So What’cha Want

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." -YeatsBefore the advanced class at LBJJC last night, Professor Greg asked me to come into his office, and it felt a little bit like I was in high school, being summoned to the principal’s office, so I thought “Oh no! What did I do?”. Then when he began by telling me “I read your blog post about promotions.”, I started thinking “Oh no! What did I say?”, but it turns out that I didn’t do or say anything wrong, he just wanted to talk to me about my promotion, to clarify some things.

The first thing I told Greg was that I didn’t think I would get the third stripe on my blue belt yet, because I know that my posture and guard passing skills still leave something to be desired, and he admitted that was the very reason he had struggled with the decision of whether or not to promote me this time around, but then he said that he decided I still deserved to advance, because I’m doing well in other areas, and he is especially happy with my open guard skills. However, he also told me that now he wants me to really focus on my posture and passing, to bring them up to the level where they should be.

The Professor said that the outcome of my guard passing attempts was not as important to him as the technical knowledge I displayed within, because he’s fully aware that I’m giving up weight and strength on most everyone I roll with, so even if I do everything perfectly, I still might not be able to pass, but it certainly won’t help if my technique is bad! I know I have recently been making strides in my posture and passing (I even got another pass yesterday on that same blue belt from last week, who I rarely passed before then!), but Greg’s message was that it should be my highest priority right now.

Though she be but little, she is fierce.I had a lot of chances to work on my posture and passing during rolling last night, and I didn’t get swept as often as usual, plus I succeeded with some passes. When I don’t allow myself to fall back into old bad habits, then my technique improves, because I do know what I’m supposed to be doing! I was glad about my passing successes yesterday, but my happiest moment actually came after an incomplete pass, because I got caught in half-guard, and although I never fully passed, I did spend the rest of the roll on top. Then at one point my partner (who was a lot bigger than me), jokingly asked “Why are you so heavy?”, and that question might not typically elicit happiness, but as a 125-pound woman in BJJ, being told that I felt heavy was music to my ears!

I think it’s very cool that I have an instructor who pays attention to my struggles and successes, so he’s able to give me personalized advice, and I believe he does the same thing for all of his students. I really appreciate that Professor Greg cares enough to tell me what I need to work on, and knowing that he thinks I do some things well makes me feel more comfortable about wearing my new stripe. Come to think of it, it was probably the added weight from the additional piece of tape on my belt that made me so heavy yesterday! ;)

“Yeah, you can’t front on that.” -Beastie Boys


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