BJJ GATE KEEPER September 10 2014

     Ask your self are you the BJJ Gate Keeper? Are you the next step in some one else’s jiu jitsu Journey? I have had the pleasure to talk to many legends, my teammates and many others on forums and where ever else you could think of about belts, and stripes. The majority seem to play it down that belts and stripes don’t really matter too much, but let’s be honest we are humans and human nature loves progress, accomplishment, and a sense of direction. That is how I view belts and stripes, not that you are better than any one else, but the fact that your very own journey is moving along and gaining more and more knowledge.

     When I first started I was like coach what do I have to learn to get my next stripe? Coach what moves do I have to know to get my next stripe. Coach, can you watch me roll to tell me what I have to do to get to my next stripe. Now I am at a point telling my coach I am not ready for my next belt, and his response is; it’s not up to you what you think you are ready for. I know what you are ready for. I gave him the, I got it coach look and walked away.

      Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an awesome lifestyle that you challenge and prove your belt every roll. Don’t get me wrong guys; I don’t want y’all to kill each other, even though some of y’all do it with out knowing it. Every bang and crash I here in a bjj class is usually the two newest white belts going at it, but seriously if you have a four stripe purple belt rolling with a brand new blue belt, that purple belt is showing and proving that he is the four stripe purple belt for a reason. This goes for any roll going on, on the mat. You are show casing your belt / knowledge with whomever you are rolling with and the coaches are watching. You think they wonder off the mat and grab a bowl of Acai or something, but they’re watching.

      This is where I ask you again; Are you the BJJ Gate Keeper? I know when I coached I put certain students together to see how one does against another. I will put the four stripe white belt against the blues. They might not know it, but I am watching to see how well the white belt does against the blue belts. If he is holding is his own this makes me think this white belt might be ready for the next belt in his journey. If he is tapping blue belts, then I know this person is ready for their next belt.

     Now if the white belt is getting dominated, then I know he is not ready, but it is the responsibility of those blue belts to coach him and help on where and what he did wrong. If the white belt taps and the blue belt walks away then both TEAMMATES have lost. Even though we are each others BJJ Gate Keepers, we are still BJJ Family. We help each other and coach each other. If the blue belt taps all the white belts and never coaches them on why they tapped, then the blue belt will not progress either. If you want to get better, make those around you better. You build your team, you build your self.

     Next time take a moment when testing your self at the end of practice and ask your self are you the Bjj Gate Keeper. You might be the reason some one is either getting a stripe or not. Because of you, some one is getting a new belt or they are not, but with every one helping each other, everyone is progressing.