Expectations and Responsibilities of Rank – Part III – Purple Belt


The purple belt marks the half-way point between white and
black and is typically the result of 5 or more years of consistent training. So what
does the purple belt mean at Valhalla?

As a purple belt you will be proficient in all aspects of
jiu-jitsu – your game will be well-rounded. You should have a good guard, solid
passing and top position, escapes, submission defense, and several high
percentage attacks. During the time spent as a purple belt you will formulate a
system that works best for you. There is a good chance that the approach you
develop during your time as a purple belt will carry you throughout your
jiu-jitsu career all the way into your black belt. Although you will refine
your game, add and remove some techniques, and become adaptable, the foundation
occurs here.

Purple belts must focus on technique sequences rather than
moves in isolation. You should become aware of the common reactions to your
favorite attacks and have ready answers for them. They need at least 1 or 2
high-percentage throws or takedowns from the feet, and should be well-versed in
the self-defense aspects of the art. In academic terms the purple can be compared to a bachelor’s degree or a mid-level NCO in the military.

Purple belts will also spend quite a bit of time teaching.
At Valhalla, teaching experience and competency is a requirement for further
promotion. Purple belts are often asked to fill in, teach during breakout
sessions when there are a number of different levels in one class, assist in
seminars and evaluations, and sometimes teach their own ongoing class. Learning
to teach forces you to pay attention to details and prepares you to carry on
the tradition of spreading the art to future generations of students.

Brian Jones, PhD

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