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."