In Jiu-Jitsu, it doesn’t matter how tough or how good you are – because there is always someone better!
And yes, that is true for world champions as well (or at least while they were on their way to the top).
For example, Tom DeBlass recently spoke about Steve Kim – the training partner that tapped him out all the time.
No one has made me tap more than Steve Kim.
I trained with Steve consistently from a white belt through black belt. Steve was ROUGH AND TECHNICAL.
I think he loved training with me for two reasons:
1. He really enjoyed kicking my ass, as I was a young man who had one speed, which was 100 mph.
2. I never complained. Regardless of how much he would woop me, I’d keep coming back.
It was because of Steve, in part, that Tom developed his Half Guard game:
It was rare that he would tell me “good job.” He’d constantly tell me to be more active, attack more, and work more.
I remember the first time I submitted him, I was a new purple belt. I caught him in a toe hold.
I kid you not, for 2 hours straight after that he tapped me every 5 minutes while Ricardo sat there and smiled.
DeBlass concluded by emphasizing his gratitude for Kim:
It’s funny, I honestly believe having Steve as a main training partner from a white belt on would have made most people quit.
Instead, he actually is a huge part responsible for me having all that I have.
Thanks for everything. From the mat beatings to the late night dinners at Mastoris, you are a huge reason I am where I am.
View this post on Instagram