Do you believe in the power of the belt?
It is said that your Jiu Jitsu belt harnesses all of your "power". A belt is not just something you wear around your waist in Jiu Jitsu. A belt is a symbol of your knowledge and experience. Your belt naturally ages with you as you progress. A worn-out belt is a sign of how much and how long you've been training at that level.
A few days ago I was talking with a friend and training partner of mine. She told me that someone had commented on her worn-out belt (she trains more than anyone I know). She then went on to explain she runs her belt through the wash regularly! I was completely shocked! Your "power" is in your belt! It's blasphemy to wash it down the drain! OK, perhaps I am a little too superstitious and over dramatic, but I need all the power I can get!
I was online looking for other articles on the topic of "the power of the belt" when I came across this great blog entry. Check it out...
The Jiu Jitsu Fighter
So on the way to the airport, bound for Brazil, you can imagine how I freaked out when I realized I had left my belt at home! How was I was going to compete and then train for 24 days without my belt! Forgetting my belt was a huge deal! As Megaton jokingly told me at the Rio Open, "what sort of warrior forgets her belt?"! Fortunately, only in Brazil would they have Jiu Jitsu belts for sale at a posh mall like the Leblon Shopping center.
Without my belt, I had to let go of my superstitions and look at my situation with a glass half full outlook. Now I have two belts, one I bought in Brazil and the original one I started out with. What a great souvenir! Also, the truth is that the power is not in my belt, it's the whole package underneath the belt. It is me! The endless hours of mat time, classes, and additional training got me to where I am now.
I see things differently on the mats since my trip to Brazil. I've realized that the color of the belt belt doesn't matter as much, it's the growth that does. However, I haven't completely given up my superstitions. No matter what, I still believe in the belt and the "magical powers" it possesses. But in the end, what it all comes down to is what I've been taught and how effectively I can apply it.