Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Help preserve the grandmasters' legacy!

Shamelessly pinched, with a few alterations, from Meerkatsu:

A Red Belt (9th degree black belt and above) is the highest rank attainable by a BJJ instructor. There aren't many of these grandmasters around but they are there, somewhere, mostly in Brazil, a few in America. They have stories to tell, they know a lot about the sport and they've probably seen it all already.

Film maker Hywel Teague, owner of the popular video site BJJ Hacks, will be making a documentary about these extraordinary men. He will track down, interview and film the remaining red belt masters living in Brazil. It'll be an amazing film. In his words: "it will be an intimate and revealing look into the art of jiu-jitsu, focusing on a group of men with amazing history in the sport."

Hywel made the awesome films on Kyra Gracie, the Miyao Brothers and a lot more for BJJ Hacks. Formerly, he was also editor of Fighters Only, one of the the biggest MMA magazine publications in the world.

Check his Miyao highlight:

The red belts Hywel wants to film each have over 50 years of grappling experience. We're talking about guys who were learning their craft when jiu jitsu was barely known about in Brazil. As Hywel says, these guys are now mostly retired and sadly been largely forgotten.

"Most exist outside of the knowledge of those within the jiu-jitsu world. The attention is firmly on current world champions, but we should be careful not to forget the lessons these masters can teach us."

So here's how you can help. Go visit the www.bjjredbelt.com and read more about the film. Hywel needs to raise money to make the film. The fund raising website is here: http://www.indiegogo.com/redbeltsbjj

Listen to Hywel describe the project on the FightWorks Podcast.

You can buy items or just donate. I'm going to sell a bunch of my gently-used gis and donate the proceeds. There's other cool stuff too, like rare BJJ gis, videos, books, prints and all manner of goodies. Every cent earned or donated will be on full public display - no shady hand dipping into the pot here, it's all above board.

I hope you can help too.

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