Changing Teams

I'm wondering what you guys think when someone gets their black under Gracie/Machado etc and then changes teams to another banner.

Totally depends on the circumstances, IMO.

i think that if the guy is cute enough/has a toit little butt, its perfectly ok.

..oops, sorry i didnt read the whole thread. disregard.

Hasn't it happened a bit here in Oz from Purple belt up?

I thought PDB did that as a Blue belt... Can someone confirm this (not that it matters)

From: Elvis
Date: 09-Dec-03 06:34 PM
Member Since: 01-Jan-01
10358 Total Posts

"And all 5 Machado brothers are black belts under Carlos Gracie Jr. (Barra Gracie), everytime they go to compete in Brazil they compete representing Barra Gracie Team using BG patch on their Gis."
That is correct. They got their Black Belts from Barra Gracie and that is who they represent (as there was no Machado Association back then). Though all their students represent Machado. I believe it is pretty standard for a Black Belt to represent the club where he got his Black Belt from, even if they start up their own club/team.


Sums it up I thought.

'I'm wondering what you guys think when someone gets their black under Gracie/Machado etc and then changes teams to another banner.'

'I thought PDB did that as a Blue belt... '

Here's what I know about it, I'm sure that people will correct me if I'm wrong about anything.

In the early days, Peter de Been was John Will's top student in shootfighting. After de Been and Will went to Brazil, Will kept training with the Machados in the USA, but de Been kept training under Carlos Gracie Jr. At this time, Will was still teaching shootfighting in Australia, not jiu jitsu. After years of going to Brazil, Carlos told de Been that in order to get better, he would have to start teaching, so Carlos asked de Been to start teaching in Australia and to start the AFBJJ. de Been told Will that he thought they should be concentrating on teaching jiu jitsu, and Will disagreed because he wanted to continue with shootfighting. And that is why Pete split away from John Will, to teach Gracie jiu jitsu. This was in the early nineties. Will had already been training in the USA for a long time and then later decided to teach Machado jiu jitsu in Australia. But I think that was AFTER Pete had split away.

Now about the blue belt, I know the story of Peter de Been getting his blue belt. de Been was beating the blues and some of the purples at Gracie Barra and so while he was training one day, somebody said to Carlos "Give him a bloody blue belt!" and Carlos replied "Nah, he doesn't care about belts, he just wants to come here and train". Pete (on the ground) turned around and said "Well... it'd be nice!" and so Carlos gave him his blue belt. I think it took Pete 5 years to get his blue belt.

Whether that was the point at which Carlos asked him to teach in Australia or not, I don't know.

Pete wouldn't have started fighting for Gracie Barra until after he got his blue belt. So it's true that Pete de Been split from John Will in the early nineties but it wasn't really 'changing teams to a different banner' since John Will wasn't teaching jiu jitsu and didn't have a jiu jitsu team.

Anyone ever read the long posts?

There seems to be PDB split, Williams split and started GZ, Ben Hall split to start his own looks like JD split and i'm sure there are others. Is it any different that the person who works for a company for 10 years and then decides for his/her own reasons that they want to start up on their own and give it a go? Happens everywhere.

Thanks Elvis. I am good friends with a close associate of Peters, this sounds extremly close to what he said about the PDB/JBW issue.

I had heard a lot of conjecture and heresay, so I took what my friend said with a pinch of salt.


If you change teams, it is fine as long as you leave on good terms and no one gets put in a bad position or is lied to as a result of, or during your team change. If you are honest with yourself and everybody involved it shouldn't be a problem, provided everyone involved acts like an adult.

I went and trained at Extreme for a while, but I was honest with both coaches (JBW and JD) and everything was cool...(to the best of my knowledge).

Things get bitter when people lie to each other or spread bad rumors, etc.

Simply put, don't act like a dishonest fucktard and shit will work out fine.


"don't act like a dishonest fucktard and shit will work out fine"

Words to live by!


Everybody has the right to try and choose the gym they want to train even if you go in all of them before you start training like a beginner white belt. But after you try and decide which one you will stay that become your family so you stay there forever!
You just will change flag if some big issue happens and you're forced to do it, like move to a place that there is nobody from your school teaching and you don't have the knowledge or approval to teach or any other serious problem in the gym involving you. It's the same when you support a rugby, football or soccer team you don't change flags whatever happens, loosing or winning that's your team!

Surely the various "splits" mentioned above are somewhat inevitable in a young, growing "scene" which I still think BJJ is in Australia (compared to more traditional MA's)

It happens, it's part of growing, and not withstanding the points on honesty made above, shouldn't be the end of the world should it.

This would especially be the case if those at the top level are able to maintain a good relationship...

PS: I know next to nothing about the politics of it. I'm still trying to figure out how to keep my belt from coming undone everytime I roll. Never happened in karate class !!

hehe round and round the mullberry bush, under then over?? I get mine nice and tight to hold my guts in ;)

Paulo is correct.

Loyalty is an admirable character trait and should be encouraged.


I'm a strong believer in loyalty. Paulo is correct about your training partners being like a family - I couldn't imagine having to give up my friends to change schools as I've made so many friends through BJJ especially with all the other Machado schools.

However, conflict is a part of human nature. People have different personalities and goals, plus people change over time. So it is only natural that occasionaly, the relationship between a teacher and a student will break down and they will go their seperate ways (this happens in other sports, in business and in marriage). The test of character though is to be able to part without bad-mouthing your former teacher or student, and to live and let live.

I appreciate the loyalty aspirations, but it works both ways.
By the look of it David Krstic might be the only one on the thread to give an objective view on this.

Does anyone know of a car with a big enough bumper to fit a sticker saying:

"don't act like a dishonest fucktard and shit will work out fine"

Good points also Johnny S.

Loyalty is great but i wouldn't use rugby, football or soccer in the same sentence. The clubs fuck a player over in a second even if the player has been there for 10 to 15 years and the players will leave a club in a second for a better contract, and these are guys that are together a million hrs more than most BJJ guys and their coach or team members.

he's talking about the supporters. who trusts a guy that changes the team he supports?