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Tom DeBlass: Dear Blue Belt
When was the first time you heard a Tom DeBlass podcast, watched a Facebook live video, or experienced a seminar with Professor DeBlass? For many of us, the experience came just at the right time in our training. DeBlass has transcended a line in BJJ. He is an absolute savage and he’s as real as they come on and off the mat, but he also possesses something that not all high level BJJ icons do, empathy. He’s made it ok to be both the toughest guy in the room, and also the most compassionate.
I remember rushing home to catch his Facebook live feeds when I was first introduced to him on the web. His words, experience, and intuition have been invaluable to me and countless BJJ practitioners all over the world, as he speaks from a place of understanding on several different levels. He’s made selfless sacrifices to be available to those that need him, and he continues to be one of the loudest voices in the BJJ community. And, we continue to listen.
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This is one of the videos that I felt did not reach enough ears or eyes. Blue belt is a strange time in the BJJ quest for proficiency. We lose so many students at blue belt for many different reasons. Professor DeBlass speaks a little bit about why blue belt is such a difficult belt in this video. Please watch. If you are a blue belt, you must watch.
Do you identify with some of these things? Stay the course and embrace your current position in BJJ. As DeBlass states, your efforts at blue belt will determine the kind of practitioner you become as your level gets higher. White belt is a huge feeling out process, and sometimes it can feel like you’re in the dark for a little while. If blue belt is really where we start to build our BJJ foundation, then you must stay engaged, and be willing to embrace the toughest days of your practice and journey. Endurance at blue belt will produce many benefits later.
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Trust in these words From Professor DeBlass and invest in your team. The moment you begin to slip, know that there are several people around you that would be devastated if you were to disappear from training. You have made it through the trials and tribulations of being a white belt, and now is not a good time for a pause, or to feel that the work you’ve put in isn’t worth it. Keep moving forward, you will never regret it.