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Question about BJJ belt system

Discussion in 'Grappling Technique' started by mannywankenobi, Nov 28, 2005.

  1. mannywankenobi

    mannywankenobi The Sherdog Legend

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    If I told you, I'd have to kill you!
    A friend of mine has been training MMA for about 5 years. Needless to say the guy is good. However in our school, because it's strickly an MMA curriculum, we don't use a belt system. (Well the kids do but not the adults.) Anyways, I was wondering the other day about what level my friend is in comparison to the BJJ belt system. I've seen him tap out purple belt level BJJ players who were about to advance to brown belt. And I'm talking about guys who place in their divisions at events like Naga and Grapplers Quest. I've seen him tap out a guy who competes in the Mundials purple belt level. So obviously this guy knows his stuff. (I've seen him tapped out by those guys also mind you but the point is that he hangs at that level.)

    My question is if this guy ever wanted to work his way up the BJJ ranks, would he have to start from the bottom as a white belt. Or do BJJ instructers do some type of assessment of experienced student's skills? How would that work?

    And yes he trains and competes with the Gi.
     
  2. physicaltherapy

    physicaltherapy Blue Belt

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    Everyone starts at the white belt level...but he'll probably get promoted pretty damn fast. As a formality...I guess. I'm sure there are certain holes in his game that you can get away with in MMA but not in sport BJJ (and by the same token.....vice versa. e.g. in sport BJJ you don't have to protect your face so you can do some pretty fancy grappling, in MMA you can set up a guard pass with a punch to the face but not in sport BJJ)
     
  3. nick889

    nick889 Blue Belt

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    ya i dont think you can just skip like that, he must be a really good wrestler too. hed probably just go through the ranks and end up an awesome purple belt for a couple years then move up. but if hes an mma fighter i cant see him worrying about what belt he is in bjj, especially if he knows he has the skills
     
  4. mannywankenobi

    mannywankenobi The Sherdog Legend

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    I'm sure there's holes in his game like everyone else, but that's why I mentioned that he actually competes in sport BJJ and does well in the purple belt and intermediate to advanced levels. I've heard of people who traveled to Brazil or some elite BJJ instructer like a Gracie to get a blue belt even though they don't train under those guys. But I was just wondering how it would work for someone who was past the blue belt level.
     
  5. nick889

    nick889 Blue Belt

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    you mean he beats purple belts in no gi events, i find this a little hard to believe but still hed just move fast through the system, look at bj penn
     
  6. DMcKayBJJ

    DMcKayBJJ Blue Belt

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    Any reputable BJJ instructor would start him at white upon first meeting, since he is not known to have earned a higher belt from any other reputable BJJ instructor.

    However, like anyone else with grappling experience (HS wrestling, judo, garage JJ, etc.), he'd likely earn the instructor's confidence in his skills faster than usual, which would mean that he'd earn a higher belt faster than the typical newb with ZERO grappling experience.

    Simple, no?
     
  7. mannywankenobi

    mannywankenobi The Sherdog Legend

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    Well like I said, he's been training for 5+ years. In fact he trains full time. So why would it be hard for you to believe he could defeat purple belts. He not only does well with them at no gi events. He also does well with them with the gi on. And like I said, it's not like he's invincible against them. He has his losses against them as well (although he hasn't been submitted in competition in a long time, just losses on points). But after 5+ years or so of full-time training, this is where he's at skill-level wise.

    But looks like I got my answer. He'd still have to start as a white belt but just advance faster. Sounds fair enough. We've had guys come to our school who had like 7 years of wrestling experience or were black belts in some other martial arts style but they also start in the beginner's classes. They just advance faster as well. It makes sense. I was just wondering if they would do the same thing in BJJ because I've told my friend mentioned above that he should actually consider going up the ranks in BJJ since he enjoys competing in it so much.
     
  8. b0b

    b0b Banned Banned

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    Royce Gracie gives out Blue Belts at his seminars.
     
  9. Joey Guidice

    Joey Guidice Green Belt Professional Fighter

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    Does he wear a belt when he competes with the gi?...if so what color....that is his rank
     
  10. John O'Brien

    John O'Brien They call me Barnacle Bill.

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    In his situation, the best thing to do would to be to talk to a BJJ instructor before his first class with them. Explain to him that although he has not graded in BJJ, that he has a very active and progressive grappling game that's comparable to a purple belt. This is just so he's not considered a sandbagger when he enters gi competitions and also in training. I'm sure he would be promoted to blue belt very quickly. Then the instructor could assess if he was infact a purple belt. Purple belts are probably the hardest belts to get IMO - The instructor makes a decision that he could get badly criticised for which is why they don't give them out. There are many shitty blue belts, but I've yet to meet a really poor purple belt.
     
  11. suicideeyes

    suicideeyes White Belt

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    what?!
     
  12. John O'Brien

    John O'Brien They call me Barnacle Bill.

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    He gives out blue belts at seminars, but only if he feels you are at blue belt level.
     
  13. monkey roll

    monkey roll Green Belt

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    Just go to a seminar. Fabio Holanda also hand out belts at his seminar.
     
  14. pitviper259

    pitviper259 Guest

    i started wrestling when i was 12 and i started doing bjj when i was 18 (self taught) im 23 now and started actual "school" training last year. Because of my wrestler and bjj bg i was promoted to blue within 3 mos. (all the students and most i tell all say this is rather quick) but it was because of my bg that i was promoted quickly so it would definately be the same for your friend
     
  15. Commissar

    Commissar Gold Belt

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    Yeah, what color belt does he compete in?
     
  16. mannywankenobi

    mannywankenobi The Sherdog Legend

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    He wears a purple.
     
  17. Trudge

    Trudge Purple Belt

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    who lets him wear a purple?
     
  18. mannywankenobi

    mannywankenobi The Sherdog Legend

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    Who lets him? I guess the tournament officials. Our school lets him wear it. To do the gi grappling you have to wear some kind of belt and at least he's not throwing on a white or blue belt because that would be serious cheating. Here's the thing about our curriculum. We don't wear belts because we don't normally train with the gi. Just every now and then and usually when there's a grappling tournament coming up. At any rate, we do have a belt system. But only the kids at our school strictly go by it. Us adults don't. And the belt system the kids use is very different than BJJ. It's sort of wierd I know. Definitely not a traditional set-up. However, it is an MMA curriculum. Not a BJJ or any other particular curriculum that has a traditional belt system. So when my friend competes BJJ he'll throw on the purple belt because thats who he hangs with. If he threw on a blue belt, trust me, it wouldn't be fair for the other blue belts.
     
  19. ColClaypool

    ColClaypool Blue Belt

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    You are asking what level belt your friends would train or compete with (because of his experience), but at the end of your thread you say that he trains and competes with the GI. Your questions doesnt make sense...Unless he trains and competes as a white belt and then sandbags people at tournaments. In that case your friends a dick.
     
  20. sarge

    sarge White Belt

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    Weird situation. Kind of surprised training mma he would even fool with the gi. I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to join a bjj club, that he would start at white and stay there for awhile before being promoted. The politics are pretty hardcore with belt promotions in bjj.
     

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