How to Get Your First White Belt Stripe - New School BJJ Brixton | London , UK

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How to Get Your First White Belt Stripe

Becoming a 1-stripe white belt is a significant milestone: you’ve gone from total ignorance about the sport to this position where you understand the fundamental rules of the game, the key positions and techniques, and the etiquette of training and sparring.

Starting out in jiu jitsu can be overwhelming, and that’s kind of the point; the reason why mastery in this sport is so impressive is because it’s so complex and technical, and requires you to develop as a person in order to reach your potential. 

Breaking this infinite journey down into manageable milestones is a great way to stick to your own personal journey without getting too overwhelmed. This first stripe is well within your grasp within the first 3-4 months of training, as long as you follow some key principles:

  1. SHOW UP — you don’t need to commit to training every single day to see results. Just make a commitment that feels attainable, and do your best to show up consistently. Best results will come if you can commit at least 2-3 training sessions a week.
  2. BE PRESENT & OBSERVE — be fully in the room when you’re training. You may not remember every single detail of the techniques that you’re learning the first time, but the more attention you pay, the more you’ll pick up. But beyond just listening to your instructor, also observe your training partners, watch how they approach the training process, how they interact with others, and how they respect the gym.
  3. ASK QUESTIONS — the path of mastery involves asking the right questions and being open to feedback. It’s completely normal to not understand things at first, but if you can pinpoint exactly where you’re getting stuck and ask the right questions, things will start falling into place much more quickly. For even speedier progression, take your questions to your study outside of class; research techniques you’re curious about, or start learning about some of the professional athletes that you’re inspired by to start forming what might become your style.


The above principles will definitely help you progress, but in order to earn your first stripe there are some things we need to see from you:

1. Do you understand the fundamentals? 

We need to see that you understand and can execute basic jiu jitsu positions and techniques, including take downs and guard passes, guards and sweeps. 

2. Do you understand the basic rules?

Jiu jitsu rule sets can be complex and differ between tournaments, so we’re not expecting you to be experts. But a 1-stripe white belt will understand the overall aim of the game, and what positions and moves are awarded points. 

3. Can you spar with confidence?

We’re not expecting you to be always dominating in your rounds, but sparring is a key component of Jiu Jitsu training, and we need to see that you understand rolling etiquette, and that you’re willing to challenge yourself, to be humbled, and to regulate your intensity for training partners that you may have a competitive advantage over (ie size, age, gender). 


At New School BJJ Brixton we want to celebrate everyone who has made it to this important milestone, so when the time comes you will be invited to one of our First Stripe Ceremonies. This will be a fun and friendly event for you to show off your new skills, celebrate your success, and socialise with the community.