The proliferation of the internet gave rise to a wide variety of new opportunities. One of those developments is the advent of online colleges where you could get schooled without ever leaving your house.
Some say that they waited until their grandfather passed away to do this, but in 2009 Rener and Ryron Gracie launched Gracie University, an online portal where anyone can sign up and learn the techniques that make up the Gracie brand of Brazilian jiu jitsu. Since then, there’s been a debate about the legitimacy, illegitimacy, merits and demerits of practicing and progressing one’s jiu jitsu online.
Last year, Kron Gracie said in an interview with Tatame that he thinks “it’s a shame, the way jiu jitsu is being sold. I’m ashamed to say that Rener and Ryron give lessons on the internet, where you can get a belt from a Gracie on the internet. It makes me sad to know this is happening now. Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do…You need to put in your blood at the gym, spend time with your teacher and earn the belt. It’s something you get with time and experience, not with money and friendship.”
On the same interview, Kron affirmed that there are teachers currently operating in gyms where promotions are awarded loosely, as many are being promoted to keep them coming to the gym. Kron explained that he’s lost students because he wouldn’t promote them.
In the online jiu jitsu classes, in order to be promoted you must demonstrate the ability to perform the skills taught. Hopefuls record themselves, submit the videos to Gracie University where Ryron and Rener assess the promotion. If deemed appropriate, a belt is sent in the mail.
While getting your jiu jitsu belt in the mail somewhat cheapens what is otherwise meant to be a sacred journey, there are those who swear by it. Like this guy, who just got his blue belt in the mail after successfully demonstrating that he could perform some 70 techniques.
Check out what Rener and Ryron have to say about it in the video below.
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