BJJ and Competition: Do Medals Equal Promotions?

Graciemag recently posted an article asking if tournament titles determine promotions.

Personally, I think the short answer to this is that in general I think there’s a bit of correlation, but no causation. I know a lot of people think there’s almost a formula when it comes to promotions: jiu jitsu player+gold medal at a tournament= promotion. But it doesn’t really work that way. Or at least it shouldn’t- as I’ve mentioned before people (even instructors) aren’t perfect and neither is the system. In general however, promotions should depend on the student and their long term progress, rather than how well they did for just a few minutes on one day in this big adventure we call the journey of jiu jitsu.

Sure, tournaments are a great way for students to test their mettle and to see how well they can perform under pressure, but when looking at the big picture it’s such a small element to the whole thing. And instructors for the most part (I would hope) understand that: they watch you drill and train, what you’ve been learning, what you’re currently working on, your attitude- if you have the maturity to handle a promotion.

What do you guys think? Let me know- otherwise, have a great day everyone!




Filed under bjj

2 responses to “BJJ and Competition: Do Medals Equal Promotions?

  1. Thanks for sharing, great points! I believe that you hit the nail on the head, and instructors look at the person’s maturity, attitude, and technical skill prior to recognizing a student with a belt. Imagine a Karate Wrestler (inside joke) winning a NAGA bracket or IBJJF, however, this student is not mature and displays less than admirable qualities off the mats. On one side, I’d understand why this person would/could be promoted, especially if they are consistently beating other Karawrestlers in his or her same belt division. However, if the person has a negative attitude, does not train well with others, and barely trains (consistency) then I’d be hesitant to promote said students. Decisions, decisions. Thanks for sharing!

  2. No, I don’t think medals = promotions. In my mind, the goal of a competition is to win. You don’t use every tool in your arsenal, but you use the most reliable, effective tools. If you have someone who is GREAT at winning using bow and arrow, getting into bow and arrow, and they direct everything to bow and arrow, it doesn’t mean they’re a great all-around BJJ practitioner. They may also not play nicely with others.

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