Presidential Candidate receives black belt: Has never trained BJJ
BJJ Practitioners Around the Globe Gasp
An honorary black belt was given to Brazilian Presidential Candidate Jair Bolsonaro on October 25th, 2018 during Brazils electoral period. He received the belt from Robson Gracie. Bolsonaro is a career politician, retired military officer, and an advocate for far-right policies. One thing he doesn’t have on his resume, is a single BJJ class.
Honorary black belts have been bestowed upon others in the past as well. What do you think about this?
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As BJJ practitioners, we know the amount of work it takes to grind our way to eventually be able to stand among the small percentage of those who earnt the right to wear a black belt. It takes some BJJ players a number of years to finally tie one of the most sought-after accolades in martial arts around their waist. An honorary black belt will probably spend its life in a box, or sitting pristinely on the fireplace mantle in an office somewhere.
Perhaps there’s another way for the BJJ community to show its appreciation for certain figures they wish to praise, other than awarding them with the highest most hard-earned honor in BJJ.
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There are no rules against these kinds of ceremonial presentation of black belts, and there probably never will be. Maybe its no big deal, but there’s that little bit of us that cringes when we know there’s no history of commitment and dedication to go along with the awarding of something we hold so dear.
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