Let me first say that I respect Eddie Bravo and his love for No-Gi. I respect his arsenal as a grappler and, though eccentric, shows just how bad ass he is on a regular basis.
That said, a gold jiu jitsu belt being distributed for the winner of his new business venture – Combat Jiu-Jitsu – is a disgrace to the art.
I’m all for people testing out their jiu jitsu with strikes on the ground; that he’s marketing it as though it’s the next big thing in grappling… in fact, it’s just a further retreat and degridation of legitimate combat. You can’t strike standing (MMA), you can’t wear a gi so those lapel chokes and sleeve controls are out the window, but he stated that he wants to make it the most prestigious grappling sport in the world.
Not to be a dick, but we have those already: ADCC and Worlds, depending on if you prefer no-gi or gi.
Adding strikes is like trying to water down MMA or beef-up already-amazing grappling. To me, it’s pointless. But, let’s say the venture takes off – and you know, I hope it does – maybe it can show grappling in a better light than MMA currently does, where people consider it two dudes dry-humping each other until the ref stands them up. Anyway, let’s say the venture takes off, WHY GIVE OUT A GOLD JIU JITSU BELT?!? It makes no sense. Why not create something entirely new instead of bastardizing something all of us enthusiasts respect?
Sure, a belt is just the strap that holds your gi top together – and with no-gi, it’s even less than that – but have some respect, dude.