What would you say is the most important thing for receiving a BJJ black belt? Sure enough, it’s the techniques and the proficiency you’ll use them with. You just can’t get your black belt if your technique isn’t sharp!
However, there’s a lot more to becoming a BJJ black belt than that.
A BLACK BELT HAS DEVELOPED PATIENCE
It takes a lot of time to become a BJJ black belt. And within that time, there are even more struggles to learn the techniques, lots of competition wins and losses, injuries, confusion… So what does every Jiujiteiro have to develop if he/she wants to become a black belt?
It’s patience! If you don’t develop patience along the way, you’re not going to stick around for long enough to receive the „ultimate“ promotion. You’ll probably quit before you get your blue belt.
Every highly skilled Jiujiteiro developed patience and respect for the treacherous path they’re on. And so should you.
A BLACK BELT NOTICES WHAT HE HAS TO WORK ON
A BJJ black belt has, with time, developed not only patience – but a great deal of self-awareness as well. This means that he doesn’t take Jiu Jitsu and its techniques for granted anymore; but that he notices what needs work.
He understands which of his techniques need the most attention, which need fine-tuning, and which he shouldn’t even focus on. Indeed, he doesn’t only know this; but actively works on improving in these aspects of his game.
A BLACK BELT DOESN’T GIVE UP
Much in similarity with patience – if you want to become a BJJ black belt, then you have to develop a mindset of never giving up.
Jiu Jitsu is a tough road to travel, and it does get overwhelmingly difficult from time to time. But just because it’s difficult doesn’t have to mean that you should quit! On the contrary; on your path to improvement, you should switch your mindset from the one that runs away from difficulties to the one that welcomes them.
You’ll do it because you know that where there’s a difficulty, there’s an opportunity too.
A BLACK BELT KNOWS HOW TO EXPLAIN
It’s not just about the execution of techniques that you become refined in on your black belt quest; but it’s the ability to explain these techniques that you get extremely good at, too.
What this means is that you’ll be able to explain even the most complex of moves to just about anyone, no matter their belt and knowledge levels. This is because you’ll know and understand the techniques so well, that you’ll be able to „translate“ them into the most simple of languages to everyone who wants to listen.
And, as they say, the ability to convey complex things in a simple manner is the true mark of expertise.
A BLACK BELT KNOWS HOW TO ADJUST TO EACH BELT LEVEL
You’ve probably noticed how it’s almost like your coach has a lot of different „BJJ personalities“. He can go pedal to the metal with those who are highly skilled; and yet go slower and more gradually with those who are just beginning to learn the ropes of the trade.
This is a skill, too. And as you become a skilled Jiujiteiro, you will have to develop it as well; the skill of being able to adjust to everyone you roll with.
This doesn’t mean that you’ll just „roll light“ with those who know less than you. It means that you’ll be able to roll in such a way that you’re challenging them to use what they’ve learned in the most effective way possible.