Understanding Why BJJ Belts Are Arbitrary

Some people don’t care as much about their BJJ belts as they get better at the sport. Some would have said, “Absolutely!” if you had asked them a couple of months ago if they were excited to get their Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Recently, though, some people have been getting less excited about getting their black belt. There is still some excitement, but not nearly as much as there was. But this has nothing to do with people being less interested in BJJ. They are just as excited about self-defense, martial arts, and sports as they were before. Doesn’t this sound strange?

On the other hand, these people think the BJJ belt system is very important and should be in place. It sounds like they are talking about different things at the same time, but keep reading to find out what they mean.

Understanding Why BJJ Belts Are Arbitrary

There used to be a lot of meaning behind the different belts people got in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Getting your blue belt meant you knew some basic ideas of Jiu-Jitsu and how to defend yourself. It also meant you were better than white belts. The Purple Belt shows that you have been practicing BJJ for a long time and know most of the basic moves. It also means that you are better than blue belts. And so on.

It’s likely that those of you who have been doing BJJ for a while already know where we’re going. Sayings like “a belt only covers two inches of your behind; you have to cover the rest” have been used to talk about this idea. A lot of people feel like these words don’t mean anything because they hear them so often.

Anyone can beat anyone else. Skill is skill, and belt color is just belt color. Since you already know how skilled you are as a blue belt, if you have been beating purple belts regularly in practice and competition, getting your purple belt may feel a little empty: You don’t need a new belt to prove yourself! For people who don’t know you, a belt only shows how skilled you are. And once they see you roll, your skills will be more important than the color of your belt.

Final Thoughts

Although belts are still important in the BJJ world, some people value belts less than they used to. This is because they know lower belts can beat even Black Belts. Everyone, even the best, must deal with defeat. Like how young Anakin Skywalker thought Jedi were unbeatable, your white belts think black belts are unbeatable. Although you are a White, Blue, Purple, or Brown Belt, you know that even Black Belts, who are very skilled, can lose and fail just like anyone else. Because of this, people are less excited about getting their black belt because they know it doesn’t make them a Mythical, Unbeatable Jiu-Jitsu Machine.

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