4 Stripe White

Sometime in February

I was a 3 Stripe White for almost 1 year, considering I took 4 months off when I moved to Orlando. Coming to a new team under the same Gracie Barra Red Shield, I was not forced to re-gain the stripes on my belt. It’s a different belt system here in Orlando than in Kirkland.

There were no belt tests and no Green Belts. The stripes were solely given out on the opinion if you were ready or have improved enough to earn another stripe from the Professor(s). This can be and good and a bad thing, but a Black Belt is a White Belt who never quit and it’s pretty difficult to fake being a Black Belt.

After training one night, my Professor asked me how many stripes I had (at the time I was 3 but had 2 because my first stripe fell off). I didn’t want to stripe myself and he let me put one back on. Professor informed me he was going to put me for the Green Belt test in March and I agreed. But a 3 Stripe White skipping a 4th Stripe?

March 6th, 2017

4 Stripe White

I got it. The long wait of the 4th and final stripe on the black bar of my White Belt. The final stepping stone to the next belt. The sign of improvement. I have proven worthy of my Professors. It’s a good feeling and I will be testing for my Green Belt along with my future litter mates this Saturday, March 11th.

What we need to do is show that we can execute a list of techniques well enough that we can at least survive. Each of us have our own sheet of the list and after training we start to drill each move and try to execute them with 50% or so resistance.


Even though the stripes are given off the attendance of classes, it keeps student accountable for themselves. If you’re inconsistent and you end up earning your Green Belt, the sporadic mat time will show. If you’re consistently dedicated to at least 3 times a week and the occasional week break, the conditioning will show. It’s all a matter of living and learning the BJJ lifestyle. Eventually, it becomes a habit and you start to feel bad or regret not going to train. Taking 4 months off definitely showed, but the muscle memory and techniques came back rather quickly and sometimes out of nowhere.

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