I realized, it's been almost 2 years to the day since I got my blue belt.
I've looked back over my training log and the past two years and asked myself what events or people had the biggest impact on my perspective in Jiu-Jitsu?
1) having fought in MMA and understanding in a fight how valuable top position is
2) having done the Pro Trials and now the Pan Ams and seeing how much sport Jiu-Jitsu can change between blue and purple, purple and brown, and brown to black.
3) realizing that Gi BJJ and submission grappling are truly two different sports in many ways.
4) Jiu-Jitsu works. If done right, no can defend! Even when done mostly correct, getting out of bad positions relies on the other guy often making a mistake in order to escape or your fully committing technique and energy/muscle to the escape b/c you must overcome the physics, angles, and leverage of his superior position versus that of your inferior position
5) it takes only one mistake and then the cookie crumbles quickly.
6) an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. avoid the bad positions by attacking his base/position. the key to good escapes is attacking his base before he settles.
7) training and rolling twice a day is where you truly begin to see advances in your game in short intervals.
I have several more years at blue belt and I'm fine with that. In fact, after my trip to Brazil I'd be fine taking my stripes off my belt.
I've learned more Jiu-Jitsu in the past year as a blue belt than I think I did in the 3 years I was a white belt and the 1 year I was a blue before this past year.
Over time, I suspect, that you tend to take/gleam more from each session.
A white belt has difficulty filtering out the noise, the background, the distractions in class and during instruction. They are focused on a move, on the hands, the grip, the obvious details.
Later you begin to understand how to elicit the response of which you wish to take advantage, how do X in order to make the opponent do Y, knowing that his most likely response will be X, and being in a position to take advantage when it occurs. More skilled players consider how X move will fit into their game, and then make a point to not only drill with intention, but attempt these moves in training to fine tune their application in live rolling.
The journey continues.
- Happy Trainingz