T Nation

BJJ Black Belt Registry


Hey guys. I'm checking out a local BJJ club, Jiu-Jitsu Nation on Marcy, NY. The instructor, Len Sonia, claims to hold a black belt. I've done some searching on line, and I have found him listed as a competitor in a few competitions, but I still want to do some more digging.

I thought that there was an on-line registry that listed BJJ black belts and the teacher that certified them; am I right about that, and if I am, does anyone know where it's hidden?


No need to check on his black belt claim. Just have a roll with him and if he makes you look like a baby you know he's for real. When you can tap him at will, then you can question his black belt and find another club. Keep rolling dont worry about the politics


He can tap me no problem, and from what I've seen, his skills are pretty developed. BJJ black belts are still kind of rare, though, which makes his claim a bit exceptional, especially in such a small town, and politics aside, I wouldn't feel right training with a guy who claimed to be something he wasn't. I have no reason to doubt him, but I'm of the opinion that it never hurts to verify.


The easiest thing to do is ask who he got his BB from and take it from there.



what belt are you?



no offense, but that's kind of a dick move. i have never doubted the belt of anyone i've trained under...maybe that makes me naive, but if he's good and can teach you, who cares?

just my .02


Any legit BB would have no problems with telling his lineage.


I'm not a BJJ guy. I have a little background in judo, but nothing extensive.

And I don't see checking out this claim as being any more of a dick move than checking to see that a school is really accredited, or that a contractor is really bonded. It isn't a personal vendetta, it's just fact checking.


He is not at http://onthemat.com/wiki/index.php/List_of_BJJ_Black_Belts#S but then again, I doubt everyone is there. He should have no problem saying his lineage anyway.