But with mixed martial arts becoming one of the most popular sports on a worldwide level, what about a belt system for those that simply do MMA?
Well, the team at Jackson’s MMA has introduced a new belt system specifically gauged around MMA training, with a belt levels ranging all the way from white belt to black belt, all under the instruction of head trainer Greg Jackson.
“It took us a long time to develop it. It basically takes everything from his books and in the gym into one system, and basically Greg wrote the new curriculum, so there’s actually a legitimate MMA belt system. We’re already testing on it at Jackson’s Martial Arts and Fitness Academy, and it’s working beautifully,” said Ricky Kottenstette, gym manager at Jackson’s in Albuquerque, N.M.
For years, Jackson had his own hybrid style of martial arts he dubbed Gaidojutsu that he taught to his fighters.
Now with Century MMA on board as a partner, Jackson has a new belt system specifically geared towards MMA. The system will work no differently than a belt graduation and acceleration program for any other martial art.
The Jackson’s MMA belts will be taught in all of the New Mexico based gyms, but it’s not only for fighters, it also applies to any students simply looking to learn mixed martial arts for fun or sport.
“This is Greg Jackson’s belt. I mean his style has his own deal, he had his own name for it, but we just kind of switched it to Jackson’s MMA,” said Kottenstette. “This is a Jackson’s MMA belt. You have jiu-jitsu, judo, and all the other forms, but Greg’s system is very effective and this is just sort of the premier testing platform for a belt system, that has guidelines all the way to the top, all the way to black belts.”
Prior to this new belt system being introduced, many of Jackson’s top students had earned black belt honors. Keith Jardine, Joey Villasenor, Georges St-Pierre, and new head instructor at the recently opened second Jackson’s academy, John Dodson, lead the way.
The key to this new system is that it allows not only fighters, but anybody that’s interested in learning the Jackson’s MMA system, whether you intend on ever actually stepping foot in a cage or not.
“You don’t have to get into the UFC Octagon to prove it and be a contender like most of the other guys did growing up,” Kottestette stated. “This is our opportunity to help people learn all of Greg’s system and learn his techniques, and he does the actual belt testing. So when student’s test, they test with Greg Jackson; so he does all the belt graduations.”
The Jackson’s MMA belts are already being taught in the different academies in New Mexico, with a new gym currently in the planning stages as well.