So we have a belt test coming up at the end of this month. This will be the second one that's come up since I've started. The first one was just a couple weeks after I started, but still, the concept made me feel horrible. At least that time I was so new that I wasn't expected to test.
This time though...it's a bit different. It's not that deep fear that showed up last time. This time is more like dread. Like I'm not yet fully recovered from school. I finished grad school incredibly tired of having to meet goals and deadlines and prepare for exams. That's mostly worn off, but I'm still a bit scarred. I guess that's what happens when you stretch school out for the sake of work. It's harder to get out of that pass/fail/everythingrestsonthisoneexam mentality.
I feel a bit relieved because I'll be out of town the day of the test, but I'm trying to take as much of what I out of my reaction. I'm taking it to mean that I'm not confident in the techniques that I do know...that I need to talk to my instructor about what we'll be tested on and that I need to stick with going three times a week to get down the skills I want and establish the confidence I'm missing. I'm also taking it to mean that I haven't quite made my BJJ progress my own.
One of the beautiful things about BJJ is that it's very much alive. Your instructor sees you every time you step on the mat and sees your live performance against varying degrees of resistance. He/She knows where you are at. Have absolutely zero worries my friend. Nothing gets decided on the day. It's a day of celebration, not evaluation. The evaluation is continuous :)
"Nothing gets decided on the day."
This is huge. For some reason I was completely ignoring the fact that they see my progress every night I'm there training.
Thanks so much...that really helped put my mind at ease.
I completely agree with Liam. At our school, we don't have belt tests. But Fabio does announce when he is going to promote people. He'll say, "Next Friday a couple of people are being promoted." A lot of times, the newer people will go hog-wild on belt promotion day, thinking that if they submit the crap out of everyone they roll with, Fabio might promote them. But Fabio has already made his decisions usually weeks before he actually promotes someone. Like Liam said, your instructor takes into account all of your progress. It doesn't rest on just one day, whether it be a really good day or a really bad day.
Also, I am a big time perfectionist and I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform. That kills my game. The more I try to focus on "being good at BJJ" and "getting better" the less I am actually present when I roll. My mind is too occupied by worrying about what other people are thinking when I'm rolling and I don't have my head in the actual game.
On the good days when I can stop myself focusing on what people think, I roll MUCH better. All the pressure is off. I remember that I am there for fun, because I love BJJ. I relax. And then the rolling happens naturally.
So, to end my long-windedness, don't put too much pressure on yourself!! :)
Thanks A.D...I really would prefer a no-test environment since I think it would help me concentrate on learning, but that's something I need to achieve despite a test. Thanks!
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