All the different belts, colors, and stripes can be confusing for families who are new to Lineage BJJ Youth Gracie Jiu-Jitsu classes at Calvert MMA Academy. Each martial art has its own system and criteria for promotion, and parents often have expectations for advancement within the school that they enroll their children in. Calvert MMA Academy utilizes a belting system for the youth program that Grandmaster Hélio Gracie approved in 2005.
Instructors have found that children need palpable rewards and motivation as they study martial arts. Traditionally, Gracie jiu-jitsu had four belts for children: white, yellow, orange, and green. At the age of 16, students could transition to an adult’s blue belt and begin training with adult classes. However, students lost motivation and would often give up when they weren’t promoting. The Gracies decided to create belts in between the standard colors to excite kids about moving up through the ranks and to create more retention in the youth programs.
The youth belts now offer kids a chance to promote more often which keeps them engaged and excited about learning jiu-jitsu. Students have to meet certain attendance and skill requirements to advance, which vary by school, so at each level they should be able to demonstrate greater skills and abilities. Gracie Jiu-Jitsu values the ability to teach, so instructors are always watching to see which students help others master techniques.
Calvert MMA Academy requires students to attend more than 20 classes to qualify for promotion. The school doesn’t charge parents for promotions or belts. However, regular attendance does not guarantee a promotion. Instructors want to see good behavior, a positive attitude, and they want students to be able to demonstrate a level of technique appropriate for their level and age. The instructors really want to see more advanced students helping beginners master techniques – this shows a willingness to help, allows the advanced students to demonstrate their mastery of techniques, and demonstrates the true nature of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.
The new youth belt system follows this progression: