Jiu-Jitsu Belts/Rank: Redux

Belts mean nothing.

The skill set that a belt symbolizes, the blood sweat and tears that are often payment for the privilege of wearing the belt, THAT means everything.

The belt itself is just a piece of cloth, an inanimate object. I never assume that just because someone wears a belt of a specific color that it means anything… Lets slap hands and roll, I’ll know pretty quickly what that belt symbolizes or doesn’t symbolize.

“A black belt only covers two inches of your ***. You have to cover the rest.”
– Royce Gracie

This evening at 8pm Eastern US Time I will be taking part in a podcast put on by The BJJ Hour.  The subject is one that I’ve written quite a bit about: Belts/Rank.  Here’s the link, tune in live or just watch it after the fact:

I’ve been doing martial arts for over 2 decades.  I started my Jiu Jitsu journey 16 years ago (with a LOT of time off in between), and have been dedicated to BJJ since 2011.  Over that time I have seen fearsome white belts (and “no belts” who haven’t ever put a gi on) who can hang with the best competitors BJJ has to offer.  I’ve also seen black belts who have no idea what they’re doing.

Throughout all of this I’ve come to some conclusions:

1.  Belt/Rank means nothing on a grand scale.

2.  Belt/Rank can mean a lot to an individual.

3.  Always judge the individual, not the belt or rank they hold.

Here are the pieces I’ve written for Jiu Jitsu Times on this subject:

What Is The Actual Meaning Of A BJJ Belt?

Jiu-Jitsu Belt Rank Part 2

Training Prior To BJJ

Lineages: Competing Up In Rank

Jiu-Jitsu: Fake Promotions

Jiu Jitsu Ranking And Sandbagging [Follow Up]

Green Belt For Kids And Adults?

When a white belt taps a black belt in competition…

Some Thoughts On The Guy Who Got A Blue Belt From Gracie University Online


Emil Fischer is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training with Strong Style Brasa and is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear and Cruz Combat. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at and

The post Jiu-Jitsu Belts/Rank: Redux appeared first on Jiu-Jitsu Times.

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