Question: “I received my blue belt years ago.
I’m over 40 now and belong to a studio with no Bjj lineage. But we grapple everyday.
I have won NAGAs in Gi and NoGi at expert level. I have won many others too.
But have no way of promoting, is it bad if I buy a purple belt to adv to the next level in tournaments?
Won the blue belt to many times. Like to stay anonymous
Would call myself purple just to compete at a higher level.
Sorry wouldn’t call myself purple just want to compete at higher level.”
Jiu-jitsu Times: Whenever we hear of self promoting belts, it is usually for a less noble reason: someone wants to be important or make $$ from teaching as a fake black belt.
Your situation is different in that you lack any instructor / affiliation to properly graduate you in your belt.
Nevertheless it sounds like something that could cause harm to your reputation in the grappling community.
Anytime people hear that someone put on a higher belt themselves, there is a backlash by the “bjj police” and you * could * be labelled as a fraud.
Even though it sounds like you could back up the rank on the mat and in competition and in all likelihood deserve to wear a purple belt.
But if word gets out that you self belted up, then you could suffer some negative backlash.
And that could follow you around for years.
I am not certain about the rules in NAGA, but I would think that most competitions would allow for a competitor who wished to compete up a division.
This also allows for a former high level college wrestler or black belt judoka, experienced MMA fighters to NOT have to enter the white belt / beginner’s division.
I knew a professional MMA fighter who had never really trained in the gi have to enter the white belt division and that made several people unhappy.
He clearly belonged in a higher belt division even though he had never officially been awarded a blue belt.
Many no-gi competitions may also make categories by years of experience.
I would guess that discussing your situation with the tournament officials would be the best way to handle your dilemma instead of putting on a belt for the day of the tournament.
What do the Jiu-jitsu Times readers think of this problem?
A Reader Question on Jiu-jitsu Times: “Younger blue belt competition guys just smash me”
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