Black Belt joining as White Belt

JR 137

Apr 26, 2015
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In the dojo

I understand where you're coming from. When I was wrestling, it was difficult "sparring" against a beginner. They'd break rules, unintentionally, and we'd get frustrated. But there was no real worry about being pinned, taken down or thrown by a beginner during "sparring" (what should I call it, free wrestling?). Drills/practicing different moves was a different matter though. It's pretty easy to get hurt when you let someone with minimal experience throw you. But a guy who just started a few weeks ago shouldn't be able to throw a guy who's been around for some time during sparring. I have no judo experience, but I can't imagine it's much different in that regard; I don't imagine too many fresh white belts throw fully resisting judoka with a year or more experience.

We've got rules in my dojo like no punching the face, kicking the knees or groin, etc. But if I can't defend against a new white belt doing those things, I've really got to question my training. I'm not saying they should be trying to do those things nor should they be doing them, but if I'm getting hit with that stuff constantly by a white belt, I've got a problem defending myself.

An experienced boxer isn't worried too much about getting KO'ed by a beginner. He may be worried about accidental head butting, low blows, etc., but I'm quite sure an experienced boxer doesn't think a beginner is his most dangerous opponent. Maybe I m wrong about that, as my only boxing experience was my college's boxing club for 2 semesters.


White Belt
Oct 9, 2016
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To all the Members.

Thank you for comments. I resolved my issue. When I have more time with my new ryu then I will put a video on my YouTube channel to show you how I resolved it.

Again thank you all for your input[emoji1360]


Sgt. Magic


White Belt
Sep 5, 2016
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West coast, US
Welcome to the madhouse!
Here is my two cent's worth ... just go and train. Let your instructor know that you have prior experience, but try and ignore it as much as possible. Don't try and "show" them anything, don't think to yourself (or worse say it out loud) "that's not how I learned it", try not to think "I could do that better". Just listen and try to do what you're taught to the best of your abilities.

I've learned three different Japanese sword arts, and started each one as a rank beginner. Your prior experience will make you easier to teach (for which your instructor will be grateful!) but try and ignore it unless you are specifically asked if your prior training did something different.

Good luck, and have fun!
^^^ This! Isn't this the basis for being a solid student? In martial arts or anything else. I try to actively remind myself when I start thinking I know something to just stop and focus on what they want me to do right then... Regardless of what I know (or more likely THINK I know). I literally tell myself I am a sponge and am there to be fed information like a baby bird being fed its parent's vomit. Hmmm... Okay that may be weird and a bit much, but it IS what I imagine as I focus on being a really good student lol

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Senior Master
Sep 2, 2013
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Troy NY
I became a black belt in combat Jujitsu in 1995. I spent a few years helping the white belt and lower rank. Then my many jobs kept me away from the dojo and 11 years ago I moved to Florida (small town in Florida) The first thing I did when I arrive to Florida is look for a jujitsu ryu, there were none to be found.
A few months ago I found out that the next town about 20 minutes away has a jujitsu school. It is traditional jujitsu not BJJ. The Sensei there told me he would like me to come to the mat as a white belt.

Now I don't mind, just hoping I can show them I am a fast learner to get to their advice classes and earn their respect.

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I just went through the same thing when I switched wing chun schools. At my old one, the Sifu had taught me all 3 empty hand forms, the wooden dummy form, and part of the pole form. (SIDE NOTE: Wing chun has only six forms. I just named five. The sixth one is another weapon form.) I had also just started attending the class for advanced students. Then I had to switch schools (I moved to an area where I was closer to this other school than my original one), so even though I have been doing this for many years, now I have to show my skill to my new Sifu.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes.

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