I really like Roy Dean. Based on all of his interviews and instructionals, he seems like a nice guy who mixes elements of traditional martial arts with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. A few months ago in an interview with Stephen Kesting, Roy was asked about his approach to evaluating belt levels. One of the quotes that Roy gave really stood out to me was
“Could you beat yourself up from a year ago?”
Too many times in Jiu Jitsu we compare ourselves to others. It’s fine. It’s human nature to compare ourselves to others. People in all professions, sports, and lifestyles do it. If you don’t believe me simply ask yourself have you ever thought or said
“Hey I just tapped that guy and now he got promoted a belt level higher than me! What the….”
So have you said that? It’s ok. I have too. I remember seeing a few people get promoted and thinking that the week before hand we went sub for sub. It’s frustrating and one of the many reasons I have seen people quit or thought of quitting.
I never really thought of my progression like Roy does. The concept behind this question makes total sense though. The Ryan of today would be able to tap the Ryan of last year. The Ryan of last year would slaughter the pre jiu jitsu Ryan. While belts are nice, personal progression means so much more in the long run.
So next time you are feeling down about your progression or see someone else get promoted that you think you’re better than simply ask yourself Roy’s simple question. Chances are your answer will be yes.