My friend Os just shared an amazing quote with me, one that I feel the need to pay forward.  I hope you take it’s message to heart.

“If you worry about the time and speed of your promotions, you lose yourself. Remember, before you are a blue, purple, or brown belt, you want to feel like one. You must feel that your skills are there. You cannot fool yourself. Attaining a belt is just proof that your teacher is connected with you. You will know when you deserve it. My role as a instructor is to be there and say “Its time.” But you should already realize this on your own.

Jiu Jitsu is not math, and promotion is not based on attendance or calendar dates. A regimented promotion schedule based on dates or attendance is the worst way to gauge development. Jiu Jitsu is more complex than this.

There is no sense in chasing a belt and getting it as fast as possible. Often, people do not see that black belt will be their longest belt. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you get it in four years or fifteen. Either way, you will have the rest of your life with a black belt around your waist. Building the belt is what matters.

-Saulo Ribeiro