I train “down the road”

Recently I saw a post on Facebook that really turned my stomach, it was hateful and full of lies, and very derogatory towards the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu school I attend and work out at. The origin of the post came originally from a question asked on Lloyd Irving Jr’s page, and his question is here.

I will post the entirety of his question in a moment, but first I would like to state that I have the utmost respect for Mr Irving, and he has in no way insulted or or spoken ill of the BJJ school where I train. Someone else re-posted his question and then made their slanderous and untrue statement on their own page.

Here is the content of the post/question from Mr Irving’s page:

(Belt Promotion Question) How do you feel about guaranteed promotion timelines? Like no matter what happens when you hit X amount of classes you will get a stripe or new belt?

It’s probably great for business but one of the reasons there is such an off balanced skill set within belt levels these days.

It seems like someday anyone with solid skills for their level will be considered sand baggers. Lol

Does your school keep it old school or pass out belts easily for time?(you probably can’t answer that one) but how do you feel about timed promotions?


Now, as you can see, Mr Irving posted a valid question about a real issue in BJJ today, which is promoting through belts at some academies when a certain time has been reached, regardless of whether or not that promotion has been earned or not.

This question is not upsetting to me at all, what is upsetting that someone could share that post on their own page just so they could make this selfish, ignorant, and untrue statement:

Everyone of my students know that I’m not a belt factory R standees R very high. And people quite and go to the school down the road and get there next two and three belts right off the bat. That tell me alot and my students who still trains with us. So a true martial artist does not worry about the belts and knows the belts will come in time and training ! Thank you ! OSS !

I realize the above comment is hard to read, firstly for it’s own venomous and self-serving content, and second for it’s grammatical, spelling, and prose errors.

but let me just break it down. this person asserts that they do not run a “belt factory” (which is what Mr Irving’s post/question truly refers to) and that often students of that school quit and come to “the school down the road” and suddenly earn up to three more belts in a short period of time. Let me assure all of you that follow my blog that I would never attend a school that does not give out promotions based on skill, training, and knowledge, as well as appropriate training times.

Mr Irving’s initial post used the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu belts in it’s picture, and the post was specifically about BJJ. In the nearly two years that I have trained at my school I have yet to ever see a former grappling student from “up the road” come “down the road” and start training in BJJ here.

Hasn’t happened. I would also like to note that while I have seen a few well deserved stripes awarded at the dojo that I attend, I have yet to ever see my instructor hand out a promotion belt. Would you like to know why?

Simple. In the Pedro Sauer BJJ Association, black belts are the only instructors who are allowed to tie on a student’s new belt, and they will not do that until the student has passed a test that includes more than eighty different moves, plus the student has to have trained an appropriate amount of time. And the time is not just an arbitrary number thrown out, it is given so the student has a chance to learn a bit of humility before he is promoted. See, a blue belt that doesn’t respect what that belt means is nothing more than a blowhard who knows a few moves.

My instructor is a proud brown belt second stripe, and has earned all of his belts since purple or so directly under Master Sauer. He did his blue belt level training under a man named Royce Gracie, but I don’t know if anyone has heard of him or not 🙂

I realize that martial arts is a very convoluted and back-stabby business, and there will always be schools that want to trash and bad-mouth other schools, but this is ridiculous. We are not allowed to speak negatively of other schools inside the dojo I train, because my instructor has no use for running down other people in that way. It is counter-productive to honing your craft in BJJ. honestly, I will probably get a stern talking-to about this post from my trainer, but I have followed his rule to the letter here; I haven’t bad mouthed another school, I have simply explained how belt rankings in a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu accredited school affiliated with Master Pedro Sauer work.

And while I was at it I refuted a few falsehoods in the process.

The world would be a better place if we all trained more and bad-mouthed less, some people just don’t have their priorities in order, and that’s a shame.

If you do train, make sure you know your instructor’s lineage, and that he is certified and verified, Here is a good list of accredited and verified on the PSBJJA page. My school and instructor is on it, and it is the only school in the county that is certified to teach Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

Becuase of my instructor and school I have personally trained with Master Pedro Sauer, Professor Jorge Jimenez, Professor Allan Hopkins, and multiple time UFC Champion Royce Gracie just to name a few. We learn from the best so we can be the best.

If you train up the road ask yourself this, what masters/professors/black belts of BJJ are you getting to train with?

Me, I’ll keep on training down the road here at the Gracie Jiu Jitsu school.

see ya on the mats guys!