Rener defends online Gracie University


Modern mixed martial arts owes its existence to the Gracie Family, notably Helio's line. Helio developed the technique of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His son Rorion popularized it. Now the third generation, Rener and Ryron, have taken it upon themselves to educate people about BJJ.

Controversially, part of that process is their online courses, in which they award rank via video. After just six years, their Gracie University reportedly has 90,000 students in nearly 200 countries. The practice has received wide criticism, including from family members Renzo and Relson.

In an interview with Tatame, Rener offers a defense, and says it is an fact a superior alternative to learning BJJ in an actual academy.

"Some people do not understand that online study is even more effective than learning in the traditional classroom," said Rener, via Google Translate. "In a live class, there are students of all stripes, and the teacher gives the same lesson for everyone. Online, each has its specific class. Some people tried to learn in the classroom, but the lessons were random, and some students had difficulty learning. And what did they do? Resorted to Gracie University!"

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Recent Comments »

voodoo child site profile image  

4/17/14 3:48 PM by voodoo child

For those that are able to train BJJ in an academy with a legit professor who's willing to teach. nothing can ever replace that. Yet this particular online course would be good as an adjunct. At least thats how I look at it. However, that virtual belt testing thing shouldn't be taken too seriously. Isn't JJ Machado also doing something similar to this?

JiuKaraKwonThaiKungDo Master site profile image  

4/17/14 7:00 AM by JiuKaraKwonThaiKungDo Master


Wasa-B site profile image  

4/17/14 3:02 AM by Wasa-B

Seems like yall blowing it out of proporation as usu

TeamRenzo4Life site profile image  

4/17/14 2:36 AM by TeamRenzo4Life

I am from Northern Ontario and had a chance to witness Kris competing at the Northern Ontario Open this past summer. There were teams from all over Ontario. I remember being keen to watch him because he was the only guy there not from a traditional BJJ academy. Mr. Ratte did exceptionally well, I believe scoring two silvers and a bronze and there were no "default finishes", the divisions he competed in were well represented. Do I believe he could be better in a traditional BJJ class? Probably, I am no expert. I can honestly tell you he held his own against the other competitors.

Truemanc3 site profile image  

4/15/14 1:37 PM by Truemanc3


JiuKaraKwonThaiKungDo Master site profile image  

4/15/14 7:20 AM by JiuKaraKwonThaiKungDo Master


UGCTT_Fillthy site profile image  

3/29/14 1:04 AM by UGCTT_Fillthy

I think the danger is that once the Gracies do it, anyone can do it...and probably not to their standards. If they set the precedent that a belt can be evaluated by watching a video of technique, some McJitsu places are going to do the same thing, but to a much lower standard.By creating a 'technical blue belt' they've avoided that issue.

pheonix5 site profile image  

3/28/14 11:48 PM by pheonix5

Newer video. They have changed the blue belt standards.   Ryron and Rener also introduce a modification to the Gracie University belt promotion process. Effective June 1, 2014, students who earn complete the Gracie Combatives program from home, and pass the Blue Belt Test via the Video Evaluation Process, will earn a Gracie University "Technical Blue Belt." To earn the Official Gracie Academy Blue Belt, students must pass an extended hands-on evaluation with Ryron, Rener, or an authorized Gracie Academy representative at a Certified Training Center.    

PrisonMattressPuncher site profile image  

3/21/14 1:43 PM by PrisonMattressPuncher

exactly,They are the blue belt Combatives which has little-to-no grappling against other knowledgeable grapplers - but that is not the point of it. Have you even seen the curriculum.They are definitely not 1st stripers. The knowledge you get from that is BETTER than ANY blue belt curriculum I have ever seen anywhere. It doesn't mean you will be a superstar grapplers, but you will be impressed with their technical performance and knowledge. You must know your stuff to pass it.

bbomber site profile image  

3/21/14 1:39 PM by bbomber

No $95 per month for three classes is not at the low end of the scale for our city.  We live in a small city with not a great economy.  Of 3 clubs in town, they actually charge the most, and have the least experienced instructors, both in terms of compeitiion and teaching.  Unfortunately, people who don't know the difference often get lured in by the Gracie name. And yes, we have had a fair number of their students end up at our gym.