First off, let me say welcome to our first blog post!
I thought a lot about what topic I should cover for my initial blog post, then while rolling with a blue belt it hit me. This blue belt is extremely skillful at hitting the D’Arce choke from many different positions, and is extremely sneaky when setting it up. He is a blue belt, I am a black belt. Should the black belt seek advice from a blue belt? Simply put…ABSOLUTELY! When we concluded our roll I humbly asked him about some of his set ups and techniques. I gained some very valuable knowledge from him that day, and it all wasn’t about technique.
Everyone who has been on the mat for any amount of time has heard the expression “leave your ego at the door”. This, I learned, applies to many aspects of our time spent on the mat. Many people refuse to ask questions to someone who is wearing a belt of lower color. I’m not speaking of a brown belt inquiring an experienced purple belt about how he passed his guard. I’m speaking of that same brown belt asking a new blue belt how he defended that submission or stuffed that sweep. We can all learn from each other if we just let it happen.
At least once a month during class I pick a specific topic to teach and have purple belts on down, in order, show their favorite techniques on the topic. I was pleasantly surprised to see some of the little details people have picked up from live rolling that works for them, and share with the rest of us. Being a black belt doesn’t mean I can only learn from attending seminars, or training with other high belt ranks. Everyone has different experiences in their jiu jitsu journey, just as everyone has different variations of techniques that work for them, and most are more than willing to share. Again, “leave your ego at the door”, open your mind and be willing to learn every time you step on the mat.
Keep training, stay healthy and enjoy the ride!