BJJ White Belt And Judo Brown Belt Killing It On A Jiu-Jitsu Tournament

Recently Entimports posted an article about Taynara Melo Pretending To Be A White Belt and smashing everybody at the tournament.

Jiu-Jitsu Times reached out to William Burkhardt of BJJ Pix and who is also the main coach of Taynara Melo in BJJ:

“She was a BJJ white belt and Judo brown belt when I met her, then she trained with me for a couple of month. I signed her up for the tournament, she beat everybody. I promoted her to blue belt then she earned her Judo black belt one week later.”


  1. I don’t know about this tournament but the Newbreed tournaments make you fight up if you have prior experience in another grappling style. In my opinion it is not right for a brown belt in judo to fight at white belt level in a tournament. This is not far off sandbagging. Certainly not morally right.

    • This is sandbagging. If you are a brown belt in Judo, you should not be allowed to compete in anything less than a purple belt. This was totally unfair and they should be ashamed for entering her on that level. boo, so disrespectful of the art.

      • There are three different levels of brown belt in judo, and there’s a huge difference between a brand new brown belt and someone a week away from black belt. For example, while I’m a brown belt in judo there’s absolutely no reason I should compete as a purple belt, because I am, and get defeated by, white belts in BJJ. My standing skills are better than most other white belts, yes, but that doesn’t mean I’m better on the ground. If you’re that close to black, yes, compete at blue, but a blanket statement that Judo brown belts should all compete at freaking PURPLE is ridiculous and unsafe.

      • I have being grappling for 10 years, my first tournament i lost to a Judo black belt in the final as a white belt. I didn’t think it was cheating, i believe people should internalize and evolve. Besides the take down she looked like a white belt, the arm bar the kimura all of it.
        Lets stop whining and go train.

  2. IMO, Judo Newaza is NOT the same as BJJ groundwork, the latter being far superior.

    On the other side of the coin, IMO, BJJ practioners who wish to ‘respect the art’ and DON’T learn Judo throws and/or take downs (and from wrestling as well) have little ‘respect’ for the art themselves. Again that’s just an opinion.

    As far as I’m concerned if this (or ANY) person gets really good at Jiu Jitsu by whatever other means employed (Judo/Muay Thai/Greco or Freestyle wrestling etc), she’ll be doubly able to defend herself in an Off Mat confrontation. Good for HER because that’s FAR more important than any medal/trophy or belt.

  3. I saw this and I’m not offended or concerned about it. She’s clearly not skilled on the ground, but after winning the division, IDK about giving a blue belt. I seems somewhat extreme.

    Rank is always a subjective thing to be rewarded, but the major focus should be the word “reward.”

    Sure she beat her division, but did she really “win” ? I won my first 15 matches before I ever suffered real competition, I didn’t lose, but it was a while before I felt I put real effort. I put my ‘gym effort’ and won for a long time before I had to dig deep and find the proper instinct. This definitely changes from white to blue belt level, but from my experience, everything has killers.

    I have an opinion on rule sets, but that’t honestly pointless to try an discuss.

  4. Also 100% to drive a real point home, did she achieve taked own, get points, and stall till time?

    From all indications, the answer is no.

    Along with not providing anecdotal evidence, but in one of my matches I faced a Judo brown belt, and I hit a flying triangle, it wasn’t graceful, but it was what it was. Instead of doing a proper defense, all that happened was getting stacked AKA making it worse.

    Learn the knowledge to perfect the art.

  5. Sandbagging is dishonorable …It’s Absolutely inappropriate for a brown belt in judo to be fighting in the white belt division of a tournament, every tournament has the option of fighting up in belt divisions, she should’ve been fighting at blue or purple….
    With people of a similar number of years training.

    • Maybe you´re right, i think blue or purple belt is a good choice if the judoka fells good with his newaza back ground. As a judo brown belt, i work confortably with blue and purple and its a nice challenge.

  6. A long time ago when I was a white belt I was placed in the purple belt divisions because I was a Judo BB. I won most comps I entered and learned a lot .no way a judo brown should be in a white belt division. Her professor should be ashamed of themselves . Better to lose to a higher level practitioner than to beat up a newbe!

  7. Her instructor probably just wanted her to ‘earn’ her blue belt, and the only way to do that is to compete at white belt… She didn’t really kill her competitors, and judo doesn’t really carry over past takedowns n grips. Wvrs. Some comps simply dont allow competitors with 6+ months grappling training to enter as white. But it’s hard work to get that blue so I appreciate her coaches motivating her to compete. Purple?nah


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