Yesterday there was a huge controversy coming out of the 2016 Abu Dhabi Trials, A blue belt competing in Abu Dabhi pro 2016 as a white belt and won Absolute Division.
Jiu-Jitsu Times reached out to Nurtakanov Olzhas and his coach about this situation.
Nurtakanov Olzhas coach statement:
Hey Guys, please allow me to clear this situation up a bit. My student Nurtakanov Olzhas is not a blue belt, I am the only colored belt in our entire city (purple). We don’t have many options to get promoted with our situation or even to attend the seminars. Due to financial difficulties we don’t have an opportunity to invite or visit any black belts to get promoted officially.
Abu Dhabi Pro is the first high caliber tournament that we have ever attended. I am 24 years old running my own gym, trying to spread BJJ in the town where people don’t know much about it. Olzhas has started to help me to teach the kids so I gave him my old blue belt, fully realizing that I have no right to grade him officially. It is normal in our local comps in Kazakhstan for blue and white belts to compete together.
If you would ever visit us you would see that most of the guys have no gear to train in, old judo GI’s passed down from someone tied with belts of different colors (orange, yellow, blue, green, red and so forth from Sambo and Judo). Olzhas was never officially graded as a blue belt, therefore we registered him as a white belt. Only after the tournament he was officially graded to blue by a real black belt.
Olzhas is very happy to have competed and to have won such a prestigious tournament and more importantly to have received his “real” blue belt, but now everything has went “sideways” to the point where we have to hand the medals back over to the organizers. As a coach I totally accept this as my fault and I want to apologize to the BJJ community for this misunderstanding and I want to apologize to my student for this turning out the way it did…Marat Kutzhanov (purple belt Kazakhstan)