Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Belt Promotions in the Lineage BJJ Program at the Calvert MMA Academy

At Calvert MMA / Lineage BJJ, one of the most common questions we are asked is: how long does it take to get promoted in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?  This article dispels the mystery.

Our Lineage BJJ Program, at Calvert MMA and our affiliates, follows the promotion system Grandmaster Helio Gracie implemented and used at the academy in Rio de Janeiro (per his son – Grandmaster Relson Gracie). Grandmaster Helio Gracie required a combination of a minimum number of classes, time in rank, and demonstration of technical proficiency on the mats for promotion.  To protect the legacy of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, in our Lineage BJJ program we also require additional functional testing for belt promotion which is outlined in this article.

Relson Gracie and Helio Gracie

Relson Gracie and Helio Gracie

Promotions come with dedication to the art of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is an art and like with any other art form, you must practice to improve your performance.  So, in order to be promoted you have to be able to perform the art, not just attend the classes.  At the Calvert MMA Academy, we pride ourselves in the quality not quantity of our higher belts.

In the sections to come, we will detail the promotion process for both our youth and adult Lineage BJJ programs.

Youth Lineage BJJ:

In our Youth Lineage BJJ program, the following is required for stripe promotions: minimum number of classes attended, minimum time in rank and age.

YOUTH BELT MINIMUM NUMBER OF CLASSES MINIMUM TIME IN RANK AGES
WHITE 30 3 MONTHS 4-15
WHITE / YELLOW 30 3 MONTHS 4-15
YELLOW 30 3 MONTHS 4-15
ORANGE / WHITE 40 4 MONTHS 7-15
ORANGE / YELLOW 40 4 MONTHS 7-15
ORANGE 40 4 MONTHS 10-15
GREEN / WHITE 50 5 MONTHS 10-15
GREEN / YELLOW 50 5 MONTHS 10-15
GREEN / ORANGE 50 5 MONTHS 10-15
GREEN 50 5 MONTHS 13-15

For Youth Lineage BJJ belt promotions, the following tests are required:

Students ages 4-7 whose next promotion would be a yellow belt must do a 10 minute demonstration of the Gracie Bullyproof Fundamentals.

Students ages 8 and up whose next promotion is a solid color belt must take a 30 minute test consisting of: 10 minutes of self-defense demonstration, 10 minutes of position grappling, and 10 minutes of fight simulation (pure defensive in nature).

Please Note: All tests and belts are free of charge.  Stripe promotions are given with class attendance.  Belt promotions are not guaranteed with class attendance and require testing.

9th Degree Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Red Belt

9th Degree Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Red Belt

Adult Lineage BJJ:

In our Adult Lineage BJJ program, the following is required for stripe promotions: minimum number of classes (for stripes) and minimum time in rank (belt promotion).

ADULT BELT MINIMUM TIME IN RANK (STRIPES) MINIMUM NUMBER OF CLASSES (STRIPES) MINIMUM TIME IN RANK (BELT PROMOTION)
WHITE 3 MONTHS 40 CLASSES 1 YEAR
BLUE / PURPLE / BROWN 9 MONTHS 80 CLASSES 3 YEARS

Along with the minimums time held in ones current belt, one must also pass a test for belt promotion.  This test is one hour long and consists of 20 minutes of self-defense testing, 20 minutes of position grappling, and 20 minutes of fight simulation (self defense based).

Please Note: All tests and belts are free of charge.

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Adult Belt System

Adult Lineage BJJ (Black Belts and Higher):

For all promotions to black belt and higher, students must test for each promotion with Grandmaster Relson Gracie.  Fees may apply for testing with Grandmaster Relson Gracie.

Listed below is the timeline of the black belt promotion system:

Black Belt Test: minimum of 10 years training Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

Black Belt to 1st Degree: minimum of 2 years as a black belt

2nd Degree thru 7th Degree: minimum of 3 years at each degree (2nd thru 6 =Black Belt / 7th = Red-Black Belt) – Please Note: Time in each degree may be longer / shorter and promotion is at Relson’s discretion.   With that said, promotion to Red/Black takes a minimum of 20 years of active training / teaching as a black belt.

7th Degree to 8th Degree (7th and 8th degree – Master status / Red-Black Belt, known as the “Coral belt”): minimum of 2 years for promotion from 7th to 8th degree coral belt.

Red Black Belts

BJJ Coral Belts with Grandmaster Helio Gracie

8th to 9th Degree (Grandmaster status – Red Belt): minimum of 18 years for the degree promotion

10th Degree: Reserved to honor the creators of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu

A stripe or belt gets its meaning from the work put into attaining it.  In the Lineage BJJ program at Calvert MMA, every stripe and belt promotion is a major achievement that should be seen with honor.  Our students earn their ranks through good technique, practice, and dedication.

UFC

Helio with sons before the first UFC

Please Note: Out of respect for Grandmaster Helio Gracie, we do not follow the IBJJF’s belt promotion system.

Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Lineage BJJ, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie

Lineage BJJ Delaware

An Interview with Lineage BJJ Delaware owners, Kevin and Ginger Outten:

I recently had the opportunity to conduct an interview via email with Kevin and Ginger Outten, the owners of Lineage BJJ Delaware, an official affiliate of Calvert MMA Academy / Lineage BJJ.  Kevin is an Active Army National Guard Master Sergeant who has practiced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for 10 years.  He currently holds a three stripe purple belt under Professor Jim Thrift of Team Lineage / Calvert MMA.  Ginger is a Registered Nurse and busy mom who has practiced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu for two years.  She currently holds a blue belt.  Coach Jim and I had several questions for Kevin and Ginger, and we are excited to share their history, passion, and vision for the future with you.

Lineage BJJ Delaware

Kevin and Ginger

When asked why he loves Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Kevin says, “I love Gracie Jiu-Jitsu because of its effectiveness for men, women, and children of all ages and abilities.”  Kevin has also seen great benefits for his wife in the practice: “Gracie Jiu-Jitsu has helped Ginger become more confident in her ability to defend herself and our children.  At 5 feet tall and less than a hundred pounds it is very impressive when she can control grown men that outweigh her considerably.  She takes that confidence and pours it into her coaching and our students.”  Ginger teaches women’s classes that focus on scenarios women might face in the real world, giving them practical ways to escape and defend themselves using Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  She also helps with the children’s classes every Saturday where the focus is on fun and learning the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu techniques through games.  Children’s classes also have a strong bully prevention component, teaching children to use Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to protect themselves.

We asked Ginger for a women’s perspective on Jiu-Jitsu:
“If I had to sum up Jiu-Jitsu in one word it would be: priceless.  As a woman I always had an underlying fear of being attacked physically.  I don’t know that you ever stop fearing that possibility.  However, since training jiu-jitsu I have the reassurance that I can effectively defend myself if that ever occurs.  Due to the effectiveness of the techniques I have been able to “hold my own” against men twice my size.  In my opinion that is amazing! In what other martial art can that happen?

Jiu-Jitsu is also a great workout….and the first exercise I have ever enjoyed.  This statement coming from someone that hates to sweat!  As if the aforementioned is not enough, I love being part of a team.  We are family, we care for and help one another, we are loyal, and we have each other’s back.  The challenge Jiu-Jitsu offers is endless.  It is a journey of learning, growing, and sharing what you know with others.  Definitely priceless.”

Door Sign at Lineage BJJ Delaware

Door Sign at Lineage BJJ Delaware

Kevin and Ginger bring a Christian perspective to their gym.  When asked what he would like people to know about them, Kevin says, “The most important thing for them to know is we are Christians.  We don’t have traditional sermons at the gym, but we will pray for anyone who needs it, and we give real life parallels on how we use our Jiu-Jitsu and faith to live a better life.  What we hope people come to realize from training with us is that we truly care about our team, and we consider all the teammates family to us.  We want people to see we’re real and that there are still people out here in the world that want to give back.  We want people to have fun and get a great workout using Gracie Jiu-Jitsu’s proven techniques.”

We asked them what it means to be a part of Lineage BJJ:
“My wife and I are proud members of Team Lineage BJJ. As our coaching experience grew, we were asked to host women and children’s classes, and our previous coach didn’t offer any structured curriculum.  We met Professor Thrift at a seminar, and once we saw the Relson Gracie patch, (our old coach was under Grandmaster Relson as well) we immediately engaged him in conversation.  Professor Thrift then spent the entire seminar helping us, and when the need to switch affiliations came up, he offered us a fantastic curriculum and has helped us immensely.  He even did a conference call with our whole team and answered everyone’s questions professionally and thoroughly.  We love being part of the team at Lineage, as it offers us a direct link to Grandmaster Relson and great instruction from Professor Thrift.”

Lineage BJJ Delaware

Lineage BJJ Delaware – Open Mat

What do you see in the future for Lineage BJJ Delaware?
“We want to bring Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu to the lower county of our great state, and be a positive influence in the area. There is not much for families to do, and even less for children.  We offer a great self-defense style of martial art that is a great workout for everyone.  With so many kids not playing outside anymore, and so many parents stressed out from the daily grind of life we want to offer a safe, fun environment with a family atmosphere they can enjoy and benefit from.  Positively impacting the future is our goal.”

Why did you choose Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?
“I chose Gracie Jiu-Jitsu after I was choked by my first instructor!  I was a third degree black belt at the time, and quickly realized the art I was teaching had no answers for the effective techniques of Jiu-Jitsu ( remember this was before MMA).  I immediately started training and realized Gracie Jiu-Jitsu had stand-up techniques, self-defense for weapons and grappling, so for me, it was truly the complete package.”

Kevin and Ginger can be found at:
Lineage BJJ Delaware
6 Market Street
Greenwood, DE 19950
302-535-7183
www.lineagebjj-delaware.com

Lineage BJJ Delaware

Lineage BJJ Delaware – Team Banner

If you would like information about a free trial or classes at their gym, give them a call or check out their website!

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Lineage BJJ, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie

Hélio Gracie Youth Belts for Jiu-Jitsu

All the different belts, colors, and stripes can be confusing for families who are new to Lineage BJJ Youth Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes at Calvert MMA Academy. Each martial art has its own system and criteria for promotion, and parents often have expectations for advancement within the school that they enroll their children in. Calvert MMA Academy utilizes a belting system for the youth program that Grandmaster Hélio Gracie approved in 2005.

Instructors have found that children need palpable rewards and motivation as they study martial arts. Traditionally, Gracie jiu-jitsu had four belts for children: white, yellow, orange, and green. At the age of 16, students could transition to an adult’s blue belt and begin training with adult classes. However, students lost motivation and would often give up when they weren’t promoting. The Gracies decided to create belts in between the standard colors to excite kids about moving up through the ranks and to create more retention in the youth programs.

The youth belts now offer kids a chance to promote more often which keeps them engaged and excited about learning jiu-jitsu. Students have to meet certain attendance and skill requirements to advance, which vary by school, so at each level they should be able to demonstrate greater skills and abilities. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu values the ability to teach, so instructors are always watching to see which students help others master techniques.

Calvert MMA Academy requires students to attend more than 20 classes to qualify for promotion. The school doesn’t charge parents for promotions or belts. However, regular attendance does not guarantee a promotion. Instructors want to see good behavior, a positive attitude, and they want students to be able to demonstrate a level of technique appropriate for their level and age. The instructors really want to see more advanced students helping beginners master techniques – this shows a willingness to help, allows the advanced students to demonstrate their mastery of techniques, and demonstrates the true nature of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

The new youth belt system follows this progression:

Youth Belt Ranking System

Youth Belt Ranking System

 

 

 

Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Lineage BJJ, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie

WKA Nationals – March 2015

On March 20 – 22, 2015 the World Kickboxing and Karate Association (WKA) hosts the WKA Nationals tournament in Richmond. The WKA has been hosting the event since 2001. This year they anticipate 450 competitors from over  100 schools in 25 states. Saturday, March 21 the divisions will fight down to the finals. Sunday, March 22 will consist of the finals.

I was able to interview Brian Crenshaw, the USA President of WKA, and he provided some helpful information about the event for those of us who don’t know much about it. All amateur fighters can compete in the WKA Nationals. WKA 2015 USA ChampionshipsThere are two classes: Novice and Open. Fighters in Novice class have three or fewer wins in their fighting career, and fighters in Open class have three or more wins in their fighting career.

There are three fighting disciplines represented at the Nationals:
– Glory Rules Kickboxing involves punches kicks (legs, body, and head), and clinch/knee for five seconds
– Thaiboxing involves punches, kicks (legs, body, and head), elbows below the neck, and clinch/knee as long as continuous activity
– Full Rules Muay Thai involves punches, kicks (legs, body, and head), elbows (with elbow pads) to all legal target areas, and clinch/knee work encouraged

Those of you who have participated in the event in previous years may want to take note of some changes the WKA is implementing this year. In order to make registration and check-in as smooth as possible for coaches and competitors, the registration deadline will be firm. In the past the organization accepted late registrations and even a few on the day of the event, but they found that this slowed down the process for everyone. This year competitors need to make sure they are registered by the deadline so they can compete.

Early registration is encouraged because each weight class is limited to 16 competitors this year. Competitors also need to choose a check-in time when they register so that check-in runs smoothly. Appointments will occur every 15 minutes starting at 10 am with 10 competitors per slot. When competitors come to check-in, they need to bring their confirmation so that they can complete check-in.

Coaches and Corners will check-in and receive their arm bands in a separate area to eliminate chaos. They are also encouraged to register early to make their check-in hassle free. Friday evening there is a mandatory Coaches/Corner meeting, and each gym needs to send a representative to go over the procedures, rules, and bracketing.

Anyone who registers to compete needs to bring their own gear to warm up in. Tournament equipment can only be issued to competitors in the ring and the two teams waiting to fight.
The WKA asks that all coaches and competitors register early to ensure the event’s success. The organization is also looking for volunteers to help with the event, and they ask anyone interested in helping to contact them.

Mr. Crenshaw shared that this year the WKA is introducing a second tournament in August. It is an “Open” International tournament called the North American Opens that will last three days. It will allow US and Canadian fighters to face fighters from other countries without any travel abroad. So far 10 countries are committed to sending teams to compete. If you’re interested in competing, check their website often for more details.

wka_logo

 

Note for competitors out of our academy competing in the 2015 WKA Nationals Championship: Please register under our sister Thai Boxing academy, “Disciple MMA” for this event to prevent having to fight against our team members at Disciple.

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Ladies Self-Defense Seminar Provides Help for the Hungry

On November 23, 2014 Calvert MMA Academy (Team Relson Gracie – Lineage BJJ) hosted a Ladies Self-Defense Seminar taught by Coach Jim Thrift.  37 ladies attended and enjoyed two and a half hours of various Gracie Jiu-Jitsu self-defense techniques.  All proceeds raised by this event went to End Hunger of Calvert County, and Coach Jim along with event organizer Coach Aimee Reynolds presented them a check for $1,600.

Coach Jim took the ladies through several wrist lock escapes and gave us the opportunity to practice with partners. I recognized several of the moves because my girls learn them in the Youth Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class, and I realized that they are more difficult than they look. Coach Jim and Coach Ray both offered help and direction when we had trouble with a move, and by the time the class was over, we felt more confident.

Coach Jim and Coach Ray also demonstrated some escapes from a mounted position which is important for women to learn. It was helpful to practice these escapes since many of us found it hard to think when we were “trapped.” Practicing with a safe partner gave us a chance to think through what we needed to do to get away.

In between moves with my partner I was able to look around at the other ladies as they practiced. Everyone seemed to have a good attitude about the moves they were learning, and no one was afraid to ask for help when something didn’t feel right. My partner and I needed assistance with several moves because my brain had a hard time translating what I was seeing into action.

The seminar allowed me to once again see the benefits in the classes offered at Calvert MMA Academy. My girls are all so comfortable with wrist and mount escapes because they practice them all the time. While I hope they never have to use them, I am confident that they would know what to do in an attack.

Not only did we gain some useful self-defense knowledge, but we also gave back to our community. Each woman paid just $40 for the seminar, a real bargain considering the amount of information Coach Jim shared with us. The representatives from End Hunger of Calvert County were so thankful for the donation and shared that Calvert MMA Academy’s donation was enough to feed 80 families for one week.

You’ve probably seen the End Hunger donation boxes in stores throughout the county, but you may not know what their mission is. They support local food pantries and work to raise awareness about hunger in the county. 100% of the money donated to End Hunger stays in the county, so if you drop some groceries in a box or provide a monetary donation, it will stay here in Calvert County to help a neighbor in need. End Hunger of Calvert County also has training and support programs to help people gain their independence. They have training and job programs with Project ECHO and with Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant, the College of Southern Maryland, and Calvert Memorial Hospital to help the unemployed learn new skills and find jobs.

End Hunger in Calvert, Self-Defense Seminar

End Hunger in Calvert, Self-Defense Seminar

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Lineage BJJ, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie

The Lotus Patching System

Kru Carlos Lopez and his mentors choose to train and advance students in their Muay Thai classes using the Lotus Patching System. Calvert MMA Academy also uses the Lotus system to advance students in their Muay Thai practice. You might wonder what you have to do to get involved with the Muay Thai classes and start earning patches of your own.

Each coach or school has their own way of promoting students. Some choose to use Level training, allowing students to progress starting at Level 1 and moving up from there. Others have adopted the patch system, and students receive patches to sew on their Thai shorts as they progress through the different levels of training.

Kru Carlos Lopez and his coaches, Kru Scott Howard and Coach Paul Sitcharing, utilize the Lotus Patch system in their training programs. They have their own requirements for students to earn their patches, and each level requires something of the students – time, fights, losses, and most of all, experience. Each of Carlos’ Lotus patches have a Tiger inside of them to show respect for his trainers and their program.

There are six levels and six colors of patches: Level 1 is a white patch; Level 2 is a yellow patch; Level 3 is an orange patch; Level 4 is a green patch; Level 5 is a red patch; Kru is a black patch.

To receive the patch at each level, students have to meet certain requirements. For instance, some schools have an attendance requirement that students must meet before they can patch up. Most require students to test each time they’re ready to patch up to make sure that they have the skills needed to function at a higher level. At some point, students must fight to continue to advance.

If you’re ready to learn more about Muay Thai, try one of Coach Carlos’ classes at Calvert MMA Academy. You will need some basic supplies for class: Thai shorts with compression shorts underneath, a t-shirt, hand wraps and 14-16 ounce boxing gloves, shin guards, a mouthpiece, and groin protection. Classes meet Monday and Wednesday evenings at 7pm and Saturdays at 1pm.

Lotus Thai Boxing Level Patch (White)

Lotus Thai Boxing Level Patch (White)

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, Uncategorized, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Kru Carlos Lopez Explains the Significance of “Kru”

What is a Kru?

Calvert MMA Academy offers Muay Thai classes taught by our very own Kru Carlos Lopez.  Most people don’t know what Kru means, so Carlos was kind enough to share information with me about his journey.  Kru means Teacher in Thai, however the title has a different significance in the United states than it does in Thailand where Muay Thai is the national sport.  Kru instructors in the US have more requirements to meet before they receive the title.

There are no set-in-stone requirements for achieving Kru in the United States, each coach and gym have their own system, and they create their own structure based on their personal experiences.  However, each Kru begins as a student, then progresses to a fighter.  Fighters progress to coaches who then progress to head coaches.  Head coaches then make the final progression to Kru and have a class of students under them.  One requirement our system has to become a Kru is a fighter must have fought and won a traditional Thai Boxing match in Thailand.

Kru Carlos believes that a Kru needs to be able to teach everything about Muay Thai: techniques, traditions, and culture.  Kru Carlos wants to teach others what he has learned and share with them the insights that Muay Thai brings to his life.

Kru Carlos did not attend a specific school to achieve Kru, he earned the designation through his mastery and practice of Muay Thai.  Kru Carlos teaches from his own experiences, so students can rest assured that their Kru isn’t asking something of them that he isn’t willing to do himself.

Kru Carlos’ advice for those interested in following in his footsteps is, “Better yourself.  Teach tradition and respect.  In order to be Kru, you must be able to listen more than teaching.  Those who want to become Kru need to be persistent and look forward to the goal.  A Kru isn’t about stroking egos or becoming arrogant; it’s an opportunity to lead by example and share the Muay Thai lifestyle with others.”

Kru Carlos plans to continue sharing his experiences with others who are in different places on the same path.  He continues to study Muay Thai because he considers learning a lifelong journey.  Muay Thai is his life, and he wants to share that life with students of all levels.

Muay Thai Classes at Calvert MMA (White Lotus Thai Boxing)

For those who are interested in taking Muay Thai classes at Calvert MMA Academy, classes meet Mondays at 7PM, Wednesdays at 7PM and Saturdays at 1PM.  Classes combine fundamental Muay Thai techniques with a rigorous cardio and physical conditioning workout that builds strength and endurance.  Students should wear traditional Thai Boxing shorts with compression shorts underneath and bring hand wraps, 14-16 oz. gloves, shin guards, a mouth piece, and groin protection to class.

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, Uncategorized, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Congratulations Coach Jim Thrift!

For those who don’t know, our very own Coach Jim Thrift, owner of Calvert MMA Academy, recently received his black belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu from Relson Gracie himself.  This is a major achievement for Coach Jim Thrift, both personally and professionally, and one he has worked very hard for.

Coach Jim Thrift’s journey to black belt started may years ago.  Coach Jim Thrift initially began martial arts training in the 1980’s, earning a black belt in Tang Soo Do / Tae Kwon Do.  Coach Jim Thrift also trained in Kempo Karate, Judo, Aikido, and competed in various martial arts competitions from 1984 to 1995.  A friend and co-worker who was training out of Relson Gracie’s garage in Honolulu initially introduced Coach Jim Thrift to Gracie Jiu-Jitsu in 1995, but he didn’t start training in it until 1997.

Coach Jim Thrift traveled far to train in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, taking classes in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Virginia.  Coach Jim Thrift decided to open his own training academy in 2007 in Calvert County Maryland, after he got tired of having to travel over an hour or more to receive quality instruction in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

In the midst of opening and growing a premier MMA school in Southern Maryland, Coach Jim Thrift also focused on his continued practice of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.  In June of 2014 Coach Jim Thrift traveled to Hawaii to test for his black belt with Relson Gracie.  Coach Jim Thrift had the honor of being the first person to test for a black belt in Relson’s home.

As he continues to grow in his practice, Coach Jim Thrift has big plans for Calvert MMA Academy (Team Relson Gracie – Lineage BJJ / Carlos Lopez – White Lotus Thai Boxing).  Coach Jim Thrift is vary passionate about offering a high level of instruction in Southern Maryland, and he hopes to open two more training academies in the area within the next few years.  There are also plans to offer fitness classes and expand the schools schedule as highly trained and qualified instructors become available.

To celebrate this achievement Coach Jim Thrift plans on having a celebration at Calvert MMA during Grandmaster Relson Gracie’s next visit which we are hoping will be in early September.  Coach Jim Thrift also plans on doing his first Woman’s Self-Defense seminar as a black belt in the fall and all proceeds / donations will go to “End Hunger in Calvert”.

Relson Gracie Black Belt Jim Thrift

Coach Jim Thrift receiving black belt from Grandmaster Relson Gracie.

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing

CalvertMMA – Coach Jim Thrift Interview with FighterEmpire.com

CalvertMMA Owner / Coach Jim Thrift recently did an interview about the Academy with FighterEmpire.com.  Check it out at http://fighterempire.com/interview-with-calvertmma/.  Coach Jim Thrift didn’t know this was going to be published as a recorded telephone interview, otherwise he would have called in on a hardline vs. a mobile phone for better audio quality.  In this interview, Coach Jim Thrift talks about what you would experience training daily at CalvertMMA, from our youth Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes, the adult BJJ classes, and our authentic Thai Boxing classes with Kru Carlos Lopez.  Coach Jim Thrift also talks about the importance of lineage under the Gracie family and real Gracie Black Belts when it comes to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and how Kru Carlos Lopez runs classes identical to what you’d find in a Thai Boxing class in Thailand.  Coach Jim Thrift finishes the interview talking about our future plans with the academy and how he hopes to open more training academies when he retires from his job with a federal law enforcement agency in the next few years.

Coach Jim Thrift and the staff at the Calvert MMA Academy (Team Relson Gracie – Lineage BJJ / Carlos Lopez – White Lotus Thai Boxing) would like to thank Fighters Empire for taking the time out to talk to us.

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Maintaining Your Exercise Routine

Benefits of Maintaining Your Exercise Routine During the Summer

Many people find it difficult to keep up with an exercise program when summer starts.  We work hard during the fall, winter, and spring, attending classes regularly, watching what we eat, and striving for a good balance between rest and activity.  But, when summer hits we often slide back into old habits that keep us sedentary.  Between days at the beach, vacations, and family reunions, exercise often falls to the wayside.  Fortunately, Calvert MMA Academy in Sunderland, MD offers their programs all summer long.

Calvert MMA Academy offers a wide variety of programs that run all year. These include:

  • Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
  • Youth Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
  • Self-Defense
  • Thai Boxing
  • Ladies’ Muay Thai

There are many benefits to maintaining a regular exercise program throughout the summer months.  From muscle tone to cardio endurance, the body responds well to exercising on a regular basis.  Emotionally, exercise keeps spirits up and reduces stress.

Maintaining Weight Loss

Slacking on an exercise program during the summer makes it difficult to maintain any weight loss you achieved in the cooler months.  Many people tell themselves they will do other things, but find that those promises are hard to keep when kids are out of school or families go on a trip.  While short breaks for vacation won’t undo hard work, allowing yourself to get completely off track during the break will.  If you have a regular routine, try to stick with it as much as possible during the summer months so that you don’t spend all fall and winter trying to undo your summer “fun”.

Building Strength & Endurance

Classes like Calvert MMA Academy’s Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai Boxing help students build muscle and cardio endurance.  Continuing with classes over summer months allows students to maintain that hard-won muscle tone.  Kids who attend the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes through the summer find it easy to keep up with the conditioning aspects of the class, and they get more opportunities to put their jiu-jitsu knowledge to use.

Have you noticed how quickly you lose muscle tone after you quit an exercise program?  Sometimes an injury or illness forces a break, but often we stop exercising simply because our schedule changes or we get bored.  Extended breaks have a negative impact on both endurance and strength.  In fact, according to the International Sports Sciences Association, muscle can lose up to half its strength after just three weeks of disuse.

Keeping Energy Levels High

Exercise increases energy levels, which is important for surviving summer with kids at home and travel plans afoot.  Traveling can be hustings, and staying fit allows parents and kids alike to enjoy whatever destination they choose: Disney, Six Flags, hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, biking, rafting, and more.  A study published by the University of Georgia found direct correlations between regular exercise and increased energy levels.  (You can read a summary of the research project at: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101151005.htm)

Attending the classes at Calvert MMA Academy gives kids and parents, both of whom may be inside sitting for a large parts of their day an opportunity to get up and move in a safe, structured environment.  Whether it’s taking a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu class or coming to a self-defense class, the moves and techniques taught by the instructors give students the energy boost they need.

Reducing Stress

Regular exercise relieves stress by boosting endorphin production, releasing tension, and improving your mood.  Stress affects everyone in one way or another, and exercise is one of the easiest ways to provide stress relief.  A Princeton University study found that physical exercise actually reorganizes the brain to reduce the effects of stress (http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/archive/S37/28/70Q72/index.xml?section=topstories).

Whether kids attend the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes or the self-defense class, they benefit from the stress relief the classes provide.  Parents need the stress relief from Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai Boxing, or self-defense as they run all over with their kids throughout the summer.

Maintaining a regular exercise schedule over the summer provides many benefits to families.  From keeping up with weight loss to reducing stress levels, attending classes at Calvert MMA Academy all summer long will help keep both parents and kids sane during hot summer days.

 

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing

The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Youth Program and Girls

Calvert MMA Academy in Sunderland, MD offers an excellent Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program.  The class meets on Tuesday and Thursday evenings at 7PM and Saturday mornings at 10AM.  Families choose the times that fit their schedules and attend when they can.

Since August 2013 my three girls have attended the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program at the Calvert MMA Academy.  This is the girls’ first experience with any martial art, and it is impacting them positively in many ways.  One of my daughters is shy and reserved, and the program has given her confidence in her abilities.  Another is a very gentle soul, never wanting to engage in a confrontation, and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu allows her an opportunity to remove herself from unwanted situations.  My oldest is learning to navigate middle school confidently, assured that she can protect herself if necessary.

There are many benefits for the girls in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program.  While we, like any other parents, had concerns about grappling with boys, we don’t worry about it anymore.  The atmosphere at Calvert MMA Academy is professional and instructors hold children to high behavioral standards, which sets aside any fears we had about uncomfortable situations.  The program increases girls’ confidence, self-awareness, and fitness level.  The instructors make the program successful for female students, allowing them opportunities to advance and excel.

Increased Physical Fitness Level

The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program focuses on improving students’ physical fitness level, which is something I can get behind as a mom of girls.  While the girls enjoy many activities, they also need the exercise that Calvert MMA Academy provides during class. Each class begins with a warm-up time of approximately 15 minutes.  Students participate in a variety of exercises that limber them up for the Jiu-Jitsu they will practice in class.  Some of the exercises, like push-ups, challenge the girls, but I have found that girls and women who do push-ups have stronger arms, shoulders, and abs than others. Other warm- up exercises include, jogging, jumping jacks, and stretching.

Self-Awareness

Calvert MMA Academy is passionate about teaching the students in the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program various self-defense techniques.  Mothers will appreciate the time the instructors take to ensure that their children know how to escape from many different holds and situations.  Even game time allows the girls to practice the techniques they learn, and any time they struggle with a move an instructor gives one-on-one instruction until they master it.

The girls have used some of these techniques with kids at school, which makes them feel confident that they can protect themselves when necessary.  The girls practice their escapes with their Dad often, which makes them feel strong, especially since he is 6’5″!  They also know that when someone tries to take them somewhere they don’t want to go, they can escape.  One of my daughters used an escape when a friend tried to drag her across the playground.  Without causing any injury to her friend, my daughter made her point clearly and maintained control of the situations.

Excellent Instruction

One of the biggest draws to the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program for my husband and I is the instruction our girls receive.  The men who lead the classes know how to work with boys and girls alike, which is a special gift.  Instructors teach in a way that kids understand, and they focus on making learning fun.  The instructors also practice Gracie Jiu-Jitsu regularly themselves, and it shows in their comfort with the techniques and moves they share with the kids.

Guest instructors also make regular appearances at the Calvert MMA Academy.  My girls have met Grand Master Relson Gracie, and his training is always beneficial to them.  Even though Relson holds the rank of 9th Degree Red Belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, he still chooses to give his time to the students in his academies throughout the United States, and the students at Calvert MMA Academy get to work with him at least three or more times a year.

The Gracie Jiu-Jitsu youth program at the Calvert MMA Academy benefits my girls in many ways.  They have opportunities to improve their physical fitness and their confidence.  I know if they continue to study and work at it, they will go far with the excellent instruction and mentorship at Calvert MMA Academy.

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Ladies Muay Thai Kickboxing

Coach Aimee Reynolds Woman Muay Thai Kickboxing Coach at Calvert MMA Academy

Coach Aimee Reynolds Woman’s Muay Thai Kickboxing Coach at Calvert MMA Academy

Calvert MMA Academy hosts a ladies Muay Thai Kickboxing class once a month with instructor – Coach Aimee Reynolds.  The woman’s Muay Thai Kickboxing class meets the third Saturday of each month from 8:30AM – 10:00AM, is open to the public, and only costs $15 for the 1.5 hours session.

Each ladies Muay Thai Kickboxing class begins with a warm-up that often features traditional Muay Thai exercises.  Warm-ups may include, jogging, jumping jacks, walking lunges, high knees, arm circles, and planks.  Coach Aimee Reynolds then teaches a variety of Muay Thai Kickboxing techniques using fist, elbows, knees, and legs.  Coach Aimee Reynolds also provides opportunities to hold pads for other Thai Boxers, allowing you to build confidence and skill.

For Coach Aimee Reynolds ladies Muay Thai Kickboxing class, you may find it helpful to bring hand wraps and boxing gloves if you have them.  Coach Aimee Reynolds provides these for new students, so don’t let the lack of materials stop you from trying the class.  If you have Muay Thai Kickboxing experience and own shin guards, Thai pads, or focus mitts, you are welcome to bring them.

Multiple Benefits

Muay Thai Kickboxing provides many physical benefits to its practitioners.  With regular practice you can build cardiovascular endurance and overall body strength.  You will use hip rotation to increase your striking power, which builds stronger abdominal muscles and produces better reflexes.

Physical benefits include:

  • Stronger, more defined muscles
  • Improved speed and resistance
  • Enhanced posture and balance
  • Better reflexes and coordination

Practicing Muay Thai Kickboxing also teaches self-defense techniques that you can use in the real world.  Women, especially, benefit from learning to use their limbs as self-defense weapons.  As you progress in your practice, your self-confidence will grow.  Not only will you feel better, you will also know you can defend yourself if necessary.

The Workout

Muay Thai Kickboxing is a versatile workout, which helps prevent exercise burnouts.  If you have a back injury, knee or leg injury, arthritis, or other condition, you can modify exercises as needed.  Conversely, if you need a higher intensity of workout, you can also modify your movements to increase difficulty.

Workouts with Coach Aimee Reynolds at the Calvert MMA Academy include a wide variety of Muay Thai Kickboxing techniques.  Coach Aimee Reynolds teaches you to use all of your limbs as defense weapons using a variety of strikes and punches.  You will also have the opportunity to work with the heavy bags and pads provided by the facility.

Muay Thai Kickboxing moves used include:

  • Jabs, crosses, hooks, elbows, and uppercuts
  • Thai knees, round knees, and straight knees
  • Thai kicks and teeps

Our Instructor

Calvert MMA Academy’s ladies Muay Thai Kickboxing instructor – Coach Aimee Reynolds, is the owner and operator of AR Studios in Huntingtown, MD.  Coach Aimee Reynolds currently maintains certifications as a Certified Fitness Trainer, Specialist in Fitness Nutrition, and Youth Fitness Trainer.  Coach Aimee Reynolds received her Level 3 skills assessment in Muay Thai while training with the New World Academy in Newport News, Virginia.

The emphasis of Coach Aimee Reynolds studio is on enhanced strength and endurance training through Muay Thai Kickboxing.  Coach Aimee Reynolds uses utilizes several different methods and routines, always taking care to make every workout unique and interesting.

Methods used:

  • Free weights
  • Stability ball exercises
  • Plyometrics
  • Isometrics
  • Calisthenics

Nutrition is also a primary focus of Coach Aimee Reynolds.  Coach Aimee believes proper nutrition combined with regular exercise is necessary for any program’s success.  Coach Aimee Reynolds provides tools and training to her clients to help them understand the relationship between nutrition and weight loss.

Take Action

If you are ready to attend a versatile workout full of confidence building routines, then come check out one of our ladies’ Muay Thai Kickboxing classes at the Calvert MMA Academy.  Come see what one of Coach Aimee Reynolds’ routines can do for you!

 

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Nutrition, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, Uncategorized, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Acai’ Super Smoothie

When it comes to training the most important thing often overlooked and neglected is eating a healthy diet.  Eating healthy or as I prefer to say, “eating clean” gives your body the fuel need for intense training, helps with recovery, reduces body inflammation, while boosting your immune system.  One of my absolute favorite meals is what I call the “Acai’ Super Smoothie”.  This smoothie is packed with fresh, raw vegetables, fruits, nuts, and honey.  The nutrients from this smoothie usually give me enough energy to go 6-10 hours between meals.  The acai’ super smoothie doesn’t pass the Gracie diet food combination rules, however Grand Master Relson Gracie gave me a pass on the recipe and personally approved it.  The acai’ super smoothie is Paleo, gluten free and mostly raw foods.  I also recommend going with organic ingredients whenever possible.

To make this acai smoothie I strongly recommend having a good blender, like a Vitamix, Bledtec, or Ninja.  I’ve used all three blender brands and I personally prefer the Vitamix.  The Ninja is the least expensive, but I found the blades dull after a few months of use and will leave chunks of ingredients in the smoothie unblended.  The Bledtec is the most powerful blender I’ve ever used but it often builds up an air pocket between the blades and ingredients.  It becomes frustrating having to shut off the blender and shake the container to get rid of the air pocket.  The Vitamix (Model 750) has the largest container, is easy to use, clean, and provided me with the best smoothie consistency time after time.  I use this blender nearly every day and it lives up to the hype.  With a lifetime warranty, it will be the last blender you’ll ever buy, so to me it’s worth the cost.

You can modify or change ingredients to your personal taste, but here is how I normally make the Acai Super Smoothie:

Fresh or Pressed Apple Juice – 16-20 ounces

Kale – 5-7 leaves

Spinach – 1 handful

Pineapple – 1 cup

Blueberries – 1 handful

Strawberries – 1 – cup

Raw Walnuts – 1 to 2 handfuls

Raw Honey – 2 to 4 Tablespoons

Acai’ – 3 or 4 frozen packs

Blend ingredients and enjoy!

Favorite Acai Smoothie

Favorite Acai’ Smoothie

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Nutrition, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing

How to Choose A Martial Arts School

Three Things Everyone Needs To Know When Choosing A Martial Arts School

1. Choose a Style of Martial Arts That Fits You:

There is a large number of distinct styles of martial arts, but there are only three basic forms to address when choosing a martial arts school: Punch-Kick, Throwing, and Grappling.

Punch-Kick styles of martial arts rely heavily on strength, speed, flexibility, conditioning, and athleticism.  Common Punch-Kick style martial arts include Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, and Muay Thai.  Throwing arts rely on leverage, pins, chokes, and joint locks.  Common throwing arts would include Judo, Aikido, and Hapkido.  Throwing arts are good for all body types and you don’t have to be in top physical shape to participate.  Because the throwing styles of martial arts rely on leverage; shorter and even heavier body types will benefit due to a lower center of gravity.  Grappling arts also rely heavily on leverage, joint lock, choking techniques.  The most common grappling arts are Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Japanese Jujitsu.  Grappling arts work for all body types and athleticism isn’t necessary.  Grappling arts are almost purely defensive and their techniques are designed to allow weaker, smaller people defend themselves against larger, stronger aggressors.

Note:  Some martial arts will incorporate techniques from all three basic styles, but normally focus heavily on just one aspect.  There are also styles of martial arts that teach weapon fighting.  In our opinion: weapon training can be cool, but very impractical if you are training for self-defense reasons.  It’s highly unlikely anyone would carry a broadsword, nunchucks, or other illegal weapons on them day to day for self-defense.

When choosing a school also keep in mind your goals: self-defense, fitness, competition, and/or social reasons.  We recommend you observe and then try a class before joining any martial arts school.  Also, check out as many schools as possible before making a decision.  Unless you are 100% certain, never join a martial arts school without due diligence.  Visit as many schools as possible keeping in mind the best school for you may cost a few dollars more per month or may be a little longer drive.  When joining a school you should become part of a team and your training should be enjoyable.

2. Safety: 

Make sure the environment you are training in is clean!  Staph infections to include MRSA and Ringworm are the most common infections in martial arts schools.  Ask about cleaning procedures.  Cleaning should be done daily and when necessary between each class.  In addition to a clean training facility, training partners and fellow students must also maintain cleanliness; a clean uniform, clothing, or hand wraps and equipment is a must for every class.

A good student to teacher ratio is also a must for safety.  Beware of teachers who play favoritism and focus mainly on their star pupils.  This type of atmosphere will inhibit your learning, will not promote a friendly team environment and usually puts you in the painful role of the training dummy and not an equal.

Live Weapons:  Do not participate or even observe self-defense demonstrations with live (real) weapons.  The use of live weapons is completely unnecessary and very dangerous.

Verify that your instructor knows what he or she is doing.  Your instructor is a human just like you; do not be intimidated or overly impressed by titles like Master or Grandmaster.  Verify the lineage of your instructor and don’t be afraid to use open resources to do a criminal background check if you feel it is necessary.  Remember, there isn’t a regulatory body over the martial arts community.  Anyone can open a martial arts school.

3. Hidden Fees:

One of the biggest mistakes someone can make when looking to join a martial arts school is price shopping via email or a cold call.  Price does not always equal value!  Too often school “A” will be overlooked for school “B” because school “B’s” initial cost is a few dollars less per month.  What the consumer may not realize is the overall cost of school “B” is much more expensive because of hidden fees, such as belt testing fees which can range hundreds of dollars per test.  For example, one local area school offers a 2-week trial for $19.95, what they don’t tell you is if you join, there is a $195.00 “Test Fee” for a white belt.  The other secret some schools don’t want you to know is each future belt test is more expensive than the last.  We have heard of martial arts schools charging $400, $500, $1000 or more for a black belt test.  Martial arts schools may also require you to buy merchandise and training materials from them at inflated prices.

In conclusion, we recommend you visit the training facility: do they have adequate space, is the school clean, what equipment do they have (mats, heavy bags, focus mitts, kick shields, etc…) and is the equipment in good condition.  Observe classes in action and take a trail class.  How crowded are the classes and how much attention will you get in each class?  Finally, always bring a list of questions with you.  Doing so will help you choose the best school for your needs.

Calvert MMA Academy’s Promise:

The Calvert MMA Academy is the only martial arts academy in Southern Maryland to offer both, authentic Muay Thai Boxing and Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.  We also incorporate Judo and Wrestling techniques into our Grappling and Self-Defense programs.  Calvert MMA Academy has a very high student to teacher ratio, so you or your child will receive private attention every class.  Our academy is cleaned and disinfected at least daily or between classes as necessary.  When you become a member of the Calvert MMA Academy, you join a team and are treated as family.  You will know your instructors by first name, and can address them by their name or simply “Coach”.  For your safety and benefit, Calvert MMA Academies’ training equipment is top of the line, kept in excellent condition or it’s replaced immediately.  We don’t have any hidden fees; we never charge for belt promotions in our Jiu-Jitsu programs.  Our philosophy is “you paid for the belt with your hard work”.  We do offer group patch (level) testing for a small fee in our Thai Boxing program.  Group testing in our Thai Boxing program is not mandatory for promotion, but many students choose to attend because we invite high-level guest instructors to assist with the training and testing.

You can start training at anytime and no prior martial arts experience is necessary.  Our oldest active student is 67 and our youngest is 4.  Stop in today for a free no obligation class.  We don’t require long term contracts and new members may be eligible to receive 30 days of free training.

 

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Calvert MMA Academy Mobile App Download Link

From your mobile device, use this LINK to download the Calvert MMA Academy mobile app.  The Calvert MMA Academy mobile app works on iOS and Android platforms.  Current Calvert MMA Academy members can use the mobile app to check-in to class, reserve a class, and update their personal profile.  Prospective members of the Calvert MMA Academy may use the app to register for a free trail class.

Screen Shot of Calvert MMA Mobile App

Screen Shot of Calvert MMA Academy Mobile App

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Nutrition, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing

Gracie Jiu-Jitsu – BJJ Red Belts

Red Belt – A History of the original Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) / Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Belt System

Prior to 1961, the Gracie Brothers (Carlos, Gastão, George, Oswaldo, and Hélio Gracie) wore navy blue belts while all students wore white belts. In the 1961-62 timeframe, the first color belt system was introduced in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. The original belt system devised by the Gracie Brothers was the following: Jiu-Jitsu students under 16 years of age, belt colors where white, yellow, orange and green. Youth belts also received up to three degrees on each belt color. Youth were eligible for promotion about every 40 classes, which equated to approximately four months of full-time training. Students over 16 years of age, the belt colors are white, blue, purple, brown and black. BJJ adult belts originally received four degrees, except for the white belt. Adult promotions averaged about 60 classes, which normally took 6-8 months to complete. Most students, both adult and youths would normally spend one year as a white belt. All belts, except for the white belt, contained a black bar where degrees were recognized with white stripes. In Gracie Jiu-Jitsu / Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, no one under the age of 18 is permitted to receive a black belt. BJJ Black belts normally take 10 or more years to obtain.

Once earning a BJJ black belt, practitioners would be eligible to receive their fist degree after two years of continued training and/or coaching. After 20 years of teaching, Hélio Gracie Jiu Jitsu, a BJJ Black Belt is eligible for promotion to the red/black belt (7th / 8th degree). This Red/Black belt is considered a “Master” in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Promotion from 7th to 8th degree takes 2 years. After a full 20 years as a Red/Black belt in Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a 9th Degree Red Belt would be achieved. The red belt is considered a “Grand Master” in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Under the Gracie Brothers belt system it takes a minimum of 50 years of training/coaching to become a Grand Master, Red Belt.

Out of respect for the creators of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu (Carlos, Gastão, George, Oswaldo, and Hélio Gracie), the BJJ community will not promote anyone above a 9th degree red belt rank. To date, from open source research, we believe there are only 42 people who have earned a BJJ red belt. Of the 42, many have passed on and even fewer live in the United States. The Calvert MMA Academy, which is located in a small, quiet community, in Southern Maryland, is honored to have a living legend, 9th Degree Red Belt, Grand Master Relson Gracie as our head Jiu-Jitsu Instructor. Master Relson Gracie visits the academy regularly recognizing and approving all BJJ promotions along with the Gracie Academy.

“The Water is always purest at the source” – Grand Master Relson Gracie. With that said, if you live near Calvert MMA Academy, why would you chose any other place to train than pure Hélio Gracie Jiu-Jitsu? Calvert MMA Academy BJJ program = Authentic Gracie Jiu-Jitsu: 100%

Here is a list of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Red Belts we compiled:

10th Degree Red Belts

  1. Carlos Gracie
  2. Gastão Gracie
  3. George Gracie
  4. Oswaldo Gracie
  5. Hélio Gracie

10th Degree Red Belts Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Non Gracie Family

  1. Luiz França (Direct student of Mitsuyo Maeda, who trained Carlos Gracie)
  2. Oswaldo Fadda (Student of Luiz Franca)

9th Degree Red Belts

  1. Alvaro de Melo Barreto
  2. Amélio Arruda Câmara
  3. Armando Wridt
  4. Carley Gracie
  5. Carlos Antonio Rosado
  6. Carlson Gracie, Sr
  7. Deoclécio Paulo
  8. Fernando Soares
  9. Flavio Behring
  10. Francisco Mansur
  11. Francisco Sá
  12. Geny Rebello
  13. Helio Vigio Gomes
  14. Jacê Paulino
  15. João Alberto Barreto
  16. João Fernandes Pinto
  17. João Resende
  18. Jose Senador Rosa
  19. Julio Frederico Secco
  20. Luis Carlos Guedes de Castro
  21. Nahum Rabay
  22. Nilton Pereira
  23. Osvaldo Alves
  24. Oswaldo Carnivalle
  25. Oswaldo Paquetá
  26. Paulo Mauricio Strauch
  27. Pedro Hemeterio
  28. Pedro Valente
  29. Relson Gracie
  30. Renato Paquet
  31. Reyson Gracie
  32. Robson Gracie
  33. Rorion Gracie
  34. Walter Nogueira
  35. Wilson Pereira De Mattos

We discovered two more names listed as Red Belts but couldn’t verify them, so they have been omitted.

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Lineage BJJ, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie

Calvert MMA Academy New Website

Calvert MMA is happy to have our new website up. On the new website, you can subscribe to our newsletter to receive academy updates, information, and news. We will also be writing Blog articles providing information, techniques, and training tips for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), Thai Boxing, Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), Strength & Conditioning, and Nutrition. Some of the cool features of the new website are; all YouTube videos we post automatically populate on our video media page. Also, the site will self-optimize on mobile devices and all PC web browsers. We intend to add a shopping area very soon so members can order academy merchandise. We will also be updating our Instructor page with photos and bios of all coaches. I hope everyone likes the new site as much as we do. If you have any suggestions to further improve the site, please let us know. If any local BJJ or MMA promoters would like to advertise events, contact us to get your information added in our newsletters and blog articles. Thank you – Calvert MMA Academy

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Posted in BJJ, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, Jui-Jitsu, Kickboxing, Lineage BJJ, Muay Thai, Nutrition, Self Defense, Team Relson Gracie, White Lotus Thai Boxing
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Three Things Everyone Needs To Know When Choosing A Martial Arts SchoolRead More
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