Happy Blues


I heard some dojo news yesterday that makes me very happy. Our Jiu-Jitsu class belt timeline has always been closer to TJJ than BJJ, which means that our testing is somewhat accelerated in comparison to BJJ belts. Therefore, I was supposed to be up to test for my purple belt in Jiu-Jitsu after only about two and a half years of training.

As I’ve been reading BJJ blogs and watching videos, there’s been no doubt in my mind that I am not on a comparable level with a BJJ purple belt. I actually think I might not even quite be considered a blue belt yet by some, based on my knowledge and time in. Since I compete in BJJ tournaments, as a purple belt I would be considered an “advanced” competitor. Ha. Ha. Ha. I am not being self-derogatory, just honest, when I say that I am not at that level yet.

The good news is that our school has now decided to slow down our testing schedule, and adjust our belts so that the requirements and timeline are closer to BJJ. They are putting a temporary hold on testing for most of the blues and purples. Since our hybrid system has always more closely resembled BJJ than TJJ in practice, this just seems to make sense.

Some people may be upset about having to wait to test, but I am ecstatic! I felt like I would be misrepresenting my actual level by telling BJJ people that I was a purple belt without adding the clause “but it’s not as good as your purple!” ;) My happiness might also have a little bit to do with the fact that I would gladly go back to being a white belt if they would let me. Whenever my test for purple finally does come around, I’m probably still going to try to talk them into letting me test for blue again instead. I feel like I could really ace it this time around!


4 comments on “Happy Blues

  1. Interesting. Do you know if we are keeping the yellow belt or going to white belt with stripes?I don't imagine that too many people will be upset by this, probably more relieved like you are.

  2. As far as I know, nothing about our belts will change, the time in between them will just increase. I also believe that white belts and yellow belts who are up for testing will still be doing so this cycle.

  3. I think my school is generally odd man out when it comes to how we do belts… so I find how other schools do it very interesting, and I have no idea what is considers to be normal procedure. What does the belt timeline look like? What does the test entail? At my school, you can be a white belt for 6 months, or 3 years before you get your blue belt. When Fabio thinks you are ready, he tells you to order a belt, you give it to him and you receive it at the next belt graduation… which tend to be 3 or 4 times a year.Getting stripes is even more random. Every couple of months he busts out the tape and randomly calls people to the front to get them… and sometimes he does that at the belt graduations before he gives out belts.

  4. Ours timeline was:white to yellow:6 months to a year (I got mine at 10 months)yellow to blue:6 monthsblue to purple: 1 yearpurple to brown: 2 yearsbrown to black: 4-6 yearsIn the end it takes about 10 years to get to black, but instead of having brown belts so long, we are going to start keeping the other colors longer.We test twice a year, and it's usually very physical, but they never tell us exactly what we need to know or anything. It varies, but often it's things like "ok, show me all the submissions you can do from this postion." We also do a lot of live grappling during testing…and because Shihan is also a Judoka, we always, always throw.However, the test is really just a formality, because if you have been asked to test that means they've already decided you're ready for the next belt.

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