Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy And Rener Gracie Official Statement About The 17 Years Old Black Belt

Teen sisters Maycee and Emma Barber run the Fort Collins Gracie Jiu Jitsu dojo in Colorado. On the official Gracie Academy dojo list, both sisters are said to be blue belts and Gracie University students. Each sister holds a Karate black belt too.

The photographs on the sister’s Facebook page and website show them giving Jiu Jitsu lessons, whilst wearing BJJ black belts and Gracie Jiu Jitsu Gis. These types of black belts have red bars and are only used in BJJ.

The sisters teach BJJ and Karate at their school, and according to several students who train there, they use black belts when teaching karate and blue belts when teaching jiu-jitsu.

Official statement from Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy

fake black belt

Like many CTCs, Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Fort Collins offers multiple disciplines under one roof. In the wake of the fraudulent black belt post, a jealous person in their community falsely accused the instructors of misrepresenting their rank. Emma and Maycee do an amazing job with their kids karate program and are amazing Gracie Jiu-Jitsu instructors. Not only are they proud Gracie blue belts, but they’re savages to roll with! Here is a statement from our Fort Collins CTC:

“There has been some speculation regarding the rank of instructors, Emma and Maycee Barber, at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Fort Collins. The Barber Sisters trained in karate for 12 years and jiu-jitsu for 4 years at Sykes Family Martial Arts in Fort Collins. They earned black belts in karate and were active instructors in the dojo. After Emma and Maycee went through the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program, the Barber Family acquired Sykes Family Martial Arts from it’s previous owner in 2014, and they decided rebrand the school as Fort Collins Martial Arts/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Fort Collins. Due to the success of the karate programs at Sykes Family Martial Arts, the Barber Sisters continued teaching the standalone karate program at Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Fort Collins in addition to all the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu programs authorized by the Gracie Academy. Although the eventual goal is to transition all the kids karate students into the Gracie Bullyproof program, in the meantime the Barber Sisters do a great job teaching karate to a solid group of dedicated students. To clarify any misunderstanding, while they almost always wear Gracie gis in the academy, regardless of what they’re teaching, the Barber Sisters wear their karate black belts when teaching karate, and when teaching Gracie Jiu-Jitsu they always (and proudly) wear their jiu-jitsu blue belts, as indicated in the photos below. As always, we invite anyone who lives in or around the Fort Collins area to come in for 10 days of free training to experience the amazing programs we offer.

-Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Fort Collins”

Rener Gracie on Verbal grappling show addressing the situation


  1. Let us assume that this is a legit explanation…why are blue belts teaching at a dojo in the first place? It doesn’t sound like they fill in here and there, but teach on a regular schedule. Maybe I am off here but wasn’t there something about needing to be a purple belt before teaching classes for money?

    • I don’t like them wearing bjj back belts. In fact, they are not allowed to. But to answer why are they running a school as blue belts, there’s alot of very good blue belt instructors. When I was teaching as a blue belt, some people came to me over black belts because of my method of teaching. There are blue belt instructors that have students taking medals in tournaments. And alot of blue belts have been training for more than 4 years. So blue belts can ruin schools with no problem they just need a black belt to promote past 4 stripe white

  2. Seems to me to be that these young ladies made a mistake and they will learn from it. They decided to wear 2 stripe BJJ blackbelts in place of their 2 stripe kenpo blackbelts. They also massively underestimated the hailstorm that would cause. Maybe they just thought BJJ belts looked cooler and didn’t realize how wrong it was. They are young. They messed up. Cut them some slack. Let them move on…


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