We hear our coaches tell us all the time to not focus on belts, but at the same time, we know how good it feels to get ranked up (or even to get a single stripe). As much as we don’t do jiu-jitsu specifically for the promotions, don’t belts provide some sort of incentive for people to keep showing up? And isn’t there some merit to having a ranking system in jiu-jitsu?
Former Navy SEAL officer Jocko Willink has said before that he’s not a fan of doing jiu-jitsu for the pursuit of belts, but in a recent podcast episode, he was asked a follow-up question: “Why have belts if they’re not to be strived for?”
Check out Willink’s response below: