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  1. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by Navita View Post
    ok so I have written a two part blog on hitting a plateau in bjj...
    Part two was just finished tonight and has to do with the men.
    http://navitabjj.blogspot.com/2011/0...le-part-2.html

    hope you enjoy!
    I enjoyed the post.

    My two cents is that the divide between beginner to blue belt and blue belt to purple belt is significant. My very first exposure to grappling over ten years ago was BJJ. I don't know if it's true today but back then you really had to be talented to reach purple belt. I've always felt that any non-handicapped person can make it to blue belt in BJJ. Purple belt on the other hand you really have to have ability and some people, no matter how hard they try, don't have it.

    Also, I have perceived that BJJ tends to draw a certain type of guy that you won't find too much in Judo or other sports. It's the wanna-be tough guy. The wanna-be that wants to have enough skill to tap out the white belts but don't have the meddle to take his lumps and really look to improve. They are the equivalent of the experienced stiff-armers in Judo that don't want to "lose" in randori (sparring). In my view the guys who make it to purple belt and above don't have an issue getting tapped out by those who are better. If they are tapping it means they are trying new things and if they are trying they are improving. They have the work ethic to succeed. The wanna-be's won't do that. They don't last nearly as long in Judo as they do in BJJ because after three months of being tossed all over the mat they say, "Bah, takedowns are easy anyway." In all of the BJJ clubs I've been at I've seen this kind of guy a lot. They end up quitting over time because some of the white belts that aren't wanna-be's end up passing them in rank.

  2. #32

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    Aesopian.com
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    People come and go for many reasons. It's hard for an instructor to address all of them all of the time, but like Coach Josh said, it helps if they are at least open to hearing people's complaints and trying to help them out. People are often very bad about admitting their complaints so the instructor is left wondering why people are disappearing because everyone was too "polite" to say what they didn't like.

    Often when someone starts training, they see the blue belts as so much better than they are that they think "If only I could be as good as them" and make getting a blue belt their ultimate goal. But once they get it, they fail to set new goals and they relax and slack and think they can ride "having their blue belt" for a while. Then the white belts who are still hungry catch up and make them sad.

    Combat sports also cause so many injuries that it can be hard to keep momentum to train if you're being sidelined by knee surgery, torn shoulders, herniated discs, broken bones, etc. I took several long breaks last year (2-3 months off) and trained less seriously due to serious injuries that were effecting my work and personal life. I feel like my BJJ didn't progress much in 2010 and I am trying to catch up now that I am.

    A friend of mine has had good success with a simple student retention program. I think he uses a card swipe system and software like Martial Arts Organizer. He has it set up to flag people who stop coming so he can call, email, send postcards, etc. Sometimes people disappear with injuries and don't tell anyone, or they have a new baby that takes up their time, or any number of things, and all they need is some bumps and encouragement to come back and a chance to talk about any problems they were having.

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coach Josh View Post
    Many many times it will be up to the student to push to make things better for themselves. I know a lot of pressure is put on taking private lessons but to be honest I have only done a few over the past 2 years and at $60 an hour IDK if that is too high or not but I know that not many people will do it.
    Speaking purely for myself, it was worth every penny and I should probably send you another $60 for that outside leg tri....kosoto gari set up from a whizzer and the foot sweep from a clinch. Should, but won't.

    As far as someday being a purple belt...it still blows my mind when I start to tie my blue belt around my waist. Plus if I ever make it to purple people would start expecting a level of competence and responsibility from me all the time. And where's the fun in that?

  4. #34
    solves problems with violence supporting member
    Ming Loyalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aesopian View Post
    A friend of mine has had good success with a simple student retention program. I think he uses a card swipe system and software like Martial Arts Organizer. He has it set up to flag people who stop coming so he can call, email, send postcards, etc. Sometimes people disappear with injuries and don't tell anyone, or they have a new baby that takes up their time, or any number of things, and all they need is some bumps and encouragement to come back and a chance to talk about any problems they were having.
    i used to follow up with students who stopped showing up, but although some were glad that i cared enough to ask, others felt it was an invasion of privacy and didn't want to be contacted. now i don't teach anymore, so i don't have to think about it, but i think it's a fine line, and something to be aware of.
    "Face punches are an essential character building part of a martial art. You don't truly love your children unless you allow them to get punched in the face." - chi-conspiricy
    "When I was a little boy, I had a sailor suit, but it didn't mean I was in the Navy." - Mtripp on the subject of a 5 year old karate black belt
    "Without actual qualifications to be a Zen teacher, your instructor is just another roundeye raping Asian culture for a buck." - Errant108
    "Seriously, who gives a **** what you or Errant think? You're Asian males, everyone just ignores you, unless you're in a krotty movie." - new2bjj

  5. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince Tortelli View Post
    As far as someday being a purple belt...it still blows my mind when I start to tie my blue belt around my waist. Plus if I ever make it to purple people would start expecting a level of competence and responsibility from me all the time. And where's the fun in that?
    This is a very interesting statement to me, Vince. Perhaps you touched on something here that may explain why there is a lack of retention in BJJ past blue belt. It's always been my impression that in BJJ the purple belt is the 1st degree black belt in most other ranked-based martial arts. I know in Judo once you make shodan more is expected of you as a judoka and person whether you are talking about on or off the mat.

  6. #36

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    For me, the biggest surprise about the blue belt was this:

    When I first started BJJ, blue belts were untouchable. I’m not talented, so my fellow white belts kicked my ass hither and yon, but with blue belts there was not even a contest. That strip of colour marked the difference between mere mortals and invincible ass-kicking machines. (Purples, browns and blacks were even better, of course, but who was I to compare the gods?)

    Now I’ve had my own blue belt for some time, and I still suck. I still struggle with (and often lose out to) those white belts who are particularly strong, athletic, or talented. I may be able to hang with some of the blues, and sub some of them from time to time, but purples and browns are as untouchable as they’ve ever been.

    Now, as far as I’m concerned, the only real importance of my blue belt is that I can go to the “blue belt and up” classes and pack a couple of hours back to back when I go to the gym, but I suppose if I had come in with the hope of achieving the untouchable badassery of blue belts as I first perceived them, getting to blue and realising that I still suck would have been rather demoralising.
    [ petterhaggholm.net | blog | essays ]
    [ self defence: general thoughts | bjj: “don’t go to the ground”? ]
    “The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.”

  7. #37

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    [dup, bloody forum; where's the delete button?]
    [ petterhaggholm.net | blog | essays ]
    [ self defence: general thoughts | bjj: “don’t go to the ground”? ]
    “The plural of anecdote is anecdotes, not data.”

  8. #38
    Ungjaevel's Avatar
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    Roy Dean wrote an interesting post on this subject a short while ago:

    http://www.roydeanacademy.com/blog

  9. #39

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    I very much agree with Vince's sentiment. I'm a blue belt, but the other night I got to class and realized I'd forgotten my belt at home. I was going to wear a white, but the instructor thought it would be a great joke if I wore a particularly hideous magenta belt that has found its way into our school. I didn't really care, so I put it on and went about class as I always do. That night we had guests from another school in town (a common occurrence, we do it to mix up rolling partners). However, when it came time to roll, some of the lower belts from the visiting school were rolling MUCH harder against me than they have when I've worn blue. Having to deal with everyone 'wanting a piece' made me realize how not ready I am for a purple. It was very nice to roll against people who were trying their hardest (I'm not a big guy, and some of them thought they could strength out submissions), but I could definitely see I'm not ready to represent my school as a purple.

    It was a little demoralizing to see how much further I have to go to reach even the intermediate level, but it was very nice to see what purples and higher have to deal with.

  10. #40
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    DKJr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rangerdavy View Post
    I very much agree with Vince's sentiment. I'm a blue belt, but the other night I got to class and realized I'd forgotten my belt at home. I was going to wear a white, but the instructor thought it would be a great joke if I wore a particularly hideous magenta belt that has found its way into our school. I didn't really care, so I put it on and went about class as I always do. That night we had guests from another school in town (a common occurrence, we do it to mix up rolling partners). However, when it came time to roll, some of the lower belts from the visiting school were rolling MUCH harder against me than they have when I've worn blue. Having to deal with everyone 'wanting a piece' made me realize how not ready I am for a purple. It was very nice to roll against people who were trying their hardest (I'm not a big guy, and some of them thought they could strength out submissions), but I could definitely see I'm not ready to represent my school as a purple.

    It was a little demoralizing to see how much further I have to go to reach even the intermediate level, but it was very nice to see what purples and higher have to deal with.
    JNP pointed this out to me in my log, everyone "head hunts" the higher belts to an extent.

    Being a blue wasn't really that good, and being a purple belt really isn't that great either. It's been said a million times but your goal shouldn't be belts it should be the idea of continuous improvement. Always looking to just get slightly better, slightly tighter, or slighter smoother. That way you're never setting and unfulfilling or unattainable goal.

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