For many, the first stripe is a significant accomplishment in their BJJ journey, and it is something that all beginners look forward to achieving.
Why the first stripe is significant
The first stripe is the first achievement in your Jiu Jitsu journey, which already makes it a proud moment for any beginner. To get your first stripe, you’ve most likely endured at least 3-6 months of hard training. These sessions can be the hardest of your overall BJJ career as your body adjusts to the physical demands of BJJ. Not only that, but you’ve changed your life to incorporate your training schedule and most likely pushed yourself to go on days you don’t feel like it.
“The first stripe meant a lot for me. For the last three months, I had endured a lot to earn it. I knew the remainder of my BJJ journey wouldn’t be easy, but I also knew I had accomplished one of the hardest parts, getting through the early beginner stage.”
As exciting as BJJ is to start, there is also some discomfort that all beginners endure. The social discomfort of being the new person, the mental discomfort of pushing your limits, and the physical discomfort of recovery. Your first stripe signifies that you have adapted to these discomforts and in turn, become strong enough that they don’t bother you so much anymore. No longer are you the new person, as by now, the gym most likely feels like a second home. You know at least a handful of people by name and have probably rolled with at least half the students in the gym!
What you’ve accomplished to get your first stripe
There is so much to learn in jiujitsu and the first few months can be like being thrown into the deep end. There is a lot of fun to be had, but you’ll also experience your fair share of challenges. When you look back after getting your first stripe, you will most likely see the following achievements:
· Basic movements such as hip escapes, forward and backward rolls
· Ability to hold the position in guard, mount, side-control, and back-control
· Understanding of using frames and other defence strategies
· Any weaker muscles have become stronger
· Increased flexibility and mobility in your body
· Heightened understanding of human anatomy
· Physical changes: weight loss & increase in muscle mass
· Improved fitness- the warm-ups no longer break a sweat!
When should you expect your first stripe in BJJ?
Depending on your individual progress and how many times you’re training per week, the first stripe is awarded within around 3-6 months of training. Your coaches will decide on your first stripe based on a few factors; ability to execute techniques, time length you have trained, and the number of classes attended. The main thing is to focus on your progress and not compare yourself to others. Everyone develops at their own pace. There is a level of trust and respect that is also learned in the first few months of your jiujitsu journey. Therefore, it is important to remember that your coaches are watching you and will award you in due time.
“For me, I was excited to get my first stripe ever since my very first class. After several weeks of thinking about it, I decided it was best to focus on the training and realized that the stripe will come in due time.”
If you have already achieved your first stripe, Congratulations! It is a good time to reflect on how far you have come in the last three months and look forward to the rest of your journey. By now, you would have realised that jiujitsu is a long game and showing up to class consistently is the most important thing. The more you are present at the gym, the more chance you will have to succeed over time. If you have not yet received your first stripe but are looking forward to it, trust the process! Your stripe will come in due time and your patience will be rewarded.
For more information about BJJ visit Gracie Parramatta’s website or contact 9687 5480