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.
"Attending a martial arts gym as an "older" novice student can be quite daunting. I found ICC had a very professional and welcoming atmosphere. Having attended other martial arts gyms over the years its great to attend one where ego is left at the door and all students are treated with respect, be it the novice who takes the plunge to learn a martial art all the way through to the high level competitors. In conjunction with the atmosphere having highly technical and detailed instruction by Professor David and Steven make learning really enjoyable. Fantastic place to learn and train."
"i just wanted to say how impressed i am with ICC. You guys run a great show. All your students are respectful and courteous. I am very impressed and pleased with the way Mario and his team run their classed He keeps the class engaged in a strict but fun way. Teaching techniques but also how to be a good person too. To have respect for others and yourself... keep up the great work. The kids are really benefiting from it."
"As someone who was completely new to BJJ, when I first entered ICC I discovered a gym with high quality teaching and a friendly culture. Every student was friendly, welcoming and helpful which is a reflection head instructors David and Steven Tong.At ICC you can train to suit your interests whether its for fun, fitness, self-defense or competition. My only regret is not starting sooner."
"I've trained with a few martial arts instructors before and i have to say Mario is one of the best i've trained with. He clearly knows what he's talking about and has a great teaching style that is both serious and light hearted at the same time, which was exactly what i was looking for in a club. In the adult classes they aren't too strict with the traditional rules (which is a nice change) and focus more on effective techniques. Ann-Marie and the rest of the black belts also help to make sure each individual is getting as much attention as possible in each class, which really helps to accelerate your learning.I did both karate and kickboxing and recommend both - karate for the the focus on technique/self defence and kickboxing for smashing pads and fitness. Also, both my kids also love training at ICC - it's really helping with their confidence.David and the entire ICC team also do a great job of managing the club. It's been an overwhelmingly positive experience from day 1."
"I am proud to be a part of this amazing martial arts center. The trainers truly understand every strength n weakness in student’s n always motivates to develop for the best."