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When asked why his BJJ instructor was promoting him, Demetrious Johnson responded, “He wants to make sure I’m a nasty black belt.”


Demetrious Johnson, the current flyweight champion of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), has long been regarded as one of the most accomplished grapplers in the sport as a whole.

Away from the ring, he recently took advantage of the chance to demonstrate this by competing in his first IBJJF grappling event and winning first place in his division. Despite all of his successes, “Mighty Mouse” is merely a brown belt at this point in his martial arts career. Johnson claims that he takes a different method to dealing with challenges, despite the fact that his list of submission victories and performance at the highest level in ONE Championship would be sufficient for the majority of teachers to grant their students a black belt.

Although Demetrious Johnson has not yet promoted ‘Mighty Mouse’ to the greatest level possible in jiu-jitsu, he did indicate that his jiu-jitsu instructor intends for him to become an incredibly high-level black belt once he does achieve that stage. In a recent episode of his podcast, The Mightycast, Demetrious Johnson discussed the reasons for his lack of a black belt as well as the philosophy that drives his decision:

“You do realize that each and every Professor is unique, right? You should know that my Professor considers that a belt is awarded to a student once they have reached that level right, and he believes that my ceiling is to be able to reach that level. When I earn my black belt, he wants to make sure I have a reputation for being a tough competitor.
He continued:

“Because he’s like, ‘There’s still so much knowledge for you to learn before you get your black belt, and he goes, ‘Yeah, of course I can give you a black belt, but that’s just me giving it to you,'” the student explained. “Because he’s like, ‘There’s still so much knowledge for you to learn before you get your black belt.'” But if I had to choose, I’d rather be a rock-solid black belt. It’s like, you know, he wants people to look at me as if I were a legitimate black belt, and he wants them to say things like, “Yeah, this guy, he is a black belt.”

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