Understanding BJJ belt promotions

BJJ Belt Promotions:

I wanted to blog about something important to me that I don’t think many BJJ practitioners understand. It’s not their fault, there is not a handbook available to BJJ practitioners that explains BJJ belt promotions properly so I thought I’d give it a shot.

BJJ belt promotions are based on more than one thing:

BJJ belt promotions (especially upperbelts) are not just competition or success in fighting or sparring in the Academy.

  • It’s about character and attitude.
  • It’s about integrity and loyalty.
  • It’s about knowledge (are you learning AND REMEMBERING what you are being taught? Keep a book)
  • It’s about a willingness to give back to your school and teammates (are you helping the new student transition go smoother, are you helping your training partners through weaknesses or training slumps? Are you helping your teammates train for their upcoming tourneys?)
  • It’s about self-control and discipline.
  • It’s about dedication. (Are you coming to class enough? Are you putting yourself in a position to succeed?)
  • It’s about patience. (Rome wasn’t built in a day, have realistic expectations, you can’t learn everything in 1 month.
  • There is an old saying in martial arts..â€the quickest way to show somebody nothing is to show him everythingâ€)
  • Abandoning these traditions reduces BJJ to “simple fighting techniquesâ€
  • And lastly…RESPECT

Respect is what BJJ and other martial arts are built upon. Respect for the discipline, respect for the instructor,
respect for the school, respect for your fellow students and training partners and respect FOR THE SWEAT AND KNOWLEDGE THAT EACH LEVEL OF LEARNING REPRESENTS.

A lot of BJJ schools across the country are promoting too quickly IMO. Part of what instructors must teach is patience and the value of a truly earned belt versus one awarded too quickly. Remember, as a student, you never want a belt that doesn’t fit.