26 Oct 2004

One step forward, two steps back

Last nights BJJ training was my worst. My instructor, in trying to help me practice for the Nationals, asked all my sparring partners to work me extra hard. I was thoroughly beaten to a pulp and found it quite soul destroying. Not that I was tapped out too regularly, but I had no choice but to defend all the time and could not find one single avenue to attempt an attacking move. This is the hardest thing for me, due to my small size, this Meerkat struggles against a bigger opponent and I suspect that the rather liberal weight divisions at the Nationals will mean I will probably be the smallest there.

I did discover one nugget though. When I first joined, my instructor soon found out I was a shodan in ju-jitsu and he expressed his delight that I was happy to throw away any pretensions and ego (that some black belts have) and simply train as a white belt.
This confused me a bit since I didn’t even consider it an issue – why on Earth would I swan in to a different style of MA and boast about being a shodan – especially as I know I’ll get my ass whipped in sparring. But I found out that my instructor gave lots of private one-to-one lessons to senior dan grades in various styles of MA. He wouldn’t name names but did hint that some of them were heads of styles who wanted anonymity – and perhaps would find it a loss of face to come to a group class and get beat by mere white belts (some of whom may even be their own students).
I pondered on this thought and realised that at the end of the day, we are all in the same boat. White belt or 10th dan regardless, we are all on a continuous rollercoaster ride of learning – it never stops. I know in my mind that I am happy to get beat on a regular basis, as I can only learn from the experience – I’m not sure how and it’s frustrating as hell but I will learn to get better.

About the Author


Author & Artist

Meerkatsu is the artist name for BJJ black belt Seymour Yang.



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