Navy Seal Commmander Jocko Willink is very disciplined and he’s a Dean Lister black belt to boot. But he believes there’s more to bjj than meets the eye and it has to be about more than just ranking in a belt system.
Still even someone of Willink ‘s stature admits that prior to his bjj training he would’ve been submitted by someone much smaller in stature.
A recent question mailed in to Willink asks: Why have belts if they’re not something to strive for?
Here’s how Jocko explained it:
“He sent me this random thing… You know hey, I don’t know if I want to do this stuff about belts..
At some point jiu-jitsu become a lot more than just belts. Eventually the Jiu-jitsu itself completely bypasses what the belts are and what the belts mean. Now, you say to me well that’s because you’re a black belt. Of course they don’t matter to you, you’re already a black belt… The fact is that didn’t happen to me at black belt, that happened to me at like purple belt. I think about mid way of my purple belt time I had no care whatsoever of what belt color I was. Literally zero. And I just wanted to get better, I just wanted to know more, to keep training and I never even thought about it after that. “
Jocko was also asked if belts from similar martial arts like Judo or army combatives for example could carry over in some way to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. His answer was quite interesting: