Video (below) by Paul Rodriguez, head coach at American Top Team (ATT) Orlando (USA) with 19 years of experience training all facets of MMA (Striking, Takedowns, Grappling) and a BJJ black belt under legendary Ricardo Liborio. In this video Paul Rodriguez shares the 5 aspects he looks for into his student in order to promote them.
It is important to note that there is no universal guidelines or curriculum to follow to award ranks in Jiu Jitsu, some academies require a demonstration of techniques, and others just assess the skills of their student, so it essentially varies between academies and instructors. So, here are the 5 aspects which are commonly used to assess students:
1. Overall skill set against live opponent: This is essentially how a student does against an opponent during sparring, some instructors will use competitions to evaluate student skills.
2. BJJ Knowledge: This is the student’s BJJ IQ, how many techniques he / she knows, strategies, and understanding of the key concepts.
3. Hours on the mat: and not years. This is about the time spent training like a pilot or skydiver and not only about starting date. Trainings two times a week for 10 years will eventually earn you your black belt.
4. Conditioning: a key aspect of every grappler. Even if a student has knowledge and skills, it does not matter if they gas out in 10 min. A black belt should be able to roll for one hour e.g. 6 x 10 min rounds.
5. Character: is the student as an individual, his/her loyalty, sportsmanship, and teammate spirit. Even with great skills, if you break your opponent limbs, no instructor will want to promote you.