Andrew Smith was kind enough to answer the question, “What do you know now that you wish you knew as a White Belt?” Andrew is a BJJ Revolution Black Belt who runs both a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school in the Richmond area but also is one of the owners of the US Grappling line of tournaments.
Andrew came to our Baltimore Martial Arts school last year to give an excellent seminar on leg locks and is very active in the Mid-Atlantic grappling scene.
What makes you better when you’re training at the gym isn’t winning at the gym; it’s losing, more often than not. There is a time to tighten up and not let someone impose their will on you, and that’s when you’re getting ready to compete. The other 95% of the time, you need to be fluid, allow people to sweep you, pass your guard, and even submit you. Ultimately, you will see what they’re doing, learn from it, and be able to prevent it the next time.
Fighting strength with strength every time I rolled was something I couldn’t teach myself not to do, but it’s very obvious to me now that I see beginners out there trying to rip one another’s heads off every time they roll, not giving an inch, that I was once like that. The sooner beginners learn to lose at the gym, the sooner they’ll start to get better. In short: winning at the gym isn’t the goal.
BJJ Revolution Team
3X PanAmerican Gold Medalist