Getting our stripes (cont…)

Now we both have a stripe and it has been a good journey, an enjoyable journey. We are no longer at the bottom of the food chain, but not much higher either. It only means we have survived the first couple of months now let’s see if we can survive the next couple of months ahead. It means the higher experience people will now stop taking it easy on you, and punish you, Lol! Well that’s what it felt like to me!

Losing and just barely surviving was the beginning. Now it’s trying to get a few subs if possible, and use the moves learned while defending without giving up, which is easier said than done. For my son it’s time to improve on his technique and memorizing the steps and making it become natural. We practice at home with the lessons he is taught just to get more comfortable and to understand it more, which he enjoys doing, and he teaches his older sister in the process.

My son continues to excel on every level. His shrimping is getting much better, his chokes are getting tighter, and his double leg takedowns are on point. He listens and behaves during class every time, which I am impressed because that was one of my biggest concerns👏. He does what is asked of him, and is willing to make mistakes and learning from them. I couldn’t be anymore proud as a father of the future Jiu Jitsu generation. Time goes by, and he earns himself a second stripe. He was surprised by getting it sooner than expected, yet was excited. It was well deserved, kudos to him!

For weeks after he gets his 2nd stripe, everytime I come home he asks, “did you get a second stripe?” For a month I reply, “no, I still need practice!” In the meantime I’m on the mat trying the moves, practicing, and trying to get better. I survive multiple matches which was something I really needed to work on. It was hard at times and every match on the mat was a brutal test between warriors. I have come to invite (asked to roll), love, and most of all respect Jiu Jitsu. It is a lesson well learned.

You go up against some of the toughest people you’ll ever meet, and none of them like to lose. It’s the most competitive, physical, and mental challenge I’ve ever gone through in an hour. I’ve have been beaten many times and will many times more, but I am no longer fearful of losing, and I am learning from it. I have improved on my movements on the mat, my defense, my positions, and my finishes, by doing what I’ve been taught and I’ve practiced with positive results.

Now for me the test is a whole other level. Preparing not to embarrass yourself, by not knowing a move I think is more embarrassing than losing. Knowing the moves and steps puts alot of pressure on me, because I roll by understanding what my body can do, and using that to my strength. I know the techniques, but I have my way of doing them to get the moves off. I do them by feel and the way I know my body and mind allows me to make it work. It has worked for the most part and when it doesn’t, I learned newer and better ways to make them work.

I study the steps where I usually make the mistakes. I haven’t been going long enough to fully understand and to try the moves more than once, but it will be on the test. I am trying to learn, and understand the concept. Preparing not to embarrass myself by not knowing the steps is something I do not need. I ask people from my class with more experience to show me some moves on the test that I don’t know. All advice and demonstrations given are heard, and watched carefully. “I needed to get it right on the test!”

Once I get my info on the moves and practiced it to the best of my ability, I decide to do the test. With all the preparing I’ve done, I’m still nervous about not getting the moves right, but once the test began all the hard work I have put in, has made it another positive turn out. I do everything just as I practiced, and I passed the test receiving my second stripe on my white belt 👍. The pressure was so intense, and I am happy it’s all over.

My son and I couldn’t be more proud and inspired by our achievements that we have accomplished together. As a father who does Jiu Jitsu with my child, I feel a great sense of accomplishment, appreciation, and respect for the hard work, and time he puts in, so I must do the same, and inspire him as well as he inspires me. We are in it together and will continue to support each other through this experience.

We both enjoy doing Jiu Jitsu together, and challenge each other at home as well. We made a bet with each other on who will get their 3rd stripe first which keeps it even more exciting. I’m glad he has the drive to excel in Jiu Jitsu, it is not easy and very demoralizing especially in the beginning.

You will learn a lot about yourself and push yourself through some of the toughest 5 mins of your life. Surviving that and learning from it isn’t easy, and for him to actually know that makes me proud. He teaches me motivation and the will to be a better person in life, and in Jiu Jitsu all together. Jiu Jitsu has made our father and son bond stronger.

I keep the white belt mentality that I can learn from anyone, anywhere, anytime.

-George St. Pierre

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