My son started training in Martial Arts 11 years ago at age 5. He started in Ryuku Kenpo, received a black belt at age 8. He then started American Kenpo, and received a black belt at age 10. He started training in Small Circle Jiu-Jitsu and Modern Arnis for a year, but didn't like it and started Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu at age 12.

He learned quickly, and was placed in the adult class to train with them. After 4 months of training his instructor rewarded his quick learning and progress, and granted him an Orange belt in BJJ. He trained at this BJJ school for 2 years and got up to White-Green belt.

At this point he was beginning to win sparring matches against most adult white belts who weren't much more than 50 lbs heavier than him. However, he wanted to start training at a more competitive level, which the school did not offer. Therefore he switched schools and is now at a BJJ school (which allowed him to keep his current rank and also placed him with the adults) that he enjoys much more and is getting the type of training he desires.

He is 16 at the end of the month and will be eligible for adult ranking. His instructor says he will receive a Blue Belt 0 stripe. My son is happy with this, but I am not. If an adult were to start training in BJJ, 3 years would be equivalent to Blue 4 stripe or maybe Purple. This, of course, would vary by school, but I am relating it to the Gracie Barra (where he trains) standard. I consider this unfair, and they are not taking into account his past training at the previous Jiu-Jitsu school. Is it just me because I am his parent? Is this the typical norm for a kid transitioning to adult ranking?


Your son's previous training is being recognised (he's not starting from the beginning again) and your son is happy with the grade he will receive. The instructor knows your son's training and the syllabus being taught, so he is the best person to make that decision.

If you honestly think it's the wrong grade, you would have to discuss it with your son's instructor.


Your son's previous training has no relation with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You can see that by watching world champions in Judo, Karate or Taekwondo starting in BJJ as white belts and no stripes.

Your son's instruction knows better his progress and skill level and he's the best person to evaltuate and promote him.

Most important, one of BJJ's principle is humbleness. More than armlocks and chockes, your son is leaning discipline and humbleness. Wouldn't be good for him or his gym colleages if he gets a higher promotion. It can even turn into a big issue inside the gym. Don't worry, according to your story, he'll get promotion faster than everyone else there, but he can't skip for the sake of his experience.

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