Totowa MMA: A look inside NJ United Mixed Martial Arts Academy

Momentum for life, momentum for jiu-jitsu!

Beginning a journey is good. Continuing it with momentum is divine!

Lately I’ve had conversations with some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu white belt students about belt ranks. They’ve all been legitimate questions, and they usually run along the lines of:

  • What do you think the toughest belt is in BJJ?
  • What about the funnest belt?
  • I feel totally stuck at white/blue/purple belt. What do I do?
  • How’d you get your black belt?

These are all legitimate questions, and every high-ranking BJJ practitioner will answer them differently. But more importantly is the all-encompassing, blanket-answer of . . .


The way you excel at something is not by dabbling in it once in a while, and not by looking at it as a joyride (although having straight-up fun is indeed a prereq!). The way you excel at something like BJJ, and the way in which all the above questions eventually answer themselves is through your own momentum. You’ve got to train regularly. Sometimes we tend to look at tough problems and assume that they have tough solutions. But more often than not, the truth is simple and not glamorous at all. Show up consistently, train hard, and train smart. Belt ranks will then come when you’re ready.

Now and then, a new white belt will join my classes, and he or she will have all of the following traits that anyone can have regardless of talent or genetic gifts:

  • Consistency (training 3 or more times per week),
  • Watchfulness and willingness to ask questions.
  • Willingness to work on a move or a position after class is done.
  • Patience.
  • The willingness to actually seek out and apply constructive criticism.

Money, enthusiasm, and a strong will are all fine traits, and they have their place in martial arts. But without momentum, they won’t unlock the richer treasures that jiu-jitsu has to offer!

People who seek and foster these traits are downright amazing. I’ve had students within their first week of training exemplify these traits . . . and then get consistently out-classed and tapped-out by higher-ranking white belts or blue belts for a while. But to them, that doesn’t even matter, and it shouldn’t! Because over the course of a few months, they either learn quickly or they come to an advanced knowledge of the flaws that prevent them from learning quickly. When they continue their training momentum after trouble-shooting their jiu-jitsu, they start to really threaten the higher white belts and blue belts who often rest on their laurels. This is a wake-up call to such upperclassmen, which helps them return to the values they may have lost track of.

You never know when your breakthroughs will occur. You certainly can’t force a breakthrough to happen. What you can do is stack the deck of jiu-jitsu in your favor by sticking to the simple values listed above, and keeping your momentum going!

Come train at NJ United Mixed Martial Arts and take advantage of our 7-day free trial offer! Whether you’re an aspiring competitor or casual student, you will benefit from training in our friendly, professional, and ego-free environment. Call us at 973-638-1570 to schedule your first class, and visit us on the web at for more info.

JJ Mike



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