It's blue (or maybe black, who knows!) belts at ten paces!
One day ago, the self-described “jiujitsu nerd” Vince “Bear” Quitugua posted a photograph of Kelly Slater and pal on his Instagram account (@bearsyr). The caption read: “Kelly Slater and Zach in a session with Mendes Bros , Shaun and PM. The world is a better place with Jiu-Jitsu.”
The longboarder-turned-jiujitsu-black-belt Joel Tudor (@joeljitsu) was enraged by the photo. “Crock of shit – the guy has been wearing a blue belt for years in pics and always made excuses when I would call him on it!” he wrote in the comments pane. “If he wants his belt , tell him to go sign up and put in the work like everybody else who starts at white and goes through hell to graduate to blue – anybody on here talking shit to me more than likely doesn’t train and has zero clue about Jiu Jitsu.”
Pat Tenore (@pmtenore), founder, along with Conan Hayes of RVCA, hit back: “love this || joel is officially the commissioner of the jiu jitsu police cry baby club || listen grumpy smurf when you call out kelly like this you are basically calling out the mendes brothers and their integrity on who can wear a blue belt or not in their academy || as far as I can see it wasn’t a rainbow belt and blue belts do exist at AoJ and kelly is deemed worthy to represent || go do yoga calm down || love you joel || we all do but chill || don’t be a hater ||”
The other man in the photo, @zachnminskey replied: “Why are you even jumping in to this conversation? It’s completely irrelevant to you in every way, shape and form. You are missing message of Jiu Jitsu which should be to try and build the sport worldwide. Bear posted this photo to celebrate the cross over of different communities, not to judge one person by the stripe on their waist. It’s not like it’s a fake black belt like we’ve seen recently. I’m pretty sure, being that I’m the other person in the photo, that Kelly wants to simply understand the sport and has been training for long enough to do so. I trained with him first hand and I can say, he is most definitely a blue belt, formal promotion or not.”
There’s a ton of back and frothing that’s worth a scroll for laughs. And the feud continued on other accounts.
Over at @PMTenore and from pmtenore: “this is what jiu jitsu is all about || not belts || what did mr miyagi say “belt is to hold pants up” he got his at Sears || don’t be a cobra kai’r and hater || all good”
From haydengerson “Kelly stop being a poser. Earn your belt and wear it with pride. You shouldn’t be proud of wearing a belt that you have not earned.”
“I didn’t have a belt and that’s all they had handy. Chill out.”