6/22/2011 2:50pm, #11
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
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.
7/17/2011 2:29pm, #12
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
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.
7/17/2011 7:45pm, #13
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
7/17/2011 11:03pm, #14
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.
7/18/2011 9:34pm, #15
- Join Date
- Jul 2006
Last edited by kracker; 7/18/2011 9:40pm at .
7/19/2011 12:09am, #16
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"?
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 .
7/28/2011 11:34pm, #17
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
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.
8/06/2011 7:38pm, #18
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
- Bhudda Indiana
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.
8/07/2011 12:38am, #19
8/24/2011 12:40am, #20
- Join Date
- Nov 2005
- Washington State
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?