Former UFC veteran Enson Inoue is a long-time mixed martial artist who has held a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for 18 long years. But just recently, he decided to demote himself two ranks down back to purple belt.
In a lengthy Facebook post, the 49-year-old fighter says his reason for doing so was that he felt he was left behind by the continuous evolution of the sport.
"I got a black belt 18 years ago and as we all know BJJ is always evolving. I jumped off the BJJ bandwagon 10 years ago and it has pulled far far ahead," Inoue wrote.
"I did the Purebred beginning class again today and again ALL the moves were new to me. Also my body has stiffened so much that I couldn't even move fluidly."
Inoue adds that while he was at the peak of his talent around the time he was promoted to black belt, he feels his current technical abilities say otherwise, and putting on one would be a disrespect to the age-old art.
"At the time I got promoted to black belt I was a black belt at that time. However, what BJJ has become I can honestly say I am NOT a black belt. Yeah it's cool to be a black belt but to me a true black belt should be technically and spiritually sound. I feel confident spiritually but not technically."
"A black belt is not about status but about respecting the art of BJJ and for me to put a black belt on would be disrespecting the sport."