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.
"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 have been going to the bbj classes at ICC for almost a year. I think it was the best decision I made to join ICC. The instructors Prof. David Tong and Steven Tong are awesome with their teaching and catering for people with different abilities and for both self defence and competition. I highly recommend ICC for all sorts of reasons either for fitness reasons like myself or wanting to advance in competitions as they have produced champions."
"Great people. Family atmosphere. My first 6 months have been a great experience. Professors David and Steven have taught me alot. Looking forward to my future training."
"2018 has been my 3rd year training at ICC. It is by far the best, most welcoming gym in Australia and has a great family atmosphere that makes me look forward to training every single time. I have trained at ICC since I was 15 years old and I’ve made so many great friendships through the gym. All instructors at ICC have a profound understanding of their respected martial arts disciplines and this has been reflected in the success of the competitors on a local and international level. ICC is the gym to train at, no matter what your goal is."
"Friendly staffs and great atmosphere! Always feel welcome from ICC family! Starting my third month for my BJJ training now.Will continue progressing with my helpful instructors David & Steve! Looking forward to growing with ICC"