Shark Girl has been overseas (See new profile pic. It’s me at Vatican City! No, I didn’t armbar the Pope, but it crossed my mind!).
Upon my return, I found the following message in my in-box. I am posting it in case my answer can help others in the same predicament. If you have any suggestions for “Got the Blues,” please share them, too!
Dear Shark Girl,
Recently I got my blue belt. It’s a great color and I’m really excited to show it off. There’s just one problem. It is so stiff that it doesn’t keep its knot. I tie it, but even just drilling seems to unravel it. I spend more time retying the damn thing than actually practicing jiu jitsu. My classmates are starting to notice and to make fun of me. I am proud of my accomplishment, but seriously, this is enough to make me run back to the comfort of my white belt.
Got the Blues
Dear Got the Blues,
I can relate. My new blue belt does the same thing! Here are some tips to help you feel comfortable in your new blue belt.
1) Suck it up, pansy. Seriously, you are a blue belt in jiu jitsu and you are complaining about a stiff belt? Come on. You are supposed to be able to kill people with your legs.
2) Wash it. That mojo thing is a myth. Not washing your belt surrounds your waist with a breeding colony of bacteria just waiting to infest any small scrape you may have. Plus, the agitation of the washing machine will surely make your belt cuddly soft in no time.
3) Sweat on it. You heard me. Are you allergic to sweat? Get on the mat and bust out some perspiration. Instead of worrying about how your belt looks, concentrate on your game. Not only will your jiu jitsu improve, but the sweat seepage into your belt is sure to soften even the most untamable of belts.
4) Forget about it. Moving up to a new color belt can riddle the most self-confident person with fear and self doubt. Do I belong with the blue belts? Now I can’t tap to a white belt! Oh, crap, how could I forget the headlock escape . . . again?! Perhaps you are projecting a more deep-seated uncertainty of being a blue belt onto the actual belt itself. That is unfair to your belt. Forget about your belt color and just walk onto the mat. In time, as you feel more comfortable being a blue belt, your belt will feel more comfortable, too.
Well, Got the Blues, that’s all I have to say, except that you might want to seek out some professional help, maybe even couples counseling for you and your belt. And as far as your classmates making fun of you, find something about them to ridicule. I’m sure one of them has funky toes or a unibrow.