Got nutt'n but love...
For the past few months I have enjoyed a nice change of pace. I've transitioned from "tournament" mode to just training, learning and having fun. Througout 2010 I've felt like I was constantly in "tournament" mode. When I say tournament mode, I mean training as hard as I can and as much as I can with lots of cross training and strict dietary requirements. Being in tournament mode means lots of sacrifices, discipline and determination. To me it means solidifying what I know and tightening up my game. Not only does your body have to be in top notch condition, but it is equally if not more important, that you are mentally strong and prepared.
So recently, I've had the opportunity to just train with no tournaments on the horizon. Through this experience, I've gained a new perspective. I've been able to relax and train just because I want to! Not having the pressure of an upcoming tournament has given me the opportunity to learn new things,re-evaluate and solidify my game and most importantly gain a new outlook on my goal of becoming a black belt.
One of my most favorite parts of training in Brazil was the way they spared. They did a lot of flow rolling which was very smooth, fluid and required little to no strength. I found that this type of sparing really helped me to think about setting up sequences, applying correct pressure, cutting accurate angles and how circular motions tie into it all. So over the past month I've incorporated this technique into my sparing sessions. In doing so, I have discovered more holes in my game and I am working hard to fill them in.
I know that no matter how long it takes or where this path leads me, it's the lessons learned along the way that contribute to who I am as a competitor and martial artist. It's what my instructors and coaches have taught me, the experiences I've had and the raw emotions I've felt that contribute to the final result of my "game".
Asking what type of a black belt you want to be to me is like asking what type of person you want to be. I've learned so much during this time, I feel more confident in my game and best of all I have gained valuable knowledge and insight. I am also super excited to be gearing up for the 2011 season of tournaments. I really believe that what you put out is what you get and I am ready to put in some hard work!