Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Purple Belt

I am now a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. F-sensei promoted me after the competition when we all got back to the club. It was quite unexpected and I still am shocked when I see it lying there on top of my gi. I have mixed feelings about being promoted because I expected to remain at blue for another year or two. There is the responsibility that my jiu jitsu has to be good to represent my dojo in a good light, I have to compete with tougher opponents in tournaments, I have to work harder to fill the gaping holes in my game, and I have more people gunning for me. But all those are outweighed by the fact that my instructor saw fit enough to promote me after only 3 years and a bit of training to this level. He must have seen something in me or was impressed by something I did either on the mat or in the way I conduct myself as an individual. I can't even say that my instructor gives out belts easily because he doesn't. Some guys are still white belt who started before me due to lack of attendance for the most part. I've also seen many stay at blue for a long time (5 years plus). Whatever happens now I will just try to work hard on the endless journey that is BJJ and improve as much as I can with what I have been given in life.

Aji Supplement Tournament at Handa Dec. 2. 2012
Before my promotion I competed in this tournament on Sunday. I was actually not nervous at all. This was my 4th this year so my pre-match nerves are slowly disappearing. I could actually focus well on what my coach was saying during the match and even make myself relax when in "safe" positions and use power when required. This meant that I was not very tired during the matches and had a lot of gas to move and think.

There were 3 of us in the Senior 1 group. I watched the first 2 guys go at it. And took on the loser of that match and won by sweeping, taking side control, taking the back - almost getting a choke from rear mount and side control. I then went against the 2nd guy and lost that match to an Ezekiel choke from behind.

Some things I learnt were:
  • I need to be more offensive after sinking my rear mount hooks in and I need to control him more so he cannot escape by pinning one of my legs to the mat and turning into me.
  • I need drill sitting guard sweeps so they become second nature. There was too much thinking.
  • I must maintain better grips on the omoplata because my opponent pulled him arm out from my legs.
  • I need more opponent position awareness in a turtled position to either re-guard or sweep efficiently.
  • I need to tweak my side control choke so make it a finishing move.
  • I must attack first from open guard instead of waiting for a reaction.
  • I need to re-guard better from open-guard by inverting or getting my hips square again.

I have been injured for about 2 weeks prior to the tournament with a minor strain in my right groin muscle. I've been taking ibuprofen to take down the inflammation and resting since Sunday. I plan to take a break for a week, see how it is, then get back on the mats. I think it's a much deserved period of recuperation.

One last thing. I'd like to thank my wife who woke up early Sunday and patched the gaping hole in the knee of my favourite (getting old and worn out) gi.


  1. Congratulations, John! Three years, thats quite an accomplishment!

    1. Thanks Natan, I appreciate your comments. It will take me another year before I really feel a purple belt - I'm sure.