According to reliable sources within IBJJF itself that have contacted BJJEE.com, the leading federation of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the IBJJF which is run by Carlos Gracie Jr. is planning some major changes in black belt registration for IBJJF members.
IBJJF is a private for-profit company and even though they are regarded as the leading and most prestigious BJJ federation (followed by UAEJJF) they are not an official governing body of the sport.
For BJJ black belts to get certified by IBJJF, they need to pay hundreds of dollars to “certify”their black belt and “degrees”.
This is a conversation that was sent to BJJEE. portions have been redacted, including the European country in question, to protect the source and the investigator.
In these files you see a couple issues regarding the black belt degrees. We see the shifting of the requirements to change the required belt to rank black belts to third degree from second, as it has been until now. Deemed as “quality control” or “tradition”, this means that to own a fully functional, independent BJJ academy with the proper certifications takes an additional three years. And if your BJJ academy was independent at second, you’re now BACK on the hook because the requirements shifted. Three years of additional affiliation fees can range into the thousands of dollars, and you will not be able to compete under your own flag during that time.
At present time, only a second degree black belt can promote a brown belt to a black belt in BJJ. The minimum required time to get a first degree in BJJ is 3 years and add another 3 years to get a second degree.
These changes haven’t been officially confirmed by IBJJF as of yet but are rumoured to be put in effect in early 2018.
Clips from the interview with the high ranking IBJJF official detailing IBJJF’s control policies in Europe:
What does this all mean? For some prominent members of the community this is good news because it means that the federation wants only mature instructors (at least 9 active years at black belt) to be able to promote new black belts. They would want to avoid a 25 year old black belt (the youngest 2nd degree black belt) to promote another black belt. This is also quality control so that BJJ doesn’t end as diluted as Taekwondo.
For others, this is a hypocrisy because of the actions of some highly ranked and legit black belts that have promoted what some feel are ‘undeserving’ members of the bjj community or even worse, martial artist that haven’t even put in the the time to train in the Gi or in some cases haven’t even trained BJJ at all…
Some bad examples: