Grading - Popularity contest or technical ability??
Hey, so i'm having a hard dealing with a recent informal grading (we had a seminar first then sat and were called out to receive stripes/belts).
Keep you head up mate. First tape on a belt is just tape on a belt...do not put too much stock in it. Second since you are friends with the brownbelt ask him about your observation. I would position it something like:
Instructors vary with their levels of professionalism too. Some may not be very systematic when it comes to assessing their students' progress. I didn't get my first stripe till 18 months in, when I got three. With promotion, the golden rule is, if you keep training it doesn't matter. And that goes just as well for early as well as late promotions. With stripes it's even more true, because as you progress stripes matter less and less. I'd guess most people purple and above wouldn't care much if they never got another stripe again. To be honest I feel a bit silly getting up in front of the class to get a stripe now. If it were up to me I wouldn't do it.
I would also like to add, its difficult for the black belt to grade someone he doesnt really see roll often. Its not a popularity contest, he just obviously has seen the other guys roll more often and thinks they're worthy. Dom let it change what you do, as long as you are learning and progressing, you will get that promotion one way or another. Embrace not getting what you want, its also good for you:) Its all part of BJJ
If the instructor grades, it makes sense he wants to see you. (Yes, Jack is right - a white belt stripe is just a piece of tape). But it's not a popularity contest - assuming these stripes mean something, and he is the one doing the assessing - how can he assess you if you don't train with him? That's not popularity, that's about firsthand information.