Duke Roufus’ Worst Martial Arts Experience Was During His BJJ Blue Belt Test

Duke Roufus’ Worst Martial Arts Experience Was During His BJJ Blue Belt Test



Duke Roufus is an American former kickboxer and head coach of the Roufusport competition team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He is a well-known striking coach in North America. He’s reportedly a purple belt in bjj.

Several years ago when some feathers were ruffled by then member of team Rose Namajunas Roufus shared his worst experience in martial arts as to distract  from toxic enviroment stories

 “The worst martial arts experience I’ve ever had in my life was during blue belt jiu-jitsu testing,” he said. “I’ve fought 20 years – you know when I got my worst nose break? During this testing.

“They’ve got this guys – the whole idea is, ‘Let’s exhaust him.’ They make you do all these crazy calisthenics that we never do in jiu-jitsu class, so the whole idea is to make him exhausted. ‘Show us these techniques, and then we’ve got to kick their a*s rolling, rolling, rolling.’ This guy’s so frantic; he’s trying to mount me and he swings his knee into my nose.

“After these guys go through this hazing and crushing these guys, then, ‘Oh, you got your blue belt, you’ve got to get choked unconscious.’ And then they walk them down a line and whip them with the belt. That behavior does not go on at Roufusport.”

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Namajunas ended up leaving the team anyway. Here’s how Roufus described incident in question:

He said that the now-departed Namajunas, his most vocal critic in the wake of the Journal-Sentinal story, perpetrated at least one act of violence during a training session that left a teammate injured.

“The last day she was there, she was sparring one of our male teammates, and I hear this scream, and there’s a little area of our mat that kind of turns, and I couldn’t see,” he said. “It was the last round of sparring MMA with big gloves. I hear this scream, and I’m like, ‘Oh, maybe it’s something between them.’ And the last day of practice, she leaves. I found out from this guy, who has a sister who’s a pro fighter on our team, so he knows how to train with women. He grew up wrestling with her, (from) a prevalent wrestling family. (Rose) slid off her gloves and started punching him in the face with her hand wraps and cut him without gloves on.”

Roufus came under much fire for “toxic” environment and being too hard on his fighters:


Nowadays they’re lobbying for the return of CM Punk who somewhat recently earned his bjj blue belt.



It’s obviously (still) not a true UFC-level type of contest, but there are financial incentives to keep Punk with the promotion and just not let him walk over to a different promotion.

Roufussport is notably a home of Ben Askren and Tyron Woodley.