The Secret To Getting Your BJJ Black Belt Part 2:
Getting your Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the most amazing feelings that you will ever have…. If you get there.
8 out of 10 people who start Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu quit before they ever make it to black belt. Why is that? The truth is Jiu-Jitsu is hard, frustrating and there is no shortcuts or “overnight success”.
Think about it… You go to class on day 1 and feel like a fish out of water, you learn an armbar from the closed guard and the next day you forget what the closed is much less how to do the armbar. Then on your second class you review the same armbar and still feel like a giraffe trying to jump hurdles.
A year or two into your journey you finally understand the “concepts” of BJJ but you are still getting smashed by the higher ranking students. You may even start the negative talk inside your head, saying things like “maybe I’ll never be as good as this guy or this girl, maybe my body just isn’t cut out for BJJ”. You’ll start to find excuses why you aren’t as good as someone else. The negative self talk can (and often does) lead a person to get frustrated, burnt out and quit.
Once you understand that Jiu-Jitsu is very challenging and there are no shortcuts, you need to set some realistic goals and expectations. With that said DO NOT set a goal of receiving a belt rank by such and such date. As a matter of fact do not even think about the next promotion at all. Why? Because that is something outside of your control. Only your instructor can decide when you are promoted, so focusing on your promotion can only lead to disappointment if you do not get it when you thought you would or should.
Instead focus on the process NOT the outcome. If you focus on going going to class X number of days per week and never missing a class then each week or month you can look back and see wether or not you reached that goal. Focus on getting better at one particular technique and set a goal to drill to drill 30 extra minutes per week during open mat and reward yourself if you complete the goal every month.
Sooner or later if you keep doing the things that YOU can control and doing them without excuses, the day will come when you get your next promotion. You’ll feel great about it too because you were not expecting it, you were simply focusing on your daily actions made you 1% better each day.
Successful people in all areas of life do what they are supposed to do regardless of whether they feel like it or not.
I’m not sure where you are in your Jiu-Jitsu journey right now but one thing I can tell you for sure is that if you stick with it long enough, your life will never be the same. You will make more friends, meet more people and have some of the most fun you’ve ever had in your life as a result of being a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. You will lead a healthier lifestyle, learn how to deal with difficult situations and become a more mature, humble and healthier person as a result.
You may be a white belt just starting out or a black belt who already has Jiu-Jitsu in your DNA but I hope as a result of reading this article that you never give up this amazing journey or that you share the amazing benefits of Jiu-Jitsu with everyone you talk to. If you’re just starting out or are in the middle of your journey and you feel a little burnt out or maybe over looked by your instructors or coaches, just keep taking the small daily actions to make yourself better and one day your name will be called up and you’ll look down to see a Black Belt being wrapped around your waist.