Enson Inoue Explains Why He Demoted Himself To Purple Belt: “There’s No Humility In This”

Enson Inoue Explains Why He Demoted Himself To Purple Belt: “There’s No Humility In This”

MMA legend Enson Inoue has recently revealed why he chose to demote himself from BJJ black belt to purple belt back in 2016…
And no, it doesn’t have anything to do with “humility” – at least according to Inoue. But it does have to do with self-awareness.

Inoue, who initially retired from MMA in 2004 and made a brief comeback attempt in 2010, resumed his BJJ training in 2016.
His decision to downgrade his belt status was not widely understood at the time, leading to a recent clarification on a podcast:

John (Lewis) laid it out honestly to me and he said that what he feels is one of the biggest reasons why I did that was lack of humility as a black belt.
It was funny because majority of the people that was coming on and praising me, saying it was such a humble thing to do.

And I didn’t feel that way. I didn’t agree. It’s not a humble thing.
I’m not being humble. There’s no humility involved in this.

Inoue further explained the reasoning behind his belt demotion.
Namely, as a black belt, he found himself using strength and resistance against his students – overpowering them with his size and physicality rather than relying on technique:

I would use strength and I would resist.
And I’ll stop him [the student] here and stop him there and prevent him from, you know, stopping me from passing the guard.

Or even if he’s in my guard, I would start using power and strength.
I’m like probably like 30, 40 lbs bigger than most of my students. And I’m using total power to stop them from passing my guard.