So after 20mths of training, and one hell of an arse kicking, I just received my blue belt.
Now i know i should be pumped and super excited but i honestly don't feel that way right now. I feel a little bit disappointed in my self. I wanted to be fit and ready and really kick arse the night i got my blue. But that was not the case.
I had last week off training with the flu, then i trained on Saturday and injured my neck. I know it sounds like I’m making excuses but it's what happened, the thought actually crossed my mind about not going to gradings at all but then i thought fuck it. I'll just get some cold and flu tabs for this bloody flu and take some nurofen for my neck and I’ll get through. Yeah i got through but not how i had wanted to.
The night started with some slow rolling with one of my fellow 4 stripers Josh we traded some positions and had a good couple of warm up rolls. Then i rolled with Julian a good level Blue belt. We started slow but then bang! We went at it hard. After that roll i was rooted. After a couple more rolls at a slower pace Ryan got us to line up in our belt rankings. At our gym you don't know when you are going for your belt, but when your name gets called out you better be ready for a beat down. So Ryan calls out Josh. Tom, and myself to the centre of the mat. I'd be lying if i said i wasn't nervous. I was not nervous about my skills not being there i was more nervous that my body would fail me and I’d be a floppy fat grappling dummy after one fast paced roll. I didn't want to embarrass my self.
It didn't fail me after one or two or even four but half way through the fifth one i knew i didn't have much left and after the seventh i don't really remember much. I remember fighting to get Leighs(Ryans bro and kick arse purple belt) knee off my face, neck or sternum. I remember tapping to Ryans many slick armbars and i remember Ryans coach and black belt Mat Cooper being the heaviest thing I’ve ever felt on top of me. Then that was it. I’d made it through 10 x 4or5min hard rounds with no breaks.
We lined up again. I could barely suck in air because my lung was so tight from the flu and my neck was starting to cramp up. Ryan said some nice words about all three of us as we received our belts, but because i was so shagged i can't recall what he said. But i do remember him saying that Tom, one of my team mates who got his blue tonight, is an inspiration. And he most definitely is. The guy is no spring chicken (sorry Tom) but the way he grinded his way to his blue belt was very inspiring. I hope he doesn't mind but this is what he just put up on his facebook.
"I'm too sore to sleep. I want to let my brothers (and sister) know how grateful I am to my instructors, my daytime training partners, and to all of you that have helped me in my journey. From whatever walks of life we may come from - at Advance Martial Arts - we all walk together in the same direction. I'm proud to be a member - and can't thank you enough for helping me become a better person."
I think that gives you some idea of the mans character. A true martial artist. Congratulations Tom!!
So even as i type this I’m starting to feel a bit more at ease at being blue. I’m now going to work my arse off to prove that this is my rank. I think the best way to do that is to train hard, get in great shape and compete at my best.