A long held belief within the Jiu-Jitsu world is that to truly improve one must wear the Gi (kimono). The belief, likely correct, is that those who roll with a Gi on will find their No-Gi game improving as well. Many MMArtists have a problem with this, as the Gi is a different game in many respects and world class fighters can find themselves frustrated. Apparently this is it the case for CM Punk as we can now official say that CM PUNK JIU JITSU is in fact improving.
Our evidence comes in the form of his having received his first official stripe on his white belt!! Head BJJ instructor at RoufuSport MMA, Daniel Wanderley bestowed upon Punk said stripe today. While Punk has been trying grappling for some time, he’s historically been a No-Gi grappler. And for the most part that’s fine, as grappling for MMA is different than pure Jiu-Jitsu. Nonetheless, it’s a sign of Punk’s dedication that he’s putting on the Gi regularly enough to receive a stripe from Wanderley. This is further evidenced by the fact that Wanderley is notoriously unwilling to give out stripes and belt promotions that aren’t earned. In a gym full of high profile fighters, he’s steadfastly refused to promote people based on their celebrity status.
Anyone who has practiced BJJ will remember their first stripe and their first belt promotion. Is it a small step? In the grand scheme of things, yes, but it’s still a step. With word of a possible opponent for Punk emerging, there’s still no official word on when his debut will take place. We’re confident that CM Punk will debut at UFC 200 but that’s still all speculation.
Still, congratulations to Mr. Punk on his first stripe. But, seriously, shave.