This is true in most martial arts. Once someone has been training 50+ years, there is often no one “senior” to them to promote them, so they get promoted by an organization. I did danzan ryu jujitsu and my teacher was promoted to 10th dan by a large group of professors representing a couple different danzan ryu organizations. Then the other organizations may “recognize” the promotion.
That’s pretty typical of a highest high level promotion in most martial arts.
People NEED their teacher and teacher’s teacher to get promoted so THEY themselves can get promoted. --There’s almost like a pyramid scheme aspect to it.
Not sure if this was said with shen sarcasm or not.
According to my coach(one of the higher ups in ibjjf) the stripes are essentially a formality and automatic. It really is just time in. HOWEVER best practice is to have promotions and such in class because the celebrations arent common for students to see.
To me stripes come from your teacher which is the traditional method. (The IBJJF adopted what were the already generally accepted “standards” for promotions). But, like many others, I was getting promoted in BJJ BEFORE (Carlos Gracie’s) IBJJF existed.
The IBJJF is not my teacher, they don’t know me and I didn’t learn any BJJ from them.
A lot of BJJ people are in similar situations. I’m still with my teacher and am fortunate in that way. But even if I was not with my teacher, I know a number of BJJ blacks belts 5th degree & higher who could & would promote me when the time came. Part of that is no doubt due to the fact that I live in Southern CA. If people are in an area without as much of a local BJJ culture, I see how that could be an issue. But what about building relationships with higher ranked BBs? Having them to your area for a seminar and explain your situation?
I can see both perspectives, but have always known and heard of them to be accrued via time in grade. Ideally it would be nice to have your instructor around to do the promotion, but I often wonder (especially to high ranking bbs who have awarded a TON of bbs over the years) if everyone keeps a list of bbs awarded and their promotion dates or what.
Let’s say your “time in grade” hits but your instructor either moved far, far away or isn’t involved with the art anymore. What’s the deal?
The deal is you NEVER promote YOURSELF in martial arts. Ever. --It’s maybe the one thing all martial arts agree on. If you promote yourself, it’s not legit.
Also frankly, if you are well above black belt and no one will give you a stripe, that’s a serious red flag. WHY will no one promote you? WHY don’t you know anyone in the BJJ community who deems you promote-able?
There can be legit reasons for this --OR-- it can mean people think you’re an ahole, a bad person, or maybe someone who bought their rank if no one wants to be associated with you. Promotion by seniors is a built in safeguard for the protection of the rank structure.
I know in my case I dont train consistently as i used to and ive been a black belt longer than all the black belts i train with. My buddy who ive known since he was a white belt now owns his own school and i train with him. Though some of the black belts i train with have gotten stripes now. I still dont have any. Ive lost contact with my instructor(the one i referenced earlier) and he no longer runs a school. So i think its a wierd situation where they dont feel comfortable promoting me and none of us know the etiquette since i helped teach them through the ranks. Im sure i could go the friend of friends route but it all seems wierd.
Also makes it confusing where i stand in the line up
I saw recently on IG that a well known, legit black belt recently was promoted to 3rd degree by one of his black belt students. As I said before, the bb is super legit, great teacher, won some major IBJJF tournaments over the years, however recently split from HIS main instructor/team. Me personally, I didn’t see an issue with it at all…he put in the time “required”, and surely could have gotten one of his higher ranked but non-affiliated buddies to promote him, but instead one of his black belts did. Curious to see others thoughts on it.