What does it mean to finally level up to that first belt?
So, you’ve finally got that crisp new blue belt tied around your waist. Congratulations! The color is vibrant and it juts out on either side resembling the antennas of a bizarre creature. Don’t worry, in time the color will fade and the comical stiffness of your new belt will relax.
So, what happens after you put on your new belt? You’ll feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, knowing that you earned the right to wrap your self with the new piece of fabric.
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But unfortunately, it’s not magic.
The time leading up to receiving your blue belt is unlike any other time in your BJJ journey. You spend the first year or two, or maybe even three feeling your way around in the dark, searching for answers and doing everything you can to gain an understanding of this unique position you’ve elected to put yourself in.
Getting your blue belt means you’ve endured your time in the dark, and maybe now you can see a little bit of light. You’re not an expert yet, but you’ve begun to get a grip on some of the themes you’ve gravitated towards and you’ve taken the first steps in developing what will become your own style. You’ve cultivated some discipline, and you’ve stayed focused. This will play an important factor in the rest of your BJJ journey.
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I remember the day after receiving my blue belt, I showed up at the academy to train. It felt good to put the belt on but I still felt clueless, and often times even now as a black belt, I still do. The belt is a formality in your progression. You won’t instantly get better after you close your gi with it, but it’s a sure sign that your still in the game, and you’ve made it further than most.
The blue belt is a tricky time for a lot of BJJ players. For one reason or another we see a lot of practitioners disappear at this stage. This isn’t a good time for a break. Enjoy your moment but stay the course, you’ve still got lots of work to do.
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