Jiu Jitsu testing is important for a lot of reasons, but the most obvious is this: It forces you to practice more. Unless you’re a masochist, or love public humiliation, committing to testing forces you to practice more, so you don’t embarrass yourself on test day.
Test prep forces you to learn new techniques and polish old favorite moves. It also makes you really think about your personal approach to Jiu Jitsu.
Jiu Jitsu Testing Creates Community and Personal Growth Through Stress
Nothing builds comradery like a stressful shared experience. Some of the best times I’ve had with other students were right before a big test. I’ve also had great times going out after a test and grabbing a drink and laughing about the things we messed up.
Very few people find testing fun, even those who are well-prepared. However, it can’t be denied that pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone forces us to grow as individuals. Most of us started practicing Jiu Jitsu because we wanted to change or improve ourselves. If you don’t test on a regular basis, you’ll miss out on opportunities to grow and improve.
“Rank Isn’t Important”
I’ve heard many students state that rank isn’t important, and that the color of your belt isn’t an accurate indicator of how good you are at Jiu Jitsu. I myself am a purple belt, and I have no doubt there are plenty of white belts who could tap me out.
The trick here is not to compare ourselves to others. Just because I’m a purple belt doesn’t mean that I’m better at Jiu Jitsu than every person ranked below me. It simply means that I am better than I was when I was a blue belt or a white belt. We’re all different ages and sizes, and comparing yourself to another grappler is like comparing apples and oranges. Thus, rank is quite important, when comparing your own personal growth and how far you’ve progressed with your own Jiu Jitsu.
One final thought on this. Rank is also important in the sense that it reflects how many hours you’ve spent on the mat. You should be proud of the time that you’ve dedicated to Jiu Jitsu. Your belt rank shows your dedication to your training partners and teachers.
Leading by Example
Testing and ranking up will also help your fellow students advance. We all go through periods where we feel like we’re not progressing, and watching another student achieve a new belt can be very inspiring.
I myself remember watching a brown belt test and being very impressed by how well that student knew his material and could just whip out move after move on demand. It made me want to train harder, so I too could roll like that.
Please let me know if you have any questions about Jiu Jitsu testing at Northwest Fighting Arts.
– Blog posted by Coach Erik N.
[If you are in the Portland, OR area and are looking for classes, come check us out at NWFighting.com.]