I was surfing my usual blogs and came across this post by slideyfoot entitled "Belt Whipping and Promotion Rituals in BJJ". I agree with him on his stance we can do without such behavior. I want to go even farther and call it hazing. When I got my blue belt they gave me a congratulatory throw. That was fine. But running the gauntlet and whipping people with belts! That doesn’t follow the spirit of what Helio Gracie envisioned at all. In fact belt whipping just seems sadistic.
I can see how it can become accepted as commented on by Jim later in the post but then you can use that to justify about any torture to be part of the group. I thing that participating in the class each and every week, going to things like my instructor initiated to celebrate his 40th birthday ("40 and a Day"), participating in tournaments as a team, and many other thing bind us together. There is a great spirit of comradery at my school. There are no belt whippings. When some one is out or missing we ask about them. We try to help them not only in progressing in BJJ but in there personal life too. I feel we are a Brotherhood/Sisterhood bound together by a common love for BJJ. Look at it this way, my family doesn’t whip my brother on this birthday to celebrate it or let him know we love him.