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Burdette BJJ Blog - Week 5

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The Blue Belt


Stripe 1 – Do not quit!

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” Galatians 6:9.


         The blue belt in BJJ represents your first milestone; it’s your first promotion! When you don that new color around your waist, not only do you feel invincible, but you feel qualified to give every white belt instructions while rolling (slight dig at blue belts, but we’ve all been there ). I remember getting my blue belt; I had the confidence to roll with anyone and everyone regardless of belt color or physical stature. It is truly a great feeling of accomplishment, which makes the “blue belt syndrome” so perplexing. Stay in BJJ for any length of time (specifically to get your blue belt) and you will be cautioned about the “blue belt syndrome”, which is essentially when most people quit their BJJ journey. Be it injuries, other commitments, feeling like you’re starting over, plateaus, etc., every blue belt will face the threat of quitting once they become a blue belt. It’s inevitable. So, now that you know, decide right now that you will not quit. 

         I’m sure you’ve figured this out by now: BJJ requires resilience, patience, mental fortitude and discipline. It is so much more than just rolling with your friends, hitting submissions and winning medals. You will be tested on the mats very similarly to how you are tested in life, and if you see it as just an extracurricular activity, it will be very easy to quit when things become tough. But BJJ can be so much more than an extracurricular activity! It can be a life changing journey, and I want to encourage you with Galatians 6:9, which states, if we don’t become weary in doing good (read training, drilling, rolling, tapping – these are all good!) then we will reap a harvest…if we do not give up. The harvest that we will reap is much more than promotions, even being promoted to black belt. 

As we look at the BJJ journey through the lens of our relationship with Jesus there are many examples of times when Jesus disciples could have quit, and if they had they would have forfeited great harvests. One example is in Luke 5: 1-11, and it reads:  One day as Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, great crowds pressed in on him to listen to the word of God. He noticed two empty boats at the water’s edge, for the fishermen had left them and were washing their nets. Stepping into one of the boats, Jesus asked Simon, its owner, to push it out into the water. So he sat in the boat and taught the crowds from there. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Now go out where it is deeper, and let down your nets to catch some fish.” “Master,” Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!  A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking. When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.  Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”And as soon as they landed, they left everything and followed Jesus.

         Imagine if the disciples had not heeded Jesus’ instructions to cast the net again? What if they had just thrown their hands up and walked off? They would have missed an amazing miracle. You may be asking, “how does this equate to my BJJ journey?” I promise that you will experience many amazing harvests in your BJJ journey if you do not quit. They will be personal harvests of pushing through boundaries and plateaus, challenging yourself in new ways you hadn’t thought were possible, stretching your mental fortitude when in uncomfortable situations, not to mention the relationships you will form on the mats and in the gym. There’s an anonymous saying that says, “The road to success is dotted with plenty of tempting parking spaces. Do not stop; keep going.” 

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