A few days ago, I was cleaning up my office and stumbled across
some pictures that I hadn’t seen in a while. They were pics of me
training back in the day as a white belt and the early days at
And once I started looking at those pics, I couldn’t help but
notice all those guys that I trained with back then that kinda got
lost along the way on my grappling journey. Guys that I thought
were more likely to reach black belt than me.
Unfortunately, 90 percent of those guys never even made it to blue
The thing that made me shake my head in disappointment was the fact
that many of those guys were either REALLY good or had great
And as I looked through those pictures, I saw guys that were
bigger, stronger, meaner, more technically proficient, and way more
mentally tougher than I ever could be.
But for some unknown reason, they just got off the road to black
And as I put those pictures back in the box, I thought about how we
never really talked about becoming black belts back in the day.
Most of us thought it was such a far away goal to reach that we
just trained hard and ignored it.
But now I’m starting to wonder since we never talked about or
thought of ourselves as future black belts if that contributed to
many of those guys (and gals) falling off along the grappling
journey. Maybe just training for the sake of training, without an
end goal in mind, made it easier for many of them to lose interest
What about your training? Are you training with and end goal in
mind (e.g. belt rank, coaching certification, etc.) or just
training because it’s fun and gets you out of the hose a few nights
Think about that question before you answer it. It may make the
difference as to whether you’ll still be on the mat five years from
now or talking about what you could have been had you stuck with it.