Klay Pittman - a critical look at his system
Kid just had his first lesson BJJ at Pittmans academy in Lubbock. While he was getting his lesson with the instructor Garrett (seemed like a good guy), Pittman was giving his intro speech/trial to some people. He claimed to be a 5th degree black belt, the highest ranking jiu-jitsu in America, and that he was not even aware of another fifth degree black belt in the country.
I looked at his website (http://www.martial-arts-lubbock-tx.c...su-lubbock-tx/) and it said that he earned his fourth degree in June 2011. Now I don't know much about the belting or promotion system, but it seems a bit odd for him to earn the highest ranking belt in America in eight months. I know he is a student of Carlos Machado, and from what I understand he is well known and 'legit'. Again, I'm ignorant to the system, but wouldn't you need to outrank someone to give them a belt? If Carlos is not a 5th degree himself, how could he give that to Pittman?
The site doesn't mention who gave him the 4th degree, and I would think that if it was someone as esteemed as Machado, he would have mentioned that, or whoever it was that awarded him the rank.
From my research it seems that Pittman is talented and a genuine student of Machado for his first black belt. It also seems that he set up a belt system designed to make money (11 belts, 40$ a belt). They had a kid the same size as the 7/8 year olds with a purple belt.
I'm not here to call out the abilities of Pittman or his trainers, they seem to be legit and were courteous to me when we spoke. What I'm reading about the way they run the system and the oddity of his claims is upsetting. It sounds like a black belt mill that gives belts for showing up and making your payments. If anyone has any information or advice I would appreciate it. Again, if they are talented then they may teach well and produce well trained students. What I don't appreciate is the possibility that he is selling his system with questionable claims and leading my child to believe he has earned a specific belt level when his actual knowledge is much lower. Thank you for the time and help.
(I fully profess my ignorance to the system and martial art, if I have made unwarranted accusations or assumptions my apologizes to Pittman and his academy)