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When I trained Brazilian Jujitsu, I reached a point where I was still a white belt, but much more experienced than the “beginner” white belts. Some schools use belt tips to demonstrate the different levels of your belt. Others don’t use a damn thing at those low levels, while very few schools use a green belt, or a white belt with a blue stripe running down the center to identify the higher white belts.
I remember I had switched to a brand new school. Equipe Jucao, the professor at the new place was the amazing Jucao Ailson Brites, one of the nicest, tough guys you’ll ever meet in the BJJ world.
Jucao is old school, a very serious Brazilian Jujitsu instructor and competitor. In fact, he just won another championship and was recently promoted to a 5th degree black belt as featured on Graciemag.com.
The professor knew me from a prior school. When I walked into his class, and I put on my white belt with a blue stripe, he walked over to me and asked what that was? I was about to explain when he undid my belt, took it off, and threw it to the side. He looked at me kindly, and then said “this belt is for woman.” He then motioned for me to wait, he went into his office, came back, and threw an older, worn white belt at me. He said “You wear that one, I’ll know when you are ready for the real blue belt.”
I have been out of the Brazilian Jujitsu scene for years now, and as I see all the guys that I started training with advance to brown and black belts, I am filled with pride and joy for them, but I am filled with regret and ashamed in myself for stopping. I can’t help but think that had I stuck with it, I would be right there with them today.
I think I need to start over and return to my Brazilian Jujitsu career.
Growing Up Bronx