This last week I got a little taste of what it's like to have a sleepless week. More of which is heading my way in less than two months from now. Regardless of what zombie-like state I may be headed for my friends assure me that it's the best thing in the world. For those who haven't caught onto what I'm referring to, take a moment.
Anyways, besides being in a slight daze I'm gearing up for another business trip which is bringing a lot of things to a boil just before my departure. Always trying to get more done than time allows but I know no other way. I promise I have not forgotten certain articles that are very important for me to complete. I've also got other topics that I'm interested on writing or commenting on.
Hope I'm not shooting myself in the foot by starting this now but one of the topics that have been on my mind and have made some news recently is 'promotion/grading' in BJJ. I think for many students the criteria for promotion is something of a mystery and with the buzz about online-grading it raises a lot of questions as to the standards of one school of thought versus another. When I started training there were certain unspoken rules about getting promoted that I learned of the hard way. In the past I got stripes for beating visitors that wanted to flex. My blue was given to me casually over dinner, no ceremony, no whipping and I think it was over a bowl of noodles.
Anyways, it was understood that one day you'd be thrown the new belt after however many years/hours/minutes and tournaments you put in to earn it. You had faith and without warning, one day your hard work and dedication would be recognized. So now with the growing number of schools that are endorsing testing, be it online or not, people are beginning to make a clear distinction of what each belt represents and the skill-set the student must possess and execute in order to dawn the new colors. So what does this say about the overall standards and what each belt represents and how these may differ from one school to the next? How does this address the 'different types of blues/purples/browns/blacks' as we all have our own reasons for training jiu-jitsu with different goals. I recently heard the phrase 'a competition blue-belt versus a regular blue-belt.' Is there a need to make such distinctions outside the context of competition or inner-school conduct?
I want to elaborate more on promotions but would like to hear from you guys/gals your thoughts on the subject. I'm not looking to polarize the community on this matter but thought it an interesting topic. -Luke
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