To achieve a black belt is the purpose of most people who practice martial arts. Doesn’t really matter what type of martial arts you are doing – you feel inside that the black belts are supposed to come from a totally different universe. They move with elegance, full of self-confidence, you feel they are reading your every move, and you desire to reach this level. For sure it’s not an easy road, and not everyone can accomplish it. But honestly, does it matter? If you think that you haven’t mastered an art until you get your black belt, you do not really understand the point of the martial arts, including BJJ.
So many people are wondering about black belts when they start to practice any kind of martial arts. It’s attractive, it cool it’s… black, so that means some really tough stuff. But how long does it take to get there? To be honest, it’s a really good question. I’m also far from that level yet. But let me share my perspective about the black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
For me the guys with black belt have some mythical qualities. The way they’re moving on the mat, the peace in their eyes, the confidence they are showing which means they know exactly who they are and what skills, strengths and weaknesses they have. If jiu jitsu makes everyone a better person, then the black belt in jitsu makes you a superhuman.
My point is, if I’ve never been rewarded, I’d still continue my training, because it’s something really special, something you can fall in love with. For me it’s much more about the journey, the experiences, and the lifestyle behind it. The way of teaching, the changes inside you and the mentality you learn are all unbelievable. As our professor says, he is not telling us what to see, but where to look.
And that’s what everyone needs to understand. Jiu-jitsu is not a technique for a fixed situation. It has a method, which you can use in different situations. Jiu Jitsu is physical and mental chess. You can plan how to start but you cannot plan each and every move you’re going to make. As a chess master, you have to react to the steps of your opponent. The only way you can be prepared to do that is to first master the basics.
Jiu-jitsu is a whole life of a human being, where the fighter experiences good, bad, happiness, sadness, pain and success. It’s more than just a fighting method, it’s what you are living for.