By U of MMA staff
Traditional Brazilian jiu jitsu features five belt ranks. Newbies start as white belts and train with dedication for years, hoping to one day master their art and achieve the level of black belt.
On Sunday, May 20th, at its CHAMPIONS OF TOMORROW! event at Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE, the University of MMA will introduce an all new gold belt. This unique trophy will be awarded to the winners of the debuting combat jiu jitsu (CJJ) bouts.
Forged through a partnership with 10th Planet founder Eddie Bravo, combat jiu jitsu is best described no-gi jiu jitsu with strikes on the ground allowed.
“CJJ will be a great form of competition for grapplers to test themselves and see what ground techniques work for them when strikes are being thrown. It’s the perfect stepping stone to MMA,” said U of MMA founder Turi Altavilla.
While the belt itself has a flashy novelty to it, Bravo wants for the grappling gold belt to represent the highest rank possible. “My goal is to make the CJJ championship belt the most prestigious belt in all of grappling,” he said. “Your jiu jitsu must be MMA-ready to be the champion and in my opinion that is the essence of jiu jitsu.”
As for CJJ itself, the new style required not just an endorsement from a grappling guru such as Bravo, but also the sanctioning of official regulating bodies.
“We had to work with CAMO (California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization) as well as CSAC (the California State Athletic Commission) to make CJJ legal. Once they were convinced of the style’s safety and how CJJ can help grapplers grow into MMA, they recognized its value to helping MMA evolve,” explained U of MMA matchmaker Jay Tan.
The University of MMA’s ‘Champions of Tomorrow!’ takes place at 4:00pm on Sunday, May 20, 2012, at Club Nokia at L.A. LIVE, 800 West Olympic Boulevard. Doors open at 3:00pm. Tickets for Club Nokia events are available at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.ticketmaster.com  and from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM, Mon-Fri at the STAPLES Center Box Office located at 1111 S. Figueroa St. No box office or Ticketmaster convenience fees are charged at the STAPLES Center box office or at the Club Nokia box office on show days. The Club Nokia box office will open at 2:00pm the day of the event.
The U of MMA combat jiu jitsu gold belt is sponsored by OTM.