Back in Black…

Posted: July 23, 2013 by beforethefire in Discussion Topics
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The colored belt ranking system is a commonplace feature of modern martial arts. It’s even a part of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP), with colors like tan, grey, brown, green, and the ever-present black. Most other martial arts still use what have become the usual colors, with white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, and black. I’ve even earned a camouflage belt in Taekwondo once. Every organization has their own order for the colors, as well as their own meaning. Some systems even assign meanings to the colors themselves (white means a blank slate, purity, and so on). What is clear is that, whatever you think of the current trend in belt ranks, it will probably be a feature of martial arts training for a long time.

As for Jiu-jitsu, I stumbled upon a nifty explanation for it’s belt system. The visual metaphor is effective and makes use of the popular martial arts visual of seeing techniques as tools. Read and tell me what you think…

A nifty visual for understanding the Jiu-jitsu belt system...

A nifty visual for understanding the Jiu-jitsu belt system…

How do you define your art’s belt system?

  1. patrickasay says:

    Very good breakdown!

    And by the way, I’ve seen your kicks, specifically your roundhouse kick, side kick, hook kick, and spinning hook kick. And as a Black Belt in Taekwondo I would definitely say that those kicks (which I think are the most practical) are FAR ABOVE a “camouflage” belt.

    For us, in Asay Jiujitsu:

    White Belt Objectives: #1 To get a grasp of “positions” and how to “maintain them.” (You’ve doubtlessly heard the common phrase “position before submission.”) Knowing the hierarchy of positions, namely, (in order from greatest to the [arguably] neutral “guard) Rear Mount, S-Mount, High Mount, Low Mount, Side Mount, Knee Mount, Half Guard, and Guard (top and bottom).

    #2 To learn the very basics of how to first establish a good position, and learning the “motions” and “strategies” of basic submissions, such as the arm bar, cross collar choke, triangle choke, and rear naked choke.

    #3 The “Oompa,” the “Shrimp,” and the “Schoochie.” (drills for mobility on the ground). Break falling, and standing in base.

    Green Belt Objectives: #1 To “apply” certain techniques learned as a white belt and be introduced to “unfair drills,” where the opponent gets to where MMA gloves and strike while you can only use Asay Jiujitsu.

    #2 This is a time of experimentation to apply the techniques that cater to your individual skill set: size, strength, flexibility, and a novice level of application of technique.

    #3 The ability to “apply” the Oompa, the Shrimp, and the Schoochie, utilizing these movements in live rolling/sparring.

    Red Belt Objectives: #1 To achieve a mastery of your own “flavor,” so as to play to your strengths in actual combat.

    #2 Reversals, Takedowns, Escapes, a strong open guard game, and tight, technical, and advanced submissions and sweeps.

    #3 To be able to defeat either a significantly stronger/bigger attacker and/or someone of a similar skill level.

    Black Belt Objectives:

    #1 Succeed and excel in “unfair” rolling/sparring.
    a. You will roll with an opponent with a training knife* (or some other weapon)
    1. Control him (Don’t get cut in any vital areas)
    2. Submit him/her
    3. Disarm Him/her
    4. During one hour, you must “win”** 5 times total***

    b. If you fail to meet this strict standard, you will just have to keep training and test again and again until you are able to pass this test

    #2 Put in a total of 20 hours of Nogi Live Grappling.

    #3 Specialize in your own, unique, and individual “flavor,” and show that you can hold your own against (or, better yet, SUBMIT!) a higher rank, or a strong and athletic 3 stripe Green Belt up to a similarly built 3 stripe Red Belt (just like you!). In order to do this, you must choose two positions that, along the way, you have found yourself to be most effective at and put the training partner into these positions, and roll for 45 minutes.

    *You cannot JUST “control” them. You must disarm the weapon and submit them, or submit them then disarm the weapon, which will either be an air-soft gun (you’ll wear safety goggles), a training knife dipped in chalk, a simulated “baseball bat” as a foam baton, or anything else with which we feel you need to be tested.

    **Your opponent must be of either a weight/strength advantage with no experience or at least a 1 strike Green Belt student in AMA/AJJ.

    ***We may put you in bottom guard, standing up neutral, or on neutral knees (or even in an inferior position if we think it’s necessary). So expect to be able to defend yourself against someone with a weapon in any position..

    Anyway, that’s how we define our art’s (Asay Jiujitsu) belt system.

    patrick asay
    Negative 3rd Degree White Belt in Dim Mak

    • That was a really good breakdown of Asay Jiujitsu’s rank focus. It’s definitely a good approach towards basics mastery. And, as we all know, Jiu-jitsu basics is Jiu-jitsu at its finest…

      • patrickasay says:

        There is much more to it than that, but that’s kind of in a nutshell. I have an Asay Jiujitsu Booklet that’s 18 pages of more detailed info. I’ll need to get that to you.

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