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Worthy of my rank

In sports BJJ, I had/have three stripes on my white belt. I’ve since started training in the Gracie Combatives program and currently have four stripes on my white belt, but they don’t mean the same thing.

In the sports BJJ world, I feel that the level of skill between me as a three stripe white belt and a four stripe white belt is worlds apart. Maybe it is all in my head, but I remember getting tooled by those guys all the time. Hell, there were days that I got wrecked by no stripe white belts, I mean completely dominated. Sometimes I was even embarrassed to walk out of the changing area with the stripes on my belt because I didn’t feel I was worthy of them.

I will admit that there were some days where I actually felt just a bit worthy. It was just little things that I did and noticed while sparring which seemed to feel like more “mature” white belt behavior on the mats. In fact, it was after one of those “mature” feeling rolls that my then coach called me over and handed me that third stripe. I guess he noticed it too, but then I went back to getting my butt kicked again.

As I continue on this journey, albeit along a new path, I hope that one day I will feel like I am truly worthy of the stripes that I have earned. Don’t get me started on the actual belts. If this is what stripes feel like, imagine what backing up a whole new belt will feel like. I’ve been training on and off since 2006, and frankly, at this point, I don’t think I even want a blue belt. LOL.

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