The belt doesn’t matter, but the adoption does. When we’re adopting someone of lesser experience, we should be conscious of the powerful synergy of the connection, that the help goes both ways, ego-free, organic and balanced.

Having more experience, we should be on the lookout for those we can help. Sometimes it’s technical knowledge, other times it’s help with academy rules and etiquette, or the simple “hey you wanna roll?” to the brand new grappler on the sidelines.

Most of us remember what it’s like to stand on the outside, unpicked, thinking we’d be insulting or improper to ask, or a waste of other’s grappling time. Our inner monologue wondering about etiquette eggshells we’re walking on, or what in-house safety rules are in place? Helping relieve that anxiety for someone new can be exactly what they needed that day, and plants seeds of confidence within them to help the next.

Helping others helps ourselves, what’s good for the hive is good for the bee. There’s the obvious distillation of our own thoughts to get our knowledge across to someone, to make us think. The accomplished feel good of helping someone along their way. The relief of the newbie to feel wanted and part of the team, and we were all that newbie, or still are.

“Too Helpful?”

There’s also the chance of going too far with helpfulness as well, unintentionally hurting their progress, so we’re mindful to moderate. Too much and we might smother them, leaving them too dependent on us and missing the chance of influence from others. We can’t always be there for each of their classes. We should be quick to introduce them to others, and let those new connections form as well. We’re careful not to make them feel it’s a pity driven assistance over an organic desire to help. It’s a genuine giving of help, in the same way they would help us in another environment. They shouldn’t feel our being helpful as an ego boost for us, or as a drag on our time, or a disruption to our own training.

Helping others doesn’t get in the way of our training, it is a part of our training. The newbie should feel that, and so should we.