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New Gracie University Blue Belt Testimonial

May 10, 2015

Learning How to Use the Street Switch

My name is Jarrett Ware. I am a recently promoted
technical blue belt and for a while, I had lost my faith in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and the belt that I earned. I have been training in jiu-jitsu for about eight months and my only true instruction has been Gracie Combatives. I started training when I got deployed last year and when I came home I continued training whenever I could. I have two young kids so it's hard to go to classes however sometimes I can make it to the open mat at my friends school, and for the last few months they have been tearing me apart. I have not had the same amount of mat time, but I would roll with other blue belts and just try to survive. The moment of truth came when I rolled with a three stripe brown belt and he completely destroyed me. He gave me the usual comments that people give when they hear that I got my belt through online training. However, he told me he would only rank me as a two or three stripe white belt. That statement, along with the trouble I was having with the other students, completely crushed my confidence, and I stopped training for a while. But a few weeks later, I was at a bar and accidentally bumped into a guy and spilled his drink and he flipped out and attacked me. He tackled me to the ground and mounted me and began to throw hay makers down on my face. I instinctively sat up and went into the punch block variation of the trap and roll escape. But as I laid there on the ground hugging this guy's chest, I thought back to a question the brown belt asked me when I was rolling with him. He asked me, "why are you holding me down when I am on top of you, I'm just going to rest all my weight on you." At the time I couldn't think of why I was doing it but in that moment I realized that I was holding him because in a real fight I'm not worried about someone resting on me I'm worried about getting my face smashed in. But, returning to the fight, I got the guy off of me and was able to get away without getting hurt or hurting him. However, that fight helped me understand why I was losing. I realized that when I would roll at the open mats I still had my "street switch" on and certain moves or movements were not conducive to sportive jiu jitsu, or they did not allow me to capitalize on my opponent's movements in a sportive setting. Once I realized that my game changed overnight and I no longer just survive when I go to open mat sessions. I recently overheard a blue belt saying that he was afraid to roll with me. Now I believe that I understand the difference between street and sport jiu-jitsu and I truly understand what it means to be a blue belt in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. I wrote this just to share my story with you all and to thank you for providing me the opportunity to learn jiu-jitsu it has truly changed my life. And being the parent of two young children Gracie University is the only method of instruction that I can work around mine and my children's schedule and continue to train in jiu-jitsu. Again, thank you for this opportunity and I plan to continue training for the rest of my life!

-Jarrett Ware
Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Blue Belt

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