stripes. So if the structure is so good, why are all of these practitioners stagnating? Could it be that they’re just looking to exploit the market?

While some black belts don’t make the best teachers and many lower ranked people make great ones, are these numbers representative of great instruction or just thirst for money?