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Gracie Combatives Durham Jiu Jitsu testi
The Gracie Combatives Card

At one point or another, every student experiences “Technique Overload”. The Gracie Combatives card was specifically designed to neutralize the sensation.


You will always know precisely what you have learned because the Combatives card tracks your progress through the curriculum.


It is easy to understand what you need to learn to move on to the next level and, more importantly, when you believe you have forgotten a technique from a few days back, all you have to do is review your card.


Each class completed awards two check marks, one check indicating the completed class, and one check in the stripe column. Once a stripe column is filled(20 classes), a stripe is awarded.

(Note: For stripe promotion it doesn’t matter which of the 23 classes have been completed, all that matters is that a total of 20 classes have been completed)


White belt stripes are awarded by a certified instructor and belt promotions come from Gracie University Headquarters in Torrance.

The Gracie University Video Evaluation Process, ensures that all belt promotions, at all schools, meet the high standards of Gracie University.

Gracie University Evaluation Process
  1. Testing Fee: The $155 testing fee includes test administration by GRACIE DURHAM and review by Gracie University.

  2. Video Recording: You will be paired with a good “bad guy” and GRACIE DURHAM will record all five GCQDs (this should take no longer than 30 minutes).

  3. One Shot, One Kill: During a live evaluation, you will only have one chance to execute each drill. If your performance does not meet Gracie University standards, you will fail the test and must retest at a later date. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that you prepare diligently to minimize the chance of errors during the live evaluation.

  4. Video review and submission: GRACIE DURHAM will review and submit your videos to Gracie University.

  5. Review Results: Feedback and test results from Gracie University will be shared with you with attention to any weak points.

  6. Promotion: Passing scores will award a Gracie Combatives belt and certificate from  Gracie University and presented at GRACIE DURHAM.  If the score is not 90 or above, you will receive a detailed report of all the deductions so that you can correct the mistakes and prepare to try again.

Stay RelaxedThe most important consideration during any evaluation is the quality of the technique. The most common mistake you are likely to make during a live evaluation 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!

We will watch and analyze your GCQD videos prior to submitting them for evaluation and promotion consideration. If we do not think they of passing quality, we will recommend to not to submit the test.

The Most Common Testing Mistakes

Certified "Bad Guy" Requirement

The "Bad Guy" in all CTC-submitted video evaluations must be a Certified Instructor.

Rather than simply "demonstrating the movements," the "bad guy" must provide reasonable resistance to each technique so that they can actually "test" the student's conviction. Although details are important, if a student clearly lacks conviction for any particular technique, a point will be deducted.

During Gracie Combatives Belt Qualification Drill 5 (Fight Simulation Drill), the instructor must deliberately "turn up the volume" so that we can assess the student’s capabilities in the uncontrolled circumstances of a real fight. In this drill, we are not as concerned with perfectly applied technical details, but rather, overall distance management and moment-to-moment adaptation during the chaos.


For "Bonus Point consideration” during the GCQD Fight Simulation Drill, the instructor/evaluator can wear Gracie Fight Simulation Sparring Gloves (and the student should have a mouth guard) so we can see how the student responds when light punches are thrown. Although not mandatory, if you have an exceptional student who would like to demonstrate their skills against a striking opponent, we would love to see what they can do!

Combatives Belt Qualification 

these are the requirements for the Combatives Belt - a blue/white belt.

Previously, completing Combatives awarded a blue belt but that was revised late 2016

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Test Criteria

You will start with 100 points, and will receive a one-point deduction for each significant error in the three categories listed below. 

  1. Details: How well do you know the technique?  Each time the evaluator feels that you do not own the "big picture" concept of the technique, you will receive a 1-point deduction.

  2. Conviction: How much do you believe in the technique? For each technique where conviction is clearly lacking, you will receive a 1-point deduction. 

  3. Reflexes: How well do you remain 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. 

Instructor Recommendation

If your final score is 90 or higher (no more than 10 deductions), the evaluator will recommend you for promotion.


If you score less than 90 points, you will be notified of your shortcomings so you can retest at a later date.


Don’t give up if you fail the first time. We are committed to helping you achieve your jiu-jitsu goals and want to ensure that you are 100% ready to defend yourself.


To learn more about the testing process and to watch a full demonstration of the Gracie Combatives Belt Test, visit the ‘Testing Center’ at 

Scheduling the Test 

Once you are highly confident in your ability to conduct all five Gracie Combatives Belt Qualification Drills, we will schedule a private lesson where a certified instructor will guide you through the execution of all five drills and digitally record your performance.


We will then send your evaluation to Gracie University Headquarters where it will be analyzed by the authorized test reviewers at Gracie University.

The Master Cycle

Once you earn your Gracie Combatives belt you will be authorized to join the Master Cycle advanced program. After six (6) months of dedicated training in the Master Cycle, you will be considered for promotion to blue belt.


Upon qualification, your blue belt will be awarded to you and your name will be added to the list of Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Belt Holders (viewable at  

At GRACIE DURHAM, all enrolled students in The Master Cycle receive free access to all Gracie Combatives classes including Reflex Development classes.

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