The value of stripes part two

Kroyler’s Pro-Tip on the value of the third and fourth stripes on your white belt:

So,picking up where we stopped last week…

1.White Belt 3 stripes:

a.This is the layman that has become infatuated with the art, that looks forward to coming in as often as possible. This is the layman that may have tapped a few people in the gym, other white belts to be clear. This is the layman that can now perform most of the beginner techniques correctly during a drilling exercise session, not necessarily in rolling, as a resisting live opponent may change their performance level, although they may feel they can. Specially if they buffer the shortcomings of their technique with athleticism or a physical attribute.They however don’t understand why they are so tired after rolling when the higher belts aren’t, they believeit’sdue to their better physical shape.This is the white belt that starts to think they are ready for their 4thstripe specially the more successful they become rolling with other white belts.

Well...This is the white belt that is finally becoming aware of the mistakes they make as they are happening instead of after they happen. They also focus on their wins and their “toughness”.They believe they are at a point in their journey that they can see the big picture. They can see where they want to go.However,consideringthe pool of knowledge and experience at this point is very shallow, what they think they see and whatis, are two different things.

2.White Belt 4 stripes:

a.This is the layman that no longer cares that he is tired after every roll, he feels that is how he’ll get into the shape that theupper beltsare as they clearly don’t get as tired as he is. He may feel as far as the white belts go he is the top dog. And he may very well tap most if notallthe other white belts. They may even trouble a few of the baby blue belts, and once in a blue moon even tap them. They may have seen the entirebeginner’scurriculum by now. They may even be able to performallthe techniques in said curriculum well during drilling exercise sessions. They may even be able to pull most of those in a live roll, albeit with a buffer such as athleticism or physical attributes.They make less and less mistakes, in comparison to the other white belts. They may start recognizing techniques earlier and earlier specially against the people they roll against more regularly. Their basic techniques,grasp of basic concepts,movements, and etiquette are solid.Meaning at this point hopefully you have built asolid foundation to which you can build your jiu-jitsu on.

These are also the white belts thatstart to feel that their performance in comparison to other white belts sets them apart, makes them shine, and that they deservethe blue belt. That it’s a matter of time. That there is nothing left to learn in thebeginner’scourse specially once they have seen it all. That they are on equal footing as the recently graduated blue belt. They must be careful to not lose their vision. Because their peers, other layman and maybe baby blue belts, may struggle with them, they feel their knowledge and ability to be superior to them. That is not the case.Your ability to perform is reflecting the growth in your knowledge and your ability to physically perform the techniques you know, and anyshortcomings you can buffer with athleticism. However, you must never forget that just because their pool of knowledge got a little deeper it does not meanit’sas deep as they think it may be. Or to relate to last weeks podcast, just because they now know what the chest board looks like, what the pieces look like and their properties,it by no means mean they can actually play the game effectively yet...It simply means they are improving, improving on the layman they were 4 stripes ago, hell even 1 stripe agoand hopefully on who they were in their last class.Continuous improvement IS the name of the game NOT compare and contrast.

If you look back at last weeks episode the first few stripes where individuals learning to use their body and trying to harness the value of the art. That happened because they saw a need for it. Now these white belts described today are the white belts that may, if they aren’tcareful, be on a different journey as they are now looking to compare instead of improving.Now as you all listen some of you will say that’s not me.Sure,it may not be you today, or every day, but somedays it is you.Don’t compare just improve.

My point here is that the goal of Jiu-Jitsu, and the goal of this Kroyler’s Pro-Tip, is to continuously study, grow, improve, develop better reflexes and become better than your previous self. Meaning what? It is more important that you are better after each class than you were at the end the previous class. Not that you have new stripes or a new color on your waist. Remember we all started training jiu-jitsu for a reason whether it was to develop confidence, courage, to help you protect yourself, to escape daily life, to have fun, to learn an incredibly intricate art, to have friends,etc.etc. We didn’t start jiu-jitsu because we wanted to have a stripe or a promotion, hell we didn’t even know those things existed when we started. Why do we make that the focus of our amazing journey instead of making the focus of our path simply to become better than whom we were?Furthermore,you must become the belt or the stripe, not earn it.

I am an incredibly  tough proctor because I literally don’t care about promoting people to new stripes.Not that they don’t deserve it, but simply that’s literally not even on my mind when I am teaching or coaching.I very often forget to promote my students.My sole focus is to make each of my students improve, to make them better, to help them achieve their goals. Any instructor worth their weight will agree those things are far more important than simply a new piece of tape on their belt.

Now I am not talking about changing belt colors so don’t misconstrue what I sayKip andPaul… I will discuss that mentality and what to expect in each of those transitions in the next one.

Kip Dice