Thoughts on belt promotion. Skill vs performance

Let’s say there is a blue that holds his own in rolling in class. He beats most blues and sometimes purples and browns. He wins most of his matches in tournaments against his peers.

His technique is sort of basic but what he does he does well. His guard is subpar but good enough that he is able to win 70 to 80% of his competitors.

Do you think he should be considered for a promotion?

There isnt a rule book on these things. Its ultimately up to you. Based on his performance there is definitely an arguement to be made to promote him. Wouldnt be the worst promotion ever. Whether you promote him or not perhaps give him some direction on the areas you want him to work on.


Are you a brown or black?

Black.belt 2nd degree.


Rereading it id lean towards promoting him. Who cares if his stuff is basic but he does it well. As long as he isnt getting by on some “money move” like a sneaky choke and thats it.

Either way whatever you decide the important part is the direction you give him. Its only a purple belt. Plenty of time to iron out things

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Isnt basic shit done perfect what Bruce Lee and Rickson were both known to promote

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“Call me Ismail”

This person sounds just like a young Wallid (except he probably won more than 70-80% of the time).

If someone is effective, they’re effective.


Wallid trained with my original sensei. He spoke very highly of him. He said Mehdi didn’t really like him and called him a pig. He also told me about the Edson fight, he didn’t see it but he said he heard edson beat him up badly.

I love Wallid. He is a funny motherfucker. He doesn’t look like he aged

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So essentially the guy is a purple belt, already.

It sounds like the guy has skill to go with his performance

What I’ve always liked about BJJ is that it was based on performance and/or skill and knowledge. If this guy is holding his own with higher belts, then in my opinion, he’s a higher belt.

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I think that “understanding” is being overlooked and that’s a very deep word.

  • Understand the technique
  • Understand the best timing and how it fits with other moves
  • Understand the weakness that’s exposed when you do it and what you need to be aware of
  • Understand the physical characteristics of the opponent vs what the technique demands
  • Understand what the best defenses are depending upon how it might fail
  • Understand a number of different modifications of the technique due to different pyhsical or timing constraints

So I think there is a skill/performance component but I think that should be relative to the persons general physical abilities as well. I’ve had a long time training partner who has both downs syndrome and a severe case of asthema… It took him a long long time but he did get his black belt. Nobody goes hard with him. You just need to be careful because he’s so damn big and doesn’t really know his size. Fortunately he’s physically slow too.

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Is he very strong?

What’s the point of knowing a bunch of bullshit you’re never going to use? Effectiveness is effectiveness. Jiu jitsu is what jiu jitsu does.

If he’s tapping purps and browns then he’s beyond blue.

Yeah, you would promote that person. That person is demonstrating timing, understanding of when to apply the technique and is repeatedly implementing their game.

some places promote based on:
… attendance, and keep an attendance card to see when you’re due for promotion
… knowledge, and have you do demonstrations of how to do certain moves
… competition, and promote based on how well you do in tournaments
… who you can beat in club sparring, regardless of anything else
… all of the above ie. attendance, knowledge, kicking ass

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To be promoted in jiu jitsu you’ve gotta know jiu jitsu.

Should a purple belt have a sub par guard? No.


But Carlson said Wallid had a blue belt guard

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