I went to the beginner class at Lincoln BJJ on Thursday, and it was weird to be the only blue belt there. I still feel like I should train in more of the beginner classes, but I prefer training in the advanced. There are several reasons for that (earlier class times, longer class times, I know everyone there), but maybe it’s also partly because when I’m with the advanced students and I can’t pass guard, sweep, reverse, or submit anyone, then I can tell myself “Well, it’s just because they’re all much better than me.”, but when I’m training with white belts and I can’t get anything going, then I feel kind of stupid (especially when I’m wearing a blue belt).
I try to bear in mind that I am a “little old lady” training primarily with much younger men, but to make myself feel better, sometimes I just focus on the “almosts”. On Thursday, I almost tapped out a two-stripe white belt. I almost passed the guard of a Judo black belt. I almost got submitted, but I was able to just get swept instead.
It’s even more difficult when Greg limits our options, and takes away some of my favorite techniques, which he did on Thursday. No toreando pass, no spider guard? The horror, the horror! However, working with white belts is the perfect time to practice the things I don’t do as well, so I try to embrace the opportunity for growth, instead of lamenting the fact that I feel like a total loser.
Yeah, maybe at times the new students are using excessive strength or size against me, but I still feel as though at this point in my training I should be able to overcome that more. With four years behind me, sometimes it’s difficult to not feel bad when guys who only have a few months of training are able to negate my techniques, but I ain’t mad at them. They’re helping me find the holes in my game, and it’s certainly keeping my ego in check!
The funny thing is, even when I do well against the newer students, and especially when I submit one of them, I usually still feel a little bad, because I don’t want anyone to be discouraged (or to get mad at me). I suppose that’s another reason why I prefer training with the advanced students, but I’m trying to get over it. In my estimation, as long as they don’t quit, all of the white belts (both current and future), will eventually be able to beat me (so I should probably keep trying to get it while I can! ;). They say the best way for everyone to learn is to tap, and it doesn’t really matter who does it.
“Got nuttin but love for ya, do your thing, boy.” -Tupac