Don’t get to attached to the belts… but also don’t detach yourself from them either!  The belts ARE important.  I remember not caring about the belts.  In fact ‘not caring’ so greatly that I was ‘stuck’ at brown belt for 13 years.  (Yes, I was training the entire time too) There was a point where I gave up on the belts.  I figured I would just train and not worry about the belts anymore.  The problem with this mentality is that you’ve chosen not to progress… In BJJ the belts actually mean something.  It’s the reason there’s not millions of BJJ black belts.  You also don’t see kids with BJJ black belts either.  (You have to be 16 for blue and 19 for black)  The BJJ Black Belt is probably the most difficult black belt to achieve of any martial art.  I personally have earned three black belts outside of BJJ… they were all very challenging, but nothing like earning my BJJ black belt.  If you feel stuck then here’s some tips that may help:

  1. Talk to your professor.  Set up a private lesson to discuss your progress and to set some concrete goals.  Your teacher will appreciate you taking an active interest in your progress and building a good relationship with them.
  2.  No Comparisons.  Don’t compare your progress with others.  This is a path to ‘insanity’.  You will make yourself crazy and Jiu-Jitsu will not be fun.  This is YOUR path not someone else’s.  And frankly it’s not your business when someone is or isn’t promoted.  It’s not your job to be the professor.  Focus on your journey and your progress.
  3. Become the belt you want to be!  Don’t wait until you receive your blue belt to act like one.  Train as if you’re the belt above you!  If you’re purple act like a brown belt.  Don’t settle for where you are… move to where you want to be.
  4. It’s okay to move on.  If you’re not happy at your current school and you feel like it’s not going to change… then maybe move on.  There are plenty of options in most decent sized cities for a move to a new school.
  5. Jiu-Jitsu is HARD!  Accept that this isn’t easy… never will be and enjoy the journey.  Surrender ‘total control’ and have fun!

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