I got my freakin’ blue belt!

It was completely out of the ‘blue’ and almost three months later, I still can’t believe it really.

Around this time last year I hurt my back on a trip to London and wasn’t training – or very sporadically – for most of the season. I finally made a comeback about three weeks before the season ended, and we went into summer break, which was a bummer. But I kept up training at the weekly open mats and vowed to make this current season the one where I knuckled down and showed my coaches what they needed to see to award me my blue. I was actually really excited to make this re-commitment to improving my jiu jitsu. I even bought sports tape on Amazon in the car on our way to the first class of the season, to refresh my white belt stripes. I understood at the end of that class why my boyfriend was oddly, casually discouraging me from buying the tape (“€5? Oh no I’m pretty sure you can buy it cheaper at the pharmacy…”) because, surprise! Blue belt!

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu blue belt grading, couple smiling at the camera.
A very proud me with a very proud boyfriend.

I cried of course. Asked my coach if he was for real.. apparently yes he was!

So after six years of training BJJ, sometimes very committed, sometimes not, here I am. A very nooby blue belt. Stepping onto the mat for my first class as blue was really bloody weird and I was so self conscious. I still am a few months later. Of course as luck would have it, I’m currently injured again, some weird ongoing neck pain.

But I can’t wait to get back on the mat and back to my vow of knuckling down and training hard this season.. not as a white belt but as a freakin’ BLUE.

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’tis the season..

Spring has sprung in Australia and my Facebook feed is loaded with news of belt promotions – happy days!

So many awesome BJJ guys and dolls back home are proudly posing for photos with club certificates, and pretty new colours tied around their waists.

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Congrats Amy!!

I am so damn blessed to know this crew, all from different clubs – who show such passion, talent and dedication to their training.

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Woohoo Apryl! You look fab in blue

Of course, all the grading amazingness has me reflecting on my own progress – or lack of, which is especially noticeable when I see friends who began at the same time or after me, receiving their stripes and/or blue belts.

Again I’m having to remind myself not to compare, and not to be so hard on myself.

That first stripe achievement seems so long ago now, and here hasn’t been one since, but my training hasn’t been half as consistent since either..

– I’ve had minor but niggling injuries

– I’ve moved overseas and started at a brand new club

– I’ve been working my butt off in a casual job while hunting for a permanent role here in London, meaning often I am choosing to log more hours over making class.

My goals for 2014 are clear though:

–       Lock in permanent work

–       Train harder, and much more often

–       Jump into some gi comps

–       Earn a second stripe, hopefully a third and in a perfect world, maybe even a fourth as well!