I don't typically do controversial blogs but, this is a subject that sometimes annoys me on a personal level and I'm curious about other people's thoughts on the subject.
Should I receive my black belt in a short amount of time because I am old?
This is something I see more and more "oh...he got promoted early because he is an old guy" why? Because we may die before we ever reach black belt? Because we can't compete because we are soooo old? Because we have bad memory and won't be able to retain all the information anyway?
Well, anyone can die any time! Competition has no age limit! And if you can't retain the info then maybe you should stay longer at the level you are at....
I also hear "he has been training for over 10 years so he deserves to be a black belt" what does "training over 10 years" mean exactly? Once a month for 10 years? 5 days a week for 3 years then took a 7 year break and then came back for 1 year? IMO 10 years means 10 years 3-5 times a week with no longer then a 2 week break or a break for an injury here and there and if that break is for a year then you have only been training for 9 years. Just my opinion....
I am 45 and I don't feel that I am held to a different standard then any of my teammates. I trained 6-7 times a week for my 1st year, competed frequently, received my Blue Belt in a little less then a year (pretty average for the mat time) I received my Purple Belt 2 years later after winning Pan Ams and Masters Worlds and still training consistently 4-5 times per week. I have now been a Purple Belt for almost 2 years and I have 2 stripes and don't anticipate getting my Brown in the near future.
I typically compete in the adult division and push myself to reach big goals. I don't want to be "good for my age" I want to be good because I put in the mat time, drilled, studied and asked questions.
Being a Black Belt to me means having the knowledge and mat time of a Black Belt. I understand there are circumstances where people will move at different levels. But, for the most part the time and knowledge should be held at a high standard as to not water down Jiu Jitsu.