T Nation

I Just Don't Get Some People


On any normal day, our training sessions are closed. However, my coaches let us know that today there would be an open house with training sessions. Great... an extra training session with a fight coming up in a few weeks.

The first group of people came in and just started heckling. A bunch of "Billy Bad-ass" guys who were all about trying to talk the talk. Tuned them out, no big deal.

But then, this kid comes in with his parents. Probably around 15-16 years old. The coach calls me over to answer some questions the kid has from a "student" perspective." So, I answer a bunch of questions and he finally asks me how long it takes to get your black belt.

I tell him that it depends on how well you learn and progress and how much time and effort you put into moving forward. I let him know that I've been training for a year and a half and am a purple belt and that generally, it will take someone aroud 5 years to get their black belt. He nods, but the father looks me square in the eye and says "That's fucking stupid. It shouldn't take more than a year for anyone to get a blackbelt in anything. Having it take that long is just a ploy to get more money out of kids you fucking assholes."

At this, my coach grabs me and sends me back to the mats to continue rolling with my partner, but jesus... I just don't get some people...


Wow, that's complete ignorance by the dad. In turn, I feel bad for the kid because he seemed interested by asking a lot of questions, then the dad stepped in and might have ruined it for the kid.

You should have asked the dad what he does for a living, and if it took him more than a year to master his trade. If it did, end of story. If it didn't, he might be lying.


Yes, dude was a total asshole. Should have told him you can buy a blackbelt on the internet if you want after a year and then sign up for Pan Ams or Mundials in LA.

1.5 years for purple and 5 for black? BJJ? Lol. Maybe if your BJ Penn. No disrespect to eitelmj but there is too much to learn to flow through belts quickly, I would say white to purple with a consistent training schedule is around 3 years, I did mine in 2 but I was not nearly as technical as I should have been (by the Humaita standards of where I train now). As for the black belt, well my instructor took six years, but most of that time I think he was training 2x a day with Royler in Rio.


No disrespect taken.
I've JUST put on my purple after 1.5 years. I have two instructors: Josh Usera and Mike Huitema. Both trained under Rigan Machado to obtain their belts. Mike is a 4th degree Brown Belt and Josh is a 1st degree Black Belt.

Our school is an official affiliate of the Carlos Gracie Jr. school, and we don't push people forward for no reason.

It took me 1.5 years to get my purple. When I began training in BJJ I was a 3rd degree black belt in Jukite Jujitsu under Hanshi George Alexander (10th Dan)and Grand Master Kenneth L. Penland.

Back to the subject: Stating 5 years to the kid seemed to be a good round number that he could grasp. Imagine the response from the father if I had said "It may be 10 years before you wear a black belt around your waste"

Granted, I could have taken a different approach and told them that belts were simply a measure, and that BJJ didn't promote the same as say... TKD (No offense to people who train in Tae Kwon Do), but I also didn't expect that type of response from him.


Then props to you my friend. Sounds like you earned it!! Im sure your previous experience helped a ton...

Too many "black belts" out there if you know what I mean. Purple belt is a bitch :slightly_smiling: You might draw a guy that has been a purple for 4 years at a tourney, which can suck. I've known guys that stayed at purple for years, but only brown for a few months.


that poor kid,
Sadly this is whats wrong with the TKD scene today.
When I was in Tang soo Do,it took me a long time to get my black belt,I earned it.and thats not a fighting style,thats more of an introductory style of martial arts.
usually 2-3 years between the belts.
1 year for your stripe that sort of thing.
5-6 years normally most take longer but never less than 5 years.

But now they hand out black belts to kids that have trained for a year or so, says that it raises self esteem.
I saw its a false sense of accomplishment.
The people paying for it sees the belt as the object they are paying for.
The belt is everything.
in my day the training and the knowledge was everything,and a belt was just something holding your Gi on.

I feel ya,people today are just out of control


I haven't competed as a purple yet. My first is later this month, and as seen in several earlier posts of mine... I'm very, very nervous about it.


Taking TKD now. It's hard to see young black belts (or just new black belts to the school) come in incapable of a proper sidekick or a 3rd degree who only sparred 2 rounds for that.

Nich, I saw your martial arts history on another thread - amazing. Hope you journal your experiences getting back to it (unless I've missed it elsewhere).


you'll be fine. dont read the brackets, or run around the gym, same as any comp. Just think of it as a warm up for the Pan Americans in April. I have one on Saturday, my first since I hurt my shoulder at Mundials in 2007.


LOL come into a muay thai school with that shit

"how long does it take me to get my black belt?"

"um... 12.99 at jc penny... but we really specialize in those big shiny one's up on the wall there...those take a while"


I will thats for sure.I have not yet but its a couple years down the road I cant allow 26 years just to slip away,I had an offer My girl friend who is a chinese school teacher living in Hong Kong right now,offered me to move in with her, and put off her immigration to the States so I can go there and train.
I may do that,not sure yet,that is a huge step.

In my area,there is alot of new and upper middle class homes croping up.
Soccer moms dropping off little Joey at Karate class.
Its a mockery,I even seen one class with kids and camoflauge belts.
What is a camo belt,whats the rank?

Its just different from what I am used to is all


We actually had a guy come in our school few weeks ago and he told us that he has a red belt in muay thai...lol.


I just got my indigo belt in ground and pound. I'm totally badass.




I don't believe in the belt system.

With BJJ, if you want to know where you stand, step onto the mats. You'll learn your "rank" right quickly.


I disagree 100%. There are plenty of guys I have tapped out but that I know are better at BJJ then I am. I beat them because I was bigger, stronger, faster, in better shape, or they were just having an off day. And I've been punked by guys for the same reason, especially afterbeing injured.

3 components of a belt level in BJJ
1. Time training
2. Technical expertise, and the ability to communicate that to begginers
3. How you execute your expertise in a sparring situation

I think there are 30-40 techniques a white-belt has to know to get his blue at our school.


It takes forever to rank that high in Judo. With all the time in rank qequirements in can take quite a long time to get to black belt not to mention moving through the various degrees once you're there.


People like that father need a series of ass-whuppins administered by everyone in the offended gym. That's a garbage attitude which (it appeared) has yet to make it into the kid's way of thinking.


Cool! I'll look forward to that thread - I hope to learn tons.

LOL - I've never seen a camo belt but have heard of it and it elicited the same WTF response.

I've seen the results of that - basically mom and dad paid for a black belt for their child. It's a disaster and makes it into a giant joke. You can see in the surprise in their eyes when they learn what they'll have to do in our school - many come a few times and don't come back. I don't think they are used to having to actually work and many cannot accurately describe or demonstrate their techniques, stances, etc.

I don't wonder why TKD has a bad rep - I have only to see any one of these children to know.


LOL @ WTF used in a TKD post (World TKD Fed.).

When I was in ATA a lifetime ago, I was a camo belt, then camo w/1 stripe, then w/2.

I don't see the point in them, though . . . you couldn't even see the thing!