Over a series of 4 posts I introduced my idea of writing about the 5 lies that helped shape my view on BJJ and grappling. I talked about
the first of the 5 lies of BJJ: To avoid pain, just tap when you get caught!
and my oh my did the post receive a massive response. Within a couple of hours there were over 20 comments (now over 35! all very valid and extremely well written) on Facebook and I'm sure there are more now. I thank everyone who took the time to read the post and comment on it and Graham for taking the time to write a post inspired by mine on his excellent blog.
Later on that week I talked a little about the second lie that helped shape my view on this amazing martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and that lie is:
-BJJ / Grappling is for everyone!
The third lie that helped shape my view on this amazing martial art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is:
-You don't have to compete to get good at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! The Third Lie in BJJ.
And the fourth lie is:
-Training no-gi BJJ will transfer into your gi BJJ! The fourth lie in BJJ / Grappling
To conclude this series of blog posts, I give you my opinion on the fifth lie in BJJ that, ever since understanding it, changed my outlook and enjoyment of the sport and art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
-In BJJ, It's not about the colour of your belt!
Is the colour of your belt in BJJ important? Some instructors (and practitioners alike) will tell beginners that the belt colour isn't really important. That it isn't really a big deal. That they should just focus on training and getting better at grappling and the belts will just come with time, as if getting good at grappling and BJJ and thinking about where you are along the development curve (as symbolised by the 5 coloured belts in BJJ: white, blue, purple, brown and black) are two mutually exclusive concepts. Belt colours in BJJ are treated with the same hypocrisy as the joy of sex in most orthodox abrahamian religions: you're not supposed to want it or covet it, but if you're really really good it'll be bestowed upon you, in abundance!
The truth of the matter is, the belts in BJJ are a big deal, for many reasons, and to say otherwise and then get emotional (happy, sad, excited, jealous, scared, constipated) when you or a peer are given a new belt indicates that you aren't being completely honest with yourself. It is what it is and while I sincerely believe that belts are, more than anything, tools for the instructor to know how tailor her instruction to the learner(s) she is faced with, I still know that when someone receives a new belt there's good reason to congratulate them. It IS a fantastic achievement and a milestone. It's freaking awesome, so way give people guilt for wanting it?
So next time someone says "Nah I don't care about belts. They come when they come. I just want to get good at grappling!" tell them "Good for you! I really want to reach mine". No need to burst their bubble. No need to NOT congratulate them when they do get to the next belt (just to make a point). No need to put some nasty comment when they update their Facebook status telling the world how happy they are about their new BJJ belt. In the words of Skipper, the penguin captain from Madagascar: "Just smile and wave boys, smile and wave". The belts in BJJ are still a very important part of the art.
Liam "The Part Time Grappler" Wandi ----Did You Like This Article?--- Click here to add The Part Time Grappler to your Favourites / Bookmarks