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Am I Really Ready for My Next Belt?
Do you think I’m ready? Do you really feel that I deserve it? Maybe I should do a couple more competitions first. How about one more year? These are just a few of the rebuttals instructors and Professors frequently hear when they’ve communicated to their student that they’ll be receiving their next rank.
When Professor Tom DeBlass informed me I’d be getting promoted to black belt the next time he visited our school, I sent him a text that must have amassed a scrolling length of about 20 feet, with questions, concerns, and excuses pertaining to “being ready.” I clicked send, and after an alarmingly short amount of time, I received a reply that simply said, “You have no choice.”
I believe it’s common to feel unprepared for your next belt. BJJ forces you constantly evaluate your progress. If you’re BJJ is important to you, then the prospect of receiving your next belt can feel very heavy. It’s not a bad thing. It means that it’s important to you and it’s something you hold in very high regard, and that’s commendable. Keep a couple things in mind: Make sure that you’re not basing the pressure you feel on the skill level or performance of any of your BJJ peers. Are you better than you were last year? Of course, you are. Let your own progress be your gage. Secondly, trust your Professor. If he/she says you’re ready, you’re ready. Respect their assessment of your BJJ and remind yourself that they know when it’s time.
Our BJJ journey should be exciting, eventful, and rewarding. Each belt is a milestone in that voyage and a marker of your commitment to the art. When it’s time to rank up, you should be filled with pride in what you’ve accomplished. Enjoy the moment and keep moving forward.
Check out Roy Dean's "Black Belt Requirements" available here at BJJ Fanatics! We also have all of his other belt level requirements videos available as well.