Gracie University Blue Belt Pretends To Be 2nd Degree Black Belt In Embarrassing Display

Mark McMahon’s “training” comes from HighKix Martial Arts. For some reason, he’s been masquerading around as a 2nd Degree black belt lately. The simple truth is that he’s a technical blue belt, and he didn’t even earn that belt the right way. He received that blue belt after sending videos of himself practicing BJJ to the school. In our minds, that doesn’t count as earning a blue belt, and he’s especially not a black belt.

He’s been running around as an instructor and having a good old time. However, it’s not difficult to spot the inconsistencies in both his garb and his instruction. Gracie University Blue Belt pretends to be 2nd Degree Black Belt doesn’t surprise us. We still believe that the masquerade is disrespectful to the individuals that put in hundreds of hours to become real black belts, though. For that reason, McMahon deserves to be exposed as a fraud.

Gracie University Facebook Post:

It has come to our attention that a Gracie University member, Mark McMahon, is misleading people to believe he is a 2nd degree jiu-jitsu black belt at HighKix Martial Arts in Latrobe, PA. Since it is very common for legitimate BJJ black belts to join Gracie University (and take the blue belt test) in pursuit of the street self-defense components of jiu-jitsu, before posting this, we needed to confirm that Mr. McMahon had not earned a legitimate black belt from another source. Upon reviewing the Gracie University records, here is what we found:

1. Mr. McMahon passed the Technical Blue Belt test via the Gracie University Video Evaluation Process on 3/24/2015. He is not an official blue belt and has not had his skills verified at a Certified Training Center.

2. Anytime a student submits a video evaluation for Technical Blue Belt consideration, we ask a series of questions to help with our assessment. Here are some of the pertinent GU questions and Mark McMahon’s responses to them:

GU Question: What do you estimate to be the total number of hours you have trained in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu?
Mark McMahon Response: Approx. 200 hours

GU: Have you learned Gracie or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu from other sources? If so, please explain.
MM: No

GU: Do you practice any other martial arts? If so, please explain which ones and for how long.
MM: Tang Soo Do – 12 years

Based on the information gathered and the fact that Mr. McMahon has received no jiu-jitsu instruction from any sources outside of his study through Gracie University, we can conclude, without a doubt, that he is misrepresenting himself as a jiu-jitsu black belt.

Black Belts Are NOT Transferable
With the explosive popularity of MMA and jiu-jitsu, many martial arts schools are offering multiple disciplines under one roof. This, in and of itself, is not a problem. If however, a black belt instructor of one discipline such as Tang Soo Do, decides that he will wear a black belt when teaching a jiu-jitsu class, even though he is not a black belt in jiu-jitsu, this is called “Black Belt Transferring” and this is a SERIOUS problem.

There is a strict policy against Black Belt Transferring at all Gracie Academy Certified Training Centers, and even though Mr. McMahon is not certified to teach, and his school has no affiliation to the Gracie Academy, his actions are condemnable.


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