Stripes And Belt Promotions, How They Work.
For this to be answered, we have to look at the different age groups and how it works in each demographic.
But before we do, I just want to let you know that more often than not, stripe promotions are awarded so that the COACH knows where the individual is in their training.
So, without further adieu lets get into it!
Every human likes their couple of minutes of fame. It doesn't matter what the individual is doing everyone likes recognition. Some will go out of their way to get it, others aren't bothered by it.
Like life, if you want to be good at anything you have to put in the hard work. I like to tell people that if they want to be a good runner, run. A good golfer, time on the course as well as driving range will help. Want to be good at BJJ, time on the mat, end of story.
Pee Wees are awarded their stripes typically by the amount of classes they attend although, sometimes we use the stripe as a way to motivate positive behavior. When the child can participate in a warm up without any difficulties (such as not listening or reluctance to participate like lying on the mat) then they would be considered more favourable and in some respects may receive a stripe earlier.
Second and third stripes (attendance based) are typically awarded when the athlete can identify the different positions with little to no prompting, and they start to understand how the positions work in a wrestle.
By the time they have their fourth stripe, they are actually ready for the next belt, grey. From here it is simply time on the mat by way of attendance, level of participation and ability.
Belt rank for Pee Wees is White, Grey/White, Grey, Grey/Black.
Juniors when they can tie their belt and pants is a good start! The other aspect is their ability to have an understanding of and be able to conduct primary movements such as shrimping and rolling (not wrestling), their level of participation and attitude all contribute to the first stripe.
After the first stripe, the athletes level of participation and attendance plays a major contribution towards each and every stripe. However, they must also have an understanding of the position that they work on each term.
There are four major positions in the sport and they are; guard, mount, side control and back control.
Each child will learn in the Juniors these four positions in attack, defence and escape. Once they have completed a four school terms they will be more than eligible for the coveted yellow belt.
Any Pee Wee that moves up into this group with a grey belt will remain at this belt for a period of time until they have assimilated to the group and are performing at that groups level, no longer a Pee Wee.
Belt rank for Juniors is White, Yellow/White, Yellow, Yellow Black.
Please note that all Pee Wees and Juniors are awarded coloured belts with a white or black band (or the belt is a solid colour). This does two things; 1 - differentiates the level of experience for the coaches and, 2 - places the child in a position of hierarchy in terms of training length, expected knowledge and expected behavior.
Teens are graded very similarly with stripes. The biggest aspect of their training as a white belt is understanding the four main positions (as per Juniors) and attending class regularly. Yellow is the first coloured belt to be awarded.
Belt promotions in the Teens is a hard and long process. Many will quit because of external influences or lack of passion for the sport.
Stripes are awarded based on their regular attendance but there is a considerable time difference between each stripe and belt. Other factors include their ability to learn and execute technique that is considered advanced, to take a risk and learn from the mistakes. This is where the true philosophy of Jiu Jitsu comes into play (as with advanced belts in the Juvenile and Adult categories).
Another reason why there is such a considerable space between stripes and belts is due to the fact that once they are 16 years old they are awarded their blue belt and they will be challenged by all Juveniles (16/17yrs) and Adults in the team when they wrestle. By now many Teens at the Orange/Green belt level would certainly place the adults on notice with their skill set.
The belt structure for our Teens is White, Yellow, Orange and Green.
Juvenile and Adult stripe promotions are based on attendance and required knowledge. All Juvenile/Adults participate in our 12 week white belt program which covers the four basic positions (along with techniques that enhance the main four). They must complete a full cycle prior to be eligible for a stripe, and complete four full cycles prior to being awarded their blue belt.
Blue belt is a hard belt for this demographic. They will be there quite possibly longer than any other belt in the system. This is because the blue belt is about learning their own game. Learning about their attacks and how to maintain a dominant position.
A blue belt should expect to be at that belt for at least two and a half years. As such, more people leave the sport at this belt than any other belt.
At de Been Wodonga, purple and brown belts won't be awarded stripes. Now it is about their dedication to the sport, sharing knowledge and researching technique for themselves along with continual improvement.
Belt colours for this demographic are White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black.
In closing, stripes are primarily a way for the coach to view the athlete. Whilst it is gratifying to be awarded a stripe, all athletes should focus on their own journey not the end state as this will make the best athlete.
Ever wondered how a sport like BJJ can help a child develop?
Signing up your child for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be a positive life changing experience and provides lifelong benefits. Children learn essential life skills like discipline, perseverance, and dedication, which often stay with them for the rest of their lives.
BJJ classes also help to improve your child’s confidence and can reduce the risk of them becoming victims to bullies as martial arts like BJJ also teach kids non-violent ways to stick up for themselves and stand up to bullies.
So lets look at some of the ways learning BJJ gives your child skills that promote healthy development during their young and adult years.
1) Teaches important life lessons
It’s easy to tell a child hard work pays off, but there’s a good chance that goes in one of their ears and out the other as soon as you say it. Children respond better when you show things to them.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu teaches children the importance of hard work as they develop into martial artists. Every child starts as a white belt, and they might find themselves struggling with some techniques. Over time, many of these techniques become as easy as walking for the child, and they realize the countless times they drilled the technique paid off.
Over time, the child’s arsenal of techniques grows, and they might even get promoted to a higher belt. Martial art belt ranking systems are an effective way to show children the rewards of all their training. It provides a visual representation of all the work the child has put in with their training.
The importance of hard work isn’t the only life lesson BJJ teaches kids. Perseverance is essential to excel at martial arts since you have to be willing to drill techniques hundreds of times before they become part of your muscle memory.
Training also improves a child’s ability to pay attention in learning environments. Training requires the child to sit still and be quiet as the instructor explains techniques and drills.
2) Protects against bullies
A good BJJ kids program also teaches children helpful ways to stand up to bullies without getting into a physical confrontation.
Study a few bullies, and a clear pattern begins to emerge.
Bullies tend to be cowards who pick on weak or socially isolated children. That’s why you rarely hear about the kid who is the football team captain getting bullied.
That kid is likely in great shape, and probably has lots of teammates who back them up if they confront a bully.
Bullies like things easy, so they typically look for the path of least resistance.
Martial arts can make a child more confident, and it helps to develop their social skills. That on its own helps to protect children against bullies. A good BJJ kids program also teaches children helpful ways to stand up to bullies without getting into a physical confrontation.
BJJ is like a super power and children that participate in BJJ quite often look the most unassuming of people. They may be quirky and 'different', but they are the most confident of individuals based on the fact that they are tested every time they step on the mat to wrestle. This is where their confidence comes from.
3) Pulls them away from their electronic devices
Martial arts like BJJ can provide a fun, engaging physical activity a child enjoys more than playing with electronic toys.
One of the biggest complaints modern parents have is how challenging it can be to get their children off their smartphones, tablets, and gaming consoles. Nowadays, children are bombarded with so much technology it can lead to them developing unhealthy habits early on in life. A babysitter that you don't have to pay for.
Physical activity has always been good for kids, but you have to pull them away from their devices first.
Martial arts like BJJ can provide a fun, engaging physical activity a child enjoys more than playing with electronic toys. As the child develops a passion for BJJ, they may be less inclined to spend on unproductive activities like browsing their phones.
But every child is different.
4) Improved social skills
BJJ helps to improve a child’s social skills.
Some children struggle with learning how to socialize, and BJJ classes can help them overcome that hurdle.
BJJ classes give children an opportunity to mingle with kids of all ages outside of school or extra-curricular activities.
That can be the difference-maker for a child who struggles with forming friendships with their peers due to issues like shyness.
Martial arts like BJJ provide a fun learning environment that allows even the most timid of children to come out of their shells. The improved social skills they learn during classes will carry over to other activities, and it will remain helpful as they grow into adulthood.
Children who lack social skills have a higher risk of being the target of bullies. That can cause mental issues that stay with the child for the rest of their lives, like low self-esteem.
5) Keeps their bodies and minds healthy
BJJ gives your child something productive to do that’s great for their mental and physical health.
You probably heard this old saying a few times before, “A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.” This isn’t something older people tell children to get them to engage in more physical activities. It’s backed by science.
Exercise leads to feel-good hormones like dopamine being secreted in the brain, improving a child’s mood and protecting them against mental disorders.
BJJ is one of the most touted martial arts when it comes to how much it works the body. Training burns lots of calories, helping your child to maintain a healthy weight.
It gives them something productive to do that’s great for their mental health, so they don’t spend all day on their phones doing bad things for their mental health like excessive social media use.
6) Teaches personal responsibility
A child who learns BJJ is more likely to grow into an adult that takes responsibility for their actions and learns from their mistakes.
Learning BJJ teaches children they are responsible for the outcomes they get in life.
If they train hard and commit to their training, they might notice themselves improving faster than kids who seem to be more naturally gifted.
When the child loses while rolling (sparring) or competing, they are taught to take personal responsibility for their outcome by going over things they could have done differently and working on their weaknesses.
As a result, the child is more likely to grow into an adult that takes responsibility for their actions and learns from their mistakes.
So the next time you're having a conversation with a parent about BJJ, these are some points that might further convince them about trying this out for their child.
Jewellery In BJJ - Why It Doesn't Work
I remember once upon a time, my ears were pierced. I had three, one in each lobe and the third was high on the ear.
Unfortunately they didn't last very long as they were pretty much ripped out through training. I accepted that it was my fault as I didn't allow them to heal and I thought I was smarter than my coach at the time.
So lets look at jewellery and why you don't want to wear them at training.
Irrespective of your cultural heritage, religious beliefs or expressing yourself with your jewellery it's about looking after your teammates.
Wearing jewellery increases the chances of injuring them by way of cuts, abrasions even puncture wounds. If you injure your teammates, are you prepared to pay their mat fees whilst they are having the time off as well as your own?
Earing's - Hoops collapse and studs can pierce either your teammate or yourself.
Just imaging playing someone and they are applying pressure through the 'cross face' or you are in a triangle. Your ear is pretty much being squashed into your head.
Maybe your Gi has been pulled up high and its over your ear when a choke is being applied, when the gi gets pulled back into position and you're wearing studs the chances of them getting caught are pretty high. If you're wearing studs the back might come off and you'll lose the earing, worse you end up having a nice puncture wound in the side of the head.
Athletes that have the 'fleshy' earrings take them out and tape up the holes just in case they get caught!
Watches - Sometimes we forget we are wearing one and it's something that will hurt your teammate, gouge or even tear the mats surface. The worst part about wearing a watch in some respects is the small embarrassment when you are reminded to take it off. Just make sure you have a joke about time ready to go.
Necklaces - Like the watch, we forget we wear one most occasions. Hopefully your coach or teammate will help identify that you are wearing one before you start drilling. Although, I dare say you'd identify it pretty quickly when you are in the warm up as it jiggles with your body movement.
Bangles and anklets - Yeah, naaa, these have to be removed, no questions asked. Even if they are made of cotton. The potential for these to hurt your teammate are way too high, plus they can almost be used as a weapon.
Fingers and toes have the potential to either get caught in them or fingernails can get torn by them.
Body piercings - Although they may be hidden under a rashie or gi, you are taking a risk in having one. Some athletes even tape them up so that the friction of the material doesn't catch on the jewellery and tear the skin.
If you hurt yourself, that's on you. But when you hurt your teammate, that's when you really need to review what it means to wear your jewellery on the mat. It's no fashion parade, it's a grappling based sport and there is too much at stake.
So what do you do if you see someone wearing something?
Ask them to remove it, if they don't, don't partner up with them and tell your coach.
At the end of the day, you can't compete wearing jewellery so why train with it on?
To save you the heart ache of losing your jewellery or injuring someone, it's best to just to remove them altogether. Just don't get shitty if your teammate or coach asks you to remove them otherwise you might just not get to train that day.
One of the questions hated by most coaches in BJJ is something like this; Hey coach, where's the first aid station? I need a band aid because I cut myself at work. Or, do you have nail clippers? I need to cut my nails!
First things first. First aid stations are for first aid, not your cut or blister that you got at home or at work. If we handed out items from our first aid kit, we wouldn't have anything for a real first aid situation.
Nail clippers, hell I don't share mine purely for the fact that I don't know what fungus resides in your nails or on your skin.
One of the main things that is needed by all Jiu Jitsu athletes is a simple first aid kit.
Now, I'm not talking about carrying something that resembles the back of an ambulance, or resides on the wall at the workplace. That's just plain ridiculous. I'm talking about something as simple as a Tupperware container with some items that will help you stay on the right side of your coach and teammates, and prepare you for any mishaps on the mat.
Item 1 - Nail Clippers
If you can scratch your own arm with your fingernails or your leg with your toenails, chances are you will inadvertently so the same to your teammates.
Keep them trim and you won't have to share your first aid kit with someone you've cut.
Don't share them, be selfish. Heck, I am.
Item 2 - Band Aids
These come in super handy if you've just wrestled someone that resembles a wedgetail egal or a crocodile (aka has got long fingernails), or you have split the skin somehow prior to or at training.
Don't get plastic latex ones, get the tough durable material ones. They seem to work really well in conjunction with strapping tape.
Item 3 - Fixmol Tape
This stuff is amazing for wounds such as blisters or abrasions of the skin.
When I was in the Army either out field or on operation, this stuff was used for open blisters, cuts and abrasions.
you stick it straight on a clean wound and leave it. The wound will heal naturally even though you have this tape directly on it. This tape helps reduce the bacteria from entering the wound.
Allow the tape to come away from the wound over time otherwise if you take if off, you may just take the scab off.
Item 4 - Rigid Strapping Tape
For people that know who Andrew Carey was back when he played AFL for the Roos, you would have seen his shoulders taped right up with this stuff.
Rigid strapping tape is used for taping ankles, thumbs, shoulders, the list goes on.
What it does is help with keeping a joint stable through its normal range of motion, and eliminates any excess movement. But that's only good for about 30 or so minutes as it does stretch (not much) and it will give way.
I personally like to purchase a 1 1/2 inch - 2 inch roll as I can tear it to make my own finger tape or use it to strap parts of my body that need support.
The BEST part about this tape, is to use it if you have a band aid on. Wrap the band aid once maybe twice and your band aid will not come off.
Item 5 - Kinesiology Tape (Rock Tape)
This stuff is expensive and I don't really use much of it.
The premise behind this tape is to tape your body or limb so that as you get into a 'range of motion' it starts to become tight and in turn help you identify the limit of your current injury/restriction.
I have this tape pre cut into squares and I only use it for my elbows. There's a long story there but I acquired some injuries during my time in the military and this tape has helped me over time.
Cross fitters love the stuff, probably because of the funky colours it comes in, and maybe the odd injury here or there.
If this hasn't been prescribed by a physio or sports therapist, don't go and buy it.
Item 6 - Panadol/Disprin
I use panadol or disprin more prior to competition than training.
I might chew the prescribed amount as I find it helps take the edge off any niggling pain sensations I might already have.
It's also good if I'm starting to get a headache prior or during training as well.
Item 7 - Nasal Spray
The same stuff that's used for a cold or flu.
I use this when I'm competing. A couple of squirts up the nose and I'm good to breath through my nose just like a set of extractors on a good car.
Item 8 - Chap Stick
These are great for your lips especially if you wear a mouth guard. Taking your mouth guard in and out all the time dries your lips out. Even if you don't wear a mouth guard, this is still something that will help keep your lips moist!
Item 9 - IBJJF or AFBJJ Cards
When competing you are required to provide some form of identification. When competing at these specific tournaments keep them as a part of your first aid container with you, That way you'll never forget them.
So there you have it team, your very own first aid kit to help you for the future regardless of whether you are a competitive athlete or not.
Just remember, your cuts and abrasion (along with your nails) are yours and you should look after them yourself prior to getting on the mat. Don't be lazy and ask your coach or admin staff for stuff because really it's your problem, and if we keep handing it out then we'll never have anything for the times we need it.
Vic COVID Restrictions
Reading into the current restrictions and regulations for a small business owner is very difficult. In fact, it's like watching a really bad horror movie where you can tell exactly what's going to happen about five minutes before it actually happens.
Not only that, it has become so confusing that you might as well add comedy to the horror movie.
To say it's frustrating is an understatement.
Irrespective of your personal view regarding the restrictions, regulations and vaccinations, we are a small business that just wants to share our passion with the community. As such we will follow the rules and regulations as mandated by the Victorian government in order to ensure first and foremost the health and well being of our athletes and members. Secondly, to ensure that we can stay in business.
Please do not post on social media or share your opinion of how we are managing the current situation as it is very embarrassing and uncomfortable for both parties especially if you only follow the rhetoric on social media.
As you read on, all links to this literature are available by using your thumb.
The Roadmap to Deliver the National Plan sets out how we can safely reopen, while also supporting our health system to ensure Victorians can still get the healthcare they need, when they need it most.
The Roadmap has been developed based on expert modelling from the Burnet Institute and is set against COVID-19 thresholds including hospitalisation rates, and the vaccination targets already set out in the National Plan to transition Australia's National COVID-19 Response.
Victoria's Roadmap can be read HERE
People who are considered fully vaccinated.
You are considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19 for the purposes of attending a venue if:
Getting asked about your vaccination status
People working at venues that are open for fully vaccinated people are required to check your vaccination status, which they will usually do on entry to the venue through the Service Victoria app.
If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have been refused entry to a venue for this reason, please be aware that these workers are doing their job and following the laws in place in Victoria to keep you and others safe.
Any incidents of violent, abusive and aggressive behaviour towards workers - including damage to property - will not be tolerated.
How we live: Vaccination status can be read HERE.
Physical recreational facilities
Open – a density quotient does not apply.
A COVID Check-in Marshal must ensure patrons check-in via the Service Victoria app and that customers over 18 years show evidence of their vaccination status or valid medical exemption.
For more information regarding Physical Recreational Facilities can be read HERE.
As we are NOT a community sport all applicable rules and regulations dictate the manner in which we are available to the Vaccinated community.
I hope you enjoyed reading all this information as we have (not) and look forward to seeing you on the mat next.
Our blog page is used to give you an opportunity to gain an understanding of the training that is conducted with our Academy.