Kids & Adults Martial Arts & Fitness






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How Do You Get Promoted in Jiu Jitsu

What does it take to get a black belt in jiu jitsu? Is your belt promotion based on testing, money, time, skill or a combination of factors?  The answer will vary depending on your instructor and your school’s lineage.  If your jiu jitsu belt promotion is based on how long you’ve been paying your membership, it is time to choose another instructor.  If your jiu jitsu academy has a scheduled day for testing like karate or tae kwon do, it is time to choose another jiu jitsu school.  The payoff should be how well you can defend yourself and not the amount of stripes you have.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Black Belt?

It routinely takes a minimum of 10 years to receive a black belt in jiu jitsu. Jiu jitsu takes deliberate commitment to acquire the knowledge necessary to defend oneself from all attackers. Having said that, a child can not defend oneself against a 250 lb. man regardless of their skill and therefore can not achieve the level of black belt in jiu jitsu. A practitioner of jiu jitsu must show sacrifice to be promoted to the next belt ranking. Long hours on the mat may hinder your time spent with family, friends or at your job. There is a difference between an individual who trains 1 hour a day versus someone who trains 2-3 hours in a day, and a huge difference between a person who steps on the mat 2 days a week versus 6 days in a week. You can not take 2 years off and think you deserve a promotion based on time.

What Skills Do I Need to Be Promoted

Size and strength is a significant element in combat situations. But what happens when you get tired? Technique will save you once fatigue sets in. You must prove your technique against people your similar size, strength and knowledge base. Previous skills from other martial arts

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systems can add to the speed of your belt promotion but not guaranteed. For example: wrestling, judo, sambo. If you are controlling and submitting purple belts as a white belt, it may be time for a promotion. Strength and athleticism are not contributing factors to your belt color, technique matters. You must have at least one option in every position to obtain a blue belt. You should never have to think of what to do next. It may not work every time, but at least you have one option. A purple belt will have three or more options in each position and will be able to link them together in what we call a flow. Brown belts will have the same skills as purple belts but make fewer mistakes and create less space in each movement.

A Black Belt Must Be a Black Belt in Life

Black belts are white belts who never quit. Their defense is impeccable due to the time they have invested. They may not tap everyone but they are problematic to submit. Your belt color does not represent who you are, you represent your belt ranking. “A black belt must be a black belt in life.” You must represent jiu jitsu on and off the mat. For example, If you get fired from your job due to negligence, receive a DUI, have problems in your day to day relationships, then you are not representing jiu jitsu in a positive light. This will be reflected by how quickly you receive promotions. Black belts are known for being some of the most selfless individuals. Routinely, they will be the first to hold a door, give up their seat or go out of their way to help anyone who is in need. Of course there are always exceptions to the rule.

Giving Back By Teaching

Teach Jiu Jitsu

Give Back to the Kids

Once you hit the level of purple belt, you may now begin to share techniques in which you demonstrate significant ability. Teaching is part of the process to reach the level of professor. Giving back to lower belts is a necessity to continue the growth of the sport. A higher belt will be able to roll with anyone no matter their size, strength or ability. Even as a black belt, you must continue to learn. Jiu jitsu takes a lifetime to master and even then, you’ll always have room to improve. In the end, it doesn’t matter what belt you are, drop your ego and train. Forget the stripes, forget your belt. Just show up and roll.