My initial Facebook reaction for receiving my first stripe at Blue Belt on November 23rd, 2019:
Got my first stripe at blue. A silly piece of tape that means nothing but yet means everything. I started at age 40. I am never going to be the younger, faster, more athletic or stronger grappler. However, I will be a good student, partner and teammate. I will keep learning and do everything I can to represent my school and my Professor in a positive manner.
BJJ Dentist Receives his First Stripe on his Blue Belt
It took me a LONG time to get over my Blue Belt guilt. I did not feel I was worthy of the belt as I have a very good appreciation and understanding of the Jiu Jitsu Belt Rankings.
I have been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Professor Angelus for almost 3.5 years. The sport is such a physical and mentaly challenging endeavor. I have been training consistently 3 to 4 times a week and putting in 5 to 7 hours a week. The only times I have not trained is when I was injured or out of town. After all this time, I barely have an understanding of BJJ. It is an immensely complex art.
Leading up to promotion day I did not care or have expectations I would get a stripe. That was up to my Professor. My goal for starting BJJ was and continues to be one of physical fitness. Yet, I was happy when my name was called.
A piece of tape you can buy at the store is not valuable. What is extremely valuable is the acknowledgement from Professor Angelus that he has seen my BJJ and feels I have earned a stripe. Professor Angelus comes from a VERY strong lineage. Our school’s rankings and progressions are slow and not automatic.
The best thing about receiving a stripe is the small little private talk Professor Angelus has with you while he puts on the little piece of tape. He is like the Oracle telling Neo what he needs to hear.
The message is private and only for you. Professor Angelus gives you a quick message while putting on the tape. Honestly, to me the short personalized message is worth all the pain and suffering I have endured for the past 1.5 years since I received my Blue Belt.
For me, I think my long term stripe progression is going to be 20% BJJ skills with the rest coming from being: a good teammate, consistently showing up to class, constant positive attitude, being a good uke, rolling safely with newer, smaller or weaker teammates and representing my school in a positive fashion. At my school and at opens mats I still get dominated and lose rolls way more than I win. I am Ok with that. My victories are way different then just tapping people. Everyone has different goals out of their Jiu Jitsu. If I am a Blue Belt for 10 years that is fine. I will still be having fun with my teammates and working out. Although I am very dedicated to BJJ, it is a Hobby for me. I have my family and my dental office that come first. That piece of tape is not going to make me crush that athletic 25 year old 3 stripe white belt at open mat.
I will remember that this silly piece of tape is worth nothing, but yet means everything.
Jiu Jitsu in Houston
If you are looking for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school in Houston, I encourage you to look at Ravlin Martial Arts.