Did I make the right choice?

Discussion in 'Brazilian Jiu Jitsu' started by Heimdall, Mar 30, 2017.

  1. Heimdall

    Heimdall New Member

    Hello everyone.
    I train in a style that is a combination of bjj and jjj, mostly focused on bjj. For a long time, I badly wanted a blue belt. Recently, a friend got through to me and explained not to focus on that, but on enjoying grappling.
    My coach told us the other day he wants a fellow white belt and me to get ready for a blue belt testing in june. I thanked him nicely, said I was deeply honored, but must decline. I have many reasons for doing so, mainly because it's my final year of college, and exams are comming up, so unfortunately no time for the preparations, which are very intense, and even missing two sessions is bad. Second, at every belt test a traditional Japanese kata must be performed, and it involves a lot of synchronized somersaults. I'm a big guy, and my spine is not very flexible.
    After 3 years of practise I still can't do the somersaults the way coach wants me to. I've tried physiotherapy and yoga, it helped but not much. If it was just about me, I'd go for it and hope for the best.
    Problem is the committee that grades belt tests has been known to fail people for not doing the kata properly, and they never fail just one person, either both pass or both fail. I would hate myself if my friend didn't get his blue belt because of me. It means so much to him, and he really deserves it with all the effort he's put into it. I do it mostly for fun.
    After june, I'll be gone from here, no bjj, or any martial arts, where I live, so that's it for me.
    I had a meeting with my coach, told him why I won't do it. He took it well, said it's no problem, and put one of the other guys on the list.
    I was okay with it, but the other day a couple friends told me I'm an idiot, and that by declining I deeply offended the coach. He seemed fine with it, we still talk, and train together.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2017
  2. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Doesn't sound anything like a BJJ club to me.
  3. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    You say after 3 years your somersaults are still not up to par for a kata test ---> not going to be ready in 3 months.

    And you say that you're going to be very busy over the next 3 months finishing college exams ---> stressful and busy already, without adding the worry of somersaults

    And you say that in 3 months you'll be moving to a place where this particular martial art will not be available anyway.

    Put that all together and I get only one answer: you made the right decision. :)
  4. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    Failing a grappling grading because your somersaults aren't pretty enough is a red flag for me. Grappling is effective because it allows you to adapt techniques to your body shape and abilities. If your club frowns on that, I'd frown back at the club.
  5. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    I generally agree, but in fairness to the club he said it's a BJJ/JJJ mixture, and being able to roll out of throws is part of JJJ.
  6. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    But they shouldn't have to be pretty. So long as it's safe, it's good enough.
  7. Giovanni

    Giovanni Well-Known Member Supporter

    agreed. this sounds nothing like a bjj club.
  8. aikiMac

    aikiMac aikido + boxing = very good Moderator Supporter

    "Synchronized somersaults" sounds strange to me, too ... but I'm not a fan of XMA.
  9. Heimdall

    Heimdall New Member

    Thanks guys. You've made my day.
  10. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    I don't understand why people can fail a test because of the other person testing....can you explain that please?
  11. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Well, how could one person doing somersaults be synchronised? :dunno:
  12. Dunc

    Dunc Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    Don't know any legit JJJ style or BJJ academy that has somersaults as a requirement for beginner level grade....
  13. Late for dinner

    Late for dinner Valued Member

    Just out of interest, does your club have any affiliations to any other BJJ or JJJ clubs? In my limited experience BJJ clubs are often linked to a particular lineage and are proud of whom they were trained by. Is there anything in your club that has any sort of connection to systems in Japan or BJJ lineages or both?

    TBH your testing sounds very unusual.

  14. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    I think it's safe to say that if you want to get good at gymnastics, go to a gymnastics class.
  15. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Honestly? I think your coach is in all likelihood a charlatan and you are well out of it
  16. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool Spes mea in nihil Deus MAP 2017 Moi Award

    This doesnt sound like any BJJ or Japanese JJ school ive ever heard of.

    especially with the "bluebelt and gymnastics" thing.
  17. Heimdall

    Heimdall New Member

    It's a system linked to master Graham Rennie, and Kam Hock Hoe. Even though we mostly do grappling, our coach wanted to keep some of the traditional forms, hence the kata. What irritates me the most is, unlike a karate or kung fu kata where you are going through moves you will actually use in the respective arts, our kata involves a lot of forward and backward somersaults. Otherwise, the traing is solid.
  18. Latikos

    Latikos Valued Member

    So far I've never heard of a grading that inclused somersaults.
    Ukemi with rolling without touching the ground (I don't know the English term, sorry; translated it would be "free falling") - yes, but somersaults? In a kata? So far no.

    Regarding the decision in general: Persoanlly I think you chose right.
    If you don't have the time to train properly due to school/ work/ uni/ etc. - the latter has the higher priority.
    After all for most the sport is a hobby and they don't live from it.

    Plus: If you couldn't the partner kata properly due to somersaulting, you and your partner would fail anyway, as you've said, which really would be unfair to your partner, as you've said.

    It properly was a hard decision, but I think a good one.
    Especially with so much on your plate already.

    I also don't think it shows a lack of respect this way towards your coach.
    If he would have decided to *give* you the belt or if after a grading you go: "No, I don't want it" - that would be disrespectful (I did the latter once; my teacher was not amused ;) ), but explaining, with a good reason nonetheless, why you think you wouldn't be ready for an upcoming grading... well, I can only speak out my personal experience obviously, but my teachers respect it when you have the guts to say: "I can't do it until then".
  19. Heimdall

    Heimdall New Member

    Thank you.
  20. Smitfire

    Smitfire Cactus Schlong

    The words "traditional Japanese kata" and "synchronized somersaults" don't go together. Traditional kata aren't generally flipping about and somersaulty types of things.
    Are you sure you mean somersaults? Isn't it more likely to be forward rolls or breakfalls of some kind?

    Also...gradings in BJJ are varied. Some are handed out as and when the criteria are met. Some are done at set times and requirements set out before hand. Some are done on holding your own technically with similar people (hang with blue belts of the same size as you...you're a blue belt) while some have more of a technical requirement and aren't just performance based (although these are often frowned upon by the performance peope).

    Your grading sounds like none of the above. :)

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