In Bjj, you need on average a good ten years to get the black belt, with sweat, blood and hours on the mat.
As we all know, but have a hard time realizing: the black belt is only the beginning.
Everyone expects something amazing from all BJJ black belts . They must be strong, technical, flexible, and terrorize all partners (lower ranking) on the mat.
When one has no visible rank, as in boxing, grappling or MMA, walking quietly in the academies at an open mat is great. Nobody knows you (although if you are unknown in bjj / Luta Livre, the belt you wear already puts you ‘on a pedestal’) and you can have some fun rolling.
When you are a BJJ black belt, you are pressured by everyone, you arrive, everyone looks at you, you roll, they analyze you, they all want to destroy you … So, you come in there looking to have some fun and get some rolls in, and you get the feeling of finding yourself in a competition.
Talking about the competitions, all black belts are not competition black belts. And to go further, not all competitors in the black belt divisions, are competition black belts.
And yes, older BJJ black belts sometimes get wrecked by competition purple belts (sometimes not even competitor :).
You also understand that apart from the open mat where there are friends, you do not necessarily see black belts rolling with just anybody. At least when you stay at your academy, in your world, you have neither pressure nor to prove yourself We know you, we respect you and then it’s good like that.
When you go out of your comfort zone, it’s tough. You realize that your game is worse than other black belts, your students can see you getting your butt kicked, and even when you want to roll light and ‘keep it playful’ you have a target on your back, with the famous: “Oh he is not very good for a black belt.”
Nick Albin, a 39 year BJJ black belt talks about this in his latest video. He was basically asked: “Are older BJJ Black Belts really even Black Belts anymore?” This issue these older black belts are running into is that as they’re getting older they’re getting beaten by many of the younger Purples Belts (and other belts) who are much younger than them and focused heavily in BJJ training.
So in the video Albin explains his thoughts on it and the struggle that many of us will go through if we were lucky enough to do Brazilian Jiu-jitsu when we were younger and then have the continued luck of doing it as we get older.
Build a strong passing game with over under passes and pressure building that grapplers of any age and level can use, no speed and no athleticism needed.
- Bernardo Faria won 5 black belt IBJJF World Championships using these systems – and now he teaches every detail so it can help you.
- Don’t ever rely on speed or scrambling as Bernardo shows you his systems for controlling the bottom opponent from many different guards and setting up your passes.