On January 18th Renzo Gracie was promoted to the legendary Coral Belt (Red and Black) in BJJ. He was promoted in Abu Dhabi and announced the post on his Instagram page (@renzograciebjj). He was promoted by his uncle Rickson Gracie, who is also a BJJ Red and Black Coral belt.
In the caption, he left a quote from his grandfather:
“Be big enough, so you can feel unsatisfied, be noble enough, so you can feel anger, be strong enough, so you can feel fear, and be happy enough, so you can feel frustrations.”– Carlos Gracie
What is a BJJ Coral Belt?
Maybe you thought the belt system ended at black belt. When most instructors talk about the belt system, they tend to leave out the coral belt ranks and the red belt. The red and black coral belt is awarded to someone in lieu of a 7th degree on their black belt. To be eligible for a red and black belt, you must have been awarded your black belt 31 years prior.
Ten years after being awarded the red and black belt, a practitioner will become eligible for a red and white coral belt (the eighth degree.) This is the final rank before the full red belt can be awarded. If you would like to read more about the rules surrounding the degrees beyond black belt, check out our Full Guide to the BJJ Belt Ranking System.
Who is Renzo Gracie?
One of the most influential Jiu Jitsu practitioners of all time, Renzo (pronounced “Hen-zo”) is a successful retired MMA fighter, and owner of the Renzo Gracie academy. Renzo has trained Jiu Jitsu for over fifty years, and his academy is renowned for being one of the best Jiu Jitsu academy’s in the world.
John Danaher and the legendary Danaher Death Squad are products of the Renzo Gracie Aacademy. Jokingly referred to as “the blue basement” because of where the mats are located in the headquarters academy, the school now has affiliate locations all over the world. You can read more about the Blue Basement here!
The academy has also trained MMA Stars like George St. Pierre. But few know that Renzo himself is an MMA star. With a record of 14-7-1, Renzo had deceive wins in PRIDE, ONE Championship, and even the UFC. One of his most impressive victories was against Oleg Taltarov in the UFC.
Renzo Gracie is also a successful Jiu Jitsu competitor. He is a multiple time ADCC World champion. He was also recently inducted into the ADCC hall of fame in September 2022. Renzo receiving his coral belt is only the most recent accomplishment in a long line of Jiu Jitsu achievements.
Jack is a BJJ purple belt who holds a bachelors degree in English Literature. He enjoys traveling, reading, and the Bow and Arrow choke. One day he hopes to teach English overseas and become a published author.