Promotion Guidelines IBJJF

There has been a lot of promotions lately, the female blue belt division should be big no matter what tournament! I stretch to say that I’ve seen more females being promoted to blue lately. Trend…??? I think it is a sign of the growth of women’s Bjj. With the IBJJF Worlds and Open’s I’ve also noticed a lot of stripe promotions for newly promoted Blue belts. A video was rotating that stated to compete in any IBJJF tournament a person is required to be a Blue belt for two years before promoting to purple. Two years, this is not to say that anyone will automatically receive their purple belt at the two year mark, but for those who are working hard and consistently learning. I have seen a blue go purple in less than a year only once, and that was for an MMA fighter.
Bottom line is… IBJJF does not see day to day training of every school, it is a guideline and I am not entirely sure it should be a guideline. The only person who should be able to measure a students technique and skill level is the Professor. If there is a student who has worked hard and continuous, the Professor should be able to promote those students to the proper level. I, myself a newly promoted blue belt am scared to death to receive my first stripe. To me stripes are a stepping stone to the next belt, and my next belt would be purple… Crazy. I know of one girl who definitely needs to be promoted to Purple, but I will gladly sit out for two years or more to get to Purple. Some of the more technical and skilled fighters I have ever rolled with were Purple belts and to be working toward that goal is amazing and scary.

The guidelines for IBJJF should be changed, or do other schools purposely hold back talented fighters to accomplish school records? It is noticeable to all schools when one school is consistently showing fighters in lower levels than they should be fighting, and even step up to the next level and win (not promoted). I think that the guidelines for IBJJF should be changed, IBJJF cannot see who is training and what they are doing day in and day out, only the Professor can see this. In the future I would love to see a change that allows the Professor to promote students based on skills not time, talent has to be measured but not by the IBJJF.

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You do not have to be Great to start, but you have to START to be GREAT!!!



156052_229071267232448_1688043545_nMy year chasing the tournament road has come, 2013 will be mine. This past tournament was fun, and it was not until the two hour drive home that I realized what happened. I competed in my first tournament as a blue belt, not only did I compete but I firmly established that I belong in this division. When I really thought about what I did, I was really excited and my goals have been reestablished and dreams are getting closer to reality.
While at the New Breed tournament, I had the opportunity to talk to Tier 1 Training coach, Alan Shebaro about his gym and how important doing cross fit is for the overall performance in Bjj. This really got me thinking, perhaps I need to step up my training, not just strength training but cross fit as a tool to get my muscles better prepared for a Bjj match. The idea seems fairly straight forward and makes sense, I will be adding onto my training regimen different cross fit drills.
My next goal is in sight and is pretty exciting, the next big tournament coming through the Dallas/ Fort Worth area is the IBJJF Open in Dallas in May. This is a big tournament and one I have been looking forward to for some time, this is my year and I will be training my little heart out – I love this sport!

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You do not need to be Great to Start but you have to Start to be GREAT!!

New Breed Tournament


I am a newly promoted blue belt and was already registered to compete at the New Breed Tournament, and now I was about to compete in my first blue belt competition. Blue belts… ah, the sharks of the mats, yes I said Sharks.
I ended up cutting weight for this one and was a little worried since my hypoglycemia has been on the rise with extra work outs. In fact during practice a week ago I ended up excusing myself to take a glucose tablet, it is the worst feeling in the world to have your body turn to mush and it just wont do what my mind wants… I hate it. I have been eating more foods that will support my condition, and have gained about five extra pounds so cutting weight was inevitable. However, I did cut the weight and weighed in the night before and rehydrated and ate till my heart was content.
The next day at the tournament I was a little worried there wouldn’t be many in the division since there were three other tournaments the same day. But no luck, there would be some top level competition at this tournament, a former white and blue belt world champion along with a seasoned blue belt, and another blue belt from a very well respected Machado school, did I mention the blue belt division is a shark pit?
My memory of my first match is blurred, I know it was fast paced and full of technique and muscle and was against a seasoned blue belt, Emma Rayburn. I absolutely dread competing against the smaller girls, they are fast, squirrelly and can take your back faster than you can blink. I lost the match 4-0, I am anxious to see the video as my memory is blurred with all the action. My second fight was against the Carlos Machado student, and she was another small tough girl, fast, squirrelly and she too took my back. I ended up winning with an arm bar. Now this is where I am a bit upset or felt cheated as a competitor because she did not tap, her coach verbally tapped out for her. She was upset and I was not happy about it, it was a win and I could have gotten it, but a tap from your opponent is ideal not someone else who is on the sidelines.

I won and took 3rd place amongst the Blue Shark Belts!

Reactive Hypoglycemia-
My husband was ready and knew exactly what to do, we have rehearsed the plans of action, the signs of reactive hypoglycemia and the works. He was on the sidelines and he was ready to refuel me, a glucose tablet after the first match and some Gatorade did the job and I was ready to go! Previously I could compete once and then my body would turn to mush, now we have figured out how to keep me going and I was ready, so relieved. The only thing we think may benefit is the initial match, maybe a dose before but not sure… still working out details. I was eating gummy bears before the matches, getting myself ready and getting some odd looks, who eats gummy bears before a match? I do. We may skip the gummy bears and do a glucose tablet instead next time, its so hard to know what to do, it all revolves around what you ate, what you eat and your adrenaline levels. I would give anything to be able to eat and workout like everyone else, it makes competing twice as hard, fighting my body and someone else at the same time. My silent fight… kicked my hypoglycemia in the butt this time!

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…and remember, you do not have to be great to start but you have to START to be GREAT!!

Promoted… Blue Belt

420294_10151449859829043_1248375936_nSweet, it has happened! I have left behind the land of white belt spazzing to the Blue belt shark club! I’m sure everyone’s experience is different but mine was amazing, my gym had our black belt come in and I was able to roll with him 2x. It was a definite awesome moment, getting my blue belt wasn’t just about me, it was also very monumental for the gym and my coach, Ben Lozano. I am the first female blue belt at Red River Bjj and also Ben Lozano’s first female blue belt. How awesome is that!

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Remember… You do NOT need to be great to start, but you have to Start to be GREAT!!