The 3 B’s are not really much to do about the belt system, but more about nourishing a happy and productive learning attitude.
I’m quite infamous in my circles for ranting, and one topic that is sure to get me started are belts.
If I had my choice I would do away with belts completely. We’d all be the same colour and the focus would turn to helping people distinguish between best and better, the latter two B’s.
Unfortunately, I would probably not have as many students come through the door. Would certain individuals travel from as far as Leicester & Coventry on a regular basis if I wasn’t a black belt?
I hope that they would now knowing that I place more emphasis on their current state of BJJ as opposed to what was recognised the day before.

Belts aside, we now move onto the notion of best and better.
Students, especially those who have been in the game for a number of years often cry out for “Best”.
Desperate to solve problems they’re having it’s comforting to say this is the best solution for me. The idea that there lies a “best” game plan, an A game, a way to make oneself the best based on body size, strengths and weaknesses.

“Best” however is fraught with problems, because as everyone knows there is always someone out there who will be better than you. This is not, however the biggest problem with “thinking best”.  The biggest problem is that “best” stops you learning. The word best in itself means that there is nothing you can do more to improve yourself.

If you consider yourself the best in a club, because you may be tapping everyone out on a regular basis, imagine the damage it is doing to the areas that you could be improving. Of course you could still be dominating during your sparring, but firmly holding on to the notion that “I can do Better” is far more productive.

If we translate this “Better” mindset when training, then we can say I can always do better to pay attention to details, to flow when I need to flow, to balance, to control, to recover, to pressure, to transition, to cause reactions, to set up moves, the list is endless.

The concept transfers into competitions. If you win Gold, your first thought could be “I can do better” rather than being content and again placing obstacles in front of learning.

This rant is dedicated to Akeem Khan who, in the three years that I have known him, I hope I have inspired as much as he has inspired me in learning.