Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt Promoted Himself To Brown Belt

Joe McCaffery had bad experiences at other BJJ academies and therefore started his own school.

In and of itself, there’s nothing controversial about that. Instructors break away from their academies and start their own schools all of the time.

But what he did there broke the combat sports internet.

While at his school, Joe McCaffery made the controversial decision to promote himself from purple belt to brown belt.

In the video, McCaffery explains why he decided to self-promote, something which is typically (and strongly) frowned upon at martial arts schools:


The Brazilian priesthood is dead no more will another man be allowed to determine my rank in life or in jiu jitsu. All of the psychopathic hierarchies need to be destroyed. And it’s not Brazilian and it’s not Gracie it’s just jiujitsu. It belongs to all of the people of the world. We don’t hang pictures of idols on the walls at One World jiu jitsu. We develop the self not our wallets. That is what a true martial artist does.

Joe, however, received both his blue and purple belts the traditional way, by being promoted by his instructor. Here is a picture of him being promoted to purple belt at Gracie Barra:



    • These are the words of BJJ Grand Master Helio Gracie which can be found in his book Gracie Jiu-Jitsu on pp12-13.
      “There are many more “Davids” than there are “Goliaths” so it was only natural that everyone that came across this revolutionary system wanted to learn it. The demand started and never stopped. In fact, it is very likely that some variation of the method I have been working on for almost eighty years is being practiced in a martial arts school near you.”
      “The issue has become not who can teach it but who can teach it properly. I have always said that any student of mine knows how to properly execute the fundamental techniques after forty lessons. But executing the techniques and teaching them are two different things. Knowing how to perform a technique does not qualify an individual to be able to teach it. Good athletes are not necessarily good trainers. Rarely will you find someone that will follow a specific curriculum that addresses all possibilities of a potential street confrontation. And if you do, you will observe that often they lack one of the most basic and important aspects in becoming a good instructor-the knowledge of how to perform an attach in a realistic way. If the instructor cannot imitate a real situation, the student will never truly be prepared.”

      “Another natural consequence of the popularity of the Brazilian method of jiu-jitsu is the increased number of sportive competitions. Many times, when a competitor achieves the black belt level, he automatically considers himself an instructor. Unlike medical or law school, where one must pass a bar exam before he starts practicing, in the martial arts, there is no organization to control the current stampede. Anyone who is interested in learning jiu-jitsu properly should not confuse an individual’s performance at a tournament with that individual’s teaching capability.”

      “Nowadays, all a student needs to become a black belt is to perform well at tournaments. However, in order to become a teacher one must take a professor’s course, by the end of which he will be evaluated based on a variety of aspects which include: tolerance, courage, hygiene, punctuality, nonesty, manners, intelligence, techniques, etc. this course, which i created in order to standardize proper dissemination of information on Gracie Jiu-Jitsu, requires years of full time dedication and will prepare an individual to be able to transmit properly the techniques the way I think they should be taught.”

      “Today, jiu-jitsu schools are in most cases breeding grounds to produce “tournament champions,” and then there is the snowball effect where the toughest students become champions and open schools , teaching their “stlye” to other tough guys who, in time, also become instructors and so on. Since many competitors are opening schools and teaching without the proper didactics, jiu-jitsu is becoming more and more diluted, whith priority being given to the sporting aspect. Often, the average person in intimidated by that “tough guy” atmoshphere, and, as the people who would benefit the most from learning jiu-jitsu, they are being neglected. Little by little, the most important elements of jiu-jitsu are being overlooked as the sportive aspect is being emphasized. The realism that was once the essence of jiu-jitsu is becoming overshadowed. This book will ensure that it will never be forgotten.” Helio Gracie

  1. So by his comments, we can all promote ourselves?

    Call me Great Grand Master SoKe Kancho Sifu Sensei El Presidents Black Belt Black Sash Black Silk Underwear!

  2. Sounds like a thoughtful, considered, and honest action. The belt means something different to him. He’s still gotta roll regardless of the color of cloth around his waist. So long as he continues to represent his credentials honestly with his students and prospects, good on him.

  3. Lame instructor.. embarrassment to bjj.. Promoting yourself to another high level without knowing the real levels at achieving a brown belt..I know ppls who are at that level for than 10yrs and become professionals and achieved by hard work and commitment..This dude talks about some lame ass journey and payed out.1 he can’t even mention any of his professors who provided his lame ass training..2 he’s probably talking to an imaginary audience..LMFAO!!

  4. He talk bad about belts and hierarchy but why he just stop using belt system. Looks more logical then saying a lot of shit about the system and then promote your self under the same system… Very confuse person.

  5. Hmmm . . . so, a) if he had so little respect for his instructors, why did he accept a blue, then purple belt from them? Neither can be legitimate if what he said is true; b) this must mean that his students (all two of them) can promote themselves as well. Zat about right?

    • Well if they are no good for any reason and they were still given to me by well respected bjj blackbelts then you are another one who had made my case. You guys are beautiful. And yes that was my message they can. But you are off by a significant number

  6. I agree with Marco Machado. He should have stepped out of belt system. Not to brown, black or red. very difficult to say what colour, but white and blue are safe succestions. This is not a remark of his skills.

    I also think that belt system is just something made up for team and tribe to so hierarchy and might also work as a motivational tool (but a very bad one).

    I also agree that jiujitsu is not brasilian. Gracie family has had a very big impact, but move are developed long before.

  7. If he wants to promote himself, fine. My challenge to this guy is to compete. Go to tournaments and test yourself against other brown belts. If you’re winning and taking home the gold then you are brown belt level. If you lose every tournament in the first match and get your ass handed to you, then you may have to demote yourself as quickly as you promoted yourself.

  8. Eu sempre quis ser médico, posso criar meu próprio diploma agora? Pra mim a estupidez é uma confederação aprovar idiotas como esse.
    A graduação para ser reconhecida precisa ser conquistada e digo que quem exerce profissão de maneira ilegal deveria ser preso. Sem mais!

  9. Don’t worry folks. The importance of the belt system he talks down will be the one that brings him down when a tough white belt comes in and taps him out. All his students will realize then he is a fake. I’m 54 only a blue belt and it’s taken me 3 years just to get here with alot of hard work. I still wonder if I’m worthy of a blue belt every day but my professor said my technique demostrates that I’am NOT that I earned it because of time. This guy has not learned the most important lesson yet in Jiu Jitsu HUMILITY!

    • So let me ask you this then if someone with a white belt came into your school and tapped you out would you quit jujitsu ,or would you spend the rest of your time that day working with that person????? belts are grading systems and like all grading systems have inherent flaws, any time you have humanity involved your going to have people who are unhappy with that. You respect your teacher so his opinion is important to you, the belt has value to YOU,I don’t know your teacher but I still respect you as a martial artist . The world is full of people who know more than me, and I try to learn what I can from everyone.

    • That is really sad. 3 years to get to blue belt. Took me 16 months with a hamsteing injury. I thought I had the longest record. 9-12 months at the most is the average. Your instructor has you brainwashed and is ripping you off. Your instructor obviously has serious issues if you are not ready yet. Get a new instructor as soon as you can

      • How is he getting “Ripped Off”?
        we train BJJ because we love the art… not to get belts…
        I’ll train BJJ and pay my monthly Dues until I can no longer walk…
        Will you stop paying once you’ve reached Black Belt?

        • That is great that you live to train. But that does not mean you need to be taken advantage of. Anybody who is a white belt for three years and then gets promoted simply because of time in and is still told he is not a blue belt is getting ripped off. I have never in 300 plus blue belt promotions I have witnessed seen anyone take longer than me. Until this guy. 3 years with consistent training is pure billshit. Even the ibjjf rules say that. But that is exactly the issue I was addressing. You cannot tell me that would not welcome a uniform objective system of belt grading in bjj. If you think hanging in a forever is the way to go then you are a slave pure and simple.

  10. “Joe was promoted to purple at Gracie Barra in October 2016” Um, no. He was promoted to purple belt in December of 2014, he left Gracie in October 2015. He works his ass off, so why does he have to earn his brown belt from someone else? He earned his belt because he worked hard and he knows it, not because he payed $60+ to go to a Gracie seminar.

    People have been challenging him to fights. He will turn down your “challenges” because jiu jitsu isn’t about boosting your fragile ego, it’s about defending yourself, if needed, against people with fragile egos.

    He promoted himself because a brown belt is a physical representation of his hard work. If he was just throwing on belts because he felt like it, it would show in his skill. But if you see him you will see someone with the skill of a brown belt, because he has worked for and earned it.
    He doesn’t need a Gracie to wrap a piece of cloth around his waste for him to have earned it.

    • Without at least some measure of independent review or certification or objective evaluation, self ranking and self promotion is meaningless. In all fields of expertise, particularly where you are selling or providing a service based on your claimed expertise, that expertise MUST be evaluated by at least SOME measure of independent objectivity. Otherwise, we’d have unqualified physicians, attorneys, college professors, nurses, the list can go on and on. Any charlatan can simply hang a sign over their door and claim any thing they want. It is not the individuals decision on whether or not they are deserving of an award or achievement or accolade …. it is their PEERS.

      • You will go far in life until your peers tell you you are worthless. Then what. Hay is a bankrupt philosophy and disempowered you. Too bad you cannot see that.

    • Sorry Megan but you dad has obvious Cognitive Distortions of the true message of Jiu-Jitsu. You don’t need to be a brown belt to own and operate your own school. Maybe their was a confidence issue. It sure looked like it from the picture where he was reaching for that belt like it was a taboo magazine. Promoting your self goes against the very lessons that Jiu Jitsu teaches us about overcoming our failures. All of us at some point have seeked out “Physical Representation of our hard work” until we have been beat up and ground down enough that we see the true beauty of the sport and lessons of the sport. These lessons are dynamic and always changing. I take it he became disgruntled at some point in his training and went he own way. This happens but to promote your self disrespects every teacher that helped you on you way. Your dad is still a Purple belt in Jiu Jitsu he is just wearing a brown belt. Bottom line best luck to him as he takes an instructor role at his own academy. Ive done this but I got promoted through what I showed the world I could do. I hope he has high goals in competition to prove he is deserving of the rank. Has he ever instructed a class before? Did he developed a lesson plan or are you just going to positional drill every class? Good Luck I am looking forward to seeing him called out on youtube. I hope he displays the skill of a brown belt as you say he does. Why didn’t you promote him if you saw the skill within?

      • And Megan is way smarter than you my friend sorry to say. And I would say on a spiritual level there is much I can learn from here. I feel honored just to be her dad.

    • Let’s talk about everything you’ve said:

      1) “He works his ass off, so why does he have to earn his brown belt from someone else? He earned his belt because he worked hard and he knows it, not because he payed $60+ to go to a Gracie seminar.”

      So he’s judged himself, his abilities and is convinced he deserves a promotion? This is child logic. My kid says the same thing with his karate class. “I work hard! I should be promoted!” In his opinion, he worked hard but in reality it’s not up to par with others. They don’t get to make that judgement. Otherwise everyone would decide they were black belts. I would compare BJJ to an apprenticeship. The student never decides when they are ready. Why? Because they don’t know what they don’t know. Only the master knows. So for Joe to think he deserves a promotion based on his own judgement of his abilities, is already biased.

      2) “People have been challenging him to fights. He will turn down your “challenges” because jiu jitsu isn’t about boosting your fragile ego, it’s about defending yourself, if needed, against people with fragile egos.”

      Nobody wants to beat up a 51 year old man. I think you’re confusing ‘challenges’ with fights. If they are actually talking about fighting, yes, those are just assholes. But if it’s a ‘challenge’ basically it’s just a roll. If you are going to promote yourself, ‘challenges’ are part and parcel of doing so. As for fragile egos (bad thing to bring up in his defense), your father made it about ego when he promoted himself. That’s the epitome of ego. He talks about how the people who promoted him are not worthy to do so and that they are children. His logic is flawed. They may be younger than him but they have been doing jiu jitsu longer. Don’t bother bringing up his 30 years or whatever of japanese jiu jitsu because it doesn’t translate (plus anyone who rolls knows what “on & off” mean, and that should not be counted as jiu jitsu time). If he’s a black belt in japanese jiu jitstu, it doesn’t make him a black belt in bjj. black belts don’t transfer. You start from the beginning like everyone else. With his promotion he was saying, “In my 5 years of bjj, I know MORE than the black belts who have been doing it their whole lives. I know when I deserve to move up.” I applaud his ‘restraint’ from promoting himself straight to black belt. However, if he can promote himself to brown belt, it will be a matter of time before he does so. Your father has made a statement that he deemed himself worthy to be promoted. Every one is tested with rolls in bjj, regardless of being promoted or not. That’s how you truly measure yourself and know what you need to work on. It’s part of the jiu jitsu life. They are tested by every belt, and every age every day. That’s the beauty of bjj. Saulo Ribeiro said: “JIU-JITSU AT THE END OF THE DAY, IS THE ART OF EXPRESSING YOURSELF HONESTLY. EVERY TIME YOU PUT ON A GI, YOU CAN’T LIE.” If Joe feels he’s a brown belt, than a roll with any belt level should not be something to fear. There is fear when you have something to hide or if you are ashamed. Rolling with people in his class, provides no challenge because they are all below him (even as a purple belt). You can’t teach what you don’t know and you don’t know what you can’t teach.

      3) “He promoted himself because a brown belt is a physical representation of his hard work. If he was just throwing on belts because he felt like it, it would show in his skill. But if you see him you will see someone with the skill of a brown belt, because he has worked for and earned it.
      He doesn’t need a Gracie to wrap a piece of cloth around his waste for him to have earned it.”

      How does one determine when you’ve reached the physical representation of your hard work? He’s never been a brown belt before, so how does he know that he reached it? For a day to day example: If you’ve been a manager before, you know what you need to do in your new job to become a manager. How can you determine the end of something if you’ve never been there before? That’s why bjj is so special because not everyone who does bjj becomes a black belt. It’s a honor to receive ANY promotion from your teacher. They’ve travelled that road, they know what you need to learn before you do. How can he determine that “he has worked for and earned” his brown belt? Doing this is like building a house without blue prints.

      BJJ is not about just physical work, the mental aspect plays a huge role too. Also, how can we “see someone with the skill of a brown belt” if he doesn’t roll with us? That’s an impossible task if we can’t roll. Many people who don’t believe in their belts, never roll with people who aren’t their students for fear of being exposed.

      The one thing I will agree with you on is “He doesn’t need a Gracie to wrap a piece of cloth around his waste (sp – waist) for him to have earned it.” That’s true. He doesn’t need a Gracie to do it. He does however need some one who’s walked and knows that path, a real black belt, to be promoted.

      • Thank you. Well written and well reasoned and probably useful for all of us to consider from time to time. I am a 53 year-old BJJ white belt. I am also a 3rd Dan in Tang Soo Do, ran a full-time dojang for three years, trained extensively in several other combative arts, wrestled in high school for three years, started bjj in 1996 and trained for several years before a neck crank gone wrong sidelined me, came back a few years later until I dislocated my knee, came back early this year until I ruptured my pec….and now I’ve just started again. From martial arts, to military service, to many hundreds of hours of firearms and tactics training, I’ve been working at some sort of martial practice almost continuously for 42 years. The last thing I care about is the fact that when I walk through a particular set of doors I have to wear a white belt again, I don’t mind showing some appreciation to whoever started the art I’m training in, and I’m tickled pink to learn from a 30-year-old blackbelt instructor who knows his stuff. But I, like all of us, occasionally grapple with my own ego over one thing or another, so at some level I can relate to what Mr. McCaffery is struggling with, which would seem to be his own ego.

        The irony of awarding yourself a belt while rejecting the belt system is just so excellent though…hopefully he’ll have his own laugh over it someday.

        • The first half of the first paragraph was you self promoting how badass you are. You then go on to attempt to make yourself look humble by saying you don’t care about wearing a white belt. You are A contradiction. You are projecting your own ego struggles onto MaCaffery.

          What McCaffery is doing is not irony, its pure genius.He has rejected the corruption of the belt system and the brainwashing cult surrounding it. He can see the contradictions and has found a way to solve the problems of a corrupt core within ‘bjj’ . This idea , this statement he has made, is greater than any ‘bjj’ move ever invented. He will be remembered as the man who planted a seed , an idea, that spiritually revolutionised a martial arts revolution, and turned the tables back to where they belong. He had the courage to stand up to Negan, to lead the way back towards Respect, discipline ,honour, virtue. Jujitsu.

          The weak and good have as much right to be empowered with jj as the psychopaths.

          Corrupt leaders who are known to coordinate flying monkey attacks on other students should face criminal prosecution and ostracisation.

          What this man has done has inspired me so much I am considering moving countries to study under him. I would advise all people in the bjj community to get behind this MAN, he is a true warrior who stood up to the gangs of scapegoating golden children.

          • The Concepts and art were born out of the east , born out of a philosophy with nature. Its Jujitsu, wherever that word originates from.

            Detaching from Brazil and American acknowledges the source, the culture that first got in touch with the Tao and created this beautiful martial art, jujitsu

            Like Mcaffery said, ONE WORLD JUJITSU

            It has that power, but people have to have autonomy and the ability to be honest with themselves and eachother, to regulate themselves and eachother. No power that can be abused or hierarchies in control.

            Mcaffery was right to promote himself from purple to brown and to let his students promote themselves.

            The truth is self regulating and anyone who tries to be a black belt will just get a humorous pat on the back.

            In BJJ We know where we stand with eachother

    • This guy has no more business granting himself BJJ belts than he has granting himself the Nobel peace prize. That’s not how the system works. If you don’t like the system and want to go down the McDojo path, call it something else.

    • Until he can compete with and beat other brown belts, he should not be a brown belt. Also, someone of a higher rank needs to be training/instructing him. Who has done that?….and please don’t say he believes a tape series can advance him. And he DEFINITELY can not get to the black belt level without an instructor. So unless he is willing to go back to that system he hates, he will never reach that level and therefore his students will be severely limited, not to mention will never be recognised if they want to compete or get to the black belt level themselves. I hope his students recognize how useless a belt from him is outside of his so called school. OMG, he is doing them such a disservice.

  11. Belt colors exist solely to promote the idea that validation from another person has worth. Belts hold your pants up. You want to train then train you should approach every opportunity to work with other people as Chance to learn. If you need someone else to validate any action that you take your walking their path and not your own. Respect the arts you practice, respect the efforts of others, offer help when you can and learn from EVERYONE.

  12. Glad Megan chimed in regarding the date he received his purple belt. I was def confused, because he said he’d had his purple belt for 2 years, but the photo caption in the article said it was last month.

  13. One thing for sure, ppl are going to want to test this guy all the time, including purple belts, as he’s barely been promoted to purple in the ‘old system’ in October 16′. I wonder how long until he gets promoted to black??

  14. Pretty sure “He was promoted to purple belt in Oct 2016” is a typo I met him during the summer months and he was a purple belt then…

  15. Although I disagree with his beliefs, he’s entitled to self promote himself if he isn’t going to fall under the BJJ system. The problem that I have with this is that his students will have a hard time being accepted in the BJJ community. As any practitioner knows, it’s about lineage. If they are a higher rank and decide to train elsewhere, they will have to start over because of his ideals.

    • They will most certainly have a difficult time being accepted. Students receiving rank form this individual are comparable to receiving a college degree from a diploma mill or unaccredited educational institution. Try applying for a professional career position with a degree from an unaccredited educational institution/diploma mill, once the potential employer checks on your educational background they’ll file your resume strait to the trash, you wont be receiving an offer, ever.

    • I was of exactly the same opinion, until I saw his brown belt had the BJJ black stripe on it, which is misleading. If he’d have given himself a brown, black or red belt under his own jiu jitsu system (a lot of those have japanese roots), then fine. But this is very clearly a BRAZILIAN belt. I’m not comfortable with that – there are plenty of us out there who did years of the japanese art, and got graded to brown or black, then restarted from white in BJJ.

    • I appreciate your comment. Quite frankly my students recognize they want know part of the bjj community. Especially after this. They are not interested in the sport aspect either. They want to know how to defend themselves

    • Please tell us the “system” of jiu jitsu where he is entitled to promote himself. I think a lot of people would be interested in that name. I mean from what I know, people who start their own styles, have been at least a black belt first, then they start some crap and promote themselves to 10th dan or higher. When have you EVER seen a brand new style master promote themselves to brown belt lol. Come on dude.

  16. I’m a student under professors Carlos lemos jr and Sergio costa at the school that gave him his purple belt. GB Downers grove Illinois.

    He’s not a brown belt. Our current brown belts would dismantle this guy. Our purples too. He was asked to leave to school a few months back and never seemed to want to make amends for his deceitful actions. I’m amazed anyone from my lineage would be so disloyal and disrespectful. Especially to professors Carlos and Sergio. They are excellent ambassadors of bjj who give so much to our student body… F this nonsense. Gracie Barra is #1. Cheers!

    • Professor Dave so nice to hear your opinion. I rolled with you from the beginning at yobe and enjoyed the mustache rides and the laughter and supported you in your journey. If could be dismantled so easily what does that say about your jiu jitsu. After all we rolled together and taught classes together and you were standing there every time I got promoted. You never dismantled me, professor lemos never dismantled me nor did any of the 200 students who I rolled with their. I am amzes at the person I once new is so dishonest and so blind. To professor Sergio I respect you and honors the time on the mat you gave me and the things I learned from you.

      • I’m a blue belt under Renzo… I’d dismantle you just on principle… With money on it too.
        stop saying you do Jiu-Jitsu… you gave that up when you went on to your own thing (which is fine, but its not Jiu-Jitsu).. anyone who promotes his or herself in Jiu-Jitsu did not earn it, this is not an argument point, it’s a fact… make up a new name for what you are doing or just call it grappling and move on with your bitter life.

        or don’t, who cares anyway

        • Chad outstanding that you can dismantle me as a blue belt. But how do you know this? You and I never rolled. But you seem very confident in your skills. Do tell what exactly do you mean by dismantle? I am curious. In the meantime I will practicing the art of jiu jitsu. And that is why is called.

        • You seem to care. You are very brave posting anonymously. You know who I am but I sadly do not know you. Identify yourself and provide contact info so we may talk further

    • Dave I posted Helios’ requirements for being a black belt above. You might want to read them. Re-evaluate whether you or any of your peers are qualified under that standard, I doubt it very much. But I do hope that you now turn you attentions to yourself and re dedicate yourself to the art you love so much and strive to incorporate them into your practice. You should leave Gracie Barra. You are far better than that. At least the person I used to know was. Go start your own academy like you did before.

  17. The sport has become flooded with phonies that have not earned the color they were. It is very sad to see the sport so watered down. 7 years training and I am a purple belt. That is average.

  18. He says, Jiu Jitsu is about truth and you can’t “lie” on the mats. We have blue belts that would probably leg lock him in 2 minutes. What truth does he speak of?

    • Really? What are there names and phone numbers? How do you make this statement knowing nothing about me. Just another uninformed angry lost person pounding at his phone.

  19. Joe is no doubt a bit out there on this, and Hypocritical, ( is he encouraging Self promotion in his own school?)

    I have been hanging at Brown for 8 years, believe me, nothing Id like better than to go up and try an Comp at Black, and start a new chapter.

    I am not the only one, plenty of others stuck as well at all levels and not because of lack of effort or dedication.

    Sometimes schools fall apart and your left in the cold, other times Instructors simply refuse to promote (for all sorts of stupid reasons, especially at the higher levels.)

    Given Joes time on the Mat, I don t agree with his decision.

    I also know I couldn t care less what Joe does.

    Off to class.

  20. At least he didn’t have to pay for his promotion., who here pays for there stripes/promotions? I mean a separate fee, outside of the academy dues?

  21. Well he has one thing right, “another” truly will “never” place a belt on him again. There are a lot of things wrong with his statement beyond the fact he promoted himself. He talks about hierarchies need to be destroyed, regarding the belting system, yet he fully embraces the belt. That’s a true sign of a narcissist. He speaks as if he has been wronged by the history and culture of BJJ and the masters that came before, yet he’s only experienced a little bit. He claims that there is no Japanese JJ, and no BJJ, just JJ, yet he claimed to specifically study JJJ and BJJ. He may have gotten away with this if he completely shed himself of all references to BJJ and it’s belt system and came up with his own system, Joe Kwon Do, or something, but the fact that he still follows the BJJ rank system means that he wants the respect that goes along with a higher belt, he just doesn’t want to, or does have the character to earn it like everyone else. The whole reason BJJ belts are so respected relative to many other martial arts is because they take a lot of time, effort and sacrifice to earn. They’re not given out on a whim, and certainly not self awarded when the student suddenly “feels they are ready”. There are a lot of people who feel like they deserve something they haven’t earned, and for the most part, BJJ is good at weeding those people out. I’d be surprised if this person manages to ever train again. I can’t imagine anyone would want him in their academy, and I can’t imagine anyone would want to train with him after he’s been putted like this. The public backlash he’s getting right now is probably worse that any “roll” he most likely will get when people start showing up on his mats… That’s if the owner of the school he teaches at allows him to stay, which I’m pretty sure won’t happen.

    • I am still training 2 hours per day 6 days a week. You don’t know jack. About anything. Disempower yourself right to the end my friend.

    • None of any of what has occurred has had any impact in anything I do except to realize that was right and if I thought like you or listened to people like you I would be just like you. Thank god I am not you.

  22. I know people who have personally rolled with this guy, and he pretty much got worked every time. According to the person I know he didn’t deserve his purple belt to begin with. Which in my opinion is pretty dangerous on his end. Now rocking a brown belt is even worst for him. This was also the same guy that kept repeatedly going after his old professor personally from his old posts and continues to go after him even on this video. I think that he probably knew he would never reach that level to where he got his black belt. I think it probably had to do with him just sucking at BJJ, which you only learn from your failures. I think over all this guy is the definition of a looser. Fuck him, fuck his school, fuck his life and most importantly fuck his brown belt. I only feel bad for his students.

    • So if I never deserved the purple to begin with and a highly respected bjj 4th degree blackbelt is photographed putting it in me than my friend we have nothing further to talk about. You have just validated my message. Thank you!

        • yeah nice try joe. Not naming anyone for your benefit. You got your purple belt because Gracie Barra felt sorry for you. which brings into question the belt grading Bracie Barra has in place. You feel that you deserve your brown belt then you should accept the challenges people are throwing at you. I know a ton of people that have sacrificed to earn their purple belt. and I know people that have sacrificed but haven’t gotten the skill to even have a blue belt. Yes BJJ is a way of life not just to earn belts. But your dumb ass is salty as fuck. Admit it. You burned your bridges with other BJJ gyms and would probably never get your black belt. So you make up a real dumb story about your uncle to promote your self. You are a fake Brown Belt. Plain and simple.

          • Be a man and identify yourself. You cannot substantiate anything you say. I do however find your comment about how I got my purple belt fascinating. Do tell. So the largest franchise in the world selling bjj to the world claiming great integrity has a flawed system. And Carlos lemos jr. Is in charge. Now we are getting somewhere. Again if you have names of people or wish to come out of the shadows I really can’t take you seriously. As far as challenges go I rolled with 200 students at Gracie Barra and I will name the ones I can count on my hand that can submit me. Any blue belt worth his training who rolls smartly can prevent higher belts from submitting him. The question is can you submit me. Can you? Who are you? Did you ever roll with me? Not even professor Carlos ever submitted me. And if what you say was true about how I got my belt then you have made my point period. be a man identify yourself. If you cannot than you are just a coward period.

          • How about you and I roll? You sound like you are at yobe. And you are talking for mike Rose. I invite you to come test your skills. I will not even attempt submissions. I will give you all the time you need or want to submit me. Sound fair?

          • So from all your talk you know blues and you know purples so you must be at least one of those or maybe a brown or maybe even a black belt. But you do not have the courage to identify yourself. According helio Gracie himself to be awarded a black belt one of the essential qualifications is courage. Just say who you are now and you check courage off the list !

  23. Sadly this is going toward McDojo stuff….pleas don’t bring shame on bjj like this,you are creating a dangerous exemple…
    Belt system in bjj has a very deep meaning based not only on the ability,every seriuos practicioner knows that…
    Nevertheles you have to spend many hours on the mat with more experts and capables collegues to improve your level….if you only starts a new school and roll with noobs you’re not testing honestly your level….
    If you promote yorself like this you are only demostrates that you WANT the belt but you haven’t already deserved it,if you refuse challenges you ‘re demostrating that you know you have not the ability…
    BJJ is based on honesty in the sense that you know that “this” guy is going to kick your ass but you roll with him every time (acepting that you are not at his level) to improve yourself…

    • My challenge to this guy is simple. Compete. If you go to tournaments and are beating legitimate brown belts and bringing home medals then you’re brown belt level. On the flip-side, if you get your ass handed to you at every tournament then demote yourself back where you belong.

  24. How do you equate a bullshit story about your dead uncle with your ‘deserved’ rank in martial arts i just don’t know.

    Anyone out there who is training at his school, your belt is fake because your instructors belt is fake.

    Leave now, you are wasting your time.

    • The belt is your fixation. What counts is the jiujitsu. Watch the video Again and again until you see the very plain relationship between his sacrifice and my freedom to do as I choose.

    • And I have witnessed through my students jiu jitsu that it is surely not fake. But you may come by anytime to authenticate it:

  25. I’m a TKD Black Belt and have been an assistant instructor in the past. My son who used to train under my Master wants me to train him at home and promote him accordingly. While I can do this I feel like he would not be recognized in the martial arts community as having legitimately earned his rank.
    This man can promote himself to any rank he pleases but how his peers view his rank will always be in question. Respect among your peers is one of the most important aspects of martial arts.

  26. Eh. We have no clue where his skill lies. We have to figure all grandmasters promote themselves in a sense doing a lot of self learning. Maybe he’s earned it. Maybe he hasnt. Doesn’t affect me.

    We have a guy around here that promoted himself to blue in a sense. He went to a tournament and wrecked it as a blue. So when he got back his instructor told him to keep the belt, he earned it.

    If this guy is rolling competitively with the Browns than all the power to him.

  27. THIS FREAKING DOUCHEBAG talks about how the men who promoted him were not of strong character, then has the gall to say the Marine Raiders of WWII were “crying like babies,” then he follows that up by promoting himself to brown belt. Double triple “HELL NO.” Joe McCaffery, you are a joke at best, and your grandfather (if he even is who you say he is) would be completely embarrassed of you. I hope you say that shit in front of a Marine in person. See what happens. Fucking retard.

    • And i have told this story to roomfuls of marines. Lt. colonel Joseph P. McCaffery commander of the 2nd marine raider battalion. Navy cross silver star Purple Heart. Had a destroyer named after him. USS McCAFFERY DD-860.do your homework. And then find out who your heros are.he is the reason along with many other brave men you get to be steeped in ignorance. Focus on yourself not on me. What is wrong with you that you don’t understand that?

  28. BJJ lost humility when changing one J to a B, and also the stand up technics. In that lost of humility there is that the black belt there are a bit chin up.

    Someone with 30 years of experience is black belt for a long time indeed …
    Funny to know is that originally in japan there was only one belt color, it was white, and was never washed … so it was turning black along the years … That’s why. Nothing else. And certainly not ego related.

    • Best comment of them all. You summarize it all so well. Thank you for such a succinct, accurate, and truthful perspective. And that is really all it means when the belt changes colors.

    • Originally in Japan there were no belt colors. The Menkyo system predates the Dan system by over 1,000 years. There were no belt rankings, just the titles of Okuiri, Mokuroku, Menkyo and Menkyo Kaiden. These ranks were not issued based on years spent learning. They were based on level of mastery of technique, which meant that regardless of one’s dedication to training, if they lacked the physical and mental acumen to reach a sufficient level of mastery over the technique, they would never achieve the rank of Menkyo even if they trained their entire life from childhood to their final years of life.

      The story about belt changing color from white to black over time is nothing more than a fanciful myth. The Dan Kyu ranking system was created by Jigoro Kano, the founder of Kodakan Judo. When it was created Kano’s instructors and students didn’t even wear the Judo Gis. They wore the conventional Kimono with Obis. Even then there was no outward manifestation of rank on the Kimono. Later on Kano decided to have his most senior instructors wear black Obis and, when they adopted the use of the Judo Gi, black belts. Everyone else wore white belts. Different styles of Japanese martial arts began adopting additional colored belts for progression between Mukyu and Shodan

  29. There’s an Isshin-ryu no Megami on the wall as well, I sincerely hope he hasn’t dishonored himself in that system as well.

  30. The founder of Isshin-ryu no megami was also a revolutionary and considered a heretic in his time. He was told he could not do what he was doing and did it anyway. Study your history. I honor that tradition.

    • Considering you endorsed a historical falsehood in your other post you should practice what you preach. It contradicts your claim that you honor that tradition and only reinforces the inference that you endorse anything that supports your premise even when it’s a total fabrication.

  31. It is called Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because is it the style developed in Brazil by certain people. If you want to award yourself belts make your own system with your own standards, you could call it Joe-Jitsu.

    Also you should be ashamed talking about Marines the way you did, as if you were there and know. Sure Marines cry like any human can even due to just stress, but it sure as hell was not crying like babies they were crying like Marines and did their duty. My grandfather served in the Pacific, he landed on Leyte which was 100x worse than Bougainville.

    I am so sick of this idea of entitlement, you are a perfect example of this type of behavior.

  32. Update: my previous comments were written when my father was living with me and was constantly pestering me to make calls and send emails out for interviews because he thought he had become famous. He had me running around like his secretary and I went along with it, I’m not really sure why, but I was only sixteen at the time and probably stupidly wanted his approval. My father has previously been emotionally abusive to not only me but the rest of my family, and wether or not I [or anyone else] agree with any of his words regarding this is irrelevant to the fact that he’s not a very good person in general, and the entire reason this belt thing started was because he likes theatrics.
    He is no longer living with us and it’s cleared my head a bit, I’m no longer talking to him.

    My main point here is that wether or not I still agree with anything he said I ultimately regret defending him, not only because it was unnecessary and stupid for me to get involved (even a little), but also because he didn’t deserve my support. He dragged this thing (and his stay in our home) out far longer than it needed to be, and though the last article about him was months ago, I’d just like to put this out there as a final statement to this entire shitstorm to let people know that, regardless of what your position was on this entire matter, my father is not a good person.

    Take it from someone who spent the first twelve years of her life listening to her father screaming at her mother, watching him punch holes in our walls, calling us horrible names when we didn’t agree with everything he said (maybe that’s why I defended him), I’m happy he’s out of my life and me and my family are working to repair the mental damage he caused us all those years, including the year he just spent with us which was when all this belt drama occurred.

    He wasn’t the only one involved in this crap so maybe you can’t put all the blame on him, however he initiated it all in the first place, so maybe you can. I don’t know and I don’t really care. I just wanted to clear my name in connection to him (I can hear him calling my mom right now and yelling about how ‘out of line’ I am.)

    Every bad thing he’s part of is because he created the drama that led to it, he should know what I’m talking about.

    Please, no more articles.


    • Having read all the comments and correspondence here, I feel it needs to be said that you show exceptional humility and maturity with this comment. You now display the mental attributes that BJJ is all about. I’m sorry to hear you have had a tough time at home and as a person with daddy issues himself, I sincerely can emphatize. You should be proud of yourself, kudos!


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