Thursday, January 19, 2012

22 + 1 Black Belts

I meant to write this post sooner, but a little thing known as the flu set me back a bit.

This past Saturday, several of my ECU brothers and I traveled to "JOP" (Just Outside of Philadelphia) to attend the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu United's Tenth Anniversary celebration/annual team day. Even though I wasn't at my best, I'm still glad I made the trip.

I guess I'll have to digress slightly and give everyone a little back story. This year's team day almost didn't happen. A sprinkler malfunction flooded BJJ United headquarters. For a time, it looked like Saturday's event might have been cancelled, but BJJ United founder Jared Weiner and the rest of his team worked around the clock to get everything ready for the big day.

When things got started, I was shocked to see how many Black Belts were in attendance. My quick count noted 22 Black Belts. WOW! But my first count was quickly proven incorrect. For only the second time in my BJJ career, I had the privilege of witnessing a Black Belt promotion.

Later, we had the opportunity to train with our teammates and in some cases with the Black Belts in attendance.
While I personally couldn't take advantage of every opportunity, my friends/training partners had nothing but raves about the day.

Thank you to JoJo, Jared, and the entire ECU/BJJ United family for such a great day.

Finally, even a New Yorker like me has to admit that Philly soft pretzels are outstanding.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Growing Stronger!

One of my favorite things about being an ECU student/chronicler is seeing my fellow students make tremendous strides.

BJJ progress isn’t incremental, it’s, as I mentioned in previous post, it’s a matter of when the light goes on. In my case, I’ve felt like my progress has stagnated for a variety of reasons (and sometimes this is reflected in the frequency of my posts), but I’ve learned it isn’t always the case.

It’s not that I’m stagnating, it's more a case of other people’s "light bulbs" lighting up at an astonishing rate.

Tuesday night, I sparred with a new ECU Blue Belt. In the past, I dominated him. We hadn’t rolled in a while, but I still expected more of the same. My eyes were opened! I had to admit that the student I’m talking about had made huge strides. In fact, he did a couple of things that I’m considering adding to my own game.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of who improves when.

JoJo always give us the tools to improve, if we keep training hard and smart, somebody’s next light bulb is just around the corner.