Tom DeBlass: My 5 Tips For White Belts

Tom DeBlass: My 5 Tips For White Belts

Tom DeBlass is a prominent member of the grappling community. The experienced black belt, former MMA fighter and respectable coach earned his bjj black belt under Ricardo Almeida. Tom has told stories about parts of his journey before like in this inspiring video attached below.

He’s also been quite outspoken about his trouble as a blue belt. He quotes that time as very trying and says:

“There was a time as a blue belt I was close to quitting.

It was the first expert division I did and I ended up losing. I waited around at the tournament all day, paid money, and lost. I tried to think of all of the reasons I shouldn’t be “wasting my time” on Jiu-Jitsu, and I had thought of some really good ones. However, there was one problem.

I claimed I loved Jiu-Jitsu, and when you love something you love on the good days, and bad days.

I looked at myself in in the mirror and reminded myself that one day I would look back on that heart crushing defeat and smile.”

DeBlass wrote on social media a few tips for BJJ white belt:

Dear White Belts…below are a few tips to make your journey easier, in no particular order.
In order to make the most out of your Jiu-Jitsu experience it’s important you understand some things.

1. Focus on basics. Stop trying flying arm bars and kimuras along with fancy leg locks until you have a solid base. Stick with the hierarchy of Jiu-Jitsu. Pass the gaurd, control position, submit. Or if on bottom if you cannot submit make sure you sweep, get on top, stay on top.

2. Work on your weaknesses as soon as you realize you have them. If you have a hard time escaping mount, work from there. Make your weaknesses stronger.

3. Listen to your Professor. If you join an academy it’s important you trust the teacher. Look at your teachers history. What have they done? What has their student’s done? What has their teacher done? Can they help you achieve your desired goal? If so, enroll and trust!

4. Stop competing with your teammates!! NO EGO. Do not compare yourself to others on the mats. We have different lives with different goals and we will achieve our goals in time as long as we do the above.

5. Find a way to leave the mats happy everytime. You are walking down an amazing path. Appreciate it, embrace it, the hills and valley’s. Learn to love all of it.

Find out why the KIMURA should be the CORNERSTONE of your entire BJJ playbook with Tom DeBlass’ help!
DeBlass leaves no POSITION unexamined. DOMINATE Kimura attacks, sweeps and even use it as a shortcut to LEG ATTACKS.


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