This installment of What I Wish I Wish Knew as White Belt is provided by Sharon Bonewicz, a BJJ Black Belt from BJJ United and Jared Weiner’s wife. I believe she is also Lloyd Irvin’s first female Black Belt.
Sharon began with Judo in 1997. In 2001 she was introduced to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to compliment her training. She was promoted to Black Belt in March 2008. Sharon is an active competitor in both arts and travels to Brazil every year to train and compete. She also participates and gives seminars in North America to support and promote Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to women.
Sharon was the founder of the” Rocinha Project” which promotes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to under privileged children in Rocinha, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (the largest favela in South America). She assisted with the Moldova project as well as work with non-profit organizations locally for the children and community of Philadelphia.
The one thing I wish I knew as a white belt was that there is no rush (for anything). I was in such a hurry to learn as much as possible as fast as I could. Not only was I greedy trying to learn every sweep, submission, pass, etc out there I was determined to find “my game.” Once I found what I was good at doing and what techniques were successful for me I got lazy and threw (out of my mind) a lot of things away I never thought I would use in my game. I thought I knew the positions and often missed amazing fine details that I had to later go back and fix and add.
I wanted to learn so much I often overlooked basics and the fine details. The good news is that today when i teach I always point out the fine details that make or break a technique. People are more aware of how important learning the basics are these days and how important drilling is too, but in every class i still see students rushing through the techniques missing half of it during the drilling session. Pay attention and do things step by step. Most importantly, don’t rush the technique, don’t be in a rush to get to the next belt, it will come when you are ready and just train hard.