Sunday, December 19, 2010
The Color Purple
I haven’t laid down a blog post in quite some time—primarily, because I’ve been in the throws of a lot of technical writing for a few consulting gigs that I’ve picked up. So, the last thing I want to do is associate something that feels like work with something that I love, that being Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; for the “Gentle Art” does mean so much to me. The mats have really been a source of refuge for me during some somewhat stressful times over the past few months.
My training has been going well, with a lot of attention being placed on making my guard more and more active. I feel like my closed guard, especially a high closed guard, has improved a bit. My open guard is still my most vulnerable position off my back. My half-guard has probably been my most improved position this year, and sometimes I slip to it just because I’m really getting comfortable playing sweeps and taking the back from this position.
A few days ago, I received a bit of a surprise. In the wake of this surprise, I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, and really feel the sense of urgency to dial up my training even more. Professor Ricardo put a purple belt on me. Truth be told, I’ve gotten pretty comfortable with my blue belt, and was thinking that maybe next summer I’d be in a position to start pondering the purple. But he disagreed with me, and told me it was time. I told him that it was “too early”, but he said “I know what I’m doing, Larry.” So he put it on me. I was pretty humbled by this. I started my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey a little over 4 years ago. It’s truly changed my life, and how I handle day to day issues off the mat. I owe so much to what this Martial Science has done for me, and I really want to represent its principles the best I can.
Right now, I think I’d get destroyed on the national competition scene, and I have a lot of growing to do to really grow into the belt, but I’m committed to making it happen. I’ve been pretty “happy go lucky” about my training over the past few months, and this promotion has really sobered me up to the reality that I have a lot of work to do.
I’ve heard it said that only 15% of people who begin Brazilian Jiu Jitsu actually make it to the purple belt. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I’m committed to upholding the standards of this belt to the best of my ability. I’ve got a pretty tough core group of guys who I train with, and guarantee them that they’ll get the best of the LTrain in 2011, and we’ll get better together. I’ll try to get another post or two in before the end of the year, but will take this opportunity to wish anyone who reads this post a Merry Christmas, and a Happy Holiday Season.
With much respect,
Larry, the LTrain