Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Rank at 40
White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black, Red and Black, and Red belt are the belts for adults in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. White to Brown belt have five levels which are the belt plus four degrees or stripes. The black Belt has seven levels which are the Black Belt plus six degrees. The first degree is usually awarded 3 years after receiving the Black Belt. The second and third degree are three years as well. The 4th, 5th, and 6th degree are five years after the previous degree. The Red and Black belt is the 7th degree and that is awarded 7 years after your 6th degree. Phew, almost done. The 8th degree is on the Red and Black Belt is seven years after the 7th degree. The 9th degree is ten years after the 8th degree and finally the 10th degree Red Belt. The 10th degree red belt is limited to the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
That was a mouth full, to say the least, but now that we have an idea of the ranking system I can break this down for the older practitioner. Each belt level comes with its own unique challenges and knowledge that needs to be gained. I won't talk about each specific skill set needed at each level but more on a general rule for all belts. The reason for this is that I feel the same general rules will apply. Those rules being that advancement will be based on consistency of training, length of time training, technical proficiency and knowledge of the gentle art.
When we begin to see what is required in all belt levels we have a gauge of what we need to do. This gauge may seem like a straight forward path but we need to remember it can only be a gauge against oneself. Each level will have individuals on the bottom, middle, and top of that particular belt. What do I mean? Let's take the example of two Brown Belts, one is 19 years old and the other in his 40's. The 19 year old is able to train twice a day 5 days a week. The 40 year old trains 3 times a week but has been consistent for years. Which one is better?
The answer can be as simple as saying the 19 year old, but why? Is it because the 19 year old has no responsibility, is athletically gifted, and has been able to focus 100% on jiu jitsu? Can it be that the 40 year old has more injuries from all the years of training? I could probably go on with many more questions but I think everyone gets the idea.The point to all this is that each individual has earned the rank based on the requirements for that particular belt. What is different is factoring in a person's age, if they are competitive, and if this is a hobby for them. This is where the individual aspect of the sports comes into play, because each person is different. So to say that one is not good because you didn't roll well with a younger person is not given you credit for what you have learned. As an older grappler we must compare ourselves to our peers in the same age group and situation. These are all the things a good instructor see's when he is promoting someone.
The next time that you are on the mats know that you are giving the younger grappler hell. However, don't think that you are required to perform at the same level of a 19 year old World Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Champion (at least not all the time). Also, don't be shy to leave me comments or questions.