Musings, ponderings and various observations on the intersection of BJJ/Martial arts training and the living of life. I have no inclination toward either political correctness or correct spelling. This blog, such as it is, remains fundamentally an unfiltered gush of thought ... both raw and unpolished.
Guiding someone on their journey from white to black belt - particularly in the art of BJJ - is a serious and challenging undertaking. It is the furthest thing from a stroll in the park; it is not for everyone - that's for certain; but it is so very worthwhile on many, many levels.
I feel privileged to have been afforded the opportunity to bring so many along that path to date; some have chosen me for that task; others have had me thrust upon them through the association of their own instructors; but I have always done my best and taken the responsibility very seriously. A Black Belt bestowed, is done so in recognition of a transformation; and a many-faceted transformation at that. The journey from white to black (in my opinion) is all about a shifting from one state to another - a shift from ignorance to understanding, from confusion to clarity of thought, from shallow to deep, from narrow to wide, etc. As professor Rigan Machado points out; the Black Belt is never awarded for a great understanding of two or three techniques, and the ability to apply them successfully in competition; it is about so much more than that; it is about the forging of a complete martial artist and a well-rounded and balanced human being. I want my own Black Belts to bring value to the world and to the people that interact with them; I want them to be better human beings than they were before they began their journey. As my friend Dave Meyer has said, 'you don't just 'get' a black belt; you 'become' one'. This becoming takes time; at least with me; often, quite a long time. This is a privileged journey; one that is replete with surprise, discovery, challenge and fulfilment. JBW