White belt, the excitement phase, where the control of force is far away from being part of the gentle art beginner’s life. Hours watching video classes of elaborate techniques in order to arrive at classes and surprise everyone at the time of a specific training or the roll. But will every student who is part of this beginner’s profile be a black belt of success?
As with any learning stage, we are always subject to mistakes and successes. However, persisting in errors is not the best of the options. While white belts, we pass through it all innocently, always dreaming of the day that the black belt will come.
One day, Master Carlos Gracie Jr, in one of his speeches, said: “A black belt is nothing more than a white belt that never stopped training.” Master’s words perfectly fit the journey of life in the gentle art. During the walk until the black belt, there will be many lessons. But how to prevent errors becoming usual and consequently ending up interfering in your formation as a black belt? The 4 most important points that must be worked at this bjj phase are:
1- Learn to listen: At first, the excitement to learn often brings misunderstanding and hurry. When the student gets nervous and flustered, he/she cannot listen to the advice passed by the teacher. Later this could bring problems to him/her, especially if they are thinking about competitions.
2- Do not let jiu-jitsu go to your head: That’s normal that when learning self-defense techniques, you want to show it to your friends. So far so good. What cannot happen at all is the student deciding to pick a fight to try to put what they learned into practice (true case of night clubs).
3- Respect: From the white belt to the black one, on or off the mats, respect always will be the same for everyone. This is one of the pillars that will help in the formation of your character as a human being and gentle art practitioner.
4- Be careful with the ego: Compliments are part of a good performance on the mats, but they do not replace all the aspects still to be worked. You made it right today. Now try to work your weak points as well. After all, a complete fighter is a versatile fighter.