Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu(BJJ) is not like your typical martial arts. BJJ requires dedication, focus, commitment, teamwork, and the list goes on, but the deciding word is “patience.” While as a white belt, you are training hard and slowly improving. As you improve and earn your stripes, you start understanding more of what is required to move to blue belt. This can take an average of two years to get the blue belt. This is usually how long it will take some students to get their black belts in other martial arts. The rate of learning varies, depending on how often the student trains, how quickly they learn, and their ability to demonstrate the techniques. By the time you promote from blue belt to purple belt, you will have trained apporximately four years. The brown belt takes about six years to get, and the black belt takes approximately eight to ten years. The stripes on your belt represent your experience and mat time. Ex. A one stripe purple belt is a relatively new purple belt that has a lot of technique, but not yet the experience of a 3rd or 4th stripe purple belt. The more you are on the mat, the more you will learn, help others, experiment, and become a well-rounded BJJ practitioner. You may not ever use every technique when rolling, but you should be able to demonstrate them up to your belt level.

BJJ will be around forever and you will have the opportunity for promotions and will promote as long as you are training hard, applying the techniques, listening to your instructor, respecting your instructor, teammates, and others. Do not let yourself get obsessed or so focused on stripes or changing belt colors because you will get frustrated at times and begin to lose focus on the big picture, which is becoming a great BJJ practitioner. BJJ has become watered down in some schools due to the pressure to promote students that are not ready simply because he/she keeps asking about being promoted. The coach believe this, “If I don’t promote him, someone else will!” In this case, sometimes, a student is promoted prematurely and does not yet have the mental or physical ability. The student should earn the belt.

Let’s take a blue belt that is 25 years old, weighs 170lbs, 6 feet tall and is tapping white belts, blue belts, and half of the purple belts. Does that mean he/she is ready to be a purple belt? Some would say “yes” and some would say “no.” If the student has spent his time in grade(time/age requirement before being able to promote by IBJJf Rules), the answer should be decided by looking at this: Is the student transitioning well, defending well, attacking well, escaping well, being a good training partner, etc. By being a good student in all aspects, you will surely promote when ready and be proud that you have earned you promotion!!

**Don’t force it, let it happen.**