Versus Grappling Tournaments for 2015 / How do belts and promotions work?
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are five belt colours – White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black. When you first start training, you wear a white belt. Each belt level is divided up into ranks that are designated by stripes.
Belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are awarded based on your performance in the gym and in competitions. Each Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school has its own promotion system and criteria. Some schools award stripes based on the amount of lessons you attend, and have grading days where belts are awarded. At Origin BJJ, we do not use this kind of system. Stripes and belts are awarded on a case-by-case basis. The instructor will watch your performance over time in the gym, and take into account how you do in competitions (if you choose to compete). When the instructor believes you are ready for a new belt, you will be promoted.
Promotions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu take much longer than promotions in most other martial arts. It is not uncommon to spend 18 months or two years as a white belt, but this does not mean that you are not learning and progressing in the art. Do not worry about the colour of your belt. If you are training for fun, fitness or self defense, then the belt you wear in the gym does not matter. If you are someone who enjoys competing then it would be counter-productive to be promoted before you are ready, because competitions segregate competitors by belt level.
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