Anonymous dating confessions

We form much of our understanding of what it means to be a black belt from these guys. Their experience and knowledge of the game is invaluable. They are experts in what it takes to get to the highest levels of the art.

What is often missing is the voice of the hobbyist. The student who has a full time job, maybe a family or other demands and chooses to not dedicate the bulk of their life to the art.

This is where the vast majority of people who study Jiu Jitsu live. Either by choice, circumstance, or necessity we are part time grapplers. This is the realm of the hobbyist. Everyone has their own role to play in the art. A good thriving school has many hobbyists in its ranks. We need people who are successful parents, professionals, educators, tradesmen, students, doctors etc. A healthy school has people of all ages, races, incomes, men and women, hobbyists and dedicated athletes.

Confessions of a hobbyist black belt We have a hard time with all levels of student. In a roll I can have a very tough time with even white belts.

I can find myself unable to execute basic techniques. I can be flustered and stymied by something that a white belt does naturally. Yesterday I rolled with two different white belts that I could not submit from guard bottom.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I have no idea how to execute a berimbolo sweep. It rarely feels like a well planned and coordinated attack. I see many younger guys at the gym 5 or 6 days a week. Many nights I have to weigh spending time with my family or spending time at the gym. As much as I love going to the gym I have to make different decisions many times. We have to train and roll different. I do experiment and look for new solutions but much of my training time is spent refining what I already know.

I probably have about 3 submissions. Maybe 3 guard passes. Most things I can do effectively on only one side. Making my game smaller makes it easier to maintain and grow on even 2 days a week. This allows me to roll as long as I want. I can roll for hours at this pace. It also allows me to build a game that is not based on conditioning, or speed, or strength.

This means though that the young athletic purple belt will catch me in stuff. I could match them if I wanted to. I have about one or two rounds in me at young guy athleticism and speed. If I needed an ego boost I could burn up my tank in a pissing contest.

I choose not to though. I have value to the gym in that. I have found my place. I think this is good Jiu Jitsu though because to me Jiu Jitsu is about getting the most benefit from the least amount of effort. In that hobbyist black belts can truly shine. People can read the same text and get completely different things from it. I wanted to clarify a few points to clear some things up. I think my writing was a bit too succinct and maybe missed a few points of clarification.

When you get to black belt level you have more nuance in your game than that. Simply beating a white belt is of little consequence. I wanted to dispel the myth that a black belt can do whatever he wants at any time to beginning students. This is simply not true. It looks like this from the outside because the black belt is usually always winning.

What is happening behind the scenes though is the black belt is changing tactics as they run into barriers. Even with a beginner there can be lots of barriers. I have taught the technique many times and know the technical details of how it works. People think that black belts are good at every technique that they know or every technique that they show others.

We have to know a bunch of techniques in order to be good coaches. Instead we learn a bunch of techniques so that we can pass them on to our students but in our personal games we choose a small subset. For me personally I keep the subset small and try my best to make things work in as many different situations as possible.

A smaller personal game is easier to maintain and refine with limited time on the mat. I can teach you a flower sweep well even though I hardly use it at all. I roll once a week or so with our competition team.

We have comp team classes that are designed specifically for people who compete. These rolls are designed to be fast paced and hard. I do it because I enjoy it and the competitors benefit from rolling with me.

Jiu Jitsu is about efficiency in technique and energy. If you only roll hard then you develop a game that requires it. If you also roll light you can develop a game that works well at that pace. Lastly, I am perfectly comfortable tying on my black belt.

I welcome anyone who is in the Portland area to come in and get a roll with me at any time though if they need to satisfy their curiosity. As a black belt you have to never be afraid to throw your hat into the ring.

That fear thwarts growth and has no place on the mat. Incidentally, I heard a story from a long time black belt this weekend. He was talking about a bout he refereed at a tournament a while back. The black belt was matched up against a no name purple belt. The black belt got destroyed by the purple belt.


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