Question: “My question has to do with lower belts (kid belts) to adult belts.
We had a young man enter the gym and wanted to check out our team.
Of course we were happy to have him and asked if he had any experience in BJJ.
He said he was a green belt at his old school and when he graduated from high school he joined the army.
He is now 22. He wants to continue to wear the green belt or be awarded his blue belt.
Now we have seen him roll and he does know some basics, he does know a couple of submissions, but not blue belt level, and our adult class does not have kid belts.
Any suggestions you may have on this would be helpful.”
Jiu-jitsu Times: I have seen some club photos in bjj gyms that have adult green belts, but it sounds like your gym is not one of them.
The simple answer is that well know quote:
“When in Rome, live as the Romans do; when elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere.”
The student needs to respect the culture and rules of the new academy.
It is a small blow to the ego to put on a white belt again, but it is a very minor concession to make to start training under new instructors.
I believe that the student should put the white belt on again (since your adult program doesn’t use green belts) and adopt the rules of your academy.
Many years ago I had earned a green belt (in adult classes) in judo under my Japanese instructor.
I then switched to Brazilian jiu-jitsu when the 1st Bjj Black belt came to my city from Brazil.
Several years later, I moved to another country where there was no Bjj academy, but there was an excellent Judo instructor.
Joining his academy I explained my experience (about 7 years) in judo and Bjj.
The Judo instructor explained diplomatically that I should just start with the white belt and train and later we would worry about rank.
That was fine by me and I happily cinched on a white belt and got down to what was most important: LEARNING Judo!
At the end of my work term, I had to leave the country and the Judo dojo, and my Judo instructor called me over and wrapped a brown belt around my waist.
It all works out in the end.
It has been said many times… but worry MORE about improving your skills and less about your next belt or stripe!