What is a BJJ belt test like?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu' started by skribs, Aug 13, 2019.

  1. skribs

    skribs Senior Master

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    I come from Taekwondo and Hapkido. In Taekwondo, our tests are mostly a demonstration of technique and kata, with some sparring mixed in. In Hapkido, our tests are in our ability to properly apply the drills we've been practicing (I'm up to 61 drills for my next test), and then defend ourselves in various ad-hoc scenarios.

    My understanding is that BJJ is a more competition-focused art than either traditional TKD or Hapkido. What is a belt test like in BJJ compared with what I am used to?
     
  2. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Different instructors do different things. Some make you go through a litany techniques and then roll with a number of higher ranked members. Others simple watch and roll with you during the classes and as your skills go up they will present you with a stripe or award a new belt. Others with several high ranked members with consult with them and if the agree your skills have improved you'll get striped or ranked up to the next belt. The thing is it will be based upon your being on the mats and skill development under stress, a lot of stress a lot of times.

    Those that are competition schools will also factor in the competitions you participant in and how well you do in them.
     
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  3. kempodisciple

    kempodisciple MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I dont train bjj, but they do at my school. There's no test, but every once in a while at the end of class someone gets a stripe or belt after they all line up. No real test is done, besides presumably being watched each class to see when you're ready. I'm a fan of the method.
     
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  4. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    I believe it's like the Loch Ness monster.
     
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  5. Tony Dismukes

    Tony Dismukes MT Moderator Staff Member

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    The most common approach in BJJ is not to have a formal test at all. Ranks are awarded based on observation of the student on the mats over the years.

    At schools which do have formal tests, some will have a demonstration of designated techniques followed by some rounds of rolling/sparring. Some will just have the rounds of rolling/sparring.
     
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  6. Brian R. VanCise

    Brian R. VanCise MT Moderator Staff Member

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    I never tested in BJJ. I was simply rolling and holding my own or beating an upper rank and then they gave me a belt. For instance, one time I was rolling with two pro fighters back to back and holding my own with one and beating the other and they gave me a belt afterwards.
     
  7. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    We do have to compete to get belts.
     
  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour MT Moderator Staff Member

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    That's what I've heard from most of the BJJ folks I've talked to. There is one line (I forget which) that has a set curriculum up to blue (at least) and they seem to all test, but the others I've talked to mostly use the observe-and-promote method.
     
  9. Jits Tycoon

    Jits Tycoon White Belt

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    It differs for every school. Some BJJ gyms are much more laxed than others and dont require you to test while others do.

    A lot of gyms simply look at your performance on the mats against to see how well you do against your peers at the same belt level, how well you do at tournaments if you compete, and how often you train. If you fare well against others in your level and even against higher belts, your professor could simply think its time to get you promoted.

    There are gyms out there that look at the promotion by having you go through a "shark-tank" roll where you roll (spar) against everyone in the gym until you are basically ready to throw up - seen this before, looked brutal!

    I've even seen some gyms that require a written test! For the most part though, most gyms do follow the observe and promote method where you are gauged on how well you perform on the mats.
     
  10. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    I've been doing BJJ for over two years now. We don't really test unless you want to call every day you go to class a test. The way promotion works is there is a bunch of criteria you have to meet, you have to attend so many classes, there has to be a certain length of time since you last got promoted, you have to attain a certain amount of knowledge and skill, ect. When the instructor sees that you're ready, based on whether you've met those criteria he promotes you. When you get promoted you either get a stripe on your belt or if you've already got the maximum number of stripes you get your next belt.
     
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  11. Willzzz

    Willzzz White Belt

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    Just had a belt testing. We did warm ups. Then some sparring. And then the instructor gave stripes and belts. Then we sparred some more to break in the belts.

    Here's the thing, a belt "testing" isn't really necessary for BJJ. Any instructor worth their salt will be able to tell what level you are just by rolling with you, and since rolling happens every class....Well, you get the idea. I will always remember the time when I was a blue-belt and and I rolled with a visiting black belt. After the roll, he said "hey it looks like you're pretty much ready to be a purple belt". In my head, I was thinking in my head "Based on what? You just spent the last 6 minutes kicking my ***. How could you possibly know how good I am". Sure enough, next time belt testing came around in 2 weeks, I got my purple.
     
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  12. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Well good for you, you're now an intermediate.
     

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