Saturday, July 11th 2009 I passed my blue belt test at Unified Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu – Pedro Sauer Team. The test lasted 3 hours in the heat of July. Shawn Weaver and James Gardner, black belts, conducted the test. There were 12 of us taking the test that day. The test consisted of 88 techniques. We divided up into 2 lines of 6, each with a partner. Shawn would then ask us to do a technique from the list. He would demonstrate the starting position of the technique with James. We would all then begin doing the technique we thought he wanted. He and James would then walk around observing and in some cases instructing. He would then stop all of us and demonstrate the technique on James that he expected to have seen. He would point out the finer points and the street application of the technique. After the test was finished we paid our testing fee of $50 and waited for the results. Shawn and James came out with belts and we lined up. The belts were awarded for those who passed and each was given a congratulatory throw. All 12 of us passed. Shawn spoke to the group after the test and said he had been looking at our “movements”. That is how he decided if we understood enough to pass.
My Tips for a successful test:
- Have your testing fee in cash. Waiting after a long hot test for someone to write a check can be aggravating.
- Come and warm up ahead of time. I came a 1/2 early and was invited to join the class in progress. I took the time to warm up and get ready for the test.
- Try to be towards the front of the class during the test. You don’t want to keep repeating the technique over and over. You want them to see you right off and “check you off”.
- Know the names of the techniques on the test. It shows you have studied them. It is impressive when you are the first and only one to know what you are doing right off while the others mill around unsure. Even if you do a different variation of what they wanted it still says you are skilled and ready to pass as you show them you can do both.
- Don’t show off. Just do what they ask and ask questions only as needed. Your knowledge and skill will show forth in your technique.
- Relax and let your muscles do what you have trained them for. Don’t think just do what you have been doing.