Achieve 2016: Black Belt Promotion in Jujitsu

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I had a different post in mind today related to saving money on grocery shopping, but I’m going to defer that to next week because I have to share what happened in jujitsu this weekend.

As you may know, my word this year is Achieve because I had set a lot of big goals for 2016. By far, my largest goal is to pass my black belt exam in jujitsu in October. This weekend, I achieved a major step toward accomplishing that goal.

I got my dojo promotion to black belt!

After a very long and sweaty four-hour black class on Saturday morning, our sensei closed class with some black belt promotions, and I was awarded my dojo Shodan first-degreee black belt), which was a complete shock since I was just promoted at the end of August.

For those of you that are new around the blog, I started training Danzan Ryu jujitsu five years ago this month. My husband has been training at our school for 15 years ago in 2001, and I hung around the sidelines of our school for years saying that “someday” I was going to start training.

The year that I turned 30, I decide that it was time to start training or stop talking about it, and I asked for a gi, which is our uniform, for my birthday. Let me tell you, there have been some challenges in the last five years, and many, many tears and bruises.

When I was promoted to green belt three years ago, I shared some of the reasons that I study jujitsu. I still agree with all these reasons:

  • I am stronger and more fit-looking. My body’s strength and abilities surprise me all the time. 
  • I have friendships that will last for life because when you work some of the techniques that we train, we are literally trusting each other with our safety and lives.
  • I have a confidence in myself that I don’t think I would have been able to grow in any other sport. It’s not just the self-defense aspect, but I think that helps. There’s something about knowing that I can throw a 270-pound guy that lends itself to walking a little taller. 

By no means is this promotion a stopping point. My exam for national recognition is still a month away, and Shodan means “the beginning.” I jokingly tell friends that you have to get to Shodan to start learning all the really impressive techniques.

Joking aside. For me, this is a beginning of my career as a sensei as well.

The Mister was telling me on the way home that when you wear a black belt in our dojo, students starting listening to your words as though they carry authority. We’ve talked about one day opening our own school. Passing this exam next month is a big step toward that dream. It’s a big responsibility, and it’s not an honor that I take lightly.

In our dojo, there is a tradition of the instructors “beating” a student into his or her black belt, which is a sign of respect and recognition of the hard work that goes into the promotion on both the student and instructors’ part. You can watch my promotion and “beating” on the High-Heeled Love Youtube channel.