I've been training in Judo for about 6 years. I'm a late starter: even though I've tried just about every other style of martial art (mostly crappy stuff) you can imagine since I was 15 or so, I didn't take up Judo seriously until I was almost 35. My training has been a mixture of traditional dojo judo and garage grappling. I've trained in at least 6 different schools along the way. I've competed in 6 judo tournaments, all novice division, with my highest finish a second place. In Arizona there is not an intermediate competition division, so I've bumped from novice to expert: I'll now be competeing against mostly black beltsfrom here on out. To answer the lurking bjj vs judo question: I can honestly say that I'm roughly the equivalent of a high blue when it comes to ground work. I've rolled with enough bjj guys to know where I stand. I've rolled with kimura594 of the Sherdog forums, and he's a 4 stripe blue (a hairs breadth from being a purple) and he just edges me out. So I'd say my groundwork, as a fresh judo brown, is ballpark about a 3 stripe blue in bjj. My leg techniques (knee bars, ankle cranks, heel hooks, etc) are non-existant. This is where bjj guys always get me. Basically my coach walked in to class tonight and handed me the belt. There was no formal testing proceedure, although over the past couple of months I've been asked randomly to demostrate some brown belt level throw or two. I figure I've got anywhere from 2 years to another 6 until black belt, depnding on how dedicated I get at this point, and how I do in tournaments. I've actually learned a lot just mulling about this grappling forum. I can honestly say that this forum is a learning center for me. thanks guys. I'm just happy as a clam.