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. “
Both Joe Rogan a JJ Machado/Eddie Bravo Black belt and Willink agree that bjj seems to resonate more with the cerebral individuals.
“That’s the other thing I’ve noticed in teaching kids jiu-jitsu” Willink continues, ” The kids that are a little bit more cerebral… You know the parents will think: my son he’s kind of a nerd, he’s kind of a smart kid I don’t know if he’s going to like it. But the opposite is actually true very often. Where the kid that’s cerebral, he’ll recognize as soon as you show him 3 things . Like you said – his wheels are turning he’s going wait a a second, this is a skill I can learn, and if I can learn to do this and the other guy doesn’t know this I will be able to beat him. And so cerebral kids often get into it even more than you know some kid that’s like a natural bruiser. ”
Rogan seems to agree: “You know 10th planet jiu-jitsu is just filled with nerds. They’re all nerds. Assasin nerds. It’s really kinda interesting. ”
Jocko continued: “And you’re not being facetious when you use the word nerd. Assasin nerds.”
Here’s how Jocko thinks he would’ve managed against a jiu-jiteiro prior to his training:
“Before I knew jiu-jitsu and I was a big Navy Seal 200 pounds – one of those kids that’s 140 pounds would’ve absolutely destroyed me if we’d gotten into a fight. Boom. Take my back. Put me to sleep. “