I Was Promoted to Brown Belt

caleb fightworks fabio santos

Last night at Fabio Santos’ school here in San Diego, a very unexpected thing happened to me. After class Fabio asked all of the students to line up along the long wall in order from highest belt ranking to lowest. He disappeared for a few moments into the office, returned, and in front of the 25 students there last night asked me to come forward to receive my brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

I was shocked. I presumed that at some point, sooner or later, I would be bumped to the next belt, but I had no idea that of the 25 guys there last night it would be my name that was called. The feeling I felt inside as I stood in front of everyone and Fabio removed my old ratty purple belt and tied my new brown belt on was surreal, like I was in a dream.

After another friend was promoted to purple, everyone congratulated us with hugs and kind words. I was so elated inside that I do not think I could really appreciate the moment.

I think what it may be is the joy you feel mixing with the apprehension that comes with a new belt. I ask myself, “do I deserve this? Am I ready?”

Of course it doesn’t matter because it is now around my waist and I don’t have much of a choice! The butterflies are still there inside of course but in honesty I think I needed this. In terms of effort I put in on a day to day basis, I have been coasting for a while and this is a needed kick-in-the-pants. I have a ton of hungry purple belts after me now so I have no choice but to kick it back into high gear!

Thank you Fabio Santos, Relson Gracie, and everyone else I have learned from, especially my fellow training partners.

10 Replies to “I Was Promoted to Brown Belt”

  1. congrats, caleb! interview yourself for a “brown belt corner” next podcast?

    interesting that the “do I deserve this?” feeling seems to be common to belt promotions, regardless of color…

  2. Congrats Caleb!That’s awesome!Ever since I started listening to “Fightworks”.You inspired me to get back to BJJ and finish what I started.I was only in it for a lil’ while.I left for personal reasons.But I’m heading back into to it at “Unified Brazilian Jiu Jitsu” Pedro Sauer Team in Sandy,Utah.Take care,Rey

  3. Congrats!

    I’d love to hear a podcast that goes into depth on the promotion process. Maybe having a bunch of black belts each giving their views on what they expect from a student before promotion? Seem to be a lot of different schools of thought (e.g., once the student has won a bunch of competitions; after a certain period of time then wait for them to ‘grow into’ the belt; once they’re hanging with the belt level up when rolling in class, etc).

  4. Don’t worry C. If you feel nervous you can always walk down to the other end of the mat and tap me endlessly to make yourself feel better. 😉

    Congrats again.

  5. Caleb,

    It’s a pleasure to hear your news. Glad CA is treating you well! Hope to see you sometime soon.

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