There are black belts and there are Black belts. Trust me. Whereas a few short years ago I couldn't tell the difference between a purple and a back belt, now I can quantify the difference between a black belt and a great one. In addition to regular class time add another 1 to 2 times more drilling time, as well as strength and conditioning.
I can't even imagine how good I could have been by now, had I dedicated serious drilling time to the techniques that work best for me. On top of some 2000 hours of mat time, I could have another 4000 in drilling. But of course, drilling is boring compared to a regular class. Who can seriously dedicate 20-30h a week of their time just in jiujitsu only?
And there are black belt champs. I seriously wonder what their secret is. More drilling ? More rolling ? An even stronger mind ? Talent ?
Regardless, what unites the three black belts is their experience and ability to teach. The least common deniminator of black belts should be, in my opinion, the ability to learn and teach by themselves.
I wonder what my jiujitsu will look like in 5 or 10 years from now ? Some of the athleticism will be gone. I will have to rely even more on technique.