A Reader Question: “Do I wear this belt when I join my new academy?”

Reader Question: “I was a a white belt at my old academy, however my coach was extremely abusive both verbally as well as physically with many students having quit the gym and it having a poor reputation in the area.

The coach would sand bag at tournaments quite often, but the jiu jitsu was good technically despite the environment.
I was cross training with a Gracie Barra purple belt and recently after leaving my old gym, my purple belt friend gave me a blue belt (his old one).
I don’t feel I deserve it because I have never performed that well in tournaments.
He says I roll very well with him and can identify arm bar, triangles, have escapes from different positions, and am a leader for some of the new guys that roll at our weekend group.
Do I wear this belt when I join my new academy?
Or do I just remain a white belt and only wear my blue around him?”

Jiu-jitsu Times: This is a tricky question.

1) It is good that you left the school with the abusive instructor. Life is too short to train in an environment run by people with personality problems.
Just because someone is adept at arm bars and chokes doesn’t mean that they are of good character.

read also: on Jiu-jitsu Times: Reasons You Left Your Old Bjj School

Reasons You Left Your Old Bjj School

2) As there is no universally adopted system for belt promotions, awarding a blue belt is largely a subjective thing.

The Gracie Barra organization for example recognizes that not all cities may have a resident black belt and stipulates that a highre belt may award belt graduations/ stripes to belts below their ranking.

If there are black belts around to train under, generally most people would look to a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsui to award the belts.

It sounds to me that you don’t have 100% confidence in either the belt being awarded or your skill level to deserve it.

read also: A Reader Question: “Feeling like I don’t deserve the Blue belt I just got.”

A Reader Question: “Feeling like I don’t deserve the Blue belt I just got.”

It is not uncommon fcr people to question whether they deserve a belt promotion.
In most cases it is a just an internal voice of insecurity talking.

My advice is to wear the blue belt and respect the instructor that awarded it to you.

If you feel that you fall a little short IN YOUR OWN EYES then use that feeling to fuel your training to get better and really feel like you deserve the wear that belt.

The most important thing in all of this is to find a solid training environment and keep training jiu-jitsu!

read also: A Reader Question on Jiu-jitsu Times : “Do other gyms find it offensive when a new guy wears wears patches from another gym?”

A Reader Question: “Do other gyms find it offensive when a new guy wears patches from another gym?”


  1. I disagree, since the purple it’s just a buddy, not an instructor. Best course is to talk to the owner lead instructor at whatever gym you land at. Of course,, the longer I’m blue, the less difference I see between myself and the white belts

  2. The only person who can give a belt is a Black Belt. If your friend is the person who gave you the belt without any evaluation from a Black Belt Instructor, you are not a blue belt.

  3. This might be cultural, or maybe a result of the pussyfication of the society.
    I started Jiujitsu in Argentina, my instructor were Brazilians and Argentinians. They course, and adjust you rolling with them..(Always cut your nails, keep your gi clean, respect your partners, don’t be a pussy, etc)
    Them I moved to USA where I had another BJJ instructor in San Diego (a red Belt). This guy it is straight forward person too.

    For me I never considered this like a verbal abuses.
    Here in US, it is like you have to be always aware to don’t say something because someone can feel offended.
    It is like going to the army, and complaining cuz your drill Sargent scream at you. come on!

    Be a man, or go and train like a cheerleader.

    Only Black Belts can promote. and Only them should be leading the school.

  4. I don’t see a problem with a purple belt promoting a student to blue belt only or a brown belt promoting a student to purple belt only because they should be able to recognize if someone feels, rolls, and apply technique like a blue or purple belt.

    Obviously it’s better to be ranked by a legit BJJ black belt…but a legit purple belt can tell if someone reached blue belt level or if they are still a white belt.

    That being said, this only applies to students not training under a school. If they are under a school they must wait for their black belt instructor to promote them.

  5. It depends fully upon the curriculum (if any) and the academy/association rules and regulations. Some places accept ‘outside’ belts and promotions, some don’t; some accept only Black Belt’s promoting, some don’t and some will have you roll against some of their own equal and higher rank belts to see if your past instruction was sufficient or not. It all comes down to either the Owner/Instructor’s belief/guidance or the Academy/Association. Speak to whoever is in charge, get their guidance and go with that. Bottom line if you got the belt once you can do it again; all part of the same journey. 🙂

  6. Test under a black belt. My BJJ Master says no promotions or stripes unless approved by a Professor with at least one stripe. No brown or black promoting without grading of 3 Professors and our Master present. A purple shouldn’t be giving out belts, but referring to his Professor. Technically u can be under your instructor, but test with a black belt to know for sure.


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