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вторник, 25 мая 2010 г.

Journey to Blue Belt


The Blue Belt is the first grade in jiu jitsu and perhaps one of the most sought after. One of the first things white belts aim to get is not success in competition but the blue belt actually. Of course it is not the belt itself that people seek but the level of technical proficiency that the blue belt represents.

What I think is important however is to focus first on being a great white belt. First try to be the best white belt that you can be.

At the start of your journey you will tap and lose to everyone. Even white belts that have gone to a few classes, but with time this will change. The initial improvement in jiu jitsu can be very quick and soon you will tap newcomers to the sport with armbars and triangles yourself, passing their guard and mounting them since they do not even have a vague understanding of the concepts.

Once this stage has passed, there will be a group of guys that have been going to classes for several months now, all still white belts but already dedicated to develop the skills further.

You should focus on developing your technique and at some stage you see that your technique allows you to overcome these beginners who already know something about the basics of jiu jitsu.

Once you are regularly tapping many of the newcomers, its time to test yourself in competition. You may have six months or more experience on the mat nad this time you get to test yourself against similar white belts in a competition setting.

Winning in a division with 20 or so guys demonstrates that you are a quality white belt, that you have mastered well the techniques of jiu jitsu.

The last test at white belt once you have accomplished something in competition is to test yourself against bigger guys. At your academy you are bound to find guys that are bigger than you and are still at white belt. Choose some guys that maybe 15-20 pounds heavier than you and test your skills in this case.

You will be at a weight and size disadvantage but this is exactly what you want. You want to test not you strength or athletic ability but your jiu jitsu. If you can sweep several guys that are 20 pounds heavier than you, then this should tell you that your technique is working.

This is a way of progression that I see in jiu jitsu. It is based on where you are relative to fighters of the same grade. The more often you train, the faster you will progress and develop you defensive and attacking game.

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