There were a few posts within the BJJ blogging community about promotions. I wrote “What makes a blue belt?”, where I discussed one type of way to handle promotions to blue belt. Josh wrote Promotion Standards and Belt Testing, in which he discussed how even a black belt promotion should be handled. Georgette wrote about what she thought made a good BJJ coach. These are all good articles with good discussion and food for thought, but realistically, we’re blue and purple belts talking about things that for our level is very theoretical. I decided to talk to someone who has promoted five people to BJJ black belt – John Frankl. He’s a really wonderful guy – introduced BJJ to Korea, is personable, a great teacher, and has encouraged interviews.

My questions to him were:

1. What is the difference between a very good BJJ white belt and a blue belt?
2. What is the difference between a very good BJJ brown belt and a black belt?
3. Can anyone achieve black belt if they stick with BJJ long enough?

Here is the interview, and I hope you enjoy. Thank you again to John Frankl, who has been a true BJJ inspiration to me. I appreciate all he has done for jiu jitsu here in Korea.


What are your thoughts or reactions?