I’ve been a blue belt for a very long time. Or rather, up until yesterday I had been a blue belt for a very long time. Now I am a very new purple belt.
And everything is the same.
Well, perhaps not everything.
After a multi-year tenure as a blue belt, my belt was showing its age. It wouldn’t be incorrect to call it frayed and faded, but to me it was simply the beautiful patina of age. Like a fine wine (or, if I forgot it in my car on a hot summer day, a fine cheese) it just kept getting better.
And now I’ve got this new belt.
Strangely this is all that is different. Rolling as a purple belt feels much as before. I still prefer to pass the guard rather than pull guard. I still prefer the mount to side control (both as the top player and bottom player). I don’t remember more moves than before. My gi fits the same. The little aches and pains from before? Yea, they’re still there.
So what are belts for again?
I think they are best understood as landmarks for the journey. They aren’t the journey, merely signposts letting you know that you’re still going the right way. Or, at least you’re going a way… The belt doesn’t know right from wrong.
So that is my current task:
Figure out where I’m going. Ensure that its where I want to be going. Make adjustments as necessary. And then keep going until I hit the next milestone.
Oh, and I’ve really got to spend some time on the mat knocking the shine off of this new belt!