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The Curse Of The 6 Year Blue Belt Blues

Remember when you walked into your academy on your first few days- heck; even weeks?! The excitement that ran through your blood system and adrenaline that it pumped with was nearly unmatchable. You didn't know anything and felt like a sponge soaking up all you could. Maybe you delved right into the jiu jitsu cult and bought a Shoyoroll gi, left your family and your search history on YouTube became filled with

  • BJJ hip escape

  • What is "shrimp"

  • do all professors clap after 1 2 3

  • arm-bar from mount

  • why do i suck at jiu jitsu

Your once late nights of mingling with friends in the bar after work, or slaving away for your job with extra hours were cut in half. You scheduled out time for your new found love of jiu jitsu. Any time a friend or family would entertain your "BJJ" talk, you'd be trying to convince them to lay on the ground and show them how to arm bar someone. You also then became an expert while watching UFC and would explain to your friends that is EXACTLY what you do in class- with just no punching and kicking.

Sound familiar? Well, Keep reading.

Fast forward to approximately 1 year later and your dedication has finally paid off. You are now a blue belt! Everything you never knew you needed in your life. You've finally made it. You're now accepted by everyone in the academy. You've proved your dedication is more than merely superficial and you have the POTENTIAL to keep at it. You're now showing the little baby white belts around and explaining to them the finer details of that "hippie scappie", arm bar and how "RNC" in your jiu jitsu group chat does NOT mean Republican National Committee.

Am i still on track? Well this train aint stopping any time soon:

Oh no, a big life event has happened:

  • You met a significant other

  • You got married

  • You had a baby

  • You got promoted

  • You lost your job

  • You found a new hobby

  • You moved

You start to scale back your training days. You tell yourself it'll only be for a little bit and then you'll pick up your training more again. One night out here and there becomes weeks missed and starts to add up. Then you come back one or two days and you get your ass kicked and you're upset now- with yourself; but not so upset that you want to come back to get better. That's when the excuses start- "the people are younger, they have less responsibility". But the real truth is YOU stopped making jiu jitsu a priority.

Maybe a huge life change didn't happen. Maybe you picked the wrong academy for yourself. It happens! Not everyone will love the first or second academy they discover. But getting in the habit of bouncing around to multiple training facilities and not having one specific Professor and academy will definitely hinder your ability to progress up in belt rank. There is a certain amount of loyalty Professors are looking for. We dedicate our time, skill and craft into molding our students to the best of their capabilities and when they don't feel as though you are committed to them- it also becomes discouraging for us as your instructor.

Here's the best piece of advice i can give you: As they say on the airplane before taking off- If the cabin loses pressure and the oxygen face mask comes down- put it on yourself before you help children and those around. This process of thinking is very important and can often be over looked in our lives. We run around daily trying to help others and our family. But we must not forget about ourselves. We must find and make the time to do something we enjoy and that keeps us healthy. The benefits of jiu jitsu are endless. It's a sense of community, a stress reliever, a form of therapy, a work out, and a mental and physical challenge. Something so precious shouldn't ever be pushed to the wayside.

So, if you're a white belt or blue belt and you're reading this- KEEP GOING. If you feel your life is getting busy and you're starting to make excuses- DON'T! open up that calendar book, pencil in the time for class and go train! You'll thank me later

- Alex


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