This past Wednesday, I was presented with my blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! As of today, I've been attending classes regularly at my current gym for about a year and a half. Every day has been a learning experience whether it be through instruction or while during sparring. I am very lucky to have such a high level instructor and classmates that always push me to be better. This is a big accomplishment but at the same time, I know that this is just the tip of the iceberg.
There are a lot of people that are happy just to get their blue belt and then take their foot off of the gas. They hover around at this rank for a long time, happy that they got that far. One of the reasons that this happens is that getting a new belt is like unlocking a new difficulty setting on a game. No belt level is "easy", but you wind up facing even more concentrated skill with every advancement. That being said, I feel that I have more confidence in my skills now. This is totally mental, but when I was still a white belt, I felt that my skills had not been validated as of yet. Even though I had won tournaments, I was still "only a white belt" in my mind.
It will probably be a few months before I compete again and I know that there is a good chance of it being pretty rough (I could be facing people with over two years more experience than me), but I am looking forward to it. Achieving my blue belt has confirmed that I have been doing the right things (training wise on and off the mat) to succeed. Now is the time to continue working hard and keep my training consistent. If everything works out, hopefully I will be on a "new belt every two" plan.
So far I have been very happy with the M8. One of the things that made me a bit uneasy was the fact that you can not swap out the battery on these phones. For the SIII, we both carried around an extra battery as standard practice (I assume like most people) and didn't think much of it. This came in handy big time when going to cons or just being out all day. Not having the ability to do this made me watch the power meter constantly on the HTC. Not anymore. I am very impressed with how much this phone retains it's charge even when switching between apps and browsing webpages at a decent clip. I'm sure this will change, but so far, even with a full days use, my phone has yet to drop under 50%.
As expected with any new tech vs. 2+ year old tech, the M8 is very fast and responsive. This has not been a gradual step up in performance but a huge leap. So far there has been relatively no lag with any initiated tasks and once running, no hiccups either. In conjunction with the quick web based responsiveness (I assume that this is a hardware thing and not service provider since that has remained the same), in places where I have had little to no signal before on the Galaxy, the M8 performed as if the signal was no issue at all. There are still a few things I'm getting use to, but overall I am very happy with the purchase.
While there are world championships, these tournaments are often known just to practitioners of the sport and can be relatively obscure at times. On top of that, only a fraction of the footage is actually streamed online for viewing. While the UFC and mma in general has done wonders for the sport, if it was to draw attention and continue to grow on its own merit something else was needed. Metamoris fills that spot.
Unlike regular tournaments, there are no points and a much longer time limit. Depending on the belt level, the time can range from four to ten minutes for a tournament match. In Metamoris, all of the matches are 20 minutes long. Also, since there are no points, the only way to win is by submitting your opponent. If no one gets submitted it is ruled a draw. Besides that, the competitors of each match decide if it will be a traditional gi or no-gi match.
The fact that these matches are "submission only" is huge. There has been a rift growing in the BJJ world - those that are ok with the more point based styles and strategy and those that feel that it is giving a false representation of the art. If there are no points, then a lot of the strategies played in point tournaments go out the window. Competitors are also more likely to go for risky positions or submission because they don't have to worry about losing via points just because they tried to finish the match.
This was the first time that I was able to watch one of these events live and I will definitely try to do so when the next one comes around. The cost of the stream was $30 the month of the event and $20 if you ordered before that. In all honesty, it was money well spent. I also had some guys over from my school, so we split the event anyway. The results were half submission, half time limit expiration but very entertaining throughout.
The matches find their way on to YouTube pretty quick, so check them out before they are taken down. I will admit that if you have never grappled or practiced BJJ before, things can be confusing. That being said a very high level of athleticism is displayed in most of the matches and it is easy to see how hard they guys are working. I hope that they continue to put on these shows for a long time as last night definitely made me a fan.