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Rillion Gracie: “In The US, Some Black Belts Are Promoting Themselves.”

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Rillion

Rilion Gracie is the youngest son (and the 20th) of Gracie Jiu Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie. Rilion naturally became a master in the family trade, Jiu Jitsu, having had a strong influence in the development of the art in the south of Brazil. Rilion was also amongst the founders of the Gracie Tijuca academy, a gym that has produced a tremendous amont of talent over the years, while technically he has been called “the best guard player of the Gracie family” by Rickson Gracie. (source BJJ Heroes)

Source: txmma.com

Rillion Gracie: There is a lot of people that want to use the sport just to make money, these people don’t respect the grading system created by my father. This is all happening today and it is very hard to control. We still have very good professionals that keep following the traditions and the grading system, people of strong character, good morals, who are respectful and do not want to take advantage of the situation and just deceive people. This is a problem that I see happening more often, fighters who are black belts, who are promoting themselves without putting in the time that merits their new rank.

When you say “Bad Professionals” what exactly do you mean?

RG: There is a lot of people that want to use the sport just to make money, these people don’t respect the grading system created by my father. This is all happening today and it is very hard to control. We still have very good professionals that keep following the traditions and the grading system, people of strong character, good morals, who are respectful and do not want to take advantage of the situation and just deceive people. This is a problem that I see happening more often, fighters who are black belts, who are promoting themselves without putting in the time that merits their new rank.

Would you elaborate on this topic please?

RG: There are published photographs of a black belt in Miami who was posing next to me when I was already a black belt and this kid was a yellow belt at the time and today we both have the same grading.
We are both sixth degree black belts. I don’t find it ethical to say the person’s name, but I ask, What was the criteria? This kind of person that has 12-15 years less of training experience than me, studying this art every day; how does that happen? That is what I would like to know, the belt ranking system is still the same. I don’t know exactly how they count the years but if I followed their example I would be a black belt 12 degrees, I’d have passed my father who is a 10th degree red belt. So I ask if that would be correct to ignore the ranking system? Where are we going with that? It is dishonest, should I deceive all my students, all my friends, myself and disrespect all the professionals that have done this art right? This is something I see happening a lot in the U.S. that I view as a negative. I don’t know why people are doing this, maybe it is a weak ego or if they think that by putting more stripes on their belt they will receive more respect. It is very difficult for me to understand why people would want to fake this because it is so easy to disprove.
I personally think you need to respect yourself and your own quality as an instructor and your legacy. I believe there is a series of things that you do in your life that build how you will be remembered. So to those people who don’t respect the graduation time that has been long-standing I will say that by disobeying it in the long term what will happen is their reputation will be tarnished in our jiu-jitsu community and the good things they did accomplish will be overshadowed by this disrespect to the art itself.

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