Island Top Team's Biggest Promotion Ceremony Thus Far
August 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM
It was a big night at Island Top Team yesterday, with the latest round of promotions including our 3rd ever blue belt, which is a significant milestone, as we don't hand out blue belts like candy the way many bjj clubs do these days. The preparation for our competition team's performance at the 2013 Washington State Grappling Championships elevated everyone's Jiu-Jitsu. Connor, Dwayne, Eli and Gary earned their 3rd stripes on their white belts. Dwayne in particular contributed to Professor Robert's success by attending every competition team drilling session to assist our coach in repping out his guard passing and sweep sequences. Eli showed impressive leaps in the short time he has been training in the gi, while Connor and Gary continue to develop, particularly in their excellent defensive skills. Shane earned the 4th stripe on his blue belt, displaying his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu street cred by not utilizing any of his prodigous Judo acumen and choosing instead to pull guard in his latest tournament en route to 4 gold medals.
Umesh was awarded his blue belt, and as the latest beneficiary of our visiting student program, is perhaps the best advertisement for Island Top Team. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can test your spirit, particularly in our narcissistic, instant gratification-oriented society. Many fall prey to inflated self-image, and BJJ has a way of deflating that in a manner that gives rise to the excuses and lies that people tell themselves while they slink away from the challenge of improving as human beings. No one has had a harder first week here than Umesh, who arrived as a blue belt in nogi, but with limited gi experience, was destroyed by every white belt in class. The self doubt this engendered would cause most to pack up and quit, or run to the safety of a club with lower standards to reduce the cognitive dissonance our psyche so often mismanages with cowardice. But Umesh rose to the challenge with a combination of perseverance, dedication, self-awareness, and his inimitable kindness. At Island Top Team we believe that when one of us improves, we all improve, but only because we work to help others improve as much as ourselves. Umesh embodies this spirit.
If you are ever harboring doubts, or convincing yourself not to come to class, or that you'll come to class next week, know that this is what is possible when you decide to become the best version of yourself:
All you have to do is come to class.