Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Third Stripe Grading

I just passed my third stripe grading. I would like to say that I feel relieved and I would also like to say that I feel good. But I do not feel relieved or good. I made a mistake that I will not make again and I am happy that I learned it now, early in the game. I tried to catch too many rabbits.

Sticking to the learning of fundamentals must trump all other learning, hype, or pursuit of accolades when concerning growth and development in BJJ. I must start at the beginning, move up step by step, and embrace and nurture fundamentals before moving forward if I truly care about BJJ. Foundation is everything and I lost sight of that for the past few weeks.

My error in this grading was focusing not only on the third stripe curriculum, but trying to tackle the fourth stripe list as well. I have a basic grasp of all of it, third and fourth stripe; a few private lessons with professor go a long way. But rather than turning out a spectacular grading performance, I felt mine was lack luster. I am ashamed and not because of what anyone else saw because it was not that bad visually, but because I hold myself to a standard that I feel I did not meet tonight. I am capable of nailing every single technique but my loss of focus killed that potential. I feel undeserving of my new stripe.

However, the stripe on my belt does not define me, I define the stripe on my belt. And I am pissed off just enough with myself to train harder and focus more on the basics. My new stripe will laugh at me every class and every roll until I set things right. And I can't wait to start all over again... ;)


P.S. If you try to catch too many rabbits, you will not catch any.