BJJ Poll: How Often Do You Spend Time Thinking About Your Progress in BJJ?

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I was speaking with a training partner today in class and we started chatting about how well we are doing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This lead also to inevitable and occasional BJJ existential moments like, “If I’m not getting better then what’s the point?” but then the conclusion is always that jiu-jitsu is too much fun to stop training!

So let us know how you think about getting better in BJJ. Is it something that consumes you? Are you constantly comparing yourself to the you of one month ago, or your training partners? Or are you more “flow with the go“, and feel like you’ll progress at whatever rate you’re supposed to progress?

3 Replies to “BJJ Poll: How Often Do You Spend Time Thinking About Your Progress in BJJ?”

  1. I am often puzzled by the role of the belt in BJJ with the Gi.

    I have trained regularly since 2004 but I spent the first four years training no-gi and I have also moved every year or so since I began, so it has been impossible for me to gain time in service for promotions. Although I have grappled for over 7 years now I still find that I defer to upper level belts when I roll with them. I believe my problems stem from my unconscious. Consciously, I know that I have trained regularly for seven years so I should be at a much higher level but my theory doesn’t match reality.

    I have been in plenty of situations as a new student to an academy where I have been able to tap people regularly of the same rank. However, due to their time in at the school they will receive a promotion and I go from being able to tap them one week to all of a sudden not being able to tap them at all. Or there will be a lower belt that I can dominate who will receive a promotion to my rank and I can no longer dominate them. I have also been in a lot of situations where I have not known the persons rank in no-gi and have been able to avoid submission or get a tap and then upon learning that they are a higher belt and I unfailingly fall in line the next time we roll.

    I believe more is expected from each belt rank and I believe a person naturally rises to meet those expectations. I heard Prof. Draculino in a video once talk about how long he was a Blue Belt and that people should not be in a hurry. I believe that is true to an extent, but I also believe that belt rankings also hinder development in ways that are unexplored.

    I believe it is mental. I think the belt influences me to behave in a certain way that is detrimental to my progress.

  2. Unfortunately this poll doesn’t have an option of “All the time, nearly every waking minute of the day!”

    John McGuigan, Gracie Barra Scotland

  3. @ Author_of _The_Lazy_Man’s_Guide_to_Grappling — I completely agree with you! It is as if you subconsciously don’t want to tap a higher belt out of respect. This is one of the reasons I fell in love with no gi many years ago. Here is something that happened to me just the other day:

    I have been training with my academy for going on 9 years now and was just promoted to 4 stripe purple. Due to my work schedule I am only able to attend morning classes now which are all no gi. Frequently, I will instruct the no gi grappling classes for my coaches as they are quite busy running the gym and I am more than happy to do it. One day after sparring with a student and giving him some pointers he said, “You never wear a belt, what rank are you anyway?” I told him purple, not seeing the point to even mention stripes. He said, “Oh, ok. Now I don’t feel so bad.” This got me thinking that although he did not mean it as an insult, is my knowledge and abilities only valid if I have a high rank?

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