"(Slater) was putting a blue belt on and he was literally doing it because he didn’t want to look like a white belt. And in this sport, that is the corniest thing you could ever do."
The three-time world longboard champion and jiujitsu black belt Joel Tudor has breathed new life into his wild decade-old blood feud with the world’s greatest athlete Kelly Slater.
If you’re of a certain age, you’ll recall the ancient blood feud between the pair from 2015 when Slater appeared in a photograph at jiujitsu gym wearing a blue belt.
Tudor, who owns the Surfight Jiujitsu academy in Del Mar, California, 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! 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.”
For those who don’t know, or care, the blue belt is the second rung in the jiujitsu ladder, white, blue, purple, brown and black, and takes at least two years of training five days a week to achieve.
Now, in an interview with Dave Scales on the Surf Splendor podcast, Tudor, who is forty-six, has reprised the famous feud explaining,
“In the jiujitsu world belts are fucking important and how people earn ‘em is super important. The hardest belt to earn is white to blue because you get fucking destroyed in the process to do it, the whippings you take is nothing you’ll ever forget. (Slater) was putting a fucking blue belt on and he was literally doing it because he didn’t want to look like a white belt. And in this sport, dude, that is the corniest fucking thing you could ever do. And we’re friends so I was just telling him, dude, you know how legitimate I am in this shit, you realise how fucking corny that is that you’re doing. You’re embarrassing yourself, you’re embarrassing surfing. You know how many surfers have gone through the wringer to their belts? It’s kind gnarly.”
Tudor then described the hoots of derision Slater would receive in his Surfight gym “if I explained to everybody, what if somebody gave themselves a blue belt?”
The famous flickering pointed tongue comes out and Tudor hisses,
“They’re gonna get smashed! They’d have a target on their heads!”