Friday, February 17, 2012

A Purple Belt Perspective Of Belt Rank


I am going to be reprinting some old classic entries from my previous blog called The Angry Grappler. It will chronicle the evolution in my understanding of martial arts.
15 November 2008 @ 06:16 pm

Now that I am basically at the point of no return where black belt is closer to me than white belt is, I have a new perspective on the path to black belt.

White Belt - At white you are learning the basics of positions and submissions and the idea of positions before submissions. Learning 2-3 basic passes. Learning to mount. Learning to armbar, choke, or triangle. As a white belt all you want to do is pass, mount finish or finish from your closed guard. That's it. For you, you feel like the mount is huge! And in your closed guard, your only choice is finish.

Blue Belt - At blue you know most of the moves but you can't chain it all together into a full game yet but you have some moves you are great at. Here it's all about smashing and scrambling. Either you and the other blue or both scrambling to stay on top, or trying to smash the hell out of the other guy while you pass and you are experimenting with a lot of the advanced moves.

Purple Belt - At purple, doesn't matter what kind of purple you are. Seems like all roads lead to the back, all you care about is taking the back, all you want is the back. You mount but still think about somehow getting the back, you do all these flashy moves to get to the back or set up a move that will somehow lead to their back. This is where your game is at its most flashy.

Brown Belt - Almost a black. Now your game is more defined, your signature moves are just that much better. You can teach concepts and convey ideas, what works and why it works. The difference between a brown and a black is really mat time and experience. Everything else should be all dialed in, they just need patience.

Black Belt - The black belt becomes the white belt again. Position before submission. Passing, mounting, finishing. No more sidemount as the holding position. They want to mount you and choke you, or from their back, finish with armbar or triangle. They have their white belt game back and mount is the holy grail again, and your closed guard is your sniper rifle, just this time around it's that much tighter and better.

Older Black Belt - Now matter how flashy and fast you were as a black belt, eventually all the black belts games look the same. Pressure pressure pressure, passing, smothering, suffocating. They just ooze on you until they finish you. I have rolled with a lot of older black belts and they all had that same game. Eliminate the gaps and the spaces. Truest form of jiu jitsu and I know the black belts I like now who are still flashy, eventually they will make their game so economic and efficient, it will also be that oozing game. All roads no matter how different they were at the beginning all end the same way, you end up having Helio's game.

That in my opinion is true jiu jitsu. Smother, eliminate space, get your position, and finish. Total control of you over them. Not reactionary, not speed or athleticism, just pure mastery of your will over theirs.

That's just my opinion. I right now don't even try to mount or finish until I see their will is broken. So I have to wait, doesn't matter 5 mins or 30. Patience. True jiu jitsu has no time limits or points, just finishes.
About the Author:

Sam Y. is a Master Personal Trainer, Certified Nutritionist, Coach, Performance Enhancement Specialist, Corrective Enhancement Specialist, Yoga and Pilates instructor, and holds multiple certifications. He is also an avid Martial Artist, training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing, and MMA. He is also the author of the popular fitness blog All Out Effort as well as the popular martial arts blog Inner BJJ. You can find him in the Los Angeles area personal training his clients, or at home annoying his wife, or on Facebook at his personal fitness page.

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