When people first start out training in BJJ, most are filled with excitement about how “cool” it is to be able to use their body weight, leverage and angles to neutralize their training partners. However they eventually find that the learning curve is steep, and the ‘average’ person does not see a fast track to higher belt levels, life gets in the way……and they quit.
Training in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu is a long term grind that takes thousands of hours to “get good”. No short cuts and long hours and it becomes grinding it out with other like minded savages…..
It took me 14 years from the day I took my first lesson to attain the BJJ Black Belt. A lot of blood, sweat and tears, literally. I bet I wanted to quit one thousand times over the years, yet I stayed hungry for the knowledge and stayed with it. In my BJJ Journey, it seems that the days and weeks were long, and the years are short….I’m in my 29th year, and am a 4th Degree Black Belt training with my friend and Instructor, Master Rigan Machado.
Having run a successful BJJ school in Florida for almost 20 years; and doing the same for a few years in North Carolina, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. As 6th Degree BJJ Black Belt Chris Haueter says “it’s not who’s good….it’s who’s left”!
That is so true!
if I could travel back to the white belt Larry there are many things I’d do differently:
1. I would be more patient
2. I would trust the art of Jiu-Jitsu
3. I would forget about the belt and follow Royce Gracie’s sage advice: “White Belt, Blue Belt…..forget about it”, and just train.
4. I would leave the ego outside of the gym from the start
5. I would use little strength and concentrate on fundamental perfection
7. I would drill more and do more reps early on
8. I would have “played more” and settled down earlier
9. I would have trained safer and showed better respect to my training partners.
10. I would have simply tried sooner & harder at working on becoming the person I am now
I’ve had a wonderful life, having had successes in college, grad school, a lucrative career in medical device sales and management. There were many happy times along the way, but the greatest thing I’ve ever accomplished (other than marrying Gail) is attaining my BJJ Black Belt and continuing on the journey.
It’s not easy….if it was everybody would be doing it. Again, no short cuts. But…..if you start, and continue showing up for training, you can do it.
You’re going to be doing something 8-10 years out, so you might as well be a BJJ Black Belt!