Mar 122012
 

Tying your belt is one of the simplest things a martial artist learns to do. This skill will help you with nothing in real life. I can think of nothing other then your martial art’s belt that you will use the knot you learn, but ironically, any martial art touched by Japanese martial culture ties them pretty much the same.

For a few martial arts, the belt (obi) is used to fight with, but for the rest, its a cheap piece of cotton that mostly says “Dude, I am better then you.”
Of course sensei’s around the world will gasp and mentally round kick me in the head, but lets face it, if it wasn’t to rub the fact that you are higher ranking in someone else’s face, we would all receive a card to keep in our wallets, that way we could identify ourselves in the rare event that someone cared what rank we were and allow us to avoid the deadly sin of hubris (that’s pride for those of you who slept through school).

No matter what your rank, and no matter what your skill, nothing kills your martial arts credibility like tying your belt wrong. Its like writing a wonderfully well reasoned and eloquent paper, no matter how awesome your thought, your point will be dismissed out of hand because you misspelled a word. As a public service to you, I am presenting you with skills that will blow the socks off your martial comrades.

Three different ways to tie your belt!

After the jump

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Sep 222011
 
Gracie pink belt

Watch it fella' I've got a pink belt in ridiculous!

Think that’s a joke? Oh you wish it was. This is yet another awful idea from the Gracie Academy (not to be confused with the Gracie family at large, its just run by some of the many family members). They now run an online qualification course to net you the rare (and not at all demeaning to women) Pink belt!

Yes yes my friends, for low price of $84.99 you can train at home and earn your very own Gracie Academy Pink belt. After all, women don’t have a pretty little thought in their pretty little heads, if they do their lessons like good little girls, we’ll give them a pretty belt. It represents BJJ women empowerment.

Suggestion for your next product Gracie Academy, the polka dot belt of female dignity. It would look nice around your training apron. All the men will be so impressed.

Jul 182011
 

Helio Gracie with a blue beltMy brother and I had our picture taken with several other bjj guys, and when we were looking at the picture my brother said, “Why are we the only ones in the picture with our bars on the left side?” This of course sparked an extremely dull debate with other online BJJ folks as to the correct side to wear your rank bar.

I’ll digress for just a second for those uninitiated among us. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the ranking structure is a little different from the normal Japanese rank structure that most martial arts loosely follow. Depending on your martial art, you might have ten or more ranks (kyu ranks, which mean steps, or student rankings) before reaching your black belt ranks, (dan ranks which are advanced or instructor ranks). In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are only three ranks before black belt rank, blue, purple, and brown. BJJ also takes much longer to progress than most (and I am stressing MOST) other martial arts. This is off set by sub-belt promotions indicated by white stripes on a black (or in the case of black belt holders, red) sleeve attached to one of the ends of the practitioner’s belt. As far as I know, they are the only martial that does rank like this.

Wow, that was longer than needed. Anyway we know what the rank bar is, now where do you wear it. A quick google search reminds me why I hate reading online forums. You know the drill,
Person one: Which side should I wear my strips in BJJ class.
Person two: Only an idiot would ask a question like that!
Person three: You are both idiots. You care too much about rank! You need to find a real teacher!
Person four: BJJ is stupid, you train in gi’s, that’s sooo not realistic…
And at some point someone calls someone else a nazi. But from what I can glean, different BJJ schools do it differently. BJ Penn wears his strips on the right side, Royce Gracie wears his on the left. The picture above is of Helio Gracie with some blue belt and they both have their’s on the left, but Carlson Gracie says the right. So ask your instructor and ignore online advice, including this one.