I recently made a new friend, and one of his favorite games is “Choices” – wherein you give someone a choice and they have to make up their minds, then you have the opportunity to try to change their mind. Of course the choices are always sucky. My friend has learned that my kryptonite is a BJJ black belt, but on the opposite end is bad BO.

Now I present you with a choice, and in the spirit of the game, it’s not the best choice, but I’d love your answer.

You can choose: a BJJ instructor who is a single belt ahead of you and speaks your language, or a BJJ black belt who you don’t share a common language with.

So for me, it would be an English speaking purple belt or a Korean speaking black belt. ^_^

Obviously I chose a higher level instructor who doesn’t speak my language, but I think that had I had English instruction available to me I would have taken it when I started. I definitely haven’t grown as much as I could have, and part of that is not sharing a strong common language bond – so I miss a lot of the concepts, though I get the movements. For me, generally the AHA moments come when you can understand the principles underlying the movement.

What about you? The parameters are: one year of instruction. The lower belt: can explain concepts well but is only one belt above you. The black belt: zero translation is available, but he’s really great.

Make your choice!