I received a lot of compliments from the white belts I trained with in the beginner classes I attended at Lincoln BJJ this past week. I had never rolled with some of them before, and they seemed surprised by the experience. They gave me tons of respect, and some of the things they told me were that my chokes and armbars are tight, my side control is hard to escape, and my guard retention and recovery skills are incredible.
It’s usually easy for me to blow off compliments from white belts, because I know I’m still getting smashed by the advanced students, but I think I have to admit that their positive assessment of my skills isn’t wrong. Some of the white belts don’t grapple with blue belts very often, and when they roll with me they realize that my knowledge is more advanced, despite the fact that I feel as though I’m not as far along as I should be.
When Josh said on his blog that he didn’t think he was in too much danger of being submitted by white belts, my first thought was that I couldn’t relate, but lately I’ve realized that even when the white belts are much younger and stronger than I am, it’s rare that those without previous training can submit me (unless I give them pointers). I don’t win every battle or always tap them, but I definitely feel like my Jiu-Jitsu is at a higher level.
The other day Bhuvana told me that if she read my blog but didn’t know me, she would believe that I didn’t have any skills in BJJ, but since she’s trained with me and seen me in action, she thinks I’m amazing. She said I shouldn’t say that I suck anymore, because I don’t, but sometimes it’s hard for me to not feel like I do, when most of my experiences involve me tapping in the advanced classes. Then I realized that just because the colored belts who I train with are better than I am, it doesn’t mean I’m not any good myself. If the grappler I was when I was a white belt could roll with the blue belt I am now, she would probably think I was pretty awesome.
“Bet you didn’t think I knew how to rock ‘n’ roll.
Oh, I got the
boogie-woogie Jiu-Jitsu right down in my very soul.” -Eric Clapton