Photo: Jiu-Jitsu Style Magazine.
2 years ago, with all the controversy following Rener Gracie’s statment that ‘learning Jiu-Jitsu online is even more effective than in the academy’ (see article here), Gracie University was forced to change it’s grading policy. Blue belts would not be given online anymore.
Instead, Ryron and Rener introduced a modification. Effective June 1, 2014, students who earn complete the Gracie Combatives program from home, and pass the Blue Belt Test via the Video Evaluation Process (no need for any live rolling , just demonstrating techniques), will earn a Gracie University “Technical Blue Belt.” To earn the Official Gracie Academy Blue Belt, students must pass an extended hands-on evaluation with Ryron, Rener, or an authorized Gracie Academy representative at a Certified Training Center.
Rickson Gracie explained in interview with Tatame, that it was him who convinced his nephew Rener Gracie to stop promoting students online.
Rickson on online promotion and Gracie University:
“It’s absurd. There can be no online belt promotion. After I read an article on Rener Gracie talking about Gracie University, saying that he promoted online students to blue belt, I had a confrontation with him. I said that if he continued to do this, I would denigrate his image, saying that he was a charlatan. And after that, he reconsidered, and thought that the idea did not make sense anymore. The blue belt is the most important Jiu-Jitsu. White to blue, it is the stage of enlightenment. The blue belt needs to be a confident guy that is a tough guy that can handle an aggression. And for that, he can not get a belt over the Internet.”
ADCC 2013 champion Kron Gracie. The son of Rickson, who received his Jiu-Jitsu black belt at 19 years of age, did not spare members of family to discuss the matter.
Dissatisfied, Kron, in an exclusive interview with tatame (in Portuguese), criticized his first cousins Rener and Ryron Gracie leaders of Gracie University, where up to recently (following controversy and protest from the BJJ community):
“It’s a shame the way the Jiu-Jitsu is being sold. I am ashamed to say that Ryron and Rener teach classes online, and that you can get a belt from a Gracie over the internet. I am sad to know that it’s happening now. Unfortunately, I can not do anything. I do not own the world, I can only control what I do. Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art. You need to put your blood in the gym, hang out with your teacher and earn the belt. It’s something you do not get with time, experience for money and friendship.”