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  1. GIburner is offline

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    Posted On:
    6/22/2011 2:50pm

    Bullshido Newbie
     Style: Jiu Jitsu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    During my time training I've seen lower ranks tap out black belts, but its usually when the lower rank is using his best techniques while the BB is not.

    A good INSTRUCTOR needs to be able to perform and teach techniques to students of different skills that he himself doesn't use in his A-game because even though the Instructor doesn't use the skills, the student may benefit from it.

    The same applies with competition. Even if it is not the instructor's strong point to coach for competition, he should be able to help the students that want to compete.
  2. kracker is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2011 2:29pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I'd actually advocate an even harsher system. To avoid belt inflation like you see in Karate in TKD, I think you should have to win gold in at least one competition at your belt level before being promoted, even to blue. In fact, perhaps the federation should take promotion power away from instructors and make the prize for 1st place in a BJJ tourney the next belt, and that's the only way to get it. If automatically granted for a win, that would also solve the problem of people who have won like 7 different tournaments at their belt level but stay at that level to sandbag. I suppose exceptions could be made for the guy who is 300+ pounds and can only fight at absolute, or the guy who REGULARLY submits blue belts in class but can't afford the time/money to compete, but generally, if you can't win a tournament at white belt, you have no business being a blue belt.
  3. BKR is offline
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    My dog is cuter and smarter than yours.

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2011 7:45pm

    Join us... or die
     Style: Kodokan Judo

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    I think that a person needs to demonstrate he/she is competitive at the next belt level, not necessarily winning tournaments. Depending on where a person is located, tournaments could be small or huge. If a guy fights in a division with 10+ entrants, and wins 2 or 3 matches, or places, consistently, then that is sufficient to demonstrate his skill at that level, the competition aspect at least.

    That's how I look at it in Judo at least. Each belt has a range of skill associated with it, and a person does not have to be at the top end of that range to get promoted. At least in my opinion.
    Falling for Judo since 1980
  4. Uncle Skippy is offline

    See my tongue. SEE IT!

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    Posted On:
    7/17/2011 11:03pm

    Business Class Supporting Member
      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by kracker View Post
    I think you should have to win gold in at least one competition at your belt level before being promoted, even to blue.
    That would have pretty dire ramifications as it would create a HUGE bottleneck in skill. The number of available tournaments would need to be in a reasonable prorportion to the local BJJ population to permit enough people to be promoted to avoid an accelerated skill increase at tournament level.

    If the number of tournaments is small, the skill level at White belt will increase dramatically with each tournament, as it would for Blue, Purple, Brown, and Black. You eventually have White belts with Purple belt skills. The barrier to entry and advancement becomes too high.

    I've heard from several people that today's Blue belts are as good as Brown belts from 10+ years ago. I think that comes from better teaching and training methods (not necessarily better athletes). Requiring placing at tournaments for advancement artificially increases this trend.

    Personally, I think competition experience is a plus, but it isn't a requirement to get a Black belt. Some people don't want to compete (more power to them), but that doesn't mean you can't gauge their skill through other means; they should consistently roll with those who do consistently compete. If a school doesn't have anyone who regularly competes, I think that is an issue in and of itself.
  5. kracker is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/18/2011 9:34pm


     Style: BJJ

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Skippy View Post
    If the number of tournaments is small, the skill level at White belt will increase dramatically with each tournament, as it would for Blue, Purple, Brown, and Black. You eventually have White belts with Purple belt skills. The barrier to entry and advancement becomes too high.
    Shouldn't a belt ideally be a reliable indicator of asskicking ability though? My school uses more or less the policy I described, and it's an exceedingly rare event when a white taps a higher belt in training (unless the higher belt is not using his primary techniques, or letting him start in mount or whatnot). At my gym, this applies even when huge white belts are with smaller guys at higher belt levels. Personally, as a smaller guy, I think it would be somewhat demoralizing to see some weightlifter come off the street and pound one of the purple belts, and I believe the belt system should be designed in such a way to prevent this from happening, as it does in many dojos with a looser promotion policy. FWIW I'm a white belt who has been training pretty hard for 2.5 years or so. At most gyms, I probably would be a blue belt by now, as evidenced by the fact that I have tapped blue belts from other gyms, many of whom were actually significantly bigger than me. It doesn't really bother me that I haven't been promoted yet though, cause when I am, it will actually mean something.
    Last edited by kracker; 7/18/2011 9:40pm at .
  6. Uncle Skippy is offline

    See my tongue. SEE IT!

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    Posted On:
    7/19/2011 12:09am

    Business Class Supporting Member
      Style: BJJ, MT, TKD

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by kracker View Post
    Shouldn't a belt ideally be a reliable indicator of asskicking ability though?
    More or less, yes. But that is a sliding scale based on age, athleticism, and physical and mental condition.

    A 60 year old white belt might not be able to kick as much ass as a 20 year old white belt, but he may very well have a better fundamental understanding of the sport. So who is "better"?

    Quote Originally Posted by kracker View Post
    My school uses more or less the policy I described
    Your area probably either has quite a few tournaments, or your school isn't very large. Unless there is a means to promote people which is in proportion to the rate of skill increase (people being promoted when they "should" be), there will be quite a few 4-5 year white belts.

    Quote Originally Posted by kracker View Post
    it's an exceedingly rare event when a white taps a higher belt in training (unless the higher belt is not using his primary techniques, or letting him start in mount or whatnot).
    That is the norm at the schools I train at as well. If it does happen, it is a non-event though (as it should be).

    Quote Originally Posted by kracker View Post
    FWIW I'm a white belt who has been training pretty hard for 2.5 years or so. At most gyms, I probably would be a blue belt by now, as evidenced by the fact that I have tapped blue belts from other gyms, many of whom were actually significantly bigger than me. It doesn't really bother me that I haven't been promoted yet though, cause when I am, it will actually mean something.
    I understand that feeling as well.

    Competition shouldn't dictate promotion though. It is a barometer to see how healthy the BJJ community is at that moment and to ensure that promotions are in line with expected skill. That doesn't mean that competition should be required for everybody though. If a school competes and its purple belts don't get smashed to pieces, then you know that the school is more or less in line with community standards.

    What it boils down to is lineage. Your school is your lineage and has a reputation. If your school competes well then the promotions at your school are probably "good". This is why lineage is usually the first thing requested from another BJJ player when you meet on the street: lineage is a known quantity that helps the other person figure out if you actually know what you are talking about, up front.

    That is why I don't think that you should have to compete to get any belt (lineage indicative of quality of training), but that is also why I think that a school that doesn't compete has "issues" (no feedback via competition).
    Last edited by Uncle Skippy; 7/19/2011 12:14am at .
  7. 265lbsfist is offline

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    Posted On:
    7/28/2011 11:34pm


     Style: BJJ/MT

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    As far as possible I think a blackbelt should have some competition experience.

    Rolling in the academy is not equal to competition.

    Disabilities, age or special occupational limits could be valid excuses but the art is all about aliveness and you get nothing more alive ( while not a street fight or MMA match ) than competition.
  8. Super8astard is offline

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    Posted On:
    8/06/2011 7:38pm


     Style: Issh"i"nryu fixed....

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Maybe it should be the other way around. Josh Barnett got his BB despite never stepping foot in a BJJ dojo... And Couture awarded his because of simple move like an arm triangle, which he did to a guy who had less than no idea what to do once Randy initially took his shot, and it took him 3 tries to get it right, and it was still poor technique when he finished it.

    I don't think making compitition a requirement neccissarily improves the quality of black belts. A good instructor should be learned enough to be able to make such judgement without it.
  9. jnp is offline
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    Posted On:
    8/07/2011 12:38am

    supporting memberforum leaderstaff
     Style: BJJ, wrestling

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
  10. datdamnmachine is offline
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    Jiu Jitsu - Sometimes passing just isn't an option.

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    Posted On:
    8/24/2011 12:40am

    supporting member
     Style: BJJ, Unauthorized Judo

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Super8astard View Post
    Maybe it should be the other way around. Josh Barnett got his BB despite never stepping foot in a BJJ dojo... And Couture awarded his because of simple move like an arm triangle, which he did to a guy who had less than no idea what to do once Randy initially took his shot, and it took him 3 tries to get it right, and it was still poor technique when he finished it.



    I don't think making compitition a requirement neccissarily improves the quality of black belts. A good instructor should be learned enough to be able to make such judgement without it.
    I know this is old but I hope it is update worthy and valid to the conversation. Just a head's up:

    http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/mma....ail&gid=207138

    In Josh's case, although he never set foot in what you would call an "official" BJJ school, he has been training under a BJJ black belt for quite some time. Not out of the ordinary considering his grappling accomplishments.

    As for Randy Couture:



    He's a black belt under Neil Melanson's submission wrestling system.

    I can't say what he considers his qualifications for black belt in his system and I will be honest, his work in the Toney fight wasn't the highlight of his submission career. But another take on that is that he showed some good Half Guard work in the Brock Lesnar fight.


    As for my take, I think it is healthy to get out there and attempt to compete. I also think that you can become highly proficient in BJJ without it due to the nature of how BJJ is trained (read: alive). Saulo mentions in his book as well that he doesn't make it a requirement due to the fact that, those that do compete, are bringing that experience back into the gym for all to share in.

    That said, if you choose to make competition mandatory, then you have the "where does it end" rule. Some schools may say

    1) I require you to compete

    2) I require you to compete and win at least (insert arbitrary number)

    3) I require you to compete and win gold at (insert high-level tournament)

    4) I require you to do MMA

    Do you give your 55 year old brown belt/doctor a pass on the MMA requirement at the expense of your other students?
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