MMA legend and BJJ black belt Enson Inoue has been retired from MMA since 2004 (he had a short comeback fight in 2010), but he has recently started training Jiu-Jitsu again after taking a 10 year break from the sport.
In a startling turn of events he decided to demote himself to purple belt. He announced in the last hour:
I know this journey will be long and hard and I want to be real. This is no bullshit nor is it a joke but I’m going to demote myself to purple belt.
I got a black belt 18 years ago and as we all know BJJ is always evolving. I jumped off the BJJ bandwagon 10 years ago and it has pulled far far ahead.
I did the Purebred beginning class again today and again ALL the moves were new to me. Also my body has stiffened so much that I couldn’t even move fluidly.
At the time I got promoted to black belt I was a black belt at that time. However, what BJJ has become I can honestly say I am NOT a black belt. Yeah it’s cool to be a black belt but to me a true black belt should be technically and spiritually sound. I feel confident spiritually but not technically.
A black belt is not about status but about respecting the art of BJJ and for me to put a black belt on would be disrespecting the sport.
So I’m officially a purple belt and this is where my journey back to BJJ will continue.
Inoue is Japanese-American and hails from Hawaii, but has made his career in the US and Japan. He one of most well known MMA fighters in the world having fought in the UFC, Shooto, and being a major star in Pride Fighting Championships. He has submitted Randy Couture, and faced Minotauro Nogueira, Igor Vovchanchin and many others…Inoue is a long time BJJ black belt(promoted in 1998) under John Lewis. He has also competed in ADCC in a super fight vs Mario Sperry.
Enson runs several MMA and BJJ gyms located in Japan, Saipan, Palau and Guam under the name Purebred. He also has affiliated gyms located in Thailand, Canada and the USA.