Belts and Stripes – Do You Believe In Yourself?

Every training session is a challenge. Sometimes, I feel like I’m underperforming in my rolls. There’s either too much pressure, or I’m having extreme difficulty getting past someone’s guard and more often than not, I’m finding myself in the “Oh God please help me” position. The thing is, my colleagues are also improving their Jiu-Jitsu. They’re not stuck in time, glued to some skill meter. But what I find to be the most determining factor in succeeding at Jiu Jitsu, is what I and many others call it as Will Power.

Now you may address this as bullshit right away, but stay for the next couple of paragraphs so that you may understand what I’m really talking about.

My physical build allows me, in my opinion, to use guard a lot better than to pass it. And if you ask me what I prefer the most, I’d say pulling guard and working from there is the most awesome, but I must confess that for now, I feel more confident as the guy trying to pass it. All of this to say, that in the past month, my main objective was to pull guard and go for the armlock. Yes, the armlock, the regular one you do from the closed guard. And the thing is, it has become more and more dangerous even though my opponent already knows what I’m going to do! You just need to believe in yourself and set your mind, and subsequently, your body, to what needs to happen.


I remember a few months back, as I was trying to perform an arm lock from the closed guard against a blue belt, that we both laughed at the end because of me even attempting to do it. The simplest arm lock on a blue belt? Are you serious? We laughed at it and at the time, I did not understand what I was missing and disregarded the position entirely… But now… Now things are different. That same Blue Belt does not mock my arm lock attempts anymore. You know what’s different? Now I believe in myself and I believe in the position! He knows that I’m going to apply the armlock, and he knows that if he is not careful, he’ll end up having to tap. And the truth is, I already succeeded in submitting blue belts and even higher ranking belts through this simple armlock, simply because I believed in the position and I timed it well.

All of this to say that if you believe in what you’re doing and give that extra effort into it, you’ll eventually succeed, hence why I’m focusing in positions from the guard, first the armlock, then the omoplata and finally the triangle. Those are the positions that I’m trying to set in my rolls for now and so far, I’ve managed some results with people who practice Jiu-Jitsu for more time than me.

Believe in your training, and put it to the test! Oss!

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