The image of a person who holds a Jiu jitsu Black belt has a history of being quite mythical in the world of martial arts. When it comes to the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there really are no myths present. The integrity of the belt is maintained through strict requirements for performance. Merely memorizing techniques or completing belt testing requirements will not lead you to a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt. You do need to perform well on the mat.
The path to a black belt goes from white to blue to purple to brown to black. Depending upon the school or organization you train at, there may be four degrees of white stripes in between the belt promotions. Stripes not only chart a progression but they help the student remain motivated during the long haul to achieving an eventually new belt rank.
Again, with belt ranks in BJJ, skill in technique and performance remain the main criteria for advancement. To become a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt, you must have an exceptional level of talent and are heads and shoulders above those ranked below you. You also must have a personal style which is uniquely your which is rooted in a mastery of the basics.
What you do not need to do is win championships on the tournament circuit. At this point, a bit of controversy may be raised. Some might assume that winning on the tournament circuit is mandatory for a promotion. The truth is those who dominate in tournaments often do get promoted quicker than those who do not. However, scores of Black Belts have received their ranking without being major names on the competition scene. The reason for this is that in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, practitioners spar and roll on the mat each and every class. Many practitioners are rolling 2+ hours a week. It would be very difficult to seriously and credibly challenge the skill of a practitioner who is so committed to his/her training that such a schedule if kept for 10+ years.
Progress equals a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt
In other words, if you train in such a way for the long haul then you will probably reach Black Belt level as long as you continue to make progress. This certainly does require a strong commitment to training but for those who love the art making commitments of this nature are more of a labor of love as opposed to a lot of work.
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