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Thread: Lineage Question for BJJ Geeks/Black Belts

  1. #1

    Default Lineage Question for BJJ Geeks/Black Belts

    Was explaining Lineage to another martial artist the other day and came up with a theoretical situation I couldn't answer.

    I know that your Lineage is that of the Black Belt who gave you your last grade so if you are a creonte your lineage can 'change' if you switch clubs and receive a new belt

    So if X goes through all their grades with a particular instructor/team but then after receiving their Black belt they change their affliation to a new team/instructor with a different lineage, some time after this Y starts training BJJ with X when Y gets their first grade from X what will Y's lineage be??

    X's lineage from their old team or their new team??

    Yes a very geeky question I know (and completely ignoring the should they be changing teams at black belt etc etc) Thank you in advance!
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  2. #2


    Hi Pippa,

    The answer is this,you can't change your lineage once you're awarded a Black Belt.

    You can change teams,of course,but your lineage is there for life.

    Whoever awards you the Black Belt is your lineage.

    And if,years down the line,you award a Black Belt the student who receives it also inherits your lineage.

    It's like a family- Even if you're the black sheep of the family and are disowned,or leave forever,they are still your family.

    Well BJJ lineage is the same.

    So,my advice is this to anyone reading this,make sure you receive your Black Belt from the person you want it to come from
    because once someone else ties it around your waist you will be seen as their Black Belt forever.

  3. #3


    Do other martial arts take lineage as seriously as BJJ?

  4. #4


    I know people laugh at it but Ninjitsu do from what i have read.

  5. #5


    Wing Chun are far far worse. @_@
    Grappling Record: 215 W (134 SUBs) - 85 L (13 SUBs) - 2 D
    Amateur MMA Record: 15 W (14 SUBs) - 0 L - 2 D

    The Jiujitsu Game - A Competitor's Videolog

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  6. #6


    I wouldn't laugh at a ninja.

  7. #7


    Thanks Simon, a very clear answer

    Interesting I had never heard of Lineage before I did BJJ though to be fair the other martial arts I did were through University clubs so maybe that had something to do with it, then instructors would say who they received their Black Belt from but never went beyond that..
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  8. #8


    Hi Pippa,

    2 things from your post spring to mind-

    Firstly,i also did a Martial Art at a University club and i think because of the
    turn-over of students who leave the art when they finish their degree (when they leave Uni they never train again) there is a kind of 'understanding' that the Art is just being studied as a sport/social event and there is little point with the general student in
    going into the classical/lineage conversations with them.

    Secondly,When you have arts that are either Olympic Sports (Judo,Taekwondo) or
    very strictly run by a governing body (Karate) and the gradings take place openly,
    you perform your grading infront of a board (whether it be fighting like Judo,or Kata like TKD/Karate),it kind of 'sanitises' the whole promotion and you don't really receive
    your belt from a 'Person' but from a governing body.

    For instance,while i credit Ray Stevens,Jim Warren and Steve Fraser for my Judo Instruction,i was awarded my Black Belt by the British Judo Association and no-one actuallly tied it around my waist.I went and bought a BB after my grading

    This is one of the reasons BJJ is still 'special'.There is a real Instructor/Student relationship where someone mentors your development and helps you personally through sticking points and low points and shares your successes with you.

    And when it is time to be awarded a belt,you know exactly who is awarding you that belt as it is tied around your waist.

    This is why i love BJJ,but it is also why the ronin/creonte types find it absurd.These are the people that still find belts embarrassing and would prefer BJJ to be trained purely as a 'sport' without a belt system.

    Their opinion is not wrong,it is just an opposite point of view.They are normally people that find it hard to make commitments in all areas of their life and find it hard
    to settle into a relationship and/or job as well.

    As i have said many times,having Wilson tie the BB around my waist was a very proud moment because he had watched my development since i was a white belt
    and been responsible for my jiu jitsu.
    He knew my weak points,he'd seen my mistakes-there was no hiding for me-He knew exactly what i was/am bad at,and so to be judged by him was far more real than guys/girls who are graded by someone who doesn't really KNOW them and maybe just
    see's them at a seminar once a year.

    Just some thoughts-Hope you're well.


  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Stalkachu View Post
    Wing Chun are far far worse. @_@
    Far worse. I can tell stories of a fat weirdo in Tottenham who teaches Wing Chun...


  10. #10


    Is his name Sid Sofos, perchance?
    Grappling Record: 215 W (134 SUBs) - 85 L (13 SUBs) - 2 D
    Amateur MMA Record: 15 W (14 SUBs) - 0 L - 2 D

    The Jiujitsu Game - A Competitor's Videolog

    Proudly sponsored by Black Eagle & Scramble

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