|James, Rylan (Black Belt), David, Amber (Instructor), Mike (Instructor)|
One of my 2011 goals was to earn my blue belt in jiu jitsu. I'm proud to announce I accomplished this goal on Saturday.
About a year and a half ago, a friend of mine, David, and I started training in jiu jitsu with the Oregon Pound at Cheldelin Middle School in Corvallis. We went twice a week with the goal of it helping us get in shape. In order to achieve a blue belt, we had to take at least 120 classes and be able to competently do all 88 blue belt moves. Furthermore, we must be tested by a black belt. Since our black belt, Rylan, lives in Hawaii, we had to wait until this weekend when he came out to put on a seminar.
So we knew that we were in it for a while.
Leading up to the test David and I kicked it into high gear: In January, we trained four days a week with our class. We stayed after to review what we learned. Plus, we trained with our instructor on Sundays at his personal gym. Needless to say, we made sure we could do all our moves perfectly.
As a result, the test was a lot of fun!
We started off in a circle showing Rylan each move in super-slow motion. That way he could see we understood the technical pieces of each move. Then we rolled at about 80% with our partner. The goal to once again show him we know how to apply each of our moves. "Slow rolls" are probably my favorite thing to do. It's often very fluid with many transitions, but you don't get physically tired because you're focusing more on doing the move perfectly.
|Slowing rolling with my partner Morgan|
Then we were paired up with a higher belt to roll with. Rylan said, "It's so you know what it feels like to be an upper belt". I prefer to think of it as making sure we stay humble - we still can learn more. The person I rolled with was extremely good (obviously). I didn't keep an exact count, but I was submitted at least 7 times - two of which were the exact same way right after each other! We got done and David asked me how many times I was submitted. I told him at least 7 and he said, "Oh, good. Now I don't feel so bad. I was submitted at least that many times too."
|David slow rolling with his partner Bo|
After we passed, Rylan put our new blue belts on and choked us using our own white belts. He also encouraged us to continue improving and reaching for new levels. Fun fact: he actually started out in our gym as a student at OSU.
|Getting choked with my white belt|
So now we continue training, though at the 2-times a week rate. It'll take 100 classes before we even get our first stripe. After 4 stripes, we'll be able to test for our purple belts. Given the rate we go at, it'll be 5 years before we're ready for that next step. For now, I'll enjoy being a colored belt and beating up on new white belts.
|Newly minted blue belts!|