I finally got my brown belt from Shawn Hammonds Sunday April 25th. It was an incredibly emotional belt test for me. For those of you that aren’t familiar with BJJ belt testing, allow me to fill you in.
First, you have to demonstrate your ability to defeat most of the competitors at your current belt level. I recently took home the silver medal at the Pan American Championships so I had pretty much achieved that. Second, you have to undergo a 25 minute mental/physical endurance test where you fight everyone on class without rest. The only stipulation–you can’t quit. Finally, once “belted,” you have to crawl on your hands and knees while everyone in class gets to whip you with their belts.
To some this may sound barbaric. In my eyes, it makes it all worthwhile.
If that weren’t enough, Shawn gave me his brown belt. The one he received from Lloyd Irvin several years ago. This is about the highest honor you can receive from your coach. It meant the world to me.