The Hierarchy of Jiu Jitsu Academies

In BJJ there are different levels of gyms and different levels of instructors.  Many people feel that certain people (namely lower ranks) shouldn’t be allowed to open gyms.  There may be a hierarchy of schools…

Honesty should be policy.

The 17 year old kid we covered not too long ago isn’t passing himself off as anything that he’s not.  He has opened up a school.  Would I train there?  Probably not, but there are going to be people who for whatever reason view it as a good training environment and decide that it’s the best choice for them.  There have been no lies told and no misrepresentation.  For this reason I think that it’s perfectly acceptable for that school to exist.

Not all black belts were created equal and not all schools were created equal.

I’ve been at academies run by blue belts and I’ve been at academies run by black belts.  There are some blue belts that can run circles around some black belts both in teaching ability as well as actual ability.  They are few and far between but I’d rather sample every school in a town and decide for myself than assume that just because someone’s belt is a certain color that their abilities will reflect that.

I’d rather learn from a blue belt who is attentive and detail oriented than a black belt who is inattentive or doesn’t focus enough on details.  I’d rather learn from a blue belt that seems like he or she cares than a black belt who doesn’t really seem to care.  And most importantly I’d rather learn from a real blue belt, than a fake black belt (obviously.)

Everyone is looking for something different from jiu jitsu.  I once had an instructor who ran a really expensive school, I commented to him that less than 15 minutes away there was a less prestigious school run by a very good brown belt.  His response was to compare BJJ to actual schooling.  A school that only teaches specific curriculums would be akin to a trade school at which you can only really learn certain things.  A school run by a lower rank would be akin to a college (because very often lower ranks are not encouraged to promote and are perceived as less than in the scheme of higher ranks vs. lower ranks).  Schools run by black belts are, in his mind, like universities and schools run by high level black belts are high level universities (think Ivy League.)

I don’t necessarily agree with this hierarchy.  I don’t necessarily DISagree with it.  Do you feel that there are any merits to this hierarchy?  Would you prefer to learn from a really high level blue belt or a legit but low level black belt?

The post The Hierarchy of Jiu Jitsu Academies appeared first on Jiu-Jitsu Times.

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