belt ranks and your "feeling"

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by korleone1911, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. korleone1911

    korleone1911 Blue Belt

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    ok... so, I got my first stripe on my white belt last night. I felt very proud that my instructor brought me up in front of the whole class and said a few things about me that reflected my training and skill set. Then she puts the stripe on. Every one clapped, a few people congratulated me, then class went on.

    Now... what I want to know peoples' feelings about is this... do you feel that actually receiving and wearing a new rank is a little lackluster by the time you actually receive it? I felt like this because, honestly, you're already "at" that rank before you receive it from your instructor. It's merely a formality to have something tangible to represent the intangible skills that you already have.

    Now, maybe this is just the case because I'm just a white belt... and have a TON to learn... I would like people's thoughts on this... at all levels, if possible. I would love to hear a black belt's perspective, to see if it even applies there.
     
  2. SuperSuperRambo

    SuperSuperRambo Senior Moderator Senior Moderator

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    How you feel is up to you. I was always taught that stripes are not rank, and only belts signify rank, whereas stripes are your instructor's evaluation of your progress towards the next rank. So when getting a stripe on my belt I always considered it something of a big compliment, and took it as that, whereas belts I received were big achievements for me.
     
  3. korleone1911

    korleone1911 Blue Belt

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    gotcha... I definitely see that POV. Thank you.

    And I do understand that a white belt "1 stripe" is not a rank... not trying to gas my belt up, at all. I am without a doubt, a white belt... aka beginner.
     
  4. InvertedBJJ

    InvertedBJJ Green Belt

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    Stripes are good motivators to keep traiing and working to get your next belt..

    I wouldn't call a stripe "rank" .. it just signifies your progression to blue belt.

    You should feel proud that you are advancing and it is being noticed by your instructor.

    The more stripes you get on different belts you will probably not care about them as much, bc I have seen 1 stripes beat 4 stripe white belts, but a blue belt shouldn't have too much trouble from a white belt, no matter how many stripes.

    You get what I'm saying? Keep training, and you will look back on today and laugh at how crazy it was to get your first stripe when you're a purple belt.

    And remember.. "A black belt is just a white belt who never quit."
     
  5. TalkShowOnMute

    TalkShowOnMute dancingonthecorpsesashes

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    Lol. I can't remember, I haven't had any promotions in a long time. I imagine when I get another stripe I'll be happy. But I could care less truly. Alot of people say that. But I genuinely don't care about rank advancements too much anymore. I just want my personal skills to get better, the belt or stripe is simply a side-effect.
     
  6. HomerPlata

    HomerPlata Purple Belt

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    Damn, son! You're sounding a tad ungrateful there! It's always nice to have confirmation of your achievement, whether you've achieved it weeks ago or whether you've achieved it on the day.
     
  7. korleone1911

    korleone1911 Blue Belt

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    hmmm... definitely don't wanna sound ungrateful. So, I take it, that you don't feel that way?
     
  8. HomerPlata

    HomerPlata Purple Belt

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    No, I feel the complete opposite. The way I see it, I'm not at a certain rank until my instructor says so. When you get given a belt, that's the moment your seniors and your peers recognise your achievement. What's there not to be super-proud about? :D
     
  9. HEAVY GRAPPLER

    HEAVY GRAPPLER Brown Belt

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    How about feeling like it's a reality check - as in, you expect a belt and you just get a couple stripes. You can take that as a setback or a motivator. Perspective is everything.
     
  10. redaxe

    redaxe Silver Belt

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    I think it's pretty exciting to get a belt promotion. Stripes, I don't really care about. They're just mile markers on the road.
     
  11. outonbail

    outonbail Living My Dreams

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    basically, I think belts should be rewarded by the technique of a person and how good they apply it in competitions and rolling. that being sayd, an instructor could also delay a promotion to make a person ready for the next competition and wants the other guy to medal at the next belt when he gets it, and not just " make it to the second round". alot of people might consider them as sandbaggers, but how do you call the people who have nobody around to promote them and are at blue/purple for 4 years while training daily then?
     
  12. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest Orange Belt

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    The stripe system in there to show promotion and progression. Most students only see the color of their belt and can get discouraged when they're a blue belt or a purple belt for 2-3 years at a time. It's a way of promotion without promoting so the students don't get discouraged. How you feel about it, is entirely up to you as previously mentioned. Considering your instructor took the time to call you out and say a word or two about your training, it shows that she has noticed improvement and a willingness to learn from you. That in and of itself is a compliment.

    I didn't start BJJ for the belts. I didn't really care. I just loved to compete as I was a wrestler from age 6 through some of college. I remember every belt and every stripe i ever earned and the one that meant the most to me was my first stripe on my white belt. It showed me that my professor had confidence that my skills were growing and I was capable of learning this fighting style. All of them from then on were just icing on the cake. Congratulations and I apologize for my wall of text.
     
  13. angrybandnerd

    angrybandnerd Orange Belt

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    Even though I have only received stripes, I feel incredibly proud and accomplished when I hear Draculino talk about my performance and growth.
     
  14. ijustwannasurf

    ijustwannasurf Brown Belt

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    The couple months before I received my purple were a pretty low point in my grappling career. I couldn't put things together, I wasn't learning new stuff- basically, my head was in the wrong place and I couldn't help but be frustrated.
    The first week after I made roxa, all I told myself was that I didn't deserve it, that I couldn't back it up. A lot of negative self talk. But by the week after that, I was on fire. It was a combination of things- my instructors confidence in me, my ego need to defend the belt, a sense of pride at grinding it out to achieve that level; whatever it was turned me around. For the first time, I felt like I found my own style, my own game, and that all that kept me from the top was my own inaction.
    This is exactly what promotions are meant to do, IMO- push you farther than you think you can go.
    I will always view my purple belt as the major turning point in my BJJ journey.
     
  15. MonkeyNuts!

    MonkeyNuts! Rear Naked Poker

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    Belts are only good for holding pants up.

    But in BJJ and other combat sports, where they actually represent something, they are to be considered an achievement. It takes blood and sweat to get rank in BJJ, and you should be proud of it. But not to the point where you start analyzing the belt and feeding your ego and doing stupid stuff like tallying up how many taps you get on so and so - once this happens, you degrade your belt to an object that holds your gi closed, and it may even start to impede your training and progress.
     
  16. Team Sleep

    Team Sleep Black Belt

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    Stripes represent your gradual progression in the knowledge that you don't know shit at all... by the time you get your blue belt, you have infinitely more wisdom that you don't know shit and so on...

    Once you get to black belt you really start to learn that nothing is all you know, and someday you might actually have a firm grasp of SOME concepts, but you'll never be perfect.

    Congratulations on the realization that you don't know anything. Huge first step. Probably the biggest step, considering a lot of people quit immediately upon learning they can't hang lol.
     
  17. korleone1911

    korleone1911 Blue Belt

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    okay... thank you guys for the comments, but I think that maybe I didn't express myself clearly on what I meant...

    I don't believe that I have achieved a new "rank" per say. I just remember the feeling a few months ago where I really looked forward to getting a stripe on my white belt. Not for the belt, but for the acknowledgment of my instructor, who is VERY strict, technical, and picky when it comes to her students' technique (as well she should be). I thought that I would feel like the belt represented that pride and respect, but in actuality, it was only the display and words that represented that, and after I got the stripe, I felt more humble and hungry than anything.

    I know a stripe is not a rank, so I was really looking for others' opinions of how it felt FOR THEM when they DID receive a new belt (or even stripe, if you're still white).
     
  18. platfox

    platfox Silver Belt

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    Stripes at my school are for the instructors benefit only. If you come alot and he knows exactly where your progression is at, he might not stripe you, just belt you when the time comes. If you don't come often, he may stripe you to remind himself of your progress.
     
  19. FunkyRMe

    FunkyRMe White Belt

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    When ever I've got a strip it makes me get that hungry feeling. I fully understand that it isn't technically a rank but it is a display of experience I think. For I expect to see a 3-4 stripe white belt to hang with the younger blues and maybe ever get a tap every once in a while.

    As far as addressing the TS every time I've got a stripe (3) I feel a sense of recognition and a drive to work harder. At my school they tend to come after competition or consistent improvement so I always feel I'm inching closer to my blue.
     
  20. kyred

    kyred White Belt

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    This. I just received my blue belt a week and a half ago and I along with the newly-promoted blues at the academy agree on one thing: that our personal work ethic and thirst for knowledge have only intensified.

    As for me, I still tend toward the initial negative self-talk. As you know, the skill difference among blues can be pretty huge. There are new blues, and those closer to purple. And the difference between blue and purple is worlds different compared blue vs. white. And so when rolling with fellow blues, there's that feeling of wanting to do really good. And a lot of times, it just doesn't work out as much as I'd like it to, and I feel like I'm not worthy of my belt.

    What reminds me of why I'm at my new belt? First off, I trust my instructor's judgment. Second, when I roll with white belts, while the bigger ones still give me trouble at times, I can mostly handle them while giving only 60-70% and trying to work technique. I can hardly believe it myself sometimes, but it's a good reminder. And third, recently, I had the opportunity to roll with blue belts from a different academy, and for a week old blue belt, I can say I handled myself pretty well against fellow blues some 20-30lbs heavier than myself.

    Last night I vowed to roll with purples and browns more than I ever have. I realized that more than specific techniques, it's sometimes the concepts that get you far. So, while you're getting smashed by higher belts and may be unable to work a specific move like you would with lower belts, your mind is developing concepts to help you survive longer and longer, and shaping your own game that works for you.
     

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