|Chad Haas Bio
: Zdenek Matl Bio
: Our Facility
Photo Gallery : Video Gallery : Principals & Philosophy : News : Home
Instructor's Requirements : Student Rankings : Training Logs
|Judo Promotion to Rokudan|
|December 15, 2018
I was surprised to receive my Rokudan (6th Dan Black Belt) in Judo from Sensei Zdenek Matl at the start of his Judo Seminar. When he promoted me he said, "Go change your belt." because I was wearing my Red/Black belt. My Red/White belt no longer represents just my Jiu-Jitsu rank, but now my Judo rank too.
In December 1994 I received my Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt) from Sensei Zdenek Matl. At that time he was a Judo and Jiu-Jitsu Shichidan (7th Dan Black Belt) wearing a Red/White belt. Around 2000, Sensei Matl presented the shredded Red/White belt that he was wearing when I met him. This presentation was the only formal presentation I have ever seen him do and it's my most prized possession.
When I started with Sensei Matl, I only had 2 goals.
1. Make it to Rokudan (Red/White belt) under Sensei Matl. I wanted this because this was the belt he was wearing when I started with him.
2. Be half as good as Sensei Matl.
Since then, I have added a few more major goals, but those 2 are the most important to me.
Since I received my Shodan, I have been training and teaching 4-6 days per week ranging from 2-6 hours per day. The minimum amount of time I would have to consistently dedicate to reach my Judo Rokudan was a minimum of 20 years as a Black Belt. Those years would all have to be active teaching, training, fighting, and growing.
When I received my Rokudan in Jiu-Jitsu, back in 2013, I was super excited, but... I had not yet reached that goal of Judo Rokudan from Sensei. From that time, I had only been wearing my Red/White belt only on Saturday training. I always wear my Black belt during the week because it is a true reflection of my work and is the same Black belt I've worn from day one. My Red/Black belt (Judo Godan, 5th Dan Black Belt) is only worn on Friday training or if I am doing a Judo seminar somewhere.
About a month ago, after a Saturday training, I was reflecting on some things and had decided that I was going to completely stop wearing my Red/White belt and go back to just wearing my Red/Black belt on the weekends. This decision was because I felt that I should kind of "back up" a little bit because I need more work. I was not going to wear my Red/White belt outside of doing a Jiu-Jitsu seminar.
It took me 24 years to get here. Over the years we've had extensive discussions about the Judo organizations and the politics and crazy money associated those organizations. I told Sensei that I don't care about what any organization or what anyone thinks about my rank because they don't know me, my work, my knowledge, or my ability. I only care about what he (Sensei Matl) thinks because he has been an internationally recognized decorated Black Belt for over 50 years.
Sensei Matl currently works with people of every level all over the world, which also includes guest instructing at the Kokdan, Japan (where Judo was founded and the Holy Grail for Judo). With that exposure, he can best assess and compare me to others instructors around the world.
I owe everything to Sensei Matl. The man who has single handedly changed my life forever. Giving me an incredible gift of knowledge and ability. I am going to continue to do my absolute best to grow, represent, and pass on what he has taught me about Judo and Jiu-Jitsu. The philosophy and principals will stand the test of time. I have zero doubt about that.
Judo & Jiu-Jitsu Rokudan
Head Instructor - Team Haas Judo Jiu-Jitsu