Oct 05

Lessons Learned When I Was a White Belt IV

Lessons Learned when I was White Belt IV

Let’s take a little trip.

Through the Wormhole

A few years ago, Evolve Academy decided to create a fight team for the WKA Nationals. The tryouts were set at a certain date and a certain time, and it was expected to be a really difficult and demanding test.

At the time, I had been training on the striking side of things for over a year and I had just begun to train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Also at that point, I was still really heavy. I would say that I was probably hovering between 290 and 300.

That didn’t matter because I wanted to test myself. I wanted to see if I could handle that level of training, and I had no doubt that it would be beyond anything that I had ever done before.

Actually, I remember that we had to sign a special waiver beforehand. So that just increased the perception of how truly difficult it would all be.

The tryout was hard…

There’s no doubt of that, so it definitely can’t be said that it didn’t live up to expectation. I made it through though, and that’s what matters.

Getting through that trial marked the beginning of a period of marathon training sessions. Almost every time I was at the gym, I was there from between 3 and 5 hours, training the whole time.

I would do the regular classes like Thai Boxing and BJJ and then there would be fighter training. Also most nights, fighter training was a hard strength and conditioning workout.

It was a grind.

There were quite a few things that helped me stay in the process. I’m just going to focus on one right now because it’s something that could be considered a disadvantage.

It takes me an hour to get to my gym, and I’ve tried many different routes in order to shorten that time. None have worked out. This means that going to Evolve is a significant time and gas investment for me.

Now what do you think is a better return on my investment? An hour spent training or three? The answer is obvious.

Lessons Learned

Routine is a powerful thing.

The level of training I was doing back then was possible because it became routine. I raised the standard of training that I expected of myself, and over time it became natural.

Even now, I know that if I do anything consistently, I can make it routine. No matter how small the change, anything can become a daily ritual.

Also even though I didn’t fight, the benefits I got coming out of that camp were massive. One of the best examples is the first tournament I did afterward.

I think it was about two months after the WKA Nationals. It was also the first Copa Nova tournament that I’ve competed at.

I went there alone, and I was a white belt at the time. The goal was simply to get experience, and I definitely got that.

I did all the divisions possible, and I crushed everyone. One of the matches was like 30+ to 0, and it was a absolute blur to me afterward.

I don’t remember one detail from that match at all. My mind must have completely checked out and my body was just operating at autopilot. It’s a shame that I haven’t been able to get to that state more often.

Anyway, I look at that whole tournament experience and credit it to the fighting camp I went through.