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BJJ Fraud Checking


Frauds in the martial arts have always been a sad issue. A fraud will simply take the money of legions of students without actually teaching them anything real. It is bad for the students and bad for the arts in general. While many traditional martial arts have had them around for quite awhile, frauds are now starting to occur in the BJJ world. But unlike other arts, frauds in Jiu Jitsu are a little easier to spot and call out. How can you spot a fraud? Here are some tips to make sure that the local Jiu Jitsu instructor in your town is legit.

First, a Jiu Jitsu instructor should look competent on the ground. If you go check out a class and what the instructor is showing seems odd, over complicated or unrealistic, that is the first red flag. Even if you’re new to Jiu Jitsu, a competent instructor should be easily able to move between simple techniques and more advanced movements. If the instructor cannot hit a basic armbar from mount in a standard manner, then that is something to be concerned about. In addition to that, if the instructor refuses to roll with students, due to nonsensical reasons then that is another reason to be warry.

The next way to check out if an instructor is legit, ask him or her about their lineage. Lineage is who the instructor earned their belt from. A good instructor could have one lineage, while others can have a couple different instructors who awarded them their belts. If an instructor cannot tell you who he or she got their belt from, that is a big red flag. Frauds tend to hide information about their lineage because it simply exists. Some will use a fake lineage. This is all stuff that can be easily tracked down online.

You can also check out if an instructor is legit due to his student’s competition records. The students of the school should at least be doing somewhat well, like being able to consistently place and medal in tournaments. This shows that the students know real Jiu Jitsu, and the knowledge that they gain from their instructor is also legitimate. Do not get hung up on an instructor’s personal competition record. Some people who are great teachers were not necessarily great competitors. But his or her students should be showing competency in the tournament world.

The last way you can make sure the instructor is legit consists of little things. The little things could be that in addition to his or her BJJ rank, if they claim some ridiculously high rank in a traditional art. If the instructor claims they are a black belt in BJJ, and also an 8th degree black belt in something silly like nihon combat aiki-jitsu, then that is a pretty obvious flag. Also look if the school uses terms of other styles within Jiu Jitsu. The little things can add up.

Luckily, the frauds do not tend to stay long in Jiu Jitsu. Eventually their BS gets exposed. Whether it be at their school, or a tournament, a fraud will be called out. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the few styles where what works makes the style real. There is no hidden death touches, or crazy forms. Just effective techniques, and real ideas. And with that being said, enjoy BJJ champion, Andre Galvao destroying a fake black belt in competition. Jiu Jitsu is no joke, so do not treat it as such.


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