I'm not getting any better,Wah!
Im not getting any better,Wah!
Ah, the White Belt's lament. What this poor man is suffering from is the Jiu-Jitsu illusion.
The Jiu-Jitsu illusion is that phenomenon that occurs when you compare yourself to others in class. Actually, you are getting better, but so is everyone else. From your perspective it only appears as if you are standing still.
One guy that probably doesn't suffer much from the Jui-Jitsu illusion is Gene Simco. That's because he has put his progress in a tangible form. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the Master Text is one way Gene Simco prevents the Jiu-Jitsu illusion.
The last time we saw Gene Simco it was in his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu the Student Handbook, a very nice 160 page overview of what a Blue belt should know. The Master Text is twice as long with 80 pages of text, separate sections on submission grappling, vale tudo, as well as sport Jiu-Jitsu.
There are loads of techniques, tons of pictures, and lot's of good advice. Each section is broken into subsections with the guard section alone having eight subsections with up to 5 techniques each. There are all kinds of things in this book: advice on diet, interviews with Black Belts, how to make a heating pad, drills, history, and a section entitled â€˜where do I go from here?'
It's no big deal, but I keep notes. It's one way I remember the night's lesson 2 weeks later, but keeping them organized, and finding entries can be an exercise in itself. Even if you don't keep notes, you will appreciate how easy it is to get around the book with big fat page numbers that work as well as a thumb index. I consider videos part of my notes, but searching through a video is tedious, with this book you go right to what you want.
The ideal would be a combination book and video. That's probably why he doesn't call he's latest book the complete book of Jiu-Jitsu, the next edition will include a DVD. It's a logical step, but I for one will miss the simple format of the first two books; like the average guy's notes taken and cleaned-up, but keeping that independent, make-do, raw look - a portrait of struggle.
You can't hold back a star, but whatever direction he takes, I hope something that never changes is his inclusive style of Jiu-Jitsu that comes from remembering his roots, and knowing how a beginner thinks.
"And you! You miserable White Belt!
Find a partner, get this book, drill it!"