Breaking Down Belt Promotions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Robot Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
On Promotions / Sports Psychology Seminar
Over the last couple weeks, I have promoted a few students (with a few more to come!) to blue and purple belt. I wanted to spend a moment today talking about belt promotions and then give a bit of information about a Sport Psychology Seminar we will be having in October.
1) Belt Promotions
To start, here is my favorite article on belt promotions, written by Roy Harris. I have read this article AT LEAST once during my time at each and every belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Whether or not we admit it, everyone is excited to be promoted to the next belt. It is understandable why – we look up to those of a higher-rank and seek ways to bring our skill level up to their skill level. When we hear individuals say that they do not care about being promoted, what they are really saying is that they understand that a belt, being just a long piece of cloth, does not confer any additional skill – it merely represents a level of skill.
Once we can genuinely accept that a belt is just a representation of skill, then in fact seeking to obtain your next belt is very healthy. Having a specific goal is one of the only ways to create a plan towards achieving that goal, so once you set your sights on the next belt, we need to create a plan towards achieving that goal.
When a student is promoted, they generally fall into one of two camps – either they were overdue for the belt, or their skill is almost exactly in line with a person of that rank. For example, I spent many years as a blue belt, to the point where some might say I should have gotten my purple belt earlier than I did. On the other hand, when I received my brown belt, it was just a year after receiving my purple and ended up being right about on time.
And therein lies the lesson: if you feel like you are overdue for a belt, it is not something to fret over because if this is true, than you should almost certainly receive your next belt in a very expedient manner. Keep in mind, if you feel like you are overdue for a belt, one of the best ways to overcome that is demonstrate to me and the other instructors that you should move up. This is done through a combination of hard work, being consistent and showing that you are a willing and helpful member of your team. Since no one can learn Jiu Jitsu on their own, taking charge to help bring up newer students is not only good for the team, but the practice of teaching will assuredly increase your own technical understanding.
With that in mind, remember that I grade each person on their own potential and their personal areas of growth. If someone has a high-level of skill, but has trouble being consistent, I will look for them to improve their consistency before I move them up. If another individual is consistent but does not improve as rapidly as they could, I will look for them to implement the advice the Coaches give them and challenge them to take their learning into their own hands more by asking poignant questions, drilling with extra attention to detail, and so forth. Lastly, I will never promote someone who does not demonstrate personal growth through Martial Arts – it does not matter to me if you are a Monstrous Machine on the mats, if you don’t take care of your partners, help them improve, etc. then you are being challenged to modify this behavior and it would be the pre-requisite for moving up in rank.
Lastly, keep in mind the long-term truth of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practice – we will spend most of our time learning, training and teaching as Black Belts. Eventually, everyone on the mat can be a Black Belt and then belts tend to become an after thought. Be patient with yourself, train hard and consistently, and you will reach your goals.
A Black Belt is just a White Belt that never gave up. OSS :]
2) Sports Psychology Seminar with Eamonn Madden – $75 – Saturday, October 12th, at 12pm
I am excited to announce that Robot will be hosting a seminar with BJJ Brown Belt and Mental Performance Coach Eamonn Madden. Eamonn is an expert is sports psychology and can expertly diagnose and remedy many of mental / psychological issues that athletes face during both competition and training. By using neural linguistic programming, Eamonn is able to create positive associations for athletes that help relieve anxiety and nervousness that can creep in while training or preparing to compete.
Reserve your spot at the Front Desk or by replying to this e-mail.
Robot Fight Fitness – LA’s Top Martial Arts Training Facility Serving West Los Angeles (90025) & Santa Monica (90404). We always offer a free trial class so come check us out. You can schedule your free trial class online or call us today at (310)478-5425.