With the creation of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu federation in 1967 by Elcio Leal Binda, the belt system of judo was adopted. In addition, a framework for sport jiu-jitsu, including a point system and weight divisions, was established. As Judo was attracting a large following in Brazil under this sportive system.
(Taken from the Valente brothers of Miami.)
In the original Gracie Academy there were no belt level differentiations based on fighting skills. Belt colors were only awarded to distinguish instructors from students. In order to separate themselves from Judo instructors, who were teaching what they considered to be a limited sport for competition rather than a complete martial art, they didn’t utilize the black belt. At that time, Gracie Academy instructors wore a light blue belt and head professors wore the dark blue.
As an instructor I would love this old school belt system. Much less drama and no expectations of belt promotions and much more focus on straight up training and getting better!