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I'm a 25 year old writer(Mostly poetry) and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu addict. I have published two books Emotions Volume 1: The Beginning of Turmoil and Emotions Volume 2: Better Days. I also run the blog which can be found here. The blog gives insight on both my Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and writing careers.  

progression in BJJ

Not training on a Saturday morning has got be the strangest feeling in the world. As I laid in the bed this morning I realized without Jiu-Jitsu my life would be pretty damn boring, I also realized I won't go to Mundials this year simply because I can't afford to make the trip :(. Oh well, we'll push that goal back to 2011. That's one of the downsides of training with a smaller team, most of if not all, of your competition expenses come out of your own pocket. The only other downside is that brown and black belts are few and far between. Training with white belts and blue belts is good as it's basically a drilling session for anyone ranking higher, but training with brown and black is where the finer points come into play. Off-balance on top of half-guard say bye-bye to your top position; did you lock a triangle without the foot behind the knee thanks for the free pass. The list goes on but you get the point. The brown belt level is where the precision basics you learned at white and blue begin to mesh with the speed and pressure develop as a purple belt.

Black belt level simply means your personal BJJ game has come full circle. There's a reason black belts are good everywhere folks and that reason is the same reason anyone can make it to black belt should they put in the work. Felipe Costa(Team Brasa, Ryan Hall's coach) said in an interview with thefightworkspodcast.com that he never won any major titles from white to brown. Yet, he has 2 black belt world titles to his name and he just took 2nd at the Pan(formerly as Pan-Ams) last month.

I will leave you with something my track coach once told me: "Your progression is directly linked to your ability to lose and understand why you lose."

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Medals

What you see above is my medal wall. Looking at it reminds me of questions I was asked when I helped to plan the first GrapplersHeart tournament. The question was "Should we give out participation medals? The obvious answer to that is no and I've went into detail on that in other posts, so I won't do that here. However, that does bring me to the subject of this post and that is, "What do medals really mean?"

Well, that depends heavily on who you talk to. Keenan Corneilus says he just tossed them all under his bed after a while. I agree wholeheartedly with that sentiment as medals medals only represent how good you were on that day. I firmly believe as a competitor you're only as good as your last fight. The only thing on that wall that will forever hold meaning is the certificate itself. Why? Because that doesn't represent just one day or one weekend, over a decade of work went into that. Switching schools, injuries, helping keep a school afloat, being…

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1) You've given me an idea or 2) I felt sorry for you, but now I don't because you made feel guilty about complaining and being lazy.

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Breaks

Lots of us couldn't imagine life without training and would train every day if we could. We'd compete every weekend there was a tournament and travel to all IBJJF regional opens, so we could be ready to compete in the Big 4 when they arrive. Are there guys that do that? Yes. However, most of us can't. And even those that do that, go about the process in a very calculated manner. This to make sure they reach their optimum performance level also known as peak at the perfect time for the event with as minimal burnout as possible, of course no burnout is the preferred result. This involves the athlete doing nothing related to their sport 24 hours prior. This is because we don't actually get stronger while training we get stronger by resting after an intense workout, muscle fibers thicken as they repair themselves. Therefore, they get bigger and us by default stronger. It is rest and recovery that makes us stronger not the act exercise itself. This is also true for the lear…