First, I need to emphasize the importance of the process, not the outcome. Belts will come as long as you keep showing up, work on your techniques, and be a good training partner.
With that being said, there are a few criteria that help us determine when a student is ready or getting close to a promotion:
- Character – this is by far the biggest variable I consider when making a promotion. While technical competency is critical. You are most likely not ready for a promotion at our dojo if you do not live the ethos of the Peaceful Warrior. Kindness, respect, integrity, and helping your juniors grow. “Winning” for you should not be submitting your opponent, especially when you outweigh them by 50 pounds and are 20 years their junior. “Winning” is improving your own technique without the reliance on strength, size, youth, flexibility, and athletic ability. The faster you can isolate technique from those other factors, the faster you will improve and progress.
- Time in grade and number of classes attended – consistency is key. Honing your art on a regular basis will bring you a step closer to a promotion nomination. Enjoy the journey and sign in for each class you attend.
- Leadership – this variable especially comes into play for senior belts. Once you hit purple or above, there is an expectation that you are empowering and nurturing your juniors by guiding them by example. It’s important to have balance and tact with this element, make sure you are helping but not overstepping. Do not over-talk the lead instructor or go off on a tangent distracting from the lesson plan for the class. Even as the school owner, when another instructor is teaching I make a concerted effort not to distract attention from the lead instructor or volunteer too many pointers unless asked to do so.
So it really boils down to keep showing up and being a good student/training partner. Make your goal self-improvement and the belts will come in due time.
If you would like to learn jiujitsu, “the gentle way,” we would love to help you on your journey. Please schedule a free trial class right on our website.