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.
Our blog page is used to give you an opportunity to gain an understanding of the training that is conducted with our Academy.