It came as a bit of a surprise, in fact, I did one of those Oscar winner’s double takes to ensure it was me. Nothing worse than standing up to collect an award only to find it wasn’t your name that was called.
My surprise is based on my thinking that there is so much I don’t know. Even the things I think I know, I don’t know particularly well and there are always additional tweaks to make it better. The number of things to know in BJJ is huge.
BJJ is not a 1 minute to learn, a lifetime to master type of skill. The first minute is hard, as is the first week and month. But eventually, small victories start to creep in. When rolling, something that you learned that was hidden deep in the back of your mind suddenly springs to life, you try it and it works. Hoorah! Then the next guy comes to spar, you are exhausted, mentally and physically, and has you tapping out in the first 5 seconds.
So you may not feel like you are progressing but there are a number of factors to consider. The way you roll, are you using your hips, are you breathing deeply and staying relaxed? Are you using the correct technique rather than relying on brute force and strength? I’m sure there will be bumps along the way and I can see that as you progress through the belts, the time between them becomes longer and longer. But it is a journey, the belts to me are a great way to keep track of your development but I don’t get stressed about it. They will come in time.
So stick to it. I know I will.