Like “adopting a white belt”, the belt doesn’t matter, but the adoption does.

In the same way we should take newer teammates under our wing, we should also seek shelter under the wings of our seniors.

If you like an aspect of the way someone rolls, go after them each class you can. Absorb their flow, imitate their technique, style, or intensity.

Is there a level of intensity or grace we see in others that we can imitate? Or simply a technique or system of techniques that intrigues us?

We can spend as much or as little with each adoption, learning from their philosophy or mindset, guard passing or takedown ideas. We can follow for a week or a decade. We can adopt teammates or strangers, those ripping up the scene today or from the greats of the past.

Like a barnacle on a ship, we can latch on to them, literally or from a distance. We should internalize the power of self talk with “i’m learning to sweep like them” during our rolls, or “learning their mindset” through observation and imitation. Get in there with them when you can, observe from a distance when you can’t. Move on to the next, or don’t. But don’t miss the chance to “adopt a black belt”, or hundreds of them and all other belts along our journey.