Your First Stripe in Jiu-Jitsu

The very start of your training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is at once the most exciting time and the most frustrating time.

It is the most exciting because every class reveals a new technique that solves one of your problems.

It is the most frustrating because more often than not, you are the “nail and not the hammer”.

Many who try jiu-jitsu abandon the classes, finding it confusing, overwhelming, and frustrating. Starting at the bottom of learning any complex skill – like a new language – is difficult enough.

But when your mistakes result in your opponent strangling or arm-locking you, one can see how this compounds the challenge!

For those that persevere, one day your instructor calls you to the front of the class and places a small piece of white tape on the black bar of your belt.

You got your first stripe!

What does this mean?

It is a step on a long journey that is both challenging and rewarding. Your instructor recognizes that you have been attending class regularly and starting to absorb the techniques.

Your execution of the basics still has some rough edges but you are aware of what you should be trying to do in those positions.

You will likely have trained some techniques for common self-defense situations.

Your warm-up movements are not as exhausting and awkward as those few classes where you sweated and gasped while shrimping your way down the mat.

Now when you see two fighters go to the ground in MMA, it is no longer a boring, confusing tangle of limbs. You start to appreciate the chess game involved in ground fighting.

You have a few sweeps, takedowns, submissions, and a guard pass or two that you can demonstrate.

It is a great time in your BJJ life and a that first stripe is a little encouragement for you to continue your study of jiu-jitsu.

Enjoy your accomplishment!

Read also: A Smart Student Asks Questions!


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