Blue Belt Demoted To White Belt

Recently, video surfaced of an instructor demoting a student from blue belt to white belt.

The instructor was not looking to humiliate the student, though. Instead, he praised the student for his “humility.” The targets of the video were those who seek or give belt promotions for the purpose of feeding egos.

According to BJJ Eastern Europe, here the English translation of the instructor’s speech:

Today we’re having a different kind of graduation. I’m gonna take his blue belt and give him a white belt. I didn’t graduate him to blue, another teacher [previous gym] did, when he was not ready yet. I’m doing this because his humility in recognizing this is bigger than your pride to give or wear a belt you don’t deserve. Let this be a lesson to you all out there who seek belt promotions or promote someone to a new belt to feed egos rather than be honest to the skills.

What do you think of this student’s demotion? Was the instructor right in demoting him to white belt?

Sound off below or in the Facebook comments section.


  1. The instructor needed the humility lesson. His ego inflating, because this thin kid did not roll well enough against the adults behind him? “Look class at how well I teachYOU! A blue belt from another school is barely a white belt!

    How about YOU being humble? just teaching till you feel he is a blue belt? nope YOUR ego is in need of a feeding ..or do you think others in the class including the kid did not understand he is not as good ? OR is it other students complaining “why he get a blue belt” in that case then they need to swallow their pride and have some humility!

    If the kid came from an accredited school ..then simply teach him and do not promote to purple till hes ready its that easy!

    • I disagree, it is unfair to leave a blue belt out there that may be getting constantly tapped by white belts. The belt generates certain expectations and it is just not fair to have someone unprepared wearing the belt he/she does not have the skill for.
      The instructor was quite gentle the way he did it and praised the students humility. Also it’s pretty obvious that they already had agreed upon this before camera was on the kid could have walked away to another school or academy.
      Maybe understanding the language makes a difference here, dunno….

    • Agree. Belts mean many different things depending on the instructor. If he got it from a legit instructor he should keep it but just understand he’s under a new set of rules. If he got it from an unqualified instructor then get rid of it and start over. Kind of a pissing match between instructors with this kid the only one that is impacted.

  2. If a legit black belt puts a belt on someone, whether I agree or not- they are that belt. Make him stay a blue belt for 4 years- but don’t disrespect the art and other instructor like that.

    Now, if someone got a belt from a fraud instructor, that’s a different story. Sucks for the person, but at least they are getting real instruction.

  3. This is simply a case of an instructor getting into a pissing match with other instructors to send a message. And you’re gonna demote this guy on YouTube? Accreditation programs exist for a reason. People have to be able to move and not get demoted strictly because another instructor wants to make the point that “he’s that much better” than the guy across the street. The egos in this racket are just too much sometimes.

  4. In reality we’re all assuming things as we do not know the background on this.
    The instructor just says he is not qualified to have the blue belt and mentions no name for the other instructor, therefore not really a pissing match. I agree though that this should have been done and not plastered on youtube….

  5. I know a guy who said he was demoted from brown to purple. He gladly accepted the demotion. The demoting was done by a world class jiujitsu practitioner. It may not be as uncommon as we think. This guy just recently relieved his black belt.


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