Blackwater JC believes Junior Judoka should be rewarded for their commitment to their Club, their judo achievements and their ability to progress.
Many judo Sensei’s do not agree with Juniors being allowed to wear a Black Belt, but our experience of Blackwater Judoka has convinced us that Juniors can show a level of maturity and responsibility that should be rewarded with the coveted Black Belt – however this has to be earned.
The Black Belt is not just a badge of technical ability. It symbolises that the wearer has an excellent knowledge of judo techniques, but also has a level of maturity to be able to train alongside all age groups of judoka,has the respect of fellow judoka and understands the responsibility that goes with wearing a Black Belt .
It is for the above reasons that Blackwater Judoka must have celebrated their fifteenth birthday before they can wear a full Black Belt. Juniors younger than 15 who fulfill all the technical requirements of a Junior Black Belt will wear a split Belt- a yuko kuro obi (horizontally striped brown over Black) to show their ability. On their 15th birthday if the judoka and Sensei are happy that they are ready for the responsibility of being ‘A Black Belt’ then they will be presented with their Blackwater Junior Black Belt.
However Junior Black Belts should be aware that following their 16th birthday they will trade in their Black belt for a Senior Green Belt (3rd Kyu). At their first Senior Grading they will be expected to grade as a Senior to earn their place in the Senior ranks (many Junior Blacks are happy to relinquish the responsibilities of being a Black Belt for a while).