1st Belt Promotion

It was Summer 2014, and my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school (Red Dawn Combat Club) was having a seminar. For the past year I had been working my butt off, making it my mission to come consistently at a minimum of 3 times a week. At this point I had lost 25lbs and I was finally within 10lbs of my goal weight (175lbs). It had been a lot of hard work but I was constantly hungry to learn more.

One of the best things about BJJ is that you can be working on a move or a position for a month; day after day, roll after roll, and when you finally think you have it right and you understand it one of your training partners will completely shut you down. They will, and it won’t be because they’re amazing and you are horrible, it will be because they’ve been watching you train for the last month and understand what you’re trying to accomplish. So there’s a constant flux of you getting better and them getting better; it might sound frustrating but it is great.

Anyway, so I’m at this seminar and I see a bunch of new moves I’ve never seen before and new takes on old positions. I’m excited to get on the mat and try some of them out. We start rolling and everyone is having a great time when my instructor stops the session short and asks everyone to line up. I wasn’t sure what was going on, I had never been apart of a belt promotion before.

Everyone is lined up and a few people have already been promoted. I get called up next and I’m not sure how I feel. Part of me feels as if I don’t deserve it; I know there’s a lot I still had to work on and I was a long ways from where I wanted to be. But another part of me is so relieved that my devotion and sweat haven’t gone unnoticed. For me at least, the experience was humbling. I felt unworthy of the belt but someone saw in me what I could not and that in it self was the reward.

My blue belt gives me a higher goal to strive for and it is a constant reminder of that humbling experience.

What was your first belt promotion like? Were you anxious or nervous? Did you see it coming or were you blind sided like I was?

Keeping things exciting

Consistency is important, but the trick is not to make things monotonous. Drilling the same things over and over can become boring after a while so its important to change up sometimes and take a little bit of a different approach. For example, instead of your regular workout, take a deck of cards and do the cards workout. If you dont know what that is, check back tomorrow and i will have a vid available.
Another example is to drill with tension, meaning isometrics. For example, instead of snapping your kicks, lock them out and hold for 1 second. It doesnt sound tough, but trust me it is! Keep training, and dont let yourself get bored!


Overtime, JiuJitsu/Judo/Sambo training can lead to joint issues particularly in the shoulders. Common shoulder issues include rotator cuff issues, Bursitis, Impingement Symdrome, etc. The inverted row is a great addition to help strengthen the rear delts and rhomboids which in turn will help repair strength inconsistencies that become common when athletes perform mostly pushing and pressing movements.