Not everyone can be Nicky Rodriguez. I know, I know, life’s unfair like that.
Ask anyone who trains and they’ll confess to at some point or another, maybe only briefly, maybe again and again over many years, squaring off with “Promotion Frustration.” This is the emotional funk which settles over grapplers when they’re smeshing higher belts with ease but can’t seem to climb off of their current belt plateau. It’s especially common among wrestlers or judokahs chilling at in “some stripe white belt” neighborhood, and it’s enough to make some quit the game entirely.
Chris Matakas of Matakas BJJ has some thoughts on the subject, including how to disperse the funk and adopt the mindset which is necessary to advance through the gentle art. Hear him out, it’s good stuff: