A BJJ student was so disappointed at not getting his purple belt during a promotion, that he decided to seek justice through the legal system, and opted to sue his BJJ instructor for being “skipped over” in the promotion!
For most of us not getting a belt promotion hits painfully, but is something most people shrug off. Those that don’t usually are not cut out for BJJ anyway. When somebody doesn’t get a BJJ belt, there’s usually a very good reason for it, and when asked, instructors will gladly explain it.
For one BJJ student, though, it turns out that not getting promoted felt personal enough to result in a lawsuit against the instructor. The student claims that his instructor, Marcos Roldão, who teaches at the “Samuray Jiu-Jitsu” academy in Brazil led him on, and then denied him the purple belt he “was promised.”
According to the media in Brazil, the BJJ student arrived in the academy as a four-stripe blue belt and was asked to remove the stripes upon arrival by the instructor in question.
The student asked if he would get ta purple belt anyway on the next promotion, which was due in a few months, as is the custom in the “Samuray Jiu-Jitsu” academy. He even threatened the instructor that he would not participate in the ceremony if he would not get promoted.
During the ceremony itself, the BJJ student only got 1 stripe instead of the purple belt he expected. the instructor reassured him the next day that he would get his purple belt at the next promotion. At the next promotion, the instructor gave two more stripes to the student, withholding the purple belt yet again. He even made jokes about the student being annoying by constantly asking to get promoted.
The behavior of the instructor is not respectful, that is clear, but there is another factor to consider. This particular academy charges students 70 reais (around $5) just for the right to participate in the event.
The BJJ student in question found that he was being led on, and lost money in the process, so he decided to sue. The instructor showed up for the appointed court date wearing a purple shirt.