One way in which progress from one belt to the next is measured in BJJ, is through the introduction of the stripes. The bigger the number of stripes that you have on your belt, the further it means that you’ve progressed. One student may get up to 4 stripes on their belt. And once you get 4 stripes – it means that promotion is just around the corner.
Now, we sincerely hold the opinion that BJJ stripes are not very important. Or at least not as important as the belt’s color. Regardless, there are many BJJ purists that not only have stripes in high esteem, but they feel that it’s an indispensable part of the martial art and that it’s blasphemy if instructors and professors fail to adhere to the commandments given by the legendary practitioners of the Gracie family. And one “important” question, in this regard, is on which site do the BJJ stripes go on.
Where do you put the stripes on a BJJ belt?
First off, it’s important to denote the location where the BJJ stripes are to be placed. At the base of the belt, there ought to be a piece of black cloth (or red cloth if it’s a black belt). And it’s over this cloth that the stripes hang on.
Now, as for the main question that’s on everyone’s mind – do the stripes go from the left or from the right? It’s a question that has tortured the minds of many BJJ practitioners around the world. Our official verdict when it comes to this question is: it’s not important.
And most sensible people would agree with this. Whether you set the stripes from the left or from the right really makes no difference whatsoever. But for the purists, it appears that the prevalent opinion as to where to put the BJJ stripes is to the left – on the same side of the heart, according to some logic. But then again, there are many practitioners and even top-tier BJJ instructors that wear their stripes to the right. And once again, most people rightfully don’t care.
What does first stripe in BJJ mean?
Usually, beginners are very pleased with themselves when they get their first stripe. After all, it’s a symbolic sign that you have made progress. And this is what all stripes in BJJ mean. But, as you progress in BJJ and especially after you claim your blue belt, the meaning of stripes starts to wane, and chances are that you won’t care at all about how many stripes you have.
You will start focusing on getting better in the game, all around. You will practice moves and you will find delight when you’re artfully submitted by your opponents, regardless if they’re senior or junior belts. And this is, we feel the right approach when it comes to practicing BJJ. Only this approach will take your skillset to the next level.
So, be pleased when you get a new stripe as long as you feel that it’s a rightful expression of the increase of your skills. But other than that, we recommend that you don’t preoccupy your mind with trivial questions such as the side your stripes should be on – and focus more on getting better at BJJ.