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Frequently Asked Questions   
  Instructor Certification Program  
If I get certified and I want to teach out of my house/garage, is that okay?
If I’m not currently teaching martial arts can I still participate in the ICP?
If I’m already a purple/brown/black belt under another instructor/organization, do I have to take the blue belt test to become certified?
If I do not score 95 or better, can I retest? What are the steps?
Once I am a certified instructor, do I get to teach Women Empowered and the Master Cycle too?
If I’m already a purple/brown/black belt, and I complete the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program, can I be recognized higher than Level 1?
If I am affiliated with another Master Instructor and/or Jiu-jitsu Organization, can I still become a Certified Training Center without losing my affiliation to my other instructor?
Q:  If I get certified and I want to teach out of my house/garage, is that okay?
A:  Yes. Once you complete the ICP you can begin teaching at your home or Gracie Garage on an unofficial basis, so you can sharpen your teaching skills while passing the knowledge on to friends and family members. You cannot, however, market/promote/or profit from the trademarks or proprietary training programs until you establish a Certified Training Center that meets our School Requirements.
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Q:  If I’m not currently teaching martial arts can I still participate in the ICP?
A:  Yes. We’ve finally opened the ICP to all dedicated students, even those with no teaching background. Our belief is that there are thousands of extremely dedicated practitioners who would make great GJJ instructors if only given the right training and the opportunity to shine. In order to participate, you must meet the established Instructor Requirements.
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Q:  If I’m already a purple/brown/black belt under another instructor/organization, do I have to take the blue belt test to become certified?
A:  Yes, although we’ll be glad to verify your belt level in person when we meet you, in order to be considered for participation in the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program, you must first demonstrate a very high level of proficiency in the Gracie Combatives techniques, since they are the foundation of the Gracie Academy curriculum and is what separates all Certified Training Centers from other jiu-jitsu schools. The way to demonstrate proficiency is to pass the Gracie Combatives Test with a 95 or greater. This doesn’t mean you will need to wear the Gracie Combatives belt once you’re done, you will continue wearing your existing belt. Once you complete the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program, and you come to California, we will gladly verify your skill level so you can maintain your existing rank.
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Q:  If I do not score 95 or better, can I retest? What are the steps?
A:  Yes. If you do not pass the Gracie Combatives course with minimum score of 95, you may retest only once in your attempt to meet the ICP qualification standard. That said, you should aim for perfection the first time around. In the event that you do need to retest, you will need to submit five brand new test videos. Here are the steps you have to take if you wish to resubmit for ICP consideration:
  1. You must wait at least one month before resubmitting your test.
  2. You must fix all errors and notes indicated by the evaluator. All techniques must be reflexive.
  3. You must re-shoot all 5 drills and resubmit 5 new videos. If you include a previously submitted video, your test will be rejected and considered a fail.
  4. Even if you "pass" with 95 or better, you will not be accepted into the ICP if you do not wait at least 30 days. No exceptions.

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Q:  Once I am a certified instructor, do I get to teach Women Empowered and the Master Cycle too?
A:  There are four levels of certification at which a Gracie Jiu-JItsu instructor can be recognized. Upon successfully completing the Gracie Academy ICP, and instructor is certified at Level 1 and is authorized to establish a CTC to teach Gracie Combatives and Gracie Bullyproof to the general public. If the instructor successfully upholds the Gracie Academy quality standard while continuing to sharpen his own skills as a student and teacher of the art, he will be considered for higher levels of certification at which he will be authorized to teach additional segments of the Gracie Academy curriculum such as the Master Cycle and the Women Empowered program.
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Q:  If I’m already a purple/brown/black belt, and I complete the Gracie Academy Instructor Certification Program, can I be recognized higher than Level 1?
A:  It is becoming more and more common for instructors of advanced rank (purple/brown/black belts) to join the Instructor Certification Program with hopes of establishing Certified Training Centers. On a case-by-case basis, we allow these advanced instructors to start off at Level 2 or Level 3 due to their extensive teaching experience before joining the ICP.
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Q:  If I am affiliated with another Master Instructor and/or Jiu-jitsu Organization, can I still become a Certified Training Center without losing my affiliation to my other instructor?
A:  The Gracie Academy does not do "Affiliation" we do "Certification." Many well established jiu-jitsu instructors want to join the network so they can benefit from our optimum program structure, powerful teaching methods, and unparalleled marketing, but they don’t want to violate their allegiance or affiliation to their original instructor/organization. No problem. We do not get tangled up in the politics of BJJ, and we do not care whose name is on your storefront. Our only concern is that once you are a "Certified Training Center" that any students we send your way will get the exact same learning experience that they would get at Jiu-Jitsu heaven in Torrance! Over the years, we've have several high ranking black belts from other "affiliations" go through the ICP and establish Certified Training Centers out of their existing schools without any problems whatsoever. If you're in a similar situation and you'd like to speak to a few of these black belts, simply contact us and we'll connect you.

If you have a question that is not answered here or in the ICP General Info Section, please post it in Forum under ‘Instructor Certification Program’.


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