Black belt means a new beginning.
There are many types of BJJ blackbelts across the world. The tournament and World Champions, the self-defense masters, as well as older and younger professors of our great art.
I decided to write a blog to help all blackbelts, but especially those newer ones who don’t have a school, aren’t competing anymore and are kind of just hobbyist who worked hard to get to this point.
Learn as much as you can!
In your mind, you have have reached the pinnacle of BJJ by earning your blackbelt. This is just the beginning. If you let it, jiu-jitsu will open up to you in a whole new way. You may get more critical of yourself here, but always try to be better.
First, never stop being a student, learn as much as you can. Really start looking at the simplest details of everything.
- Why is this important?
- Why do I do this in this position?
- Ask more questions of your instructor and fellow blackbelts.
- Try to learn from everyone’s mistakes.
This past year I had Rickson Gracie blackbelt Henry Akins to my Academy for a couple of days. The visit was mind blowing to me. I noticed that his jiu-jitsu was much more efficient than mine and so was many simple techniques and concepts he was teaching. I immediately went to work correcting and adding many new things into our Fundamentals program. Changing things to become more efficient.
My friend Rafael Lovato Jr and I speak of this often as well. I want to do everything as efficiently as possible; as perfectly as possible. I want to become more efficient every day by using as little energy as I probably can to achieve what I want. I want perfection in the details like:
- guard recovery
All of these tiny details will make the difference in my game.
The goal is to get better every day. I always tell my students “you are only as good as your worst position.” Always improve.
- How is my guard? Can I finish from here?
- Can I pass? Can I pass to mount?
- Can I hold the mount? Can I finish from the mount
- How is my Wrestling? My Judo? My takedown defense?
- Leglocks are popular now. How are my leg submissions? My defense?
- How are my escapes?
There is always something else to be learned, your jiu-jitsu will never be perfect, but we can always strive for perfection.