I was reading a popular BJJ blog that I like a lot one time, and the author was giving blogger's tips on how to get and maintain readers. Most of the advice I found helpful, but one part had me scratching my head. It said something like if you haven't posted in awhile, don't bother writing why you haven't been posting, because no one cares.
I thought that was kind of silly since if you read someone's blog that usually means you are interested in that person's life, experiences, or point of view. Why wouldn't people care what I've been up to and why wouldn't that be important? I don't know. Maybe you don't care. I'm such a lovable guy though. How could you not?
First, I was promoted to brown belt in October.
This promotion was "different" fore sure. I REALLY wanted my blue belt and I REALLY wanted my purple belt, but I honestly never wanted to be promoted to brown. The longer I train, the more jaded I seem to become about the whole belt system. I also felt comfortable at purple and loved being that rank. Of course, being promoted isn't a horrible thing, and I'm extremely honored and happy, but at the same time it's a bit nerve racking.
It's also very surreal. When I was a white belt I though blue belts were Gods. A brown belt seemed like something that was impossible to achieve. I was definitely an ugly duckling, stupid as hell and not very athletically gifted. I was 120 pounds soaking wet and although I wasn't a total pencil neck, I wasn't very strong. Like I heard Renzo Gracie say one time, "Look at me now, a beautiful swan".
This I know for sure: if you work hard you can achieve your goals in BJJ. You will improve, but you have to dedicate yourself and take a huge amount of ass whippings. There are no short cuts, but if you put in your time on the mats you will see results.
Some things I suggest (take them for what they're worth):
1. Always go to class
2. Spar with everyone, don't be afraid to spar with people who kick your butt, roll hard
3. Don't make excuses (I'm too small, fat, skinny, old, ugly, etc.) or focus on your shortcomings, that will only hold back your BJJ and keep you from progressing and growing as a martial artist
4. Your training partners are the people who make you better, so take care of them, there's nothing wrong with a healthy rivalry and rolling hard, but don't look at your teammates as people who you are trying to "beat"
To be continued....