In traditional martial arts you need to go through a formal grading process to achieve your next belt or rank advancement. However, BJJ is not your traditional martial arts. It’s very informal in nature and so is the grading process. Belts are awarded through their tenure marred with blood and sweat on the mats and often take a hell of a longer time to achieve compared with other martial arts.
I personally liked this method as the rank you achieve is the one you deserve – that is, the rank is awarded to you when your instructor feels that you are ready (rather than after a performance of pre-arranged techniques).
I achieved all of my ranks this way, except for my black. It wasn’t until I got my black in an impromptu grading process and upon reflection, did I re-evaluate my perception which in turn, made me see the value of formal gradings.
Sure, it’s great to receive a new belt when you least it expect it based on when your instructor feels you’re ready. But the only criticism I have of this practice is that there is no pressure! It would be similar to the scenario where a person who crushes everyone in his/her gym but crumbles under the pressure of competition. And it is exactly during these conditions when one will truly know if he or she has the mastery expected of them or not.
In short, from my experience in traditional martial arts, informal BJJ gradings and competition experience, I believe (and will start to personally adopt) a grading process that encompasses these three aspects:
Traditional – You need to be able to execute a pre-determined list of techniques as a guideline and minimum benchmark of what is expected at that level.
BJJ – You need to pay your dues and demonstrate diligence and persistence in mastering the craft.
Competition – And most importantly, in my opinion, one needs to be able to demonstrate his or her techniques under duress and have his or her heart and mental fortitude tested through supervised combative rounds.
Give our BJJ program a go and experience the improvements to all of these fields. It is considered to be an excellent first style where the skills are easily transferable.
"Really helpful and friendly marital arts centre. Hi guys I'm a taxi driver and have had instances where I've been THREATENED I was after a place where I can learn some helpful life skills that if in case needed will save me from bad guys. I have just recently started with training with David and Steven they are really friendly and helpful and understood my requirements to configure a self defence course for me. Im really glad that I m now part of this incredible martial arts centre everyone at the centre is really friendly and helpful I was made feel very comfortable by everyone I highly recommed joining this centre for anyone in a likely situation thanks guys"
"Dave is a skilled, and super friendly instructor. He runs an awesome program at ICC. You'll be safe, and happy to train here. Highly recommended!"
"Our oldest son Patrick has been training BJJ under Mario for 2 years and our middle boy Jack has just started Karate Jitsu. I cannot speak highly enough of him, the difference he has made in their lives is enormous. I'd recommend him to anyone looking to get their kids into martial arts."
"A place that is welcoming and warm. My child loved it from day 1. Professional warm instructor's. Thank you for your kindness and professionalism."
"The instructors at ICC are competent, friendly and professional but that’s not entirely why I chose to join and bring my 3 kids (2 girls and a boy) along. There are plenty of martial arts gyms with disciplined instructors but very few with the right culture and family oriented approach that make it easy for a parent to entrust their children with ICC in teaching them such an important life skill. For an old man like me and for any anyone else for that matter, the senior students have gone out of their way to pass on their skills without any condescending ego, it’s part of their journey to learn and to give back. I feel like the ICC philosophy rings true in that everyone is welcomed at ICC irrespective of their background and/or athletic ability. One final stand out for me is the large membership of girls and women in the club. As a father of 2 teenager daughters and a Girls Development Officer at a local football club it's very important for me to see the right culture is established to encourage female participation. Highly recommended."