Guest post by James Duscio, a BJJ black belt under Walter Cascao Vital. He runs Cascao Evolution BJJ out of Las Vegas nv.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a path for personal growth. It is a great system that allows you to defend yourself, it is a great workout and it helps keep your ego in check while giving you countless other benefits. But the question here today is whether or not everyone should be or even aspire to become a black belt.
I hear from a lot of BJJ schools and black belts, different numbers of how many people who actually train that make it to the elite rank. With my personal experience and the data given it ranges from 1% – 3% who start and eventually reach holy grail of belts. That is not a lot. That is actually a lower percentage number then those who make it through Hell Week for the Navy Seals.
If you think about, it takes you longer to get a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu then it does to get a PHD from a University. It’s not an easy feat by any means. And I don’t feel it should be, so we have a few choices here. Number one we accept that few will make it and it’s a ridiculously hard rank to achieve or number two we water down the art and make it achievable for everyone. I choose number 1.
Not everyone wants a BJJ lifestyle. Sometimes they just want to know a few basic defense techniques. Not everyone wants to put in the time commitment to really get an in depth knowledge of our system. Most people cannot handle their ego getting a reality check on a consistent basis while struggling through the array of challenges that our training brings. Most people are not a fan of trying to escape side control from the biggest guy in the class. The list goes on of why it’s not for everyone.
So the bottom line is that I do think everyone can benefit from BJJ in their life, and it is our responsibility as a BJJ community to help those who need it, whether its for a kid to stand up against bullies or a women that needs defense against a rape situation. But to achieve black belt, well that should be reserved for the few that put in the hard long years, the few that don’t give up on challenges, the few that take personal growth to a new level, the few that put in the extra time training off the mat to help their game, the few that are always hungry for more and the few that are dedicated to sharing the knowledge to others. Becoming Black Belt is not for everyone. It takes a certain character and commitment to reach this achievement. Everyone has the potential, but few will ever make, and that is not a bad thing.