It continues to amaze me in how many different activities (from jiu jitsu to computer science to laundry to cooking) it takes me years before I pause to question the very simplest of skills involved in that activity. For a jiu jitsu and judo example: tying my belt.
I don’t remember ever being taught how to tie my belt except maybe when I did karate at 12-13. And ever since I started judo I’ve been putting off learning how to do it. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I always felt like I was missing “the right way”, since I saw many high level people tying the belt differently. And when I would start watching a belt-tying video on YouTube I would always get bored within the first 2-3 seconds and tune out.
I know this sounds stupid, but I think this same kind of thought process is the plague that sometimes halts progress in jiu jitsu. If you catch yourself thinking that there is a “right way” to do something, you should immediately study it, try it out, and see if this “right way” is “your way”. Tying belts is a silly topic, but this applies to the way you split a closed guard, the foods you eat before training, the way you interact with your jiu jitsu coach, your girlfriend, your parents, and your opponent in the finals of the absolute division.
As far as belt tying goes, here’s a video of Rener showing some options. I do the simple one he shows first. I’ve learned to love it, so there’s no turning back now.
This video shows the method I always saw as “the right way” but never invested the 30-60 seconds it takes to learn it.
I tried it out today, and figured out that I didn’t like it. I’ve gotten too used to the simple way. So now, 2 years later, I can finally put this issue to rest. On to the next epic drama of my sporing life…