For the past few years, Royce Gracie has been wearing a dark blue belt in honour of his father Grandmaster Helio Gracie.
After the death of Grandmaster Helio Gracie, Royce Gracie removed his coral belt (Royce is a 7th degree black belt which is black and red belt) and started wearing a dark blue belt, which was the old belt system of the Gracie family before the creation of the Jiu Jitsu federation in 1969. In those days, Jiu Jitsu had three colours, white (for students), light blue (for instructors) and dark blue (masters).
In this video, Royce explains why he wears a blue belt. He said that since his father passed away, he doesn’t want to get promoted by anybody else:
“Do you have to have time required to be a coral belt? I don’t even know what time it is (from black belt to receiving a coral belt). I was always promoted by my father (Grandmaster Helio Gracie). After he passed (passed away), I put on an old blue belt like his, navy blue with his signature, in honor. I am representing the art of self-defense that my father created. So, I used a belt equal to his”, commented Royce, throughout the chat.
And if he received the honor at the hands of his older brother Rorion Gracie? Royce didn’t hesitate in answering: “I’ll take it, but I’ll put it on the wall. The one I use is my father’s, with his signature”, he concluded.