First Stripe

I didn’t plan to write another jiujitsu post so soon after the first (Missed it? Catch up here) but where there’s updates, there’s posts! I actually hadn’t planned on a lot of things when I started jiujitsu but I am continuing to be pleasantly surprised.  

My mental attitude when I first signed up to Brazilian Jiujitsu at Matrix Martial Arts in Pedreguer was simply to commit to exercise on a regular basis. I even told Christian that I didn’t care about the belt hierarchy because this was to be a fun class in replacement of gym workouts and, if one day I wasn’t having fun, well then that was the day I stopped. Such naivety.  

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I now appreciate that whilst it’s essential to enjoy the workouts you’ve chosen, it’s also important to weather a storm. What I mean by this is that life isn’t linear or predictable and not all life lessons are easy or fun; sometimes daily stresses and difficulties that work / family / everything else in general can add to your life make the extra commitments almost impossible. Recognising these struggles, implementing a balance and working to stay committed often makes the rewards even greater!  

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The last month has been a collection of ‘firsts’ for me with a rollercoaster of rewards that I am honestly so excited to share. The stripe system in BJJ, as I understand it, is four stripes to a belt and five belts in total (although there are some red / red and black belts after black belt which I am still learning about). There isn’t an official handbook for when stripes are awarded, this is determined by each individual instructor and stripe awards don’t call for special ceremonies (unlike a new belt promotion).  

For a white belt, the stripes are there to motivate students and Professor Steve Newman awarded both Christian and I with our first stripe at the end of last month and I’m still so happy about it! I certainly feel motivated! 

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We’ve also been to our first Jiujitsu seminar which was with Dallas Niles, an American black belt and top competitor in the national submission grappling circuit. His seminar focused on refining the crucifix submission, sharing his deep knowledge and experience – it was a great seminar and I have certainly learnt a lot. If you get the chance to attend this seminar, I highly recommend!  

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My final first is a pulled neck muscle which has taken me off of the mats until it heals; a new pain I can add to my life experiences. All of these exciting activities on this Adventure Tourist blog and I put my neck out by… waking up from a nap. That was it! What if your parachute doesn’t open? What if the rope snaps? What if you never take any chances? You could still hurt yourself anyway with what you think will be a relaxing siesta!  

So, I am now weathering this new storm until my neck heals and testing out the Canon EOS M50 Mark II. I haven’t done photography for a few years and there’s some resolution / exposure tweaking I need to brush up on but I’m happy with these results as a starting block. 

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