|There can be only one|
Purple belt has been a real extended period of time that has tested how much I actually want to/care about focusing mylife around Jiu-Jitsu.
It's easy to win and stay motivated for long periods of time. Staying motivated and continuing to put pennies in a bank and travel and lose sleep, and the stress of competing,and money and time and skipping dinners and movies and parties and people and socializing wears on you over time if there's no reward per internally or externally.
I've yet to win a featherweight division and some poor performances in superfights (still hate that term) and frustration over not performing up to my own personal expectations had me not enjoying Jiu-Jitsu much if at all for awhile now. The "pressure" of course was all self-imposed, all within my own head.
That familiar quote, "you don't love something until you've hated it" comes to mind.
I was training to compete and I continually had my eyes on the next 2-3 tournaments.
I did a superfight in November, then a submission only in December, then another submission only in January, another superfight at the end of February, and just did a points tournament recently.
I've mentioned before but it bears noting I've competed more in my first 15 months at purple than I did in all of white and blue.
Purple belt has been a real litmus test in looking cold and hard at how I train, how I view training, how I understand competition et cetera. I drill far more than I ever did at blue belt and every day I see the gap widen between recreational and semi-pro/competitive practitioners.
I think of Bernardo Faria talking about his blue belt half-guard game and his mention of the 10,000 hour rule. I'm also continually reminded of the adage, I think Justin Rader said it, but I've heard voiced by many others in different ways, that "the guy who gets to where he wants to be first wins."
It's a simple idea on the surface, and like all essential truths it is just that: a truth so simple we sometimes, perhaps often, overlook it in our human predilection to over-complicate things.
The components of my game have changed or sharpened at purple belt to be sure, but in watching my end of blue belt tournament footage and my purple belt footage now, some commonalities are clear: Deep half-guard to over/under pass, knee through passing which facilitates either leg weave (Terrere) or then in response an effort to knee through pass/underhook battle and pass again.
I'm beginning to implement in my live rolling more omoplatas, more torreando/x-pass and backstep passing but it only pops up occasionally when I compete at this point.
At any rate, the grind continues.
Good luck and happy training.