The official certifying organization for the Gracie style of Jiu-Jitsu is the Federação de Jiu-Jitsu do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.
The Federação controls all teaching certifications (Assistant, Instructor, Professor, Master, and Grand Master), as well as all promotions to the rank of Black Belt and above. Not all Black Belts are certified to teach. The Belt Ranks awarded by the Federação are (from highest to lowest):
It typically takes between 6 and 15 years to achieve a Black Belt from the Federação. All promotions involving any Black Belt rank require the recommendation of 2 Masters and the approval of at least 5 officials of the Federação. Ranks below Black Belt are awarded by individual Professors and are then confirmed publicly through competition with other students of the same rank. Beginners and new students wear a White Belt. Adult belt levels progress from White Belt to Blue Belt, then Purple Belt, and finally Brown Belt, after which the practitioner becomes eligible for a Black Belt. There are a larger number of belt colors for children.
The Official Federação Belt Rankings of Gracie family members teaching in the U.S. are as follows.
Every instructor claiming a rank of Black Belt or above should be able to prove his rank by showing a Diploma and a Certificate issued by the Federação with original signatures of the 5 officials of the Federation who confirmed his rank.
If you have a question about a particular instructor's rank, and he is not on this list, ask to see his Certificate or Diploma from the Federação or send an E-mail inquiry to
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