Combatives® Belt

Test fee: $155 per student.

To test for your Gracie Combatives® belt, you must be at least 14 years of age.

Once you complete each of the Gracie Combatives® lessons three times, and you’ve completed at least 12 Reflex Development (RD) Classes, you are eligible to test for promotion to Gracie Combatives® Belt!

Award of the Gracie Combatives® belt requires successful completion of five drills. The Gracie Combatives® Proficiency Drills (GCPDs), originally known as the “Blue Belt Qualification Drills,” constitute a standardized test of your proficiency in the execution of the 36 Gracie Combatives® techniques, individually and in combination.  If your performance meets Gracie Academy standards, you will qualify for belt promotion, and you will be allowed to attend our advanced Gracie Jiu-Jitsu® program, the Master Cycle®.

  • Drills 1 through 4 test your execution of the techniques from the mount, guard, side mount, and standing positions. For each drill, you have five minutes to demonstrate all variations of the techniques in the exact order that we list them on the GCPD charts.
  • Drill 5 is the most important segment of the evaluation since it tests your ability to execute all techniques in a continuous four-minute, “Freestyle Fight Simulation Drill.”

Prepare Dillgently. Throughout the test the instructor will adjust speed and resistance levels to test your technical accuracy, conviction, and overall reflexes.

Stay Relaxed. The most important consideration during any evaluation is the quality of the technique. The most common mistake you are likely to make is to rush nervously through the drills and jeopardize the quality of your execution. Although it is important that your techniques are conducted reflexively, you must remain calm and only go as quickly as “perfect technique” will allow.  Smooth is fast!

Evaluation Criteria 

For the Gracie Combatives® test, you will start with 100 points and receive a 1-point deduction for each significant error. For promotion, you must score at least 90 points (no more than 10 deductions). The evaluator will focus on the following three areas:

Details: Do you own the technique? The subtle details will vary from one person to the next, but the core understanding of the technique is unmistakable. Each time the evaluator feels that you do not own the “big picture” concept of the technique, you will receive a 1-point deduction.

Conviction: Do you believe in the technique? A technique without conviction is like an automobile without fuel! In a street fight, you’re better off with 50% technique and 50% conviction, than 100% technique and 0% conviction. Rather than simply allowing you to “demonstrate” each technique, your bad guy should provide resistance to each movement so that we can verify that you own the technique. For each technique where conviction is clearly lacking, you will receive a 1-point deduction.

Reflexes: Do you stay calm under pressure? During the fifth drill, your bad guy should turn up the intensity and attack you in a continuous Freestyle Fight Simulation Drill.  Due to the unpredictability of this drill, we will be less concerned with precise technical application and more concerned with overall composure and distance management capabilities. If an obvious indicator presents itself, you should seize the opportunity, but as long as you are calm, controlling, and punch-safe from every position, you’re good to go!

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If, upon completing all five drills, you amass more than 10 deductions, or a final score of less than 90 points, we will notify you of your shortcomings so that you may fine-tune your techniques and retest at a later date. If you achieve a final score of 90 points or greater, the instructor will recommend you for promotion.

Once a Gracie University head instructor authorizes your promotion, we will recognize you as an official Gracie Combatives® belt holder. In either case, we will return your test with a precise description of each error so that you can use the constructive feedback to sharpen the sword.

Keep in mind that the primary benefit of testing is that it gives you the opportunity to get personalized feedback from Gracie University on your path to Jiu-Jitsu mastery. So if you fail the first time around, try to appreciate the feedback rather than condemn your performance. We are committed to helping you achieve your Jiu-Jitsu goals and want to ensure that you are 100% street ready when you earn your blue belt.

Award of the Gracie Combatives® belt signifies that you embody the core self-defense principles and are proficient in the foundational techniques of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Once you have earned your Gracie Combatives® belt and have dedicated an additional 6-12 months of training in the Master Cycle program, including fight simulation and live sparring against a jiu-jitsu trained opponent, you will be eligible to test for your official Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt.

To read more detailed information, log-in into your Gracie University account, and click on “Testing Center”, to watch some sample test videos, and to learn few other things like: most common mistakes, and how to score a hundred!