Meaning of Stripes in BJJ – Being accountable to my training

So I got two stripes on my white belt a month ago. I was happy that my coach thinks I’ve improved. 6 months is a short time in acquiring a new skill, but it already feels like night and day compare to when I had zero ground experience.


Stripes on the belt to keep tab on students’ progress.

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First month of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) – How it is exactly what I needed.

It has been exactly a month since I started Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) as a way to counter my fear of being on the ground. I’ve been doing Kungfu for more than 5 years and started doing Krav Maga for a year or so. Each of these things give me something different, and BJJ has so far plays a good role in filling in my lack of knowledge & skill in ground-fighting.
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My goal to not fear being on the ground – Exploring Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

It is true that we cannot always avoid all dangerous situation. However, we can stack the odds more in our favor as much as possible. I take that approach to self-defense (e.g., Krav Maga, conceal carrying). The likelihood of ever needing it is low, but do I want to have the tools and ability when the need ever arises? Hell yes.

The likelihood of me getting into a ground fight is quite low since I avoid getting into any fights. However, if it happens, would I want to have been training to be comfortable on the ground? Would I want to have a toolbox ready to solve the situation? Hell yes.

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How to enjoy what I ‘should’ do

Everyday, we engage in behaviors that I ‘should’ do, but not necessarily ‘want’ to do, such as eating fruits, exercising, or reading scientific articles on some methodological debates. These “should-do” things feel like chores. Like how cleaning up the  table is “fun” for little kids but a “chore” for adults, because, well…adults “have-to” do it e.v.e.r.y.t.i.m.e. Recently, one of my obsessions, martial arts, began to feel like a chore to me. I found myself finding excuses to skip work out sessions. I dragged making the drive up to the studio.

The past weekend, I was in a cognitive neuroscience conference. And a side comment of a speaker suggested everyone to try changing their perspective about working out. See it as “going to play!“. Like how little kids view going to the playground.

I tried that the past two days when I was doing martial arts. I went with the anticipation of having FUN. Hitting some pads, running some awesome forms, and spar some! And it was refreshing! I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to do more. I looked forward to Wednesday when I can do this again.

An unexpected gain from a scientific conference 🙂

For the next few weeks, I’ll try this mental exercise before I engage in any activities. See if it works for other ‘should-dos‘, too.