I am now a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt.

Jiu-Jitsu has changed my life, and I’m barely recognisable from the person I was when I starter a year and a half ago. I’ve let go of 15kg and learnt more about nutrition than I did in my first 20 years.

Most people don’t understand what the journey from a white belt to a blue belt means, and I’m not a good enough writer yet to distill it into one blog post; but I’m going to try anyway.

Jiu-Jitsu is as much a mental pursuit as it is a physical one. The journey from white to blue drills a certain mindset into those who make the cut.

Here are the most important things I’ve come to understand;

I understand what it’s like to feel completely powerless at the hands of another, and what it feels like to have total control over somebody else’s body.

I understand that exposed vulnerabilities become strengths.

I understand that doing great things hurts sometimes; that your success is directly related to your ability to persevere through adversity, that improvement is a guarantee if you can.

I understand camaraderie; the intangible respect for those who share your pursuits.

I understand that building someone up involves breaking them down, while also having their back.

I understand that winning matters far less than growing does.

Controlled failure is growth.

Most people who start training BJJ don’t make it to their first promotion, but everybody should.

There is no greater reality check.

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