In 1997, I trained at a Gracie JJ training chapter for about a year. I took about 8 years off, and started back up at a small club about a year ago. During this time, I didn't stay updated on the MMA/BJJ scene much. In '97, I remember someone saying that there were "no American black belts." Would that have meant no black belts in BJJ in general, or GJJ in particular? It was a slight surprise to me when I started following MMA again, and I found out quite a few fighters had attained the level of black belt in BJJ. 8 years goes by very fast... Anyway, I've been recently wondering who the first American was to attain a BJJ black belt. I assume it would have been a pretty big milestone, so some sort of record was kept, right?