Can someone explain Cesar Gracie's promotion philosophy/standards?

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by Kyuktooki, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. Kyuktooki

    Kyuktooki Blue Belt

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    Obviously having given out only four black belts and less than a dozen browns his standards are quite high but since we have seen a few posts about his views from his students lately I was wondering if anyone could explain why his standards are so high.
     
  2. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    I don't think someone should have to justify high standards. I think standards that appear looser are the ones that need to be justified.
     
  3. boisefireman

    boisefireman Blue Belt

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    Take it away, Cash Bill. You're up.
     
  4. Aethyr

    Aethyr Blue Belt

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    I disagree. I think extremes in either case need justification. Although, one could argue that delayed promotion is the lesser evil.
     
  5. stile0

    stile0 Purple Belt

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    I know a purple under Cesar that was a bluebelt for 6+ years I think. He just recently got promoted also. My old instructor was a purple for 6+ also and just recently got his brown. Even though he didn't compete he was training with Jake and Nick a lot and I guess they told Cesar he was ready for brown.

    For me to have gotten my blue, the requirements were to get gold in at least 4-5 tourneys. I'm not sure if that is part of Cesar's requirements or just my coaches old school mentality. Probably the latter.
     
  6. Kyuktooki

    Kyuktooki Blue Belt

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    Why shouldn't standards be justified?
    I think a lot of people want standards to be clearer and justified, especially those of Americans who grew up with various BS martial arts.
    Hell, in Korean and Japan a BB means you know the basics and if you want to be taken seriously you either have to have done well in competitions, got a bunch of additional dan on top of the BB, or trained for a long time at a famous university/club.
     
  7. Kyuktooki

    Kyuktooki Blue Belt

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    I think a lot of people want a clear idea of what the rankings actually mean... Cesar know doubt has some high standards and no doubt has reasons for his high standards. I just want to know what he thinks about this and I am happy to find out through his students since I don't see how I can talk to him face to face. I am not saying Cesar is wrong, nor other instructors who rarely give out BBs, but I definitely respect schools that have turned out excellent competitors in BJJ and MMA as Cesar has. It just seems like they must have some reasoning other than just wanting to be the most elite.
     
  8. Cash Bill 52

    Cash Bill 52 Brown Belt

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    Crossing crocodile filled rivers with your arms tied behind your back, living for weeks on the African planes with only a pocket knife, K2 summit, water boarding, you know; the usual stuff...

    For many years everyone was happy with a blue belt. If Dave Terrell was a purple belt then I was definitely a blue belt or less. Nobody questioned or talked about belts. it just wasn't done.

    New trainers would come and tell Cesar that there should be promotions but Cesar would just reject the idea. I was a blue belt forever. I started competing in tournaments and doing well. Our competition team was small. Most of the top guys were pro fighters and they were white or blue belts. They didn't do too many bjj tournies.

    I was injured for the better part of two years 06-08. I made my way back slowly by coaching a beginner's class. the class took off. I am a teacher by profession, so Cesar started recognizing that as a criteria for promotion. I started to get stronger and was preparing for 08 Pan ams as a blue belt. I was promoting the jiu jitsu competition team and had a decent group ready to go. With a month or so to go Cesar promoted me to purple (I think to add some extra pressure). I took silver. The next Pan Am I took gold.

    Caio Terra was telling Cesar that I deserved to be promoted to brown before the 2010 Pan Ams. just like 08, with 2 months to go before the tourney I was promoted to brown and took second (senior 2 with 3 matches)


    That's my story. Every person is different. Top white belts sometimes have an in house tournament to see who gets promoted. Some guys need to open up academies to get promoted. Nick Diaz gogoplated Gomi to get his black. Jake and Nick were top ranked fighters before they were black. My buddy "Average JOe" was promoted to black after 15 years of dominating everybody in the regular class. MOntanha wrote two books on BJJ and is still a brown.

    Everyone is different. There is no criteria other than when you get it; it was long overdue...
     
  9. Mat Nemesis**

    Mat Nemesis** Green Belt

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    have to do is gogo gomi, now get off your ass and do it!
     
  10. platfox

    platfox Silver Belt

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    It seems like the schools that are sports oriented tend to keep their guys back a little longer. Possibly so they can have studs at each belt level to bring home medals. This is just a guess, not accusing schools of sandbagging or anything, it just seems like a theme with some of the schools that I have friends at.
     
  11. HEAVY GRAPPLER

    HEAVY GRAPPLER Brown Belt

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    Epic post from Cash Bill!

    I wouldn't mind hearing from Montanha in here. I remember him saying he was going to start competing again in pursuit of the preta?!?
     
  12. Rws177die

    Rws177die Yellow Belt

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    I don't think that schools should have to explain their standards. People accuse mine of sandbagging as it is hard to rank up, however when you do get a stripe even after a year of solid training at least you know you have earned it. It sounds like Cesar has a similar standard.
     
  13. -Montanha-

    -Montanha- Blue Belt

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    I recently made a career change, it is holding up plans to compete. I love to compete, tournament day is the most fun you can have.

    To the question.

    I think Cesar is just unusually "real". I will take my journey as an example. I am a Brown belt. It is widely said from brown to black the most notably change is your game not only simplifies but the personality of your game is defined and precise.

    I have many of the qualities of a black belt in my game, but there is not the precision as if I had the consistency of training like before my career change. I lack the precision, notably in that my piers are not complaining that I be promoted. It is common in our academy that everybody knows when it is time because we have examples of each belt level.

    Nick's boxing coach commented the other day after watching me roll, and said "Black Belt!". Cesar and I both said, well maybe? but there needs to be some consistency. Its just being "Real", the mat does not lie, just people lie to each other and themselves.

    In my opinion, thats all is, just being "Real".

    I actually think I was promoted early at each belt level, because Cesar knew I would wear a belt and be pushed to live up to it. But the promotion to black is serious and he is just waiting for me to actually display and demonstrate it first for that promotion. And with the 15 years at this I agree.

    Note; The expectations are very much technical minded, not letting athletic ability to mask sloppy technique. Example; Jason Manly's journey, a world class athlete who put himself through school at UC Berkeley on a Track scholarship. It takes time to develop technique when you have so many other tools.

    I hope that makes sense.
     
  14. Jeff Goldblum

    Jeff Goldblum Green Belt

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    Because he cares about BJJ first and foremost and not advertising, franchises and teams...
     
  15. Mike Wilson Jr.

    Mike Wilson Jr. Amateur Fighter

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    ^ One of the best users names ive ever seen.



    Oh, and Cesar's standards should be norm imo, and we should not be questioning why his standards are so high, but rather other's are so low.
     
  16. stile0

    stile0 Purple Belt

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    Even though I'm still a white belt I kind of agree. I think the point is to not just be ready for blue, but to be smashing blue belts when you get promoted. I'm still a long ways off though. oh well.
     
  17. curb1850

    curb1850 Green Belt

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    Great post as usual.
     
  18. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    Wow, I'm sure you'd be a black belt almost anywhere else. Props for having that kind of dedication.

    You don't have to answer this but I'm curious whether you still have to pay full tuition as a 15-year brown belt. I would at least want a discount by that point as a guy as high level as you is contributing something just by being there.
     
  19. BJJ in Chicago

    BJJ in Chicago Livin' la vida bomba

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    i doubt cesar's guys chase belts. they just get better.
     
  20. fourfif**

    fourfif** Banned Banned

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    win.
     

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