Harris International In-Person Blue Belt Examination

Below is an overview of the Harris International In-Person Blue Belt Examination.


NOTE: This examination is different from the online blue belt, the in-person blue shirt, and the online blue shirt versions.


I encourage students to take either a single 30-minute lesson to review these techniques if they are unsure of their knowledge and/or abilities, or a series of lessons to go over the entire curriculum if they need to do so.


Here is the overview:



– Bridge & roll escape #5

– Elbow/knee escape #3

– Two escapes of your own


– Turn onto your side escape #1

– Grab their feet escape #1

– Two escapes of your own



– Go to your knees escape #2

– Go to your knees #2 & replace guard escape #1

– Two escapes of your own



– Basic under the leg escape #1

– Basic over the leg escape #1

– Two passes of your own



– Duck under escape

– Roll over your shoulder and replace the guard escape

– Two escapes of your own



– Front mount control #1

– Front mount control #2



– Back mount control #1

– Back mount control #2



– Side mount control #2

– Side mount control #3



– Closed guard controls #1 & 2

– Open guard controls #1 & 2



– Turtle control #1

– Turtle control #2



– The Americana

– The palm-up, palm-up collar choke

– Two submissions of your own



– The rear naked choke

– The spinning arm lock

– Two submissions of your own



– The Americana

– The Kimura

– Two submissions of your own



– The Kimura

– The guillotine choke

– Two submissions of your own



– The clock choke

– The rear naked choke

– Two submissions of your own



– The scissors sweep

– The elevator sweep

– Two sweeps of your own



– Uchi mata

– O uchi gari

– Double leg straight

– Double leg turn left

– One additional throw of your own

– One additional takedown of your own



– Against a straight punch

– Against a circular punch

– Against a straight kick

– Against a circular kick

– Against a straight knife

– Against a circular knife

– Against a neck grab

– Against an arm grab



– At the end of the technical portion of the examination, you will spar with your training partners as well as with me.


NOTE: The sparring with me is ceremonial. At this point in time, I know whether or not you will pass the technical portion of the test. Now, I want to see how you handle the stress of sparring – because I will push you outside of your normal comfort zone!





What things are emphasized with this belt?


Here are the important/required areas:


1. Having a great attitude.

2. Attention to detail.

3. Precise positioning before beginning the escape.

4. Precise movements.

5. A low level of skill in each of the above-mentioned areas.


Here are the nice-to-have but unimportant areas:


1. A reliance upon speed.

2. A reliance upon power.

3. A reliance upon explosiveness.

4. A Judo background.

5. A wrestling background.

NOTE: Many who have failed the examination came from a Judo or Wrestling background. While I admired their athleticism during the test, they failed because they had no idea of how to perform certain techniques – or they tried to pull the wool over my eyes and just made up techniques!


Why do you emphasize these techniques and elements with this belt?


I emphasize these techniques because they represent 75-80% of the techniques needed to lay a foundation in Jiu Jitsu! Let me explain.


Having tested numerous students outside of my organization, I have been surprised at some of their inabilities. For example, I have witnessed brown belts – testing for black belts – who had no idea how to escape from the front or side mount positions. They had an awesome guard, but their abilities to escape from these two positions – or even pass the guard – were not even at a blue belt level!


What does this say about their former instructor?


What does this say about their abilities to teach their students how to escape from these positions?


So, to prepare my students/clients to teach and one day wear a black belt, I make sure they can escape and control from every position – because these two skills lay the foundation for everything else in this amazing art!


How will the student know he or she is ready to test?


Students should contact me to set up a short, 15-minute mock examination. We will talk in greater detail about this exam in our emails.


Also, students don’t determine when they’re ready (i.e. just because they have been training for 2-3 years doesn’t mean they’re ready). As their instructor, I will help them see and acknowledge their strengths and weaknesses, as well as let them know when I see they have the skills necessary to pass the exam with high marks!


Who is responsible for providing training partners for the person testing?


The student is responsible for providing his or her training partners. He or she can have as few as one training partner, but 2-3 are preferred.


Because the students pay beforehand, do they automatically pass the exam?




Students will “pass” the exam after demonstrating the required skill sets. This is why it’s important to know what’s on the test and to prepare for it.


Have students failed this examination?


Yes. All who failed did not prepare for the examination. They did not take a private lesson beforehand or consult with me. After telling them this was not a good use of their money and time, they insisted on being tested. So, I agreed and allowed them to test…and so most of them failed.


Now, there have been a few students who did the same thing and passed my examination. The difference between this handful of students and the first ones mentioned above is this:


At least they purchased my apps and studied them intensely. So, they had an idea of what kinds of things I was going to test them on.


NOTE: I came up with the idea of testing for belts back in the late 1990s. I did so because I had read on several forums that many students were complaining of favoritism. So, I decided to take favoritism off the table by making a standardized test. This way, either the student met the standard or they didn’t.


What are the standards for this test?


There are five levels for this test:


• Student (39 years, 11 months, and 29 days of age and under)

• Instructor

• Over 40

• Over 60

• Honorary


Each one has its own standard. This is something we can discuss in an email for those who are preparing for their examination – not for those who are just curious.


If a student has questions about the specifics of what’s on the exam, where can they find out the info?


Students are always welcome to contact me at roy@royharris.com about the specifics of the examination. NOTE: For those who are serious about taking the exam – and demonstrating it – I will share all the info that’s needed.


Is the examination available only “in-person”?


This examination is available in-person as well as online. Please see the article of the Harris International Blue Belt Online Examination.


What are the costs associated with this exam?


The fees are as follows:


$100 for Harris International students/affiliates.

$200 for non-affiliates.


Embarking on this examination is more than earning a belt; it’s about forging a lasting instructor/student relationship as well as progressing toward the prestigious Black and Coral Belts. Being one of three Americans to go from white to coral belt, I can definitely help you with this process!


If interested in taking the exam, and preparing for the exam by learning more, then email me at roy@royharris.com and let’s talk.


Thank you for your time,


Roy Harris


P.S. Do you have questions or comments about this post? Let me know in the comments or by sending me an email.

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