Friday, March 8, 2013

Who's left?

Club Conde Koma (pre-East Heaven White Mountain)
2004 Club Conde Koma
Number of students: 60  Students who still train regularly: 4
Number of students who made it from white to black: 3

"BJJ isn't about who's best, but who's left"-random internet poster

Yes, I'm quoting something I read on an internet forum.  So, what?  This particular little gem is so spot on, so true, so meaningful, that I had to share it.  In retrospect, I probably should have just tried to pawn this quote off as my own to make myself look intelligent.

I was up late the other night messing around on my academy's DAUM (Korean) website looking at pictures.  It was pretty amusing.  One of the things that stood out the most was how many guys have come and gone over the years.  A couple of months ago I was lifting weights after class, and someone came to the gym that I hadn't seen in almost four years.  We were white belts together, and I think he was surprised to see me.  Even more astonishing to him was that I was now a purple belt. 

I've heard people come up with percentages on how many people quit BJJ before, but I'd like to share some pictures with everyone and tell you how many guys in the picture still actually come to the gym and train regularly. 

I've seen white belts quit.  I've seen guys get their blue belts and never come back.  Hell, I even know some purples that don't train anymore.  I guess I'm trying to state the obvious:  things always change, and you have to find it inside yourself to keep walking through that door. 

When I list instructor in the picture that means the person is an instructor and still trains regularly.  Semi-regularly is someone who will take very  long lay offs, come back to the gym for a spurt, stops again, and keeps repeating the cycle or someone who only trains once a week.  All pictures include me (aren't you lucky?). 

I tried to pick photos with a wide range of people. 

My first couple of months at the gym back in 2009 (with one year of previous training)
Instructors: 3  Students: 15  People who still train regularly: 2 Semi-regularly: 2

   White belt me
Instructors: 2  Students: 16  Students who still train regularly: 3

Me almost at blue
Number of instructors: 6  Students: 8  Students that still train regularly: 2  Semi-regularly: 1

I still remember the night I got my blue belt.  Some guy showed up to the gym asking me how much it cost to train.  When I told him, he asked me if there was a discount available.  I proceeded to let him know that there wasn't a discount.  He told me that $100.00 a month for unlimited BJJ was too expensive.  He then asked me again if I thought the instructor would give him a discount.  I said, "no".  He then told me that Team MAD has better BJJ than our gym.  I told him that Team MAD is part of our gym and that their instructor is a pupil under our instructor, and that, in actuality, they do only no gi grappling and don't even train BJJ.  

Clearly this guy needed to take a few crash courses in communication and tact.  After that, I saw him talking to a couple of my teammates.  Later on that night they told me that he was asking about a discount.  We rarely have freaks come off the street into our gym, but that night it must have been a full moon or something.

 My blue belt promotion! (discount guy isn't in the picture unfortunately)
Instructors: 2  Students: 16  Students who still train regularly: 2  Semi-regularly: 2

Instructors: 2  Students: 16  Students who still train regularly: 4 Semi-regularly: 1

My second or third competition as a blue belt
Instructors: 2  Students who still train regularly: 1

Tozi gym
Instructors: 6  Number of students in the picture: 31 Students who still train regularly: 8  Semi-regularly: 3

 The first night at the new gym in Kyungsun!
Instructors: 3  Students: 27  Students who still train regularly: 13 Semi-regularly: 1

My purple belt promotion!
Instructors: 4  Students: 22  Students still training regularly:8
Semi-regularly: 1

I probably could have spent some time doing some ratios and trying to figure out a good estimate on how many people have started and quit over the course of the last four years but: 
A.)  I am too lazy and stupid to do it 
B.)  I am too lazy and stupid to do it.  

1 comment:

  1. Great article, John. Another way judo and BJJ are such close siblings. The ETS (estimated time of survival) is LOW. It was great to see those old pictures of you with a white belt - and so proud of the blue belt.'re the Sandman.