Today, June 10, marks my two year anniversary of receiving my blue belt from my instructor, Shawn Hammonds. It’s making me feel really reflective on the past several years. I was trying to think of what I want to share on this momentous occasion, and I decided to share something that has been on my mind for a while now.
The blue belt blues are real. After my first year as a blue belt I really just started feeling stagnant and stuck in a rut. I’ve actually felt like my technique has gotten worse and that I overall just suck and want to go back to being a white belt again. It has come across in my competition as well as I have been feeling outmatched a lot more in the second year of my blue belt.
Logically, I know that I don’t suck. I am just growing and my mind is starting to open to possibilities. It’s kind of like being a new white belt again who is at the “I understand what I need to do, but I can’t make my body respond quickly enough to follow through.” It’s irritating because I can see where I can spin underneath someone and clamber onto their back like a spider monkey, but I can’t seem to execute it quickly enough in order to finish the move.
What Saved Me:
I understand completely why a lot of people fade away once they reach their blue belt. I realized about 6 months ago that I had to decide if I was going to quit, or push on. I decided I have put too much energy and effort into training for me to quit because I was frustrated. I also recognize that I would need to change something and gain a new perspective in order to get out of the rut I was in.
I went for a weight class change. I’ve competed as a light weight (141.5 lbs) for the previous years and decided I would make the drop to feather weight (129 lbs). It was tough, but I did it, and it re-energized and re-focused me! I am a former chunky kid and that was the lightest I have ever been since puberty hit.
In The Meanwhile:
So now I still feel kind of like I am crawling out of the rut, but I can feel that I am making forward movement and that is enough to keep me going. I know my time will come when I break through and hit my stride. And it will be glorious to behold!
Right now I am making plans to go compete in the IBJJF New York Open next month. I can’t wait! It feels like forever since I have gotten to do a gi and no gi competition and it is gonna be great fun!