One of the things we are talking about in classes is setting the goal of becoming an advanced martial artist. To be advanced in our youth program that is a belt rank of yellow/black, and in our adult program the first advanced belt is the purple belt. In either case, it is a 4-5 year commitment to practicing jiu-jitsu. It is a worthwhile goal for the physical side- learning self-defense, having a hobby that allows you to be active, and having a lifelong skill.
But really the more important development that is going to happen is on the mental side of the training. Learning how to become more resilient, more focused, more disciplined, and more capable of setting and achieving large and small goals.
Becoming an advanced martial artist won’t be for everyone. Some students will be happy and content to get a good understanding of the basics- and that is still time well spent. But for those of you who want to become advanced yourself or have kids who are thinking of becoming advanced, I wanted to tell you that there isn’t really too early of a time to set that goal for yourself.
I got it in my head when I was still a white belt that I’d be a black belt. At that early stage, it felt a little crazy to be setting my sights on a goal that takes students roughly 10 years to achieve. I hadn’t achieved anything else in my life that required a similar level of commitment. There were a lot of great opportunities to give up along the way. I really and truly think I never would’ve made it to any of my advanced belts let alone black belt if I hadn’t set that big goal for myself so early.
When I look back on setting that goal,I was a 22 year old slacker. I think man, what made me aim high? I hadn’t aimed high at anything else in my life ever. The answer that comes to me is that I thought being a black belt would make my life better. With two black belts today in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo, I can confirm- young Will was right- life is much better. And it’s not better because my coach tied a black piece of fabric around my waist, although that was an honor. It’s better because of the person I had to become- the changes and improvements I had to make to my habits and mindset that spilled over into other areas of my life.
So, I tell you all of this to say, if you want to make it to that advanced level- we are going to be here to help you every step of the way. Our goal as a school is to produce advanced martial artists. The Dojo is coming up on its 10 years anniversary in a few months. We’ve produced many, many, advanced students and we are getting close to producing some of our first home grown black belts.
I’d love to see you or your kids make that advanced level with us at the dojo- and the first step to getting there is to set that goal.
We’re looking forward to helping you grow and improve in 2021!