Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Communication and Belts

Last night I wasn’t feeling so great and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to train jiu jitsu.  When I got home from work, my daughter was already dressed and she was ready to go.  So I did that thing that I rarely do, I took her to class and sat on the sidelines.  Not for long, ended up having an amazing talk with one of my coaches while she did class.  I didn’t know how therapeutic it would be just to talk about things that were bothering me, share my frustrations and worries and disappointments (with jiu jitsu, with my weight loss, with my physical limitations).  It was freeing.  I felt like a weight was lifted.  Good communication really is the key to success.  If I don’t tell my coaches what I need and what I want, how can they help me reach my goals?  It was a productive talk.  Felt like I came away with a plan.  I’m going to communicate with the rest of my coaches.  I’m going to track my weight (morning and night).  I’m going to only train 2-3 days a week.  I’m going to do 2 days of cardio (on my off days from jiu jitsu).  I’m going to work on getting my neck procedure done so I’m not dealing with all this physical pain.  I’m going to check back with my coach in a couple of weeks to see how it’s going.  These are things that I can do.  I’m ready. 

One of the other things that came from this talk was a real open, honest dialogue about belts and belt rank.  It seems like everyone has been talking about it and blogging about it lately.  Everyone has their own opinion about it.  Some I agree with and some I don’t.  For me, in the simplest terms -- 

My belt is a piece of cloth.  It is white with three stripes.  I earned those stripes by going to two belt tests.  When I am ready I will belt test again.  It will be the right time for me.  I cannot compare my belt to the person next to me in line.  Their belt is between them and their coach, just like mine is.  It is special and important and valuable to me on many levels.  My belt is a physical affirmation of my progress in the sport of jiu jitsu.  It is between me and my coaches. 

On Jiu-Jiu's BJJ Blog she recently posted something that intrigued came from her recent discussions with Ray Elbe.  Check it out here.  She says, One thing I hadn’t really considered – when you give someone a belt, you’re passing on YOUR lineage.”  It really got me to thinking about what a gift and an honor it is to get a new belt in jiu jitsu.  I hope that when the day finally comes, that I will be able to live up to the standards that all of that implies.  I hope that I will make them proud.  I believe that I will be ready, because they will know that I am ready.

1 comment:

  1. I wholeheartedly agree with your perspective on your belt. My coach knows best and will know when it is time. I trust his judgment. Hope you're feeling better.