Believe anything you wish about what martial art is better than another or more effective and so on. There is, however, no contention on the fact that the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt is considered the most difficult black belt to earn in all of martial arts. It takes an average of 10 to 15 years of committed training and thousands of hours of hard work on the mats. In addition, there is no BJJ black belt alive who isn’t willing to prove their skill on the mat against fully resisting opponents and hasn’t done so hundreds to thousands of times already.
So what is it that makes a BJJ black belt? The skill, the drive? It’s the mindset. The BJJ Black Belt has developed a mindset that is almost unshakable and unwavering about what it is they want and how to go about getting it.
Here are the 4 pillars that make up the Black Belt Mindset!
- Take Ownership: The BJJ black belt believes that the entire match, from beginning to end is their responsibility. From their physical condition to their skill sets, they believe everything is theirs to do right or wrong. The mats don’t lie and if there is a weakness in their game, they work hard to identify the problem and fix it.
- Listen to Understand: The BJJ black belt make every attempt to understand the situations and problems around them. When they listen to problems or issues, they aren’t trying to come back with a witty response, rather they want to ensure they have a full grasp of the problem and understand what the issue is. They know that only though understanding the issue will they actually be able to give/ find an appropriate fix.
- Be an Action Taker: In the mind of a BJJ Black Belt it only makes sense to take action on given information. This is the only path to success. In the business world, the term is an over-used joke. In BJJ, it’s a way of life. If you’re overweight, take action to fix it. If you’re not good at armbars, find someone who is and train it until you are an expert. This is how a BJJ Black Belt acts and reacts.
- Admit when you’re wrong and be humble when you’re right: I have been wrong farm more often than I’ve been right in my life. I am the first to admit when I am wrong with something (and I take ownership, action, and understand the situation). I will then follow the previous 3 rules to fix the issue. When I’m right, I let the proof be all the boasting I need. No need to go around telling everyone how awesome I am or how great I am. The technique, theory, or concept worked…that’s all the gloating a Black Belt needs.
Now I’m sure I could sit here and type 10 or 15 more things that a Black Belt does that others do not. But that’s not the point. This article isn’t about fluff or increased content. It’s about the mindset you need to earn your black belt.
See you on the mats,
Bill Jones is the owner and head instructor of Top Level Martial Arts in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. They specialize in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Martial Arts in Akron, Ohio. They specialize in Kids Martial Arts and Adult Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Cuyahoga Falls, OH.