Nowadays in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, if you put in the work, show respect, and demonstrate the requisite knowledge of jiu-jitsu, you are practically guaranteed a promotion.
But it wasn’t always like that, at least not at the gym of legendary red belt, Carlson Gracie Sr.
“Training at my dad’s gym was tough, and sometimes the guy wouldn’t get promoted,” Carlson Gracie Jr. said of his father’s gym. Instead, those waiting to get promoted would not only have to fight for the number one position, but wait for someone holding a rank above them to retire. As Carlson Gracie Jr. explains:
…so the black belt had to retire so that the number one brown belt could get to black, in order for the number one purple belt to get to brown, and for the number one blue to move up to purple.
Talk about a tough system!
You can watch the rest of Carlson Gracie Jr.’s interview with GRACIEMAG above.