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Thread: What to do with stripes after a long lay off

  1. #1

    Default What to do with stripes after a long lay off

    Hi everyone, looking for some advice. A while ago I trained in BJJ for about a year and half (6 months in one academy and then a year in a different one) and collected stripes on my white belt on the way. I had a long layoff (3 years) due to doing a part-time degree on top of my normal work commitments, as well as starting a family. I have now finished studying and the baby is old enough that I'm not needed most evenings (my wife may argue otherwise), so I'm going to restart training in the new year. What do you reckon I should do with regards to my old stripes. I will be returning to the same academy, but the instructor has changed. Do I take them off and start from scratch as the instructor may have different grading criteria, or leave them on as they were legitimately earned (even though I'll undoubted be very rusty, definitely very unfit, so not rolling initially at the stripe level). When I switched academies previously I took off my stripes and started from scratch and I think it slowed my advancement as at the 2nd academy I only got back to 3 stripes in the year, 1 more than I had earned at the first academy). So I'm a bit confused on what to do. Leaving them on would probably see me returning to a 3-stripe level after about 3-6 months (I'm hoping to shake off the rust and regain fitness quite quickly) if I take them off it'll probably be a year before I get back to that ranking level based on the past history.
    Last edited by AndrewG; 13-12-2012 at 01:51 PM.

  2. #2


    Leaving them on or taking them off will have no impact on how you advance technically if you are training the same/correctly.

    To be honest, it's not a big deal. I'd just leave them on. If anybody asks you can tell them. If no stripe white belts tap you out, so what? It's very trivial. Just go train and enjoy it.

  3. #3
    Pro Fighter
    Allan "No" Love
    Dinky Ninja
    Allan Shrek's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007


    Stripes are for tigers.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    newcastle upon tyne


    what Jay said, go train and enjoy it!

  5. #5


    you earned them so leave them on! if a black belt had a long lay off he would still be black belt if and when he came back!

  6. #6


    keep them on and just retrain again, the quality of an opponent is not decided by what they wear, its what they do

  7. #7


    Either or. I have 1 belt with stripes on and 1 without. I wear whichever one I grab first.

    I kind of see your point a bit though. The layoff wouldn't effect my decision though, more so the new instructor. I was awarded my stripes having trained nogi for about 2 years and gi about 3 classes. Thus when I went to a full-on BJJ academy I wasn't comfortable wearing my stripes, as I hadn't thought I'd truly earned them.

    At the end of the day, there isn't a set time scale for promotion. If you're at blue belt level, you'll get promoted to blue belt. Regardless of if you've been training 6 months or 2 years. Once you hit that level, you will be promoted. It's not like swimming badges where you have to be awarded level 1, 2, and 3 before you can do 4.
    When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail.

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Shrek View Post
    Stripes are for tigers.
    fucking A...
    man, when you're the nail, hang in there....until the day you become the hammer

  9. #9
    My cat's name is Mittens ralphylad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007


    You have earned them unless someone says take them off, keep them, I'd leave them on
    "I honestly can't even remember my old signature, so I'll have this one"

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by allan shrek View Post
    stripes are for tigers.
    Fuck no-gi

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