What is the purpose of introducing the Technical Blue Belt?
The testing requirements for the Technical Blue Belt are no different than they were for the Official Blue Belt over the last five years. The only difference is after June 1, 2014, we will only award the Official Blue Belt to people who have their reflexes verified in person at an authorized CTC. In other words, the difference between Technical and Official Blue Belts, besides the tag on the actual belt awarded, exists only in the method of verification, not in the curriculum or techniques covered. The primary purpose of introducing the Technical Blue Belt is to encourage more Gracie University students to have their reflexes verified in person by a qualified instructor so that they can benefit from hands-on assessment and feedback.
What if I already earned my belt through Gracie University Video Evaluation Process, is it still recognized as an Official Blue Belt?
Yes, we will grandfather all Gracie University blue belts earned through video evaluation prior to June 1, 2014 as official belts without requiring live evaluation. Any video-based blue belt tests submitted by home-study students on or after June 1, 2014, will be Gracie University Technical Blue Belts.
If I earn my Technical Blue Belt, how do I earn my Official Blue Belt?
When you pass the video-based blue belt tests and earn your Technical Blue Belt, you will receive detailed feedback on all your strengths and weaknesses. Once you’ve implemented the recommended changes, you can request a Live Evaluation at the Gracie Academy or at an authorized CTC. If you pass the test, the evaluator will award your Official Blue Belt in person. Please note that although we recommend you earn your Technical Blue Belt before testing for your Official Blue Belt, it is not required. If you think you have the reflexes and conviction necessary, you can jump straight to the Live Evaluation for Official Blue Belt consideration without having earned your Technical Blue Belt.
What’s the difference between the Live Evaluation and the Video Evaluation?
Although the techniques being tested are exactly the same, there are some significant differences between testing via video and testing in person. The Video Evaluation is conducted with a partner of your choosing in a controlled environment where you can repeat the test as many times as you want before you submit your videos. The Live Evaluation is conducted by an authorized evaluator who will test your timing, technique, reflexes and conviction, and you only get one shot at it.
If I earn a Technical Blue Belt, am I still able to advance through the Master Cycle curriculum and work towards purple belt?
Yes. Earning the Technical Blue Belt is perfect indicator that you have successfully completed the Gracie Combatives course, and as such, you will be fully prepared and authorized to begin working on the Master Cycle. Once you pass the Blue Belt Stripe 1 course via the Video Evaluation Process, we will send you the official BBS1 stripe to apply on your Technical Belt. After you earn all four stripes, you will be authorized to take the live Purple Belt Test even though you may have never earned the Official Blue Belt.
If I train at a CTC, does the new belt promotion process affect me?
No. All belt promotions issued to CTC students who complete the CTC attendance/proficiency requirements for blue belt consideration will be Official Blue Belts.
If I want to apply for the Instructor Certification Program (ICP), how does the new process affect me?
The qualification requirement for ICP consideration is the same. If you score 90+ on your Gracie Combatives test and earn your Technical Blue Belt, you will have the opportunity to apply for the ICP. If accepted, and you pass Phase 2 of the ICP, you will be evaluated for your Official Blue Belt in person at the Gracie Academy as part of the Phase 3 final evaluation.