If you read last week’s issue of The Lazy Grappler, you’ll know that I was promoted – but I’m not the only cowboy in Dodge. Loads of people were promoted alongside me at the same time, or the following week too. It’s a fucking who’s who of stripes and belts across the board. Finally we’re in a position where there are tons of coloured belts on the mats. This has always been the aim, and it makes me so god damn proud of all your wee faces.
I’m not going to list everyone that was promoted, becuase it’s a massive list and more importantly; I definitely would forget someone, they’d throw their toys out of the pram, and it’s just not a can of worms I can be arsed with the ballache of opening.
For a long time, a lot of people in my wee club have suffered from the idea that promotions aren’t especially important, because if you’re having fun and just enjoying doing what you’re doing, I guess they’re not.
When it comes to NoGi, you legitimately don’t know how good someone else is until you roll with them or see them roll. Gi is a little bit different. The senior grades have a big target on them, saying HEY! fucking look at this.
The belt should give you an idea of where someone is at. That strip of material along the waistline should be a measurement of a few things; attitude, discipline, technique, knowledge, time, etc. The further up the ranks you get, the more inherent trust others will put into you. The game changes. Your own progress now has a knock on effect to everyone else in the gym (that cares). As more people around you get promoted, people start to elevate their games across the board. It’s a very positive thing to see and experience. Plus for the team, the club or whatever, you have a far easier sell of the Martial Art that you’re demonstrating to masses.
Grading is a very personal thing. I think the right way to do it (and I may be wrong here), is to judge a person against themselves. That’s how I was graded. Are they a better version now, of what they were say X amount of time ago? When judging someone’s progression, you should be looking at their expression of Jiu-Jitsu, how they move, what their attitude is etc. Comparing two people like for like is difficult because of how different those people can be.
For instance, I am not a supreme athelete, I am not a fighter, I’m just a hobbyist that happens to have put a decent amount of time into this. My arse can still be kicked if/when I get lazy, but I do have an A-game that works very well against a lot of people. So I try to keep it real, yo. I am not Cobrinha. 😦
To wrap up for those of you who didn’t get promoted; be happy for those that did and stay hungry. By trying to beat the promoted people up, you are getting better. They’re also getting better and so on. It’s a ripple effect. We all elevate one another in this Jiu-Jitsu stuff, from white belt all the way to black. We’re all getting better together. There will come a day when you’re also promoted for the effort you’ve put in, and someone can start trying to kick your cunt in for the privilege. It’s the circle. THE CIRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE. x