Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Great Post on Belt Promotions

I read a great post by BJJ Cailin morning about belt promotions and McDojos. Hopefully, schools that use belts as marketing tools won't spread in BJJ like they have in the other martial arts.

Handing out belts before students have earned them is not only dishonest, but it robs the student of one of the greatest benefits of BJJ: learning to face yourself--and keep going--when you hit the wall. I think that actually having to EARN a belt helps you grow not only in bjj as a self defense art, but it also helps you grow as a person. Sometimes it takes months or years to get past a snag in your learning process. It forces you to be lose your pride and be humble, to think critically about the techniques and to adapt.

Also, handing out unmerited belts waters down the sport. It certainly won't help the student if they want to compete. They will get trounced at tournaments.

I know it is not my place to judge how other schools do things. But if a school is handing out belts based on time spent practicing BJJ, that sounds illegitimate to me. As Jenn said in her blog, different people develop at different paces. Six months in training will put some students farther than others. Automatically handing out a stripe or a belt to someone based on time devalues the belt system. Just my opinion.


BJJ Judo said...

I agree and I would add that schools that hold their students back from promotions for reasons that have nothing to do with the students ability are just as shameful.

Alan said...

Hey Allie - great post. I could not agree more. After 2 months as a white belt I tapped a "McDojo" blue belt. That should never happen! Anyways, I work for BJJ Sports and we would like to sponsor your blog. Shoot me a quick note at if you are interested and I can send you more details. Thanks!

Megan said...

Giving belt promotions too early seems like a BIG risk for a BJJ school. If their students ever compete or visit another school, it won't be long until they're found out. I wouldn't think it'd be worth the risk to the school's reputation.

Georgette said...

Just posted a little something about this issue and wondering what you think...

Thanks :)