Well, I am so happy to have survived the first month as a blue belt. My initial
fear faded, no serious injuries came, and people treated me the same as before.
Of course, my standard of survival was not winning but simply enjoying the daily
I heard a lot about it before and maybe had the blue belt blues for a couple of
days after being promoted on Nov 18, feeling undeserving. I soon recovered as I
kept showing up and feeling no shame in tapping. So it might simply have to do
with maturity as I remembered this quote from Douglas Engelbart, the inventor of
the computer mouse,
The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the
embarrassment he can tolerate.
Getting older has some upside, after all.
I read some posts on the topic of BJJ promotions. I liked what Tom DeBlass's
youtube message for new blue belts. He believed the blue belt was the toughest
belt there was for the huge range of skill levels. I have been doing what he
encouraged people to do: keep the discipline, just show up, and do not let
plateaus or being submitted by white belts stop training. I really liked the
article titled "Be Honest, If Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Never Had a Belt System, Would
You Still Do It?" by Mike Mrkulic who quoted Saulo Ribeiro saying
Enjoy the days as a blue because once you get your purple you’ll never go
back to blue ever again.
On Dec 27, my former teacher Gene shared an article where it said
... Keep this in mind when you get frustrated training. No matter how many
times you got submitted, you are still doing something positive for your
In a world of striving, achieving, and displaying, people tend to take things
for granted and forget the obvious. It's good to fix the big picture right in
front of our eyes, all the time.
Talking about health, early in the month, Matt taught a great lesson where he
showed ways to stretch the wrist which I instantly liked. He confirmed that
keeping the joint mobile is a way to defend wristlocks. For me, there was
I was caught in an armbar a few months back and straightening the right elbow
had since been painful. I found that everyday, after I stretch the wrists (I have
tight wrists, by the way) in both directions, the pain in my right arm would be
gone. It came back overnight and disappeared again after the next stretch. So I
would kill two birds with one stone by stretching wrists. Eventually, the
ligaments might build up to do "pushups on fins" as Pavel shows in 'The Naked
The last week of the year open-mat training was cancelled to dodge a new wave of
covid. I enjoyed the time-off but got sick, rainy weather ruled out hiking, and
toward the end got restless. I look forward to the New Year.