The value of stripes part one

Kroyler’s Pro-Tip on the value and meaning of the first two stripes on your white belt:

So Kipperdoodles and Paulie have asked me to do a Kroyler’s Pro-Tip on the subject of what each stripe means in the white belt…

That’s a very difficult topic as each professor will have their own definitions or ideas of what each stripe means, so I can only speak for myself on this.My take on promotions is simple… Well rather I am very harsh with mypromotions...I don’t promoteoften,and I don’t promote easily. My job as the instructor is to help my students further their journey and help them avoid the pitfalls along the path. I can do that because we are all in the same journey some are just further ahead than we are. My instructor, Grand-Master Stambowsky, does the same for me as he is much much further ahead than I am, so he canhelp me avoid future pitfalls that I would’ve encountered without his assistance. My job isn’t to make sure your belt is pretty,ratherit’sto make YOU better.

Like we discussed in the previous episode, a white belt is simply any Layman that has decided to start training, so stripes in the white belt aren’t necessarily a symbol of knowledge growth although they can be, I feel they are more a representation of good qualities and hard work.

So,lets break it downfurther...

1.White Belt no stripe:

a.Someone that has absolutely no training, no true awareness of their body, no real ability to understand how little they know. By that I mean, someone that may have an overinflated ego due to a complete lack of awareness. Someone that may be meek and shy because of that samecomplete lack of awareness.Someone one that cannot perform to the they level that they thought they could and on the other hand it could be someone that far outperforms what they thought they could do.

So,what happens to that white belt? To that complete layman? Well they get shell-shocked.They get shell-shocked because of the truth that is jiu-jitsu.Side note: Shell-shocked does not necessarily have to happen during a roll, it can happen during technique instruction and drilling.

If you are the overconfident guy that overestimates their own skill level and their own physical ability,theywill be shell-shocked when he realizes that the little guy/girl that has been training even just a few months longer than they have completely and totally dominates them. Theydon’t understand how that is possibleor how its possible that theycan’tmove in a way that a technique requires them to.

If you are the shy meek person that underestimates their own skill level and their own physical ability, they will be mind-blown when they realize that other shy/smaller people in class that they may relate to, can in fact do this and can dominate people that they themselves never thought possible. They don’t yet understand how its possible for them dothis,but it is curious.

So,if they are the overconfident person who overestimates their ability, they will be left with 2 choices. 1. They will accept their inability and that there is room for them to grow and improve. And they’ll see a benefit to that, to learning how to use their bodies the right way and how to be efficient. Or, 2. They will not accept their inability and lack of skills, they will instead formulate creative excuses and justificationsfor their poor performance. Person who opted for number 1 will stick to jiu-jitsu for a long time. Person who opted for number 2 will quit and never return.

If they are the shy, small person lackingconfidence,they will either quit because they are too afraid to succeed. Or they’ll stick around because to them this is essentially sorcery and they want to be able to do this amazing trickery to overcome things they thought was impossible.

If they stickaround,they’ll eventually reach the 1 Stripe white belt level.

2.White Belt 1 Stripe:

a.This is the person that has been shell-shocked and sees a value in learning more. This is the person who is becoming more confident and aware of their true ability level. This is the person that is working hard on learning to learn. Learning to understand their bodies, learning how to use their bodies in ways they didn’t think possible. This is does not mean that they have achieved any of the aforementioned items, only that they are working hard at them.Essentially,they are trying to learn what the chessboard looks like and nothing else.

Thismeans what? They are learningthe rules of engagement; they are learning mat etiquette; learning basic techniques such as bumping/upa and shrimping; they are learning what they must absolutely not do such as turning their backs to the opponent; they are learning to learn and to ask questions.

3.White Belt 2 Stripes:

a.This is “White Belt 1 Stripe” version2.0.They now know a little more what is expected of them, what they are capable of doing and not doing yet, what questions are important and that details are key. They are now capable of comprehending a little more but not capable of seeing the entire picture yet although they may at this stage understand that there is a picture.Essentially,they now know what the chess board looks like and that there are pieces on the board although they aren’t sure how to discern between pieces or their properties.

This is the layman that can now perform basic tasks and understands what they aren’t supposed to do in a very basic sense. This is the layman that understands that if the move he learned in class is performed correctly will work. They understand what is appropriate and not appropriate. They now start to recognize the moves being performed on them but are incapable of figuring out how they initiated and how they did what they did, only that’s been done to them before.


With that I will stop here… I will do the other 2 stripes for the next segment of Kroyler’s Pro-Tip… The higher we go in level the longer they willget...

Also,I want to congratulate Adam and Morgan on their Purple Belts. They did an incredible job in their testing with only a couple minor mistakes. Very proud of them.Also,very proud of Chad for representing me so well in Grand Rapids and for all the members of Black Lion for maintaining and cultivating an environment that is welcoming and healthy.

I swear to god my writing is far superior than what Paul makes it seem… its really not my fault he can’t read …Can we just get rid of Paul and Kip? I vote Nicole and Paul’s buddy (what was his nameagain...?Nick I think).

Kip Dice