This week I received my first stripe on my white belt in Gracie Jiu–Jitsu. I got it pretty quickly considering I’ve only been studying since the day before Jessica’s birthday. As a white belt, you receive a stripe every twenty classes, with a maximum of four stripes. After receiving two stripes you are eligible to test for your blue belt but you have the option to wait and continue on as a white belt if you prefer. Once you get past white belt the stripes come much slower. I think I heard someone in class say it takes about a year and a half to get each stripe. There are far fewer belts in Jiu–Jitsu than in the traditional martial arts but they mean more because they take so long to get. There are lots of Karate and Tae Kwon Do schools in Southern California that advertise "the quickest path to black belt," something like three or four years, but Gracie Jiu–Jitsu is the exact opposite. We’re known for being the longest path to black belt, as in 15 to 20 years on average. I’m hoping to attend at least one class this summer at the original Gracie Academy in Torrance, CA and get to meet some of the family members that run the school.
Unfortunately Jessica is working doubles both days this weekend so I’m home with Ava and the dogs doing homework while Ava naps and watches the Baby First network. I made fun of Jessica for singing some of the baby songs they play on Ava’s channel but just now I caught myself singing the "Shushy–bye" song to her while she was falling asleep. Ridiculous. We got quite a few good pictures last weekend during our trip to Vegas and a few after returning home. Our little girl is getting big!
Playing with Grandma’s iPad
Always trying to eat those feet
Sleeping like a baby
Hanging out with Leo
Our little Hawkeye
With my instructor Matt Becker after getting my first stripe