Training BJJ for a year and a half, feel like I'm not progressing or if any progress it is very slow?

I feel like I've progressed since when I first started but lately I'm having a "bad season". I feel like little to no progress is being made despite effort into training, having days where I can't get a tap and getting tapped more than I submit anyone. I currently train 3x/wk, 2 of those being... show more I feel like I've progressed since when I first started but lately I'm having a "bad season". I feel like little to no progress is being made despite effort into training, having days where I can't get a tap and getting tapped more than I submit anyone. I currently train 3x/wk, 2 of those being 2x/day: Tue and Thur 1-2, and 8-9:30 and Sat 12-1 (is that enough? am I actually putting as much effort in as I think I am after all?) I finished exams a month ago, a bit on and off over exams, missing a few sessions, plus in April I had a personal problems regarding a particular lady friend of mine, so I was feeling down and my head was not all there in other aspects of my life, including training, but now exams are over and with a long uni holiday I can focus on training!!! :D plus I am slowly getting over my personal problems through healing over time and anyway training now helps me forget stuff like that!!!

However, even with a focused mind and effort I am concerned about my progress lately, if anyone suggests exams and personal problems, I would like to point out that I've had bad days like this even before those other obstacles in my life, but now I want to take some concern and do something about it. In the time I've been training I have yet to submit any blue belts or above, however, that's not a problem, in fact, I admire and respect the skills of my senior training partners and take it as learning. The thing that gets me down is when I get dominated by people with as little as 2-3months training or sometimes even their first few sessions! almost like I feel I'm not performing to the standard of someone training as long as I have? The thing is with some fellow white belts and other fairly new people is that they go absolutely crazy in sparring; yanking on my gi, cranking submissions, etc, its seems the case with beginners, the more experienced your training partners the calmer they are. The worse thing is when you get a beginner without a gi who yanks on your gi and it becomes one sided because you have nothing to grab. Tonight I rolled with a beginner like that, he tapped me quite a few times- one was an americana when he was on the bottom in side control after I passed his guard!!! (face palm) he just cranked on my arm and I tapped FRANTICALLY because it felt as if my arm was about to break!!! he then caught me with some other cheap noob stuff like grinding his chest into my face, not a legit sub but was crushing my jaw and nose, even suffocating me! I felt so helpless against s/o who has been training less than me using sheer strength and aggression, not much technique. I feel frustrated with myself almost as if I feel my training has been a waste or I just dont "have it", sometimes questioning whether I will ever make it to blue belt?!?! Maybe I am not aggressive enough? I'm not that type, probably unusual for a white belt lol, on the contrary I try to stay calm and technical, is that what causes me to miss opportunities and feel like a "rag doll" in the hands of more aggressive players?

I also want to compete some day, its been 1.5years now and I want to go for my first, I felt like I needed a little bit more experience when I first got into BJJ so my first year has been just training, learning the ropes, yet based on this plateau I still have some doubts about how ready I am. I feel I will learn and improve more after my first, they say you learn more in competition than just training, is the solution JUST COMPETE ALREADY? It also depends on my instructor, bearing in mind I've recently moved schools due to convenience, and I asked the instructor about competing and he wants me to wait, I think because he doesnt know me well enough yet. He also brought up my performance in sparring, and I dont know if he was being patronising about it (the feeling I got from his tone) yet at the same time he offered help by suggesting private sessions. Also, if aggression is the problem, I have to bear in mind that a tournament will be aggressive and its an issue I need to address, dont want to spend time travelling and even money only to get absolutely smashed!!! lol

Other details: I also want to improve my bottom, any ideas to improve? I'm inclined to top position as its my strongest point but I'm working on starting in guard, yet it gets me in trouble, just keep working on it?

Note: I will not appreciate answers like "give up" and other nastly comments. I have no time for internet warriors and trolls who may not even train themselves! what exactly have THEY achieved or are doing in their lives?!?! I'm sure even the top senior black belts have went through phases like this!!! lol. Plus giving up is far from my aim. I want to continue with the sport as I love it (love all combat sports and even have eventual MMA ambitions), despite the frustrating plateaus. I just want the joy of progressing, medals in tournaments, bel
Update: ...t promotions etc. the feeling of improvement and self achievement, even just the feeling of improving from one lesson to the next, not getting stuck in a rut.
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