The Fighting Form: Jiu Jitsu
The Belts of Jiu Jitsu
Jiu Jitsu is an ancient fighting art. It is a close combat method that aims to teach you how to defend yourself against both an armed and an unarmed assailant. Jiu Jitsu contains both grappling and striking techniques, and nowadays, you are taught the sport without a weapon.
In Jiu Jitsu you are graded on a ranking system, which can be seen by the different colour belts that fighters wear. The white belt is the lowest belt, and is worn by all beginners. The red belt is the highest honour, and is only given to masters of the sport who have reached the pinnacle of the art. A Jiu Jitsu fighter who receives their black belt (5th degree of belts) at the age of 19th, can only expect to receive their red belt at the age of 67, not sooner.
Your promotion to the next belt level is often determined by instructors and academies. You can only reach a higher level through an improvement in skill and performance and after a specific amount of time spent in a particular grade. The amount of time you need to spend in each grade grows as you climb higher up the ranks. Recently, formal testing has been implemented whereby you can take a test to see if you are ready to graduate to the next belt level. The aim of this is to ensure that an unbiased panel critiques and possibly promotes you based on your Jiu Jitsu skill level.