Sometimes when you think about it, training in martial arts is a lot like having another office job, at both places you show up to where you work, (in our case the mat) work your butt off, and at the end of the day, you expect a reward in the form of a promotion, i.e. more stripes or our next belt rank.
However, the main difference between the two is instant gratification. In an office position, when you receive a promotion you can tangibly see the results such as an increase in your salary, a new title, etc etc.
Now, of course, when you get promoted in jiu-jitsu or judo, there is a little bit of that there. You get a shiny new belt and the title of our “Newest (insert color) belt” but that’s it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to automatically start tapping or “beating” people that are your rank, higher than your rank (or even lower than your rank!)
Please don’t misunderstand me, I am very proud of both my ranks in jiu-jitsu and judo, and I always have the goal of attaining my next rank, but my advice to everyone reading this, is stop chasing rank and instead continue to chase constant improvement every single day that you are on the mat. All belts are made exactly the same; it is a company and a factory that changes their color, that’s it. A change in color will not will not change your skill, but a change in work habits, dedication, and your desire to improve will change your life.