Roy Harris, a decorated American grappler, has recently announced his promotion to the 7th degree Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Coral Belt. Roy trained under Joe Moreira, and his devotion and hard work resulted in his promotion to BJJ coral belt on December 9, 2023. Roy Harris is now in the spotlight as he is the second non-Brazilian fighter to achieve this rank. All the coral belts are highly skilled BJJ practitioners, so this belt rank is awarded to just a few lucky jiu-jitsu fighters. Those fighters who achieved this rank are considered Pro Fighters having a strong influence on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This rank requires extensive seven years of training in BJJ. It is evident that the grappling was limited to Brazil in its initial stages, so just a few non-Brazilian fighters have achieved this coral belt rank.
In 1981, Roy Harris entered the world of combat sports and trained under various top instructors. Then in 1986, Roy moved to California to learn some advanced grappling skills. He started taking coaching classes under Dan Inosanto, a 5th-degree black belt in BJJ. After learning some finest grappling skills, Roy Harris enrolled in the Gracie Academy. He took his first class between December 1990 and January 1991 at the Gracie’s Institute. Roy grabbed the golden chance to train under Royler Gracie and Rickson Gracie. Roy Harris was awarded a blue belt at the end of his 13th private class with Royler Gracie. But Roy’s training period under these two top fighters was very short, and he soon moved back to Brazil to take control of Gracie Humaita Institute.
At that time, Roy continued to receive training from Royce Gracie, along with private training sessions for Rorion Gracie. After some time, Roy left that institute and started training with the Machado brothers. Unfortunately, Roy’s relationship with the Machado brothers and Gracies was negatively affected due to some toxic politics within the training institutes. For some time, Roy was disappointed and he considered quitting BJJ. Luckily, during this time, he met Joe Moreira, a promising personality who transformed his BJJ career. Roy Harris stayed with him until he earned all his BJJ belts, especially the Coral belt.
Roy Harris shared the news of his promotion to the BJJ coral belt under Joe Moreira via a recent post to his official Instagram account:
This happened today…
I was promoted to Coral Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 😲 For this, I have no words!
I am thankful to Master Moreira for his confidence and trust in me. I’m also thankful for the kind words he spoke to me in private afterward!
I am thankful to the Harris International students and instructors who drove and flew in from Mexico, Canada, Idaho, Illinois, Alabama, Arizona, San Diego, Inland Empire, Orange County, and Texas JUST for my promotion! This meant the world to me.
With all my heart, thank you. 😍”
Photo credit: @royharris.sandiego