Do You Really Want to be a BJJ Black Belt – Or Just Faking It?
Let’s say that you’re a BJJ Instructor and you have two students that show up to join your school on the same day. You talk to both of these prospective students to find out their backgrounds and this is what you learned about both of them:
After talking with Grappler #1 (G1), you learn that this grappler was:
– very confident, showing little or no self-doubt about wanting to achieve the BJJ Black belt
– very athletic and had been involved with martial arts since he was a child
– a black belt in a traditional martial art
– a successful point-fighting competitor and enjoyed competing
– owned every grappling video on the market at the time and would spend hours watching those tapes
– had a dedicated area in his apartment for grappling training
After talking with Grappler #2 (G2), you learn that he was:
– lacked self-confidence, just wanted to train and not sure about achieving black belt because he didn’t think that far ahead or see it as a goal
– wasn’t very athletic and had study martial arts for a few years as an adult
– never earned a black belt from another style because he didn’t stay dedicated to one style long enough to achieve the goal
– was afraid to compete and always lost in the few events that he’d participated in during his previous martial arts experience
– owned only one grappling video and didn’t watch it too often because the moves seemed too basic and weren’t that flashy for him at the time
As the instructor, if you had to make a prediction which of these two students would become a dedicated student and commit to training enough to become a bjj black belt, who would you choose?
Personally, I think the obvious choice is G1. In fact, that’s who I would’ve picked to be the more committed student and eventually earn a black belt. With that background, G1 seems guaranteed to make it to black belt and G2 probably won’t make it beyond blue belt.
And that’s what makes life funny, because things don’t always turn out the way they appear in the beginning. In real life, G1 (an old training partner) was a good student, a big fan of grappling, and will occasionally drag the gi out of the bottom of his closet to train a little to this day…but never made it to blue belt! It was G2 (me), the one unlikely to make it beyond blue belt, that fought through all my roadblocks to reach black belt.
The reason I gave this scenario is to emphasize the point that there is no way of telling “who’ll make it to black belt” or not. If you find yourself closer to G2 (me) in the scenario above, know that you can reach your black belt goal if you’re willing to work hard, listen to the people around you that have been where you’re trying to go, and always believe that you’re going to achieve your goal to become a bjj black belt, no matter how long it takes! And it may take a long time and be a difficult journey for you. But the more difficulty you encounter along the way, the greater the satisfaction will be when you reach the destination. And your destination should be the black belt!
The only thing that can stop you from reaching your black belt goal is you. So, do you really want to be a bjj black belt…or just faking it?