As 2018 closes in on Profectus Jiu-Jitsu Lebanon, one thing is certain...
We. Are. Here. to STAY!
Mark your calendars for the following events @ Profectus Jiu-Jitsu Brentwood!
November 3rd - Deandre Corbe Seminar
November 17th - IBJJF NASHVILLE and Battle for Blue!
December 1st - Winter Belt Promotion Ceremony
Promotions in Jiu Jitsu are not comparable to any other martial art. They’re harder to achieve, typically take longer, and require considerably more effort and humility. These factors tend to make them feel more valuable and coveted. Getting a stripe or a new belt color is a big deal in our world. It represents a lot to those of us who have done the work and felt all the ups and downs that come with training. They’re so difficult to achieve that, other than maybe our first stripe or two on our white belts, we often question whether or not we deserve our promotion. We’re not sure if we’re “ready” for this new level of intensity and/or knowledge. We instantly remember what all we CAN’T do instead of remembering what we’ve done.
I recently received my second stripe on my blue belt bringing all these questions and doubts to the forefront of my mind. Coincidentally, we also had several other promotions at our school, which I’m sure sparked some of my training partners to have similar doubts. Talking just today with a friend who is also a blue belt and has been out of training for several years now, he was explaining how hard it was to come back because of what he assumed would be expected of him with a colored belt. This theme of whether or not we deserve to be where we are just keeps reappearing to me. So I had to ask myself why?
The answer is found not in questioning my instructors judgment, but more in questioning my own measurement in what I think the belt/stripes mean. If I’m being brutally honest with myself, I measured the meaning of belts and stripes by who I could beat and sometimes in who could beat me. This line of thinking though is based solely on ego, which we’ve all heard we needed to check at the door. I’m as guilty as anyone. If I tapped a blue belt as a white belt, I might find myself thinking they didn’t deserve that belt or maybe by default I was somehow “better” than them. This is a path of thinking that ends abruptly and most likely whoever is thinking it won’t last.
The reality is that we have to trust our instructor’s judgment. They see and know way more than we do. They have a broader view of things like goals, attendance, attitude, how we train in class, our skill level, what we need, and so many other factors that can and probably should be considered when it comes to promoting someone. All we see is how we rolled at Open mat or that one time we hit a sit up sweep on that higher belt. Trust your instructor...especially when they are putting a new stripe or belt on you.
Roy Silvers (Blue)
Big Day for Profectus Lebanon! This was our first tournament with the IBJJF. Our very own JAMES WILLIAMS brought home the gold and received a blue belt podium promotion for his hard work. Congrats to all Luiz Palharez/Profectus competitors for stepping on the mats this past weekend.
After training consistently for a while, it’s near impossible to not recognize the numerous benefits of Jiu Jitsu. It does so much for us physically, mentally, and spiritually that I could go on for hours about how this art has affected my life. Like finding an awesome movie or book that affects you on some deep level, you want to share it with everyone. It’s almost our responsibility to do so.
BUT, that’s not how enlightening moments work. The reason this hypothetical movie or book affected you the way it did had to do more with where you were in your life than how good these things actually were. It’s the same with Jiu Jitsu. We can talk about it until we’re blue in the face, relate it to every topic that comes up, and even demonstrate how effective it really is, but that’s only representative of where we are in our journey.
Our true responsibility lies in helping those that find these facts for themselves. If we have to convince them that this is special then we’ll have to convince them of much more. It’s not our place to “sell” this art. It is our place to honor those that see it for what it is. See you on the mats.
ROY SILVERS (blue)
After an epic trip to California to watch the IBJJF World’s, I had many epiphanies. Obviously it’s inspiring to meet people like Marcelo Garcia, Romulo Barral, Raphael Lovato, and others as well as see guys like Keenan Cornelius, Bruno Malfacine, Leandro Lo, and others compete, but it’s the technical aspect of the tournament that most impressed me. It really made it clear to me that there isn’t some magic technique that separates me from the highest level black belts. Watching the purple belts compete wasn’t that much different than watching the blackbelts, as far as what they knew. Everyone was playing with the same set of tools. The noticeable difference was in the details. The purple belts used all the same moves the black belts did. The difference was in all the small things like grips, position, and timing. This observation was very encouraging to me. It validated that my level of skill wasn’t necessarily because everyone knew moves that I didn’t, but more because they practiced the same things I know...just more.
I took this realization to class with me tonight. I surrendered to the fact that Jiu Jitsu is about what we can create from our tool box. It’s about exploring the same techniques everyone else uses until I can find my own version. My responsibility is to put myself in the correct scenarios that promote this learning process. Basically, to be successful in something as difficult as Jiu Jitsu, we have to be honest. We have to face our worst positions over and over. We have to get tired and then see how we do under pressure. We have to accept vulnerability so that we can grow. The alternative is to settle and become static, which isn’t a viable option. See you on the mats!
- Roy Silvers (Blue)
I wish there was some way to quantify the amount of epiphanies one has while training Jiu Jitsu, but the simple truth is that there just isn’t. The reason is because these “AHA!” moments are too numerous and readily available to try to count. I think that’s part of the reason that this art becomes so addictive. You constantly are presented with opportunities to not only improve your game but also who you are. The two basically go hand in hand.
If you think about it, you start this journey knowing next to nothing about the techniques and leverage Jiu Jitsu offers. Then you feel it. You feel some smaller person just absolutely use you and there isn’t anything you can do about it. Eventually you start to learn how this and that works and you become capable of executing a handful of techniques. Then you get to a place where you can actually help other people defeat or shut down these techniques that you’ve worked so hard to make work. This process of actually helping others defeat your go to moves ends up not only helping them become better but also expands your own game.
This is the true nature of Jiu Jitsu. You acquire technical aspects from people better than you, expand on what you’ve learned, use these techniques until they’re difficult to stop, and then help others defeat them. This process of vulnerability is what creates growth. I don’t know where else in life that someone gets to experience this crazy cycle of personal growth. It creates a measured and realistic approach to all aspects of your life. You literally help people beat you so that you can evolve. Once you’ve experienced this full circle of evolution, you can’t help but see the world and its inhabitants differently. You get to know and understand what true personal development really is. Hope to see you on the mats!
- Roy Silvers (Blue)
Having trained at another Jiu Jitsu academy several years ago, I was fortunate enough to recognize the value of getting involved in the growing process of a young school with big potential. I knew that I wanted to be a part of building a solid core group of like minded individuals who shared a common goal. This common goal had to revolve around Jiu Jitsu, its philosophy, and building upon that foundation. I found that at Graves BJJ/Profectus Lebanon. My personal goals were to help find said like minded individuals and play my part in helping cultivate and solidifying an atmosphere that honored this art. In order to accomplish this task, I knew my personal responsibility was to simply get better and try to set a positive example for everyone else. For my own Jiu Jitsu to grow, I had to try to “set the tone” that others could use to measure themselves and their own growth. As the oldest guy in the gym, I realized it was important for me to show how important it was to show up, work on details, help everyone else, and most importantly, keep the big picture of honoring this wonderful martial art and all that’s involved in it in the forefront of my approach to training. One of the best pieces of advice I could give to someone new to training is that their piers are watching. I understood that with even the slightest success, those that were dedicated to improving would be watching. They’d be watching how you drilled, how you warmed up, how you ate, how you listened while the coach talked, and mostly how you carried yourself. This is a great responsibility and one that I take seriously.
Fast forward a year and a couple months and all of the sudden we have a handful of new people ranging from young to closer to my age. As much as I’ve learned and experienced personally in this process, I can see that it’s not the responsibility of the new people to adapt to my process as much as it is that my process needs to adapt to them. Even though I have to accept that because of the nature of how physically, mentally, and spiritually difficult Jiu Jitsu is that most people won’t be able to stick it out, I still have a responsibility to help them try. I have a responsibility to Jiu Jitsu and that core group that helped me become who I am today. If I honor that responsibility then I can know I’m doing the right thing. After all the lessons this art has taught me, honoring those lessons is as important as learning them. See you on the mats.
- Roy Silvers (Blue)
Jeff Spain Jr
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt