This is a sentiment most everyone has felt at one time or another throughout their jiu jitsu journey. Their hard work and sacrifice has been causally overlooked by their instructor, the person with whom they have bled and fought on the mat with day in and day out since the beginning. How could their promotion have been passed up but, more importantly how could the other guy have received that promotion when they are clearly better than him?
Being a ‘belt hunter’ or obsessed with being promoted to the next belt is a big mistake.
A big No No in Jiu-Jitsu is to openly ask your instructor for a belt.
It raises a massive red flag for your instructor who can actually start to think that you are only interested in being promoted so you can brag about your level in BJJ instead of being interested in the other important aspects of the art.
Some instructors have an unwritten rule where if a student asks them about a belt, they will delay the promotion by 1 year…
There are several cases in which people keep training just to acquire that desired promotion and after that they completely disappear from the academy. At the end of the day what you should do is to enjoy the ride and absorb as much knowledge as you can, because once your pass this specific stage you are not coming back there.
Solution: Forget about the belt. Just enjoy the Jiu-Jitsu journey.
The popular Tom DeBlass shared his thoughts on the subject:
Do you know how many times I asked my Professor about being promoted coming up through the ranks?
I just showed up and gave my best. It didn’t matter if I was a purple belt tapping brown or black belts, promotions are about so much more than who you can tap..
Stop measuring yourself by how many people you can tap, imagine if you cared that much about how many people you helped?
In this video, Karma Jiu-Jitsu’s Ryan Young explains the right way to “ask” your instructor about your next BJJ belt: