Sunday, April 7, 2013

Black belts really are magic.

So I have a new goal. Purple belt skill level by year end. When our newest black belt suggested the plan for me, my heart skipped a bit. When I started training, I saw blue belts as incredibly skilled...I knew that if made it there, I'd feel terribly accomplished. After blue though...I lost my vision. I was happy to simply have survived to the first belt. Sure...when asked, I say I think I can make it to black...and I do...but there's something so much more real about purple, which almost makes it seem further away.

But, Friday nights at the end of class, I get feedback and a new position to focus on and understand. Friday night, I was partnered with a wrestler/fighter. He rolls, admittedly, without focus. I hesitate too much. He comes from an athletic background. I uh...don't. We're quite the contrast...but still...we both sat listening to feedback on what we do, what we do wrong, what we do right and how we think. It's one of those moments of jiu jitsu I love...I love pure teaching...real guidance. I love the feedback loop and the improvement process. So I sat and learned about myself...about my hesitation, my lack of confidence, my too-soft grips, my not training enough, my doubting of my own strength, my strength, my understanding of fundamentals, my doing all the right things. I find the picking apart of myself simultaneously embarrassing and exhilarating.

I'm the type of learner who, frustratingly to some teachers, needs to have an understanding of where I'm trying to go to go forward. I don't need to know the path, but I like to be included on the planning. I asked Ryan the difference between the blue and the purple before we even got started, and he told me this:

It's basically like knowing how to get to your destination by taking the most effective route depending on the conditions vs driving in the general direction till you get there...I think that's what separates blue from purple. Then purple and above is basically being a better driver and upgrades on the car.

So yeah...the idea of be even being able to function at near purple level seems like fantasy at this point, but I'm willing to aim for it. My biggest concern though? This. This online stuff. GiFreak takes time and it also takes will. Will that I'm realizing isn't infinite. This past month, between work, a sinus infection, work and general life, I've been drained. Not in a I-need-to-crash-in-front-of-the-TV kind of way, but more like I-need-someone-to-fly-me-to-a-foreign-country kinda way. Last time I felt like this I booked a panicked flight to Montreal.

The technique.

It's a knee block pass, based on pressure. You grab around the top leg, gripping the pant of the bottom at mid thigh, while folding the leg down with the inside the same time you grab the bottom lapel and pull your opponent into you (since they will be trying to stretch themselves). Windshield wiper the trapped leg, sprawl, walk your hips around while pulling the legs to flatten their body. I had issues remembering to move their hips back with my hips while keeping the trailing leg almost against their leg.

Squaring up is a whole different story. This is where I started seeing the black belt magic. I got shown some of the details of maintaining pressure and it was crazy. It honestly felt like one of those bad dreams where something's holding you down and you can't move but there's nothing there. Black magic indeed.


Meghan said...

I really like the analogy of driving. Makes it seem so much clearer! Good luck on your goal (:

Megan said...

Thanks!'s a great analogy.