Gracie Barra BJJ : Franchise Changes Causing Rifts?

There’s been some buzz around Gracie Barra and their franchising changes that may soon come to their affiliates.  Link this to more information and at least one academy dropping from the GB ranks to join Gracie Humaita and  a recent decision to deny Gracie Barra their trademark on a logo submitted by a group called Gracie Barra Franchise Systems and there’s some news.

Recent posts on BJJ Forums – such as this one on Jiu Jitsu, indicate a change is coming. There’s nothing tangible right now that we can point to, but the forum was buzzing in August and talk has been heard. GB, claims to have over 300 affiliated schools on 5 continents, which is a good size for any franchising organization

Academies Drop Gracie Barra,  Move to Gracie Humaita

There could be any reason why these academies dropped Gracie Barra, as stated by the forum members.  Needless to say the [einset][/einset]forum is rife with discussion.  According to the posts, GB Oceanside, Temecula, Del Mar, and Hemet all are switching or have switched to GH.  At least one of these sites is sporting the Gracie Humaita logo and a message from Royler Gracie (see Oceanside’s new site).

Gracie Barra Franchise Types

It looks as though efforts are being made to create levels of affiliation, this often happens with franchising systems to determine the value and payment required.  What this looks like in revenue and cost is speculative.  A forum post indicated that $50 per student per month may be assessed to franchisees.  Again, it’s all rumor.  But if you did the math:

300 schools x avg 50 students (some more some way less) x $50 per student x 12 months = $9 million / yr in revenue for the association.

If it were true, academies bearing that cost could be crippled in most instances and would find themselves struggling even more than they do now.

Posted on Gracie is a clear description of school affiliation or franchise types:

  • Gracie Barra Premium Schools: these schools operate in full alignment with Master Carlos Gracie Jr’s teaching philosophies and methods. Its instructors are certified by Gracie Barra Association and their business practices are constantly supervised to comply with the operating guidelines established by Gracie Barra Franchise Systems. All Premium Schools have a certified Gracie Barra Black Belt as a Head Instructor. Students from Premium Schools have access to the highest level of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Instruction and enjoy great support from their instructors and staff on their quest to mastering Gracie Barra Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Gracie Barra Official Schools: run by Gracie Barra brown belts or Gracie Barra Black Belts. Although the lineage of the instructors responsible for the program are directly or indirectly linked to Master Carlos Gracie Jr., they were not trained and certified by Gracie Barra Association The instructors of these schools share the Gracie Barra vision but do not necessarily adopt Master Gracie’s teaching philosophy and methods nor comply with Gracie Barra Franchise Systems operating guidelines.
  • Gracie Barra Training Centers: these training centers are run by Gracie Barra Blue Belts or Purple Belts. They are typically located on remote places that have limited access to high ranking GB BJJ Instruction. Gracie Barra supports these individuals dedicated to the learning and sharing the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and is committed to developing them to becoming Official and Premium Gracie Barra Schools. GB Training Center’s Coaches share the Gracie Barra vision but do not necessarily adopt Master Gracie’s teaching philosophy and methods nor comply with Gracie Barra Franchise Systems operating guidelines.

To become a part of the GB Family, you must comply with the set of rules and principles of good management and teaching practices established by the Gracie Barra Trademark License and Service Agreement in addition to the Gracie Barra Standardization Principles.

Requirements to Become a Gracie Barra School

  • Monthly Fee: All Gracie Barra affiliates and Official Schools must pay a monthly fee to maintain membership benefits.
  • Rank: you must be at least a blue belt to become a Gracie Barra Affiliated School and at least a brown belt to become a Gracie Barra Official School.
  • Training Uniforms: Official Gracie Barra Uniforms must be used by all students and instructors from Gracie Barra BJJ Schools. The Uniform Top and pants must have the same color during class.
  • Belt System: Every Gracie Barra BJJ School must follow the belt system from the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation
  • Seminar: Every Gracie Barra BJJ School must schedule at least 1 seminar per year as specified. Any seminar hosted at a Gracie Barra BJJ School is approved by the Gracie Barra Company.
  • Dojo Etiquette: Every Gracie Barra BJJ School should follow the Dojo Etiquette protocol provided by the Gracie Barra Company

What’s Coming for Gracie Barra Affiliates?

Outside of the clan, it’s hard to say.  All of the talk, is talk until proven otherwise.  However, many of the facts seem to indicate there’s movement and change coming.  What’s real and what’s talk,  well that’s always the world of BJJ.

Of course you can comment below or contact us with any information you wish to share.

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