White Belt Strategy

White Belt Strategy
I've learned the most important white belt lesson before I even got a stripe. 

I've learned the most important white belt lesson before I even got a stripe. 

Being a white belt is overwhelming at first. You want to learn everything at once, or, at least keep up.... or at the very least, not be a total uncoordinated asshole. For the first hot minute, you can't help but try to understand every little nuance, in an effort to "do it right." But what you really need to do, as a white belt, is calm the fuck down, take a breath, and focus on one basic position at a time. 

It is really impossible to take it all in. There are a thousand aspects that go into even the simplest of techniques. One does not simply take jiu jitsu for a month and have anything nailed down. That's why they say you don't really start your training until you get your blue belt. The only goal of the white belt is to try and absorb the basics and to simply hang in there before shit gets real. 

Sometimes I still feel pressured to get moves quickly, because I am so small. If I don't have tools in the box, I'm as good as throttled. I'm out-weighed, out-classed, and out-muscled most of the time, but the skills come slow, and that can be frustrating. That frustration gets completely erased every now and then, however, when something works and I feel amazing. 

My strategy, as a white belt, is very simple: one thing at a time, starting with the fundamentals. Side control, mount. Side control, mount. Break guard, side control, mount. Then, I hold the inevitable off as best I can, while I wait to get swept and locked up. And that's okay. Because I can't get to arm bars and kimuras without those aforementioned basics. Now that my minute of panic has passed, I feel much better about sparring and much calmer about where I am at. 

I'm so lucky to be rolling with such a great group. No one treats me like a waste of their time because I'm tiny, or because I don't know what I'm doing yet, or because I'm a girl. They beat me up like they're supposed to, and then they teach me how to advance. Sometimes it sinks in, sometimes it doesn't. But the most important part is I am no longer upset about it. I've gotten over the white belt mindf*ck, and that, I think, is the first huge step to advancement.