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The Positive Balance Approach to Student Promotions

Promotions are an important element of the martial arts. Ideally students should focus on learning outcomes rather than promotions or belt rank, the belt is the outward manifestation of one’s rank. Thus, students’ efforts are validated through promotion. In the United States the traditional martial arts have made rapid promotions with associated promotion fees an important part of their business model. Traditionally, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has not engaged in this practice. In modern times, however, many academies have struggled to increase revenue through this practice. Essentially, this is a hidden cost of training.

While we recognize that charging for promotions is a common practice, we have decided that we do not want to pass on hidden costs like this to our students. Further, we find that it takes away from the weight of the promotion and the feeling that one has accomplished something special. Ie “you have done a great job, so you get to pay me for this meritorious thing that you have already earned”. Truth be told, we at Positive Balance get good prices on belts. We promote our students using Gameness Belts that we pay wholesale prices for. Rest assured, when you are promoted we will not hit you with a hidden charge. Just a smile, a hug and a throw!

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