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Blue, Red, White

Table tennis was favorite sport game during my school years. There were a few tables for this game in my schoolyard. I was spending all the breaks and free time after lessons there together with my schoolmates. But the most interesting competitions were held beyond the schoolyard. I always laughed at my classmates competed with each other in the knowledge of table tennis playing techniques without playing a real game. They tried to convince each other what kind of hit is better: this one or that one or how to impart some spin to a ball. During this discussion they were making movements with hands as if they held tennis rackets. But usually these tennis wizards were not skilled. As for me it was funny because it had no meaning.

But almost 30 years later I changed my mind. What has happened?

As you remember two weeks ago I delivered the speech "My sack of benefit". I told about my hobby - jiu-jitsu. I made a video-record of the speech and put it up on my pages in social networks. My jiu-jitsu clubmates, as well as my coach Valentyn Varenikov, watched it and approved it.

During my speech I tried to explain a few tricks about gi (kimono) jacket. I narrated about jacket's sleeves, its size and fabric. These things are important for the fighting. But gi is normally used together with belt. I did not use a belt during my speech but it's a mandatory part of garment for fighting.

When I came to jiu-jitsu club for first time I I put on a belt that I used in sambo. Sambo practitioners use both blue and red belts. There is no difference between them. It's only for ease of distinguishing the sportsmen at competitions. One wrestler has a red belt, another - a blue one.

So, when I came to jiu-jitsu club I used a blue belt. It fitted the color of my gi. I did not know that there is ranking scale for belts in color for jiu-jitsu fighters. The colors are up to the level of skills. This scale includes belts from white to red. Red belt is the highest level. Only few men in the world have the red belts and I suppose that they are the so-called patriarchs who devoted their lives to jiu-jitsu.

Starting from my fist steps in jiu-jitsu I had an opportunity to compete with many guys who have practiced this martial art for some time. They had ample knowledge of jiu-jitsu techniques, explained me them and instructed me how to use it. But when we started to fight and I took an upper hand over them thanks to my previous training experience in other kinds of wrestling. That's why not many guys were asking me about my blue belt.

Can you imagine me coming to jiu-jitsu gym with red belt from sambo jacket? It could be a huge misunderstanding!

But last Monday I got a white belt with 4 stripes from my coach. Other students must work hard to deserve each of these stripes. I've got them all at once. As my coach explained me, he presents me this belt for my attitude to training. It's the highest ranking belt for which he has the right of giving it to the students. The teacher who lives abroad can present the next belt - a blue one.

I suppose the video with my recorded speech has a lot to do with it... This is my suggestion.

So, what does it mean to me? First of all it means that I am a student. And jiu-jitsu is a process. What is next? To go ahead to black belt? But first a blue one must be gained again?


I remember Alexander Suvorov's words: it's a poor soldier that never wants to become a general. Thank you for the trust, my teacher! But to be honest I just want to pursue what I love to do - to practice jiu-jitsu and to spend time together with like-minded people who share my interest.

Friends, the humorous moral I could learn from this story is: it doesn't matter how proficient you're in your occupation. More important skill is how well you can present yourself.

No kidding!