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2 Year Anniversary: What I learned in year number two

Posted Jun 18 2009 12:11am

Well, it's been two years now since I first walked in the doors of Foster BJJ. Last year, for my first anniversary of BJJ, I posted the things I Wish I'd Known When I Started. For year number two, I thought I'd go over a few things I've learned over the last year.

First, community is important. I've learned over the last year that it's important, at least to me, to give back as I can to the BJJ community. I don't compete very often, but I like to help out when I'm not competing.

I also value the online community and the guys at class. I think the friendships that occur at any martial arts school is pretty universal. When you spend 10 or more hours with the same guys and girls each week for years, you get to know each other. In BJJ, there's so much trust involved, trusting your partner to respect your injuries, to help you get better, to push you when you're feeling lazy, it's not surprising that everyone's pretty close.

More and more blogs are popping up all the time. I enjoy reading about other peoples' training, and in addition to the school at which I train, I think that the network of guys online is just as interesting and valuable as the network of guys I've met locally. Jason Scully and the guys who post at the GrapplersGuide, Caleb at The Fight Networks Podcast, Douglas at Razorback JiuJitsu, who's trying to take his passion for the sport and make a business out of it, and Slideyfoot, who's perhaps the most prolific online BJJ guy I've met (I think he's a member at every single martial arts/BJJ website in the known universe) are just a few of the personalities I've had the pleasure of getting to know a little. Slideyfoot trains in the UK and started at virtually the same time as I did, and, like myself, has been blogging his training since almost the beginning.

Over the last year, I've also lost a lot of the apprehension I used to feel about looking stupid, or being too old or too unfit. I mean, I've always needed to keep things in perspective, training a little differently than, perhaps, a 20 year old athlete. What I mean is, I think I've become comfortable with doing as well as I can and truly being okay with where I'm at and where I see myself headed in BJJ.

I think that the turning point for me was after getting my blue belt. There was a period of time when I really felt like a poser. I felt like my game was as full of holes as swiss cheese. Of course, I'm not too far off... I do have plenty of holes to fill. I guess I've also discovered that there are things I do well, and what's cool is that I have rolls now where I feel really good at how well I'm transitioning. Just last night, I was rolling with another blue belt, and I went from a sweep attempt to an armbar to triangle to a different armbar and wasn't overthinking it.

I guess what I'm driving at is that I think I've learned over the last year that I have to cut myself some slack and stop putting so much pressure on myself. Sometimes, it's enough to go to class, work on my game and not worry about whether I'm as good as I think I "should be."

I'm just happy I can train, happy that I've stayed largely free of injuries and look forward to my third year of training. I can't wait to see what this next year will bring.

Don't forget, if you're looking for BJJ gear, check out Razorback Jiu Jitsu. Douglas sells the full range of Atama gear, including the Mundial #7, and if you use the coupon code "STEVE" you'll save 15% off of your offer.
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