A couple of weeks ago I was at my club’s belt promotion.

Watching people go up, I realised that one of the reasons that I enjoy BJJ is that it gives the opportunity for moments of simple happiness. Everyone who went up had the biggest, goofiest smile on their face — which stayed there for the rest of the night. And we all got to share that.

Obviously, this isn’t the end of the story. I’m sure some of the people getting promoted will also have fears, insecurities and doubts. And I’d be amazed if a few people in the audience weren’t, at least in part, disappointed and envious.

But still. I think we all, for a few moments, got as close as one can to a shared moment of joy. No complicated mixed emotions and no careful irony.1 That’s a rare thing and to be celebrated.

  1. Anyone who knows me will know I’m a great fan of both complicated mixed emotions and careful irony. But a change is as good as a rest. 

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