#44 Joe Worthington Gets His BlackBelt! When Joey reaches the Holy land of BJJ, it’s not what you expect.
The Black Belt! Faixa Preta!! The light at the end of the tunnel, or is it? Joey was awarded his Black Belt and planned to do it BIG! Celebrate, go crazy and generally enjoy his moment to the Fullest but that’s not exactly how it went down and a much deeper conclusion was reached…
Whether you are a new white belt or a tough brown belt the goal of a Blackbelt is a demanding one. Many things are revealed in this personal discussion between JT & Joey as the grand moment of attainment is revealed.
Speaker 1: 0:04
Better listen. Very careful. A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready, essentially at this point, the fight is over. So you pretty much flow with the goal who is worthy to be trusted with the secret to limit this power. I’m ready, ladies
Speaker 2: 0:29
And gentlemen, welcome to another Bulletproof for BJJ podcast. I am JT I’m Joey, how you guys doing welcome guys today? We will be talking about Joe Worthing getting his black belt. Ooh , tell us it’s the big day I wanted to wear it today. <laugh> but it was still a little bit damped from washing it. After the first class I wore it on Monday night, you wash your belt. I know . No amazing. That’s it’s one of those things that it’s such a long I’m coming. I guess like many things you tell yourself, whether it’s a buying a house, getting a job, getting your black belt, you tell yourself something in your mind. And then there’s the reality of the experience. I thought it’d be so good today. It has been a real journey. And for the best part, you guys out there you’ve been listening. You’ve, you’ve followed some of this journey to an extent and understanding it. I really want to , of you to get into it, Joe . Yeah. Cool. Yeah. There’s been an amazing response from, from our followers. Um, on Instagram, I put a post up with a few that my takeaways from it and, and I guess by the time this episode’s coming out, that would’ve been, you know, three or four weeks ago. Sure. Um , but there’s been some really cool comments and stuff and people have been like, oh man, that thing that you shared that resonate with me and you know , one guy was like, man, this feels like I love the podcast. And this feels like a win for all of us. <laugh> I’m like, bro, that’s the coolest. I it’s so nice. That’s so nice. Um , so I’m really, you know, chuffed about all that. Yeah. I guess the main thing that really stood out to me was that leading up to getting it because obviously I had been anticipating it for a long time. I , you know, Adam and I, my coach, Adam, we’d been speaking about it over the years. You know, he had told me what he wanted from me as a brown belt before he would give me a black belt mm-hmm <affirmative> and that was very cool. I’d never had a coach that was open about that kind of communication. Yes. But you never had that dialogue with your coach. It’s like, don’t speak about it. It’s a mystery. Yeah. And if you ask how dare you bring it up, you reset that’s another year . Two years . Yeah. Whereas he was like, dude, I , you know, I want, I wanna see these things from you. I think you should be fixing this up in terms of your game. I wanna see you compete once at brown belt. Like, you know, all these things. I was thinking, man, when it happens, I’m gonna be stoked, you know? And I’m like, dude, I’m I’m , I’m gonna get I’m like , yeah, sick, you know, like, and I , you know , and I was thinking whatever the celebration is like that day or that night, I’m like, I’m gonna wear my black belt, like to the pub I’m gonna wear, you know, I’m gonna just be a bit of a Dick about it. Why not? Whatever. Yeah. And then I got it. And it, that was the last thing I felt like, oh really? Yeah. How interesting I was , I became really somber, you know, Adam tried to keep it as a surprise and obviously JT was there, right? Yeah . I was there and I don’t usually come to like a , a Saturday open mat. And also we were trying to get the timing right. With your partner, Lisa . Right? Yeah . And it was such a bad cover cuz she’d showed up. Obviously she didn’t wanna show up late and miss the opportunity to witness it. Right. But then you are there and you’re like , she’s like there with your son and Hattie and uh , and you’re like, what , what are you doing here? Oh , just in the area. It’s like, yeah . You’re not in there area by , well, her parents live in the east. Oh , okay . It’s like, oh, well just gonna mum . She told me before I was gonna train that she was gonna to visit her parents. Oh good. And I was like, yeah, really good cover this time . Are you doing here? She’s like, oh , we’re on our way to mom . And dad’s we’re dropping past . And I was like feasible, but . <laugh> <laugh> yeah. And I mean, they were giving out a few other belts. Right. I’d spoken to Adam, we’d work for really hard to not give the guy him away. Right. You know? Yep . And, and speaking of another black belt , uh , semi backy from , uh , Gracie, Bankstown, shout out . He had heard from some random a guy he didn’t even know the day before he got his back belt. Some random guy came up and said , Hey man, you get your blade belt tomorrow. How you feel? He was like, what? Ah , and it ruined, it took the , just a wind outta the sun . Yeah . Because they really were trying to build it up as this really nice reward and surprise. Yeah. And uh , you came off pretty low key . I gotta say, dude, I , so you know, so we’re there and, and , and I was expecting it, you know, and in short and we’re there and I just handing out the other belts and, and I’m , you know , generally excited for the other guys getting graded the off . And then he starts talking about, he , him receiving his first degree, which was his segue into giving me a black belt. That was his plan all along. So he’s talking about, he just got his first degree and um, you know, and I’m sitting there and I remember, and you know, everything was like, ads. Wouldn’t look at me the whole time. Right. And I’m like, he’s not looking at me. You know, I’m like. And he started talking about something relevant to his black belt about how yeah . Significant it was for him. And I started to get emotional and I had to look down cuz I felt , uh , an urge to cry. Yeah. And I’m like, oh. I’m like getting a little bit overwhelmed right now. And then he is like, yeah . And then, and then today I’m giving Joey’s black belt. And then everyone’s like, yeah. And I was like, and I , I didn’t feel like crying anymore . Like that came and went really quickly. Sure. But I just instantly felt kind of like deflated. Oh wow. Yeah. I felt like not overwhelmed it’s it was like a feeling of heaviness and kind of, I , I think the best word I can find for it is somber . Right . A very somber. And I went up and you know, it ties it around and whatever. And then he is like, man, say some words. And I remember like standing there in front of the guy in front of all you guys, you know, about to say something and I got no problem coming up with some to say sure . Thought about it many times. Right in over the years. But I was tired. I’m still trying to figure out what was going on because you , you think like you , like I said, my expectation was that I’d be like super pumped and like life achievement. Yes. Unlock , a Dick. I got a black belt, you know, but I was like, I was the opposite poll like that one <laugh> I was the opposite. And um, and that was very intro resting to me. And I wrote about that on the post, because every time you see someone get a black belt, they write on their social media, very honored, humbled, grateful. And you know , the next chapter begins and I’m always like, man, like give it a bit of hype. Like you’ve got your black belt, like be excited, like yeah , yeah. You know, it’s not all about from here on. Yeah. It’s like not an know for a moment you can celebrate this sick milestone. That’s a great achievement. And like, whatever, next time tomorrow you start worrying about the future, but in the moment. Yeah. Yeah . But I realized in that moment that I’m like, there’s some kind of heaviness that comes with this rank or at least in my mind. Yeah. No , I agree. He , you know, he is the head to hold the crown in a way. Great. Yeah , that’s right. And so , um, so that was very interesting for me. And I felt like for the rest of the day and we , you know, we had some, some drinks and stuff and some food, we had a gathering at one of our, our teammates houses, Alex, what a legend. Yeah. What a Legend’s house to the whole team. Beautiful. Um, and I was just like chilling. I was thinking like, I’m gonna up when I get myself , why would be getting loose that night? You know? And I was like so far from it. Yeah . In any case , um, it has morphed over the recent days. Yes . And it’s become, you know, like when I put my belt on, on Monday night to train, I was like, ah , sick. Like this is exciting. And people commenting like , yeah, very cool. You know, like, so I , and I have, it’s been a , a , like a it’s it’s not an instant sort of thing. It’s like, it takes time to unfold. And for my, I guess, for me to settle into the feeling of it. Yes. Um , and the excitement is there. Yeah . And the gratitude and all those things. Yes. But I , yeah, the , the , the brash arrogant , um, the , that I intended to be hasn’t come out yet, yet. Let’s say, give , given a chance. Did you, does any of that resonate with you when you got yours? Um, I think there was a degree of relief when I got my black belt. Uh , I guess I was on my brown for a little while. Like I think it was on my purple belt longest, but , uh , I think the difference was I got to grade at absolute MMA in the city. So there was people there from St. Kil , like from south a St . Kilder gym, as well as the city. And I originally had , had come to absolute at the city gym and then trained with Lockey at , uh , south ya , whatever. The interesting thing about it was huge. Like there’s easily 150 plus 200 people there. Wow. Not everyone can fit. Also. We got bashed. So I was rolling for two and a half, almost three hours. Oh wow. And there was a moment where actually the , the people who rolled me most savagely were my students and they actually injured me a bit. <laugh> wow. I was like, oh my God, I’ve raised TRUS. They were merciless. <laugh> you know, I , yeah. I think about two hours in, I kind of popped my knee and then I got very badly stacked and, and like really strained my low back. And I couldn’t really play guard after that. And so it’s this process and some of you may have experienced this, if you have that sharp tank grading, which is, you know, you spend a certain amount of time just doing continuous rounds and you hit a point of survival where you jujitsu kind of goes to crap. And then you just, you’re just hanging in there. You’re getting submitted, you getting beat up. It’s almost the true jujitsu at that point. Cause you had no energy. It’s gotta be super efficient and just try not to get submitted. Fortunately enough, I was able to play posum most rounds and they just come out with a killer sub at the end of most rounds and people like, God , what’s going on going ? What ? Awesome . Uh , you know, like kind of like, oh , I’m dead. I’m not dead. <laugh> yeah. Pretty much attack and runaway. The funny thing was with about 20 minutes ago, cha like, okay guys, little break, get water. I was like, what? There’s water breaks? Like yeah. Every 40 minutes a water break. I was like, since when I’ve been doing this for two hours in 40 minutes, I ain’t had a water break anyway . I was like, it let’s keep going. You know? But fortunately for me, there were probably three or four guys who definitely would’ve liked to mess me up getting their brown belts that day. So they were busy getting up. They were busy getting , getting ridden as well. Like crazy legs is one of those guys. Shout out crazy legs, Simon, Carson. And then , uh , big guy, Shane who’s got like this devil tattoo on his chest, like a devil skull in the middle. He’s a hard man. He looks like stone cold , Steve Austin . Right on be jacked. So I was like very thankful. They were all grading. Yeah . Cause I know they would’ve come for me <laugh> but everyone else came for me. Anyway. All I say is the thing about it was because everybody graded. I was sitting there for a really long time and I was exhausted and just spent great all the blues. Great . All the purples, great . All the Browns. And then finally they come to the black belt and it was a great thing. I got to get my black belt with a few other people and it , it was a celebration at the end, but all I can remember is this overwhelming sense of relief. It was definitely some achievement in there. And I did feel quite emotional cuz I had a speech written, like I knew it was coming and I was kind of preparing myself for the, the um, the, the jail attack of so many people. But then I wanted to just share with everybody that was like, you know, like you just don’t know how long this is gonna take and you you’ve spoken on this and you , I know you’re gonna speak to this next Joey, which is , uh , it’s not linear. Some people who started , uh , after you get there before you, and then I other people, you know, they , they’re still on their purple belt and you’re a black belt now. And they’re looking at you like, dang, you’re a black belt. Ah , yeah . They kind of get the regrets. And so it’s , it is a mixed feeling. You get a lot of adulation and , and support from the team, but you also caught a little bit of jealousy too. There’s a couple people like, ah , you got your black belt. I mean, I didn’t have anyone say it to me, but I had a couple people roll me like that. Oh right. Like, oh you’re a black belt. Prove it. You know like, oh you’re a black belt. Like there’s a target on you now. Yeah . Which is fine because I just took it as a , a free pastor . No excuses. I’m black belt now I’m smashing you <laugh> but no, I say on the day a , as an experience, people, you grade with stuff like that, overwhelming sense of relief and obviously , um , gratitude. That’s an interesting contrast. Yeah. Everyone’s really excited for you. Yeah . And all the guy and you know , and the girls like everyone at the team’s like, yeah. Six . So stoked for you man. Congrat and I wasn’t feeling on that level. So I’m like, oh man, thank you so much. Like thank you. Thank you. Like, and I was aware of that and I’m like, oh , I don’t wanna look like I’m don’t wanna kill the super grateful right now. Super appreciative. I’m just, I’m just going through something. I’m not sure what it is, you know? That’s, that is an interesting contrast. I don’t remember feeling that way with any of my other belts. Okay. All I remember like from blue to , to Brett arm was just excitement. Yes. I sick . Got it. You know, stoked how good’s this kind of thing. Yes. Different feeling with the black. Definitely. But you know, I’m also in a different place. I don’t think like I’m a different person to what I was when I got those belts. So I don’t necessarily think it’s relevant to the belt. Could just be me. Yeah, definitely. And, and I think it is different for each individual, depending on how they’re coming jujitsu . Like someone who’s a competitor or someone who’s been doing it for 25 years or anything like that. And the interesting thing to me is like , uh , I’m just gonna segue slightly take a guy like Dale . He reckons he got his black belt in like a very short amount of time, four years. I think it was more like six or whatever it was. But then I look at someone like lock on Giles. It took him 14 years to get his black belt. And in my opinion, he’s a far deeper black belt, even though kit Dale respected him. He achieved a lot earlier in his competitive career. He now almost doesn’t do jujitsu really. Whereas Lockey is so deep in the culture, in the teaching. It is absolutely his life. Yeah. A hundred percent. Um , and , and having trained with both those guys and rolled with both those guys and experiencing what they’re like at jujitsu kit wants to talk crypto. And whereas you cannot stop lock on talking about jujitsu at any point of the day. I , and look, I love it. I love it. I , I think it’s great because if you, you admire black belts, right. You look up to them like, think about the, like, let’s just reference, like who’s the baddest, you know, who’s a black belt where you’re like, man, I’ll be like that guy. He’s a , he’s a killer. Is there anyone like that? It’s a good question. I , uh , or a higher belt , let’s say wouldn’t they have to be a black bulb . You’re talking like, in terms of like the famous kind of doesn’t have to be, you could just be someone you’re like, dang, they’re kicking everyone’s butt. I wanna be like that. I like gully . Yeah. I look at his I’m like. Yeah, he’s a Savage. He is . Yeah. Yeah. I mean, I look at Nogi guys and I feel a bit of that, but I’m also like , uh , Nogi seems kind of different now. It does almost like a different sport. Mm yeah. I , I don’t have a lot of , um , that kind of Fujitsu heroes. No you , or was there anyone you ever trained with when you were like a blue and you saw this guy as a brown belt who was just destroying people and you were like, God, that’s what brown belt’s about. Yeah. Well I think back to then it was , it was almost air every brown belt. Right. You know, when I was a white or blue, it was just like, oh , look at these brown belts. These guys are killers. Yeah . And they, you know, I’ve heard people say this before, but it like a , a competitive brown. Belt’s almost like the scariest. Yes . Of all the jujitsu belts. Yeah . Right . Because they’re trying to prove thankly , Don want that black belt. Yeah . Yeah . And they usually, you know, generally of that age, by the time you get to black belt often, you know, unless you the , the new generation and stuff , you like 18. Yeah . But you know, you’re generally then a little bit older and not so much trying to compete. And I mean, I said that to the guys, I’m like, guys , I got my black baby . I don’t give a anymore. <laugh> tap me out. Whatever. I got nothing to prove. No , I’m , it’s done take it off. You know , I mentioned it this morning within the context of the Bulletproof small group. And I was like , you know, like all these guys want black belts and you know, I probably shouldn’t generalize, but like, so for example, Ray is very new in the journey. It’s not even, probably within her sphere of reference as a , you know, a white belt , she’s one or two stripes to go. I’m getting my black belt, you know, like as a , as a thinking process, she’s just like, how do I just even get my head around , get a Stripe? Yeah . Yeah. What’s my next Stripe. I was the same. Okay. I never had a long term view of it. It was always just like, even at white belt, I never remember being like, I’ve gotta get to that ne or I’m getting to that next belt. It was always just like, yeah. Always just short term . Okay. When I first started, I always thought the quicker you got it, the better you were. Yeah . I didn’t think, you know, that’s kind of an immature approach, but that’s what I thought. I was like, man, if you get your blue belt in a year, you’re a gun. And if you , you know , if you, the sooner you get to black belt, then the sooner you’re a black belt world champion. Yeah . This kind of thinking. And then I, there’s some kind of logic there sort of, but then I realized like meeting more high level guys, like once you get the black belt, it’s like, now you’re in the world of all these black belts. Yeah . And even though people get stripes, you might have to roll someone. Who’s been a black belt for 15 years. Yeah . And they are a hard human. Yeah . And you’re like just a new like, oh , look at me. I look at black belts. Like, nah , megaton Diaz is gonna, it’s true. It’s a deep, deep pool . It’s a deep pool . Cause you think, yeah. And you always have that feeling when you’re, when you’re competing for anyone that’s competed. You always have that feeling where you’re like, oh , but I’m like a fresh blue belt . And I’m going in against people that might had their blue belt for like five years. Yeah. You always have that feeling . It’s like, yeah. That’s just what the game is precisely . You know ? And , but that only spans when you’re at black belt, doesn’t it? Yeah. It just, it’s such a broad thing. But I guess the great thing about it is, and you know, people talk about this is that the dedication it takes requires you to overcome a lot of things, personal financial, physical injuries, everything to stay in the game and really staying in the game is they , they talk about a lot in business that you’ve just got a , you know, it’s last one standing all these businesses for . But if you can find a way to keep your business going and when the chips fall , where they lay, then maybe you’re the last one in the field. And then that enables you to have great success. But with jujitsu, as much as people fall off, there’s always new people jumping in and you’ve gotta just stay your path. However you make it happen. Breakups moving house businesses fail. But you’ve got this thing in your life, which is jujitsu. And it’s like, how do you stay on that path? And I guess us as individual, even though we have many things in common, that was a very different path . So, and you’ve talked about this a little bit, Joe , you did have time off because you were exploring other things. I, I was over ju to , I got my brown belt and I was at the end of my tether at that point done. I look back basically from blue , like through blue and purple. I competed a lot. Yep . And I put a lot of pressure myself. And I also believe that my coach at the time and the team I was in, there was just a lot of pressure there to compete. And I was like, compete, train . And it was like sharp training every night. Like, and so I did it and I look back and I’m like, I did so much of that out of a feeling of obligation. Yes. And eventually it just took a toll where I was like, I’m not enjoying this anymore. It’s stressful. I remember being like, yeah , I remember being like the , the purple belt enforcer . I remember having this visitor come to the gym one night, he was another purple belt . My coach was like, roll him first, get him. And the guy had a bit of attitude about him, but I remember we had this role that was so intense. Whoa . And I, I got the dude. I took him down. I subbed him, whatever. But I , I remember like leaving class that night and I’m like, man, don’t need this stress in my life. I didn’t want, I’m just coming to like, stay fit and like get better. And I’m like, I don’t want to have this emotional, you know, it’s not where I’m at right now. You don’t wanna be the , your , your instructor’s pit bull that’s right. Right . And there was stuff going on in the academy, the coach had lost the passion for it. We weren’t really getting coached anymore. We were just showing up doing the same coincided. We of me opening our first gym. Yes . Younger brothers. And so it was like, dude, I’m taking a break. And you know, same time coach was like, Hey, I’m shutting the gym down. You know, heart’s not in , it , got some other to attend to. So , um, I took that and was like couple years off. And it was, you know, really like many things played out, but it was really only until you introduced me, Adam. Yeah . Adam and I started hanging out a bit. And then he opened his gym in Sydney, beautiful lion jujitsu, where I was like, ah , you know what, man, I’m , I’m keen to get back into it. Mm . He asked me, I was on their podcast yesterday beyond jujitsu. You haven’t listen, check ’em out. Shout . Um , did the boys, he was like, what , what was it that got you back in? And I said, dude, it was part me being painted into a bit of a corner here at jungle brothers where we were teaching jujitsu now. Right . And I was coaching it and I’m like, well, there’s people coming in and I’m sharing it with them and I’m helping them get better. So there’s a part of me that wants to stay in it for that. We also had all of our jujitsu buddies coming into train , cuz they’re all broken. So they , you know , Hey man , doing Bulletproof. Yeah . I was like, all right , there’s a thing there I’m in the community. And uh , and , but also like Adam’s passion for it. Yes. And he was just so energetic about it and I’m like, wow , this is refreshing to be around. I hadn’t, hadn’t really experienced that for a long time. And then also for me, somewhere in my mind, I’m like, well, I’m a brown belt. Like it’d be really kind of sucked to never get to black belt. Yes. You know, but I , I didn’t feel that initially, but after a couple of few years or whatever, I was like, you know, it’s just the next belt. Come on. Let’s go. So in any case that got me back in, and that was really that sort of reignited, the whole Jitsu froth for me. Yeah. That’s nice. And when you think about that, do you think that time off might have helped in a way, because sometimes people just grind, grind, grind until they’re so injured or incapacitated, it’s almost not even attainable. Do you think that, and this is like, maybe you couldn’t say for sure. But do you think having had that time off focusing on movement, doing all your other physical culture and physical development stuff enabled you to have now be a very like mobile and strong human to now jump back on the journey and, and push through and still be a black belt without being a crippled old man. Do you know what I mean? I do. I do know what you’re getting at. I think , um , yes and no. Okay. Because I tend to feel like, yeah, like I’m in good shape and all of that, all of my training outside of jujitsu has , you know , helped me stay , be in good shape. But it’s also relative because I’ve copped a lot of damage too. Right. True. My knee doesn’t work properly at the , you know , anymore . And like little things like that. I think that it’s just relative to, no one gets out alive. Yeah, exactly. You cop damage. You do to get there and, but your baseline is always your baseline. And so I think had I not have gone on that, like, like strength and movement journey that wouldn’t have affected my desire to get back into jujitsu necessarily. Okay . You know what I mean? Yes . And maybe I’d just be a little bit different. Not quite as on , and now it’s still with a couple of injuries. Sure. Do you know what I mean? It wasn’t like, I was like, oh yeah, I’m good. Now I’m prepped. Let’s go. No, no. It was more just like that kind of internal fire. Yeah. No. And that means a lot. And I think the difficulty for a lot of people is we all get the bug. Right. We, we just go, how good is this? I just wanna know more. I’ve just gotta do more. And you just, you just shape your life around it. And then it starts to take its toll . You do get sore fingers. Your back does get jacked up. You get all these problems and then you start to lose your normal function. You’re like, oh, but when I’m a JTS and I’m full of adrenaline, I’m good to go. Yeah , man, getting in outta my car is hard. Yeah . Picking up kid is hard chasing. I can’t run. I can’t chase my three year old , stop my kid from running under a car or something like you have these thoughts and you’re like, oh my goodness, what am I doing? <laugh> yeah. You know, and this , these are some very real world consequences that we all make the sacrifice for because we love jujitsu. I guess I had a lot of time off through injury. Like I have had plenty of injuries and I would say out of like 14 years, like I’m coming up on 14 years now. I would’ve missed two and a half years to injury. Like three months off here , six months off their ribs, knees, ligaments, neck, shoulder, whatever. And I always think to myself like, man, how much better could I be at jujitsu if I had had that time not sitting on the couch or not in physio or whatever, but the truth is it gave me time to also miss jujitsu a little bit like where I , I haven’t done it for three months. I’m like, man, it’d be so good. Know it’s just watching other people. Like I gotta get back. You know, I want , I wanna get back. I , I think it sounds strange, but I learn a lot from my injuries and the time off I had, even though I missed definite competitive time in my athletic career, it still allowed me to keep passion for ju two . I didn’t O D yeah. That, that makes sense. For sure. And I definitely like just the , the ju the time off when I was away from jujitsu, for sure. Gave me an opportunity to let that kind of desire come back. I think really absence makes the heart growth fond, you know , really does. And, you know , but, but if I look at it sort of objectively, I think, well say I hadn’t met Adam <affirmative> sure. And, you know, say we didn’t teach jujitsu here at jungle brothers, potentially. I never would’ve gone back to it. Yeah. You know? And there was no part of me that was, I didn’t really care. I’m like brown, belt’s sick. That’s great. Achievement. Yeah . I’m an exceptional individual. Yes . Because of this rank. Yes. It was really only cuz you know, a few factors sort of came that I decided, oh no, I want to go for the black belt now I’m keen . You know? So I really think that like when I look at other people’s ju journey and some of the conversations I’ve had with folks through the social media and stuff yeah . People are like, oh man, like I’ve taken a big break at blue belt . And I , you know, that thing you said about heaps of time off whatever. And I’m like, it doesn’t matter if you don’t go back. Yeah, no one’s says you have to keep going. No. You know? And it’s like, whatever, three months of jujitsu experience, that’s great. Yeah. It’s better . That’s all you ever get. Yeah. As much as I’m hyper passionate about, I’m also very real about it. And like, man, if it’s not, if you’re not enjoying it and the trade off , cuz there is always a trade off , there’s a cost trade off does not seem worthwhile. Like don’t make it. But it’s also a really cool thing to kind of push through and sacrifice a bit and, and then be rewarded for that. Definitely. You know, definitely when we circle back around to this idea of getting your black belt, do you sense? Like even though you said previously that you would be happy with a brown belt now having achieved your black belt, is there a sense of closure there ? You feel like I did that. Yes. Very much so. Right. Yeah . People talking about ah , the next chapter begins now, now the , and I’m like , this book is collo peace out. Yeah . I’m like, we’re good. <laugh> there is a part of me. That’s like what ? I got nothing to prove now. Yeah. Like, yeah. The real journey begins, whatever, you know? But um, I mean, I get it. If you’re 22 and you get your black belt and you’re competing. Yeah . It’s a new chapter now. Sure. You know? Uh , and obviously people are gonna behave differently. Try and kick my and. Probably a little bit harder. Yeah. But, but you have , you have, you’ve got the double oh seven license to kill. Well , you’re a black belt. That’s not an entitlement thing. That’s you’re rolling with a black belt bro. Like, it’s you you’re gonna get it. <laugh> you want this smoke? <laugh> it’s coming. But um, but yeah, no, of course, you know, I’m, I’m like, I’m , I’m really glad I did it. I’m really glad that all those things came together. And I was like, I want to do this again. <affirmative> because you know that that’s and that’s, you know , that’s a huge takeaway from the whole thing that I’ve spoken about is like, if you can meet someone and, and , or be around people that can, you know, and you are part of this, right. You know you , well, if I hadn’t gone to Brazil, met Adam said to Adam, Hey man, we should open a gym in Sydney together. Didn’t work out. That’s fine. But he’d did fortunately move to Sydney. And I said to him, go train with Joe. Cause he’s like, who do I train with? I’m like, you go, go train with Joe man. And then it’s always the way I’m always the third wheel. <laugh> it’s happened so many times in my life like , oh , is JT coming? Is he? Oh , okay . Oh awkward. <laugh> I’m real good matchmaker. I’ll see a friend. I’ll have another friend. I’m like, I reckon they’d be good mates. And then eventually they’re besties. And I’m just like the ugly cousin offense . What you guys doing? Hey , can I , I , can I play too ? <laugh> and it’s cool. It’s I love seeing that because it it’s just so random that it has worked out the way it has that. And obviously Adam’s passion is so are great that it could like motivate you and get you back on board . Yeah. Because it , it actually, you know, it serves us cuz here we are doing Bulletproof. It’s an amazing thing. Finally, you will put some respect on my name . <laugh> you put some respect on mine. No . Yeah. Well it’s like now I’m not gonna roll you 70% anymore. <laugh> gonna be, oh , you said we’re rolling again bro . I told you this book is closed. Oh right . You get that one sub I’m like , yeah . <laugh> <laugh> no , that’s that’s fair play man . And true. Like I have always felt you’re a black belt. Like I , I have always given you that respect, not vocally, not on the podcast, but in my , in my heart I’m like, nah , this you , you gotta do you guys hear that credit credit where credit due ? I do remember. I will throw it back. The first time we ever rolled was one of the most frustrating roles of my life at the dojo at blue belt. Were we blue belt ? Yeah. It was one of the first times we met, I couldn’t sweep in . I couldn’t tap in . It was a , it was war and I just got so frustra . I’m like guys wrong and flexible. And I just, it was a connection for me, which I don’t usually experience, which is just like, I’m usually a bit stronger or a bit more flexible than someone and Joe was not the guy. Ah , I was like far out , is this like fighting myself? Is this like the end level at, you know, where you’ve gotta , you know, you’re a character in the video game and then the character, the big boss is you, but flashing in like yeah , yeah . Blue colors. Yeah. Can go invisible sometimes. Yeah . Float over here. Yeah . And it was just one of those things that I just knew in that moment. Like, God, this guy’s like a real match for me. And uh , even though we have different styles , uh, I have always given you that respect, Joe , I appreciate that . I’m happy to admit that now you’re wearing the strap. You’re welcome. Bye guy . I’ve waited a long time for this. <laugh> some things are more valuable than a black belt. <laugh> um, yeah. I’m feelings mutual, right? Like that. And that’s, you know, for folks listening to what it’s like when you, when you , when you meet someone who really is kind of , kind of your match , like someone who has the same tools as you it’s often like, ah , hell, like this is so hard to deal with. Cause you’re not , you are used to just doing what you do, but they do what you do. And it’s like, it forces you to find new ways. Doesn’t it true . It’s a good thing to have as frustrating as it can be. But yeah, I think like, you know, on that very fortunate to have had all of those things kind of collude in for me to get the passion back. If those things hadn’t to happened . I had to been at the same gym. I had to been with a coach that I didn’t really feel had the love for it. Wasn’t invested in my development, me not really enjoying it, you know, say the gym stayed open and I was like, I’m gonna grit this out and get to black belt and gave that place another four or five years or whatever. And maybe in that sacrifice, there’s also something great that comes from it because there’s something great in any sacrifice. Sure. However, that would’ve been a four years. Yes. You know, and I just, I look at that and I think I see people in jujitsu who are enduring relationships with their coach or their academy that they’re at you, you know, they don’t align with the values. They’re not getting acknowledged. Yeah . Or they’re not getting help. Yeah. Or , you know , the coaches kind of changed, you know, from what it wa and I’m just like, man, life’s too short to , to be around those people. And the, the , the value of these colored belts means so much to us that we will eat sandwiches for a long time. Yes. You know, to you get to that milestone. And I do get it, you know, it’s like, wow , you’re halfway there. Stick it out for another 12, 18 months, you know? But when I see people who are like enslaved to a ship relationship because of that promotion, that’s on the horizon. It it’s a little bit depressing. Sure. Because we know there are great gyms out there and great coaches who care about every person that walks in their door. Definitely . And the experience that you can have can be like night and day compared to what it is that you’re having. And it’s like, you don’t have to go through this. Yeah . It can be different. It can, you know, and I accepted a bit of that when I came back to train with Adam where it was like, I’m studying again at brown belt. It’s like, whatever, the last few years or whatever, I kind of, you know, I had a couple years of training at great see and stuff. And I’m like, oh , that really means nothing. But at the heart of it, it didn’t matter at all. Cause I’m like, this is an enjoyable experience. Right . I don’t mind how long this takes. And so in summary, if , if we are thinking about people out there who may be a long time on a belt, or maybe right now speaking to you guys, you’ve taken a break, you’re a bit stuck. What would you say? Passing wisdom for them? Couple things. One would be to start a dialogue with your coach about where you’re at in your head. Yeah . And if you don’t have a coach that can, that you can talk to like this, that raises a red flag, maybe go find a new coach mm-hmm <affirmative> , but go to them and say, man, I’m feeling a bit stuck. I really want to get to, you know, the next belt or whatever. I get my second Stripe or whatever it is. I’m not feeling like I’m developing. Can you help me? What do you think I should do? And I’m asking you as my coach. Yeah . You know , uh , because a coach should be able to say to you, yeah, here’s what I need to see from you. This is why I think if you can fix these things and show me this, they can set your expectations, then you can go, okay, cool. Coaches told me what they need. I go and apply myself to that. And I’m good. And you know, and again, I’ve spoken to people who have tried to have that conversation and their coaches given them some and it’s like, okay, coaches are with . Yeah . You know, they don’t care about you. It’s gotten personal, whatever. So start that dialogue with your coach. Second thing would be, don’t compare yourself to what your counterparts are , are doing. You know, I’ve seen spoken about before. I’ve seen so many people who I was once ahead of, or like counter , even with who just, I’ve seen people get their , get their black belt in the time that it took me in my brown belt that go from white to black while I still have my brown belt. Wow. And I , I think like, just focusing on that is just a really depressing thing. Yes. And you need to be able to separate what someone else is having in their journey from yours and be able to be happy for them go that’s so cool. But understand that it has absolutely no bearing or reflection on what you are doing. Yes. You know, your journey is your own and you know, like, it’s like what we talk about. Like, we are a black belt. It’s not like you get to a black belt comp and you’re like, say to your opponent, how long you been a black belt for <laugh> , you know, and judge based on that, you just like, here we are, we’re both black belt. That’s right. Whereas when you’re a white belt, it’s like, it’s all about like how many months you’ve been training. <laugh> how many months do you take you to get three months? Five days. Two hours, bro. Yeah. <laugh> that’s right. This is my hundred and 17th training session. <laugh> it’s like that . None of that matters. No . So just focus on what you’re doing and talk to your coach. Have that conversation. I really think like that’s, you know , that’s the, that’s the key for me. Cool. You know, you got anything to add to that? Um, no, not really. I , I , I feel like I, you know, I got a black belt in TaeKwonDo, but I got that reasonably quickly, like four years and I was only a kid. I was like 14 when I got a black belt, you know, I, I think there’s some validity in jujitsu in not giving belts below a certain age, you know? Like you gotta be 18, don’t you? Um, I think so. They , you know, the rules might shifted on that, but essentially I , I had learned some hard lessons from doing a traditional martial arts. And when I came to jujitsu, I’d already had a lot of like disciplining and focusing and all of, and , and overcoming to think clearly. And I , I think not repeating your mistakes, that’s the best thing you can do. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at. As long as you are making new mistakes, which is indicative of learning. That is key. If you just keep coming in with the same, man, I always, this always happens or I always struggle against that kind of a dude. Then it , it means that you haven’t answered the question and jujitsu is this endlessly of questions. So it’s like being able to answer the question and find new questions. If you’re doing that, then you are on the learning journey. You will get there eventually. That’s yeah. That’s, that’s a really good a point, man. You know, to give people a practical example of that. I remember one of my counterparts guy called be Aaron Bean . Yep . Um , a Savage. Is this the guy you reckoned stronger than me? Yes. No stronger than me. I didn’t say stronger than you. I think you might have said he’s the strongest guy you ever rolled? I did say that. That’s fine. I , I accept <laugh> to , he is like, where is he single tier ? Um, this guy’s a Savage. And when he started, I was ahead of him, right ? Yeah . I think I was a blue belt Hills was a white belt, but he goes blue very quickly. And then, and then strange turn of events. We were both purple belts. And then one night when I was working at the gym coach gave him his black belt. What he calls me off train goes, bro. Dan gave me my black belt tonight. I’m like, what, what? He’s like, I’m like, why he’s like, dude, I don’t know . I don’t know what to think about it. Whoa . And it , you know, no one ever found , I mean the thing was he could up most black belts coming through the gym. Sure. You know, but you’re like, why would you do that to someone? Why would you not just give them the next belt and run that, you know, as per standards of IBG F what just felt really weird. I think it was cuz Dan wanted a black belt coach and he wanted to get the out. <laugh> very convenient. But in any case , um, we would roll together and we would just start and , and I would just step into his guard and give him grips and then start the role . Right . And he would me up every time repeatedly. And it was really, it took many years is for me to stop training, take a break, go back to training with Adam where Adam’s like, stop letting me initiate my game. Like when we slap hands, it starts then like, if you let me get my favorite guard on you and my best grips you’re in trouble. I’m probably gonna sweep you or submit you . And I was like, man, I did that for like two years with Ben where I just step into his dehi , let him get grips. And it’s this relaxed thing, you know? Okay. Now we start one. Why did I not ever think about that and change it and ask my coach, what do I need to do here? Yeah . But two, why did my coach not ever say, tell me that I keep seeing you make this stupid mistake. Yeah . And you’re a purple belt stop making that kind of speaks to my two points. Like if you find that happening, where you’re making the same mistake to your point, it’s like, it’s either you or it’s your coach, but it could be both. And like investigate that. That that’s the key. It is a bit of both. Well that’s, that’s awesome, man. I think there’s, there’s a lot in that. Congratulations again. Thank you so much. It was a true honor. And , and I gotta , thank you, man. You gave me like a beautiful gift <laugh> and you know, a stunning gift. JT gave me a handmade chef’s knife crafted by a friend of ours, cam El cam Elda . Shout out, shout out to the man sacred blades. If you’re all on Instagram at sacred underscore blades, they are living pieces of art. They’re unbelievable. And he’s a black belt himself. He’s a black belt. And JT had him make this beautiful custom knife for me, which was a spectacular gift. And you said some really nice words, which I didn’t get to. Thank you for that meant a lot to me. My great pleasure. I think it is one of those things that <affirmative> you always wanna see people acknowledged. I, I believe that it doesn’t matter what level it is and when people are not properly acknowledged that that gets me. So I was so happy to see you properly acknowledged, bro. Very cool. What , what I wanna say guys is we , we get on here and we, we talk a lot of different stuff, but important thing for us is speaking to you guys. And we would love to speak more about what you wanna talk about. We have our plan, we sit down, we meet every week and we talk about we , we plan out all the things we’re gonna talk about, but we do have our online voicemail and we would leave us a voicemail mate. Just, just say, what’s up. You don’t even, it doesn’t have to be a question and get featured on the show. Exactly. And then also let us know who you are because as , as nice as it is to be anonymous, we also wanna acknowledge you. So please go to Bulletproof for bjj.com and go down the podcast section. There’ll be a red button. You can click and record, leave us a message. Ask us a question, whatever you want. We love to hear from you . Yeah. Anything about your journey? We’ll feature it on the show and we’ll even answer the question. Listen indeed. Thank you guys. Bye .