Jiu Jitsu Promotion Gauntlets and Belt Whipping: Both Sides of the Argument

Jiu Jitsu Belt Whipping

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has many rituals and ceremonies. Getting a belt promotion is often a big event. Some schools have what is called a “Gauntlet” where students pass through a line and get whipped by a belt on their back.

There are basically two sides to this issue: For or Against.

Some call this ceremony cruel. They say it is not within today’s cultural norms and can hurt a person physically and emotionally – not making them want to do it because it is abuse. For some this may not be too far-fetched because some people whip the belt very hard. Imagine a 260 pound guy slamming a belt into a 130 pound guys back. I’m sure the intent is not to injure but for the sake of argument it can happen.

Others say the BJJ Belt Whipping Gauntlet is tradition. Getting a new rank with a belt-whipping gauntlet may be a rite of passage. It may hurt so you remember it and it may be an opportunity to show off your marks with a photo. Some believe people are being too sensitive if this ritual offends them.

READ: 5 Common Jiu Jitsu Rituals/Terms

Personally I have no issue with it as long as it is moderated and does not go overboard. Since BJJ is for everyone then those who choose not to go through the gantlet should have that option.

More importantly, what are your thoughts about the Jiu Jitsu Belt-whipping gauntlet?

READ: 3 Common Reasons People Quit Jiu Jitsu & What To Do About It


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