Friday, February 14, 2014

Red is still my favorite color..

Monday night Fabio gave me my purple belt.

I feel very undeserving and nervous about it, but I've come to realize how I feel about the color of my belt matters zero.  All I need to do is grapple like I think I deserve it.  I think it was
Royce Gracie who said, 'The belt only covers two inches of your ass, and the rest is up to you.'  (Or something like that.)  Turns out that's highly accurate.

When I started BJJ I was an out of shape, awkward, bookworm with absolutely no aptitude for BJJ.  I am still an awkward bookworm but thanks for Fabio and the rest of my team the other two things no longer apply.

Obviously Fabio has played a major role in my getting to this point.  His instruction and encouragement have been invaluable, but my teammates have been just as important.  They are the ones who sacrifice their time, emotion, energy and their bodies for me to practice the sport I love.  Without them, I couldn't train at all.  Outside of all the wonderful things BJJ brings into my life, it can be mindbogglingly frustrating and physically painful.  Sometimes, I think we forget that the rest of our teammates have similar struggles, but still train, help and encourage others. ... and they count just as much as Fabio.

While every person, and every grapple has helped me get to where I am, a few people have helped more than others, and some of them for nothing in return.

Erica is literally my perfect training partner.  She is my weight, my height and my same skill level... And motivated like no other.  She pushes herself always and in turn pushes me.  She is humble, and always has words of encouragement.  Every grapple with her is challenging yet still fun, and being that we are the same size, she is my ideal partner for getting ready to compete.  I love her on and off the mat, she is a good friend and great training partner.  I am so thankful for her!

Jimmy has probably endured more questions from me than anyone else.  If I get stuck on anything, which is often, he is the person I ask.  I am fairly retarded, so sometimes it's not so easy to help me over my hurdles, but he always find a way to make me understand.  And he is really good at helping me translate things to my own body type.  Obviously my gangly girl body is going to go about things slightly differently than the way he would go about doing them, and he helps me to see what will work for me...something I still struggle with.  We have all body types in our women's class and I wish I could as easily tweak techniques to make them more applicable to the individual girls doing them.  His brain understands BJJ about 90 billion times better than mine does.

 And these guys, are always willing to help me out in whatever way I've asked.  Whether I needed a special guest in my class, or I needed to pepper them with questions, after class... or sometimes during or before class, they have always done so happily.  

Anthony! Congratulations on your brown belt!  It looks so nice with your brown face!  ha! 
Brian, and his annoying armbars makes me strive to suck less at escapes.
And Doug I consider to be man version of me.  We have kinda similar body types, so I like watching him grapple.  A lot of what he does will work for me as well.. You know, if I could stop sucking at turtle guard.  Plus, he is my fellow BJJ Jew... and lets face it.  That matters.  lol  

And of course, all of the women's team.  Teaching BJJ has probably helped me just as much as it helps the girls I teach... if not more.  Having to think over every last detail, and walk them through every step helps to burn them into my own memory.  And their new honeymoon type love for BJJ gives me so much joy.  Some of them have already hit that inevitable wall, but endured the frustration and tears, and broke through the other side.  It inspires me, and makes me want to be better for them.  I want to be the best teacher I can be.  They deserve a teacher as dedicated and committed as they are, and I hope I can be that for them.

I love my team!

And here are a bunch of pictures of my post new belt bullying.


  1. Whoo-hoo!!!!!!!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. HUGE congrats!!! And don't worry, it's only going to be a few more decades until you have that red belt to match your hair. ;D

  3. Thank you, Can!! ... and I am totally going to endure decades of BJJ JUST to match my belt to my hair. lol

  4. Congrats! I love the three side by side picture you posted of you at white, blue and purple with your friend (or sister?). Definitely frame-able!

  5. Thank you! And I love it too! haha - The first two were an accident, but when we saw we had taken almost two identical pictures a belt apart we decided to do it for every graduation. Deff something I hope we keep up!