Keenan Cornelius Answers Critics of His ‘Helio & Rickson Have A Purple Belt Level’ Statement

Keenan Cornelius Answers Critics of His ‘Helio & Rickson Have A Purple Belt Level’ Statement

A few days ago we published an article that caused quite a big stir in the BJJ community:

Keenan Cornelius On Helio & Rickson Gracie: ‘Their Level Was Probably Tough Purple Belt’

Many disagreed with him but also many agreed. This shows the current divide in the BJJ community.

What was all the fuss about? On the  Mat Burn podcast (check it out. It is excellent) Hosts Keenan Cornelius and Josh Hinger discuss Rickson Gracie and how Jiu-Jitsu practitioners seem to put the old school Masters on a pedestal.

Keenan was critical of this way of thinking as it goes against his principles.

Keenan stated:

BJJ is kinda like that (Turkmenistan- an autocratic country ruled by an egomaniac dictator). If you say anything about Helio or Rickson, like if you say that their Jiu-Jitsu wasn’t good. People will be like “are you kidding me? Rickson is the greatest black belt of all time”.

I get that you have to show respect to pioneers who came before you but their Jiu-Jitsu was definitely not as good as it is today. Their level was probably tough purple belt level…

It is not known if Keenan has ever trained with Rickson.

Keenan released a video explaining why he said that:

Convinced by Keenan’s explanation?

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