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In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the blue belt represents that you have mastered the basics and proven to yourself and your instructor you have been extremely effective in many positions and show competence with several techniques. In this stage, just like all the others, new challenges and struggles will be introduced and it is your job to be aware of them and make it through the other side.
BJJ BLUE BELT
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt is the first huge accomplishment that you will receive on your journey through Jiu-Jitsu. Typically, this belt takes about two years for someone to achieve; most people will spend at least two years here. By no means is this an easy thing to accomplish. Time, dedication, and consistent effort are needed to get here.
Just like in the white belt stage, blue belts will receive stripes on their way to the next belt color which is purple. As the belts get darker the expectations of what you are capable of rising with it. Blue belts should actively compete and test their skills against people outside their training grounds, this is an excellent way to progress faster and showcase to those around you that you are ready for the next level.
It is common to get to this stage and feel a sense of imposter syndrome. Sometimes we feel as though we are “not ready” for that next belt and this is normal. Rest assured that your coach sees something in you if they move you up the ranks, no instructor in the BJJ community gives out belts to people who they do not think are worthy of it.
If this is how you feel, keep pushing, and be sure to not fall into the Blue Belt blues.
Blue Belt Requirements
- Know how to get out of inferior positions
- Strong defensive game (emphasize escapes)
- Dedicated to your training and bettering yourself
- Basic offensive moves are mastered
- Training for 12 – 24 months
What Makes a Blue Belt Dangerous
Students on the Blue Belt level have an accurate understanding of the way to defend. Students with a blue belt will be able to protect and can escape most positions within a live rolling match with someone at their level or below. The blue belt promotion is just like any other but you should feel extremely excited that you made it out of the white belt stage. The numbers say that 90% of people quit before they even get their blue belt so this is a huge accomplishment that you should be proud of.
You will still make some mistakes, but you retain the knowledge you need to repair them. As a Blue Belt, you may notice some techniques you don’t understand or crucial details you need to clean up. It is important that you start to take more of a leadership role within the academy you train in and help lower-ranked students develop.
BJJ practitioners all want to do the same thing at the end of the day, get better at jiu-jitsu. To create a strong, healthy, and skilled academy it is extremely important that those inside of the gym take care of lower belts and show them the ropes so that one day they can advance to getting a new belt.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Blue Belt In BJJ?
This question can be answered but typically is very situational. How often is the personal training, what is the coach’s philosophy on promotions, and how quickly have they progressed all need to be answered to rightfully answer how long it takes to get a blue belt in BJJ.
The BJJ belt system is built in a way that promotes people who are generally considered qualified for the next rank. Typically, it takes at most 24 months to go from white belt to blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
How Can We Improve The Timeline and Get Our Blue Belt Faster?
The quickest way to get your blue belt will take a level of dedication to the craft and continuous effort that shows you are ready for the next level in your BJJ journey. You can do this by training more often, actively recording your rolls and correcting your mistakes as you go, competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments, and winning at your weight class.
If you are comfortable with asking coaches, you can always ask them where you need to improve your game too. Do not go up to your coach and ask “when can I get my blue belt.” it not only looks bad on your end but also puts them in a weird position. Belt promotions only really happen a couple of times a year, a coach will not go out of their way to just randomly promote a student when the whole academy isn’t also getting the recognition (in most cases).
One thing that you will notice across the board with BJJ practitioners who are blue belts is that they are consciously competent at grappling. This means that they may know how to set up a sequence of moves. high level and have dedicated a good amount of time to learning how to effectively pass an opponent’s guard, submit opponents, secure dominant positions like back control or side control, and have solid defensive positioning in inferior positions.
The white and blue belt stages in your Brazilian jiu-jitsu career are still the stages where you are learning the most and are still considered “beginners”. In these stages, most will spend a total of four years before moving into the realm of being a purple belt practitioner. Blue belts are the first promotion you will receive in the adult belt system, only about 10% of white belts will experience this promotion.
BRAZILIAN JIU-JITSU BLUE BELT REQUIREMENTS
The blue belt is the first belt you get based on merit. You have achieved something in the eyes of your instructor, but what exactly did you achieve to get here? There is no one set of moves that guarantees you are a blue belt but things that go into consideration to receiving this is how well you do against your peers in a white belt class and certain moves are expected to be known but there is a lot of flexibility in this.
Primary skills that someone should have when they get promoted to blue belt:
- Ability to escape from a move that has a similar amount of training experience at will
- Can show that you are effective in both top and bottom positions. You should be able to win from both positions. You can have a preference but you must show competence.
- You have to be able to beat people at your level.
- No spazzing – which means no uncontrollable movements
- You should be able to impose your will methodically
- Should be able to beat a bigger and stronger opponent from an inferior position
Blue Belt Blues
Due to the nature of the sport of jiu-jitsu and the fact that it is so hard to rank up, most people will make it their biggest goal to accomplish getting a blue belt. What happens when people achieve a huge goal that they set out to achieve? Well, sometimes they slip into a slump or even go a complete 180 and lose interest entirely. This is what the blue belt blues are.
In your journey through the sport, you will have many ups and downs and for a good number of people, their first real test is at the blue belt stage. The “blues” is a term that signifies feeling uninterested, down, and to a degree depressed about something. It usually occurs when something that we have been focusing on actually materializes. After we accomplish a big goal and the grind is “over”, no matter how great it was, we often are left with a feeling of emptiness.
When you apply the term “blues” to jiu-jitsu it is easy to guess what is going on. The blue belt blues is not something to be dreading and most people will experience it. The blue belt stage is the most important stage you will go through in your journey through jiu-jitsu and also happens to be the longest.
Most people will find themselves at this stage for at least a year and a half up to three years.
How to Prevent Blue Belt Blues
Now that you understand what the blues are, let’s talk a little bit about how to prevent them from happening. The real answer on how to get through this stage is to honestly just muscle through it. BJJ is not going to get any easier and these moments where you do not feel like going forward are really where your character is going to be forged.
Do not take things so seriously. Why put pressure on yourself to get to the next stage faster? What is the reason you are feeling the way you are about jiu-jitsu? A couple of years down the road you will look back at this moment and realize that it was a great blessing to have gone through something that challenged your resolve. You will make it through the other side a better player and a better person.
Continue to have fun on the mats and always lean back on your why. In those moments in life where you start to question why you are doing something, going back on your why and the original reasons you started is a great way to get over the hump and make it through any kind of rough patch.
Why Do People Quit at Blue Belt?
People quit for all types of reasons. To pinpoint one exactly would be impossible. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is not an easy martial art to rank up in but if you have been reading along you knew this from the beginning. Nothing worthwhile in life is easy anyways… if you continue to go after easy things, why are you even training Brazilian jiu-jitsu in the first place? You should have picked up pickleball if you wanted easy.
Getting to a blue belt is a lot of people’s goals when they start out in jiu-jitsu. They may not have aspirations to climb all the way to being a black belt and that is totally fine. The jump from blue belt to purple belt is such a large one and many people do not want to continue that climb into the next rank.
The fact of the matter is if you are a blue belt you could probably beat up 90% of people if you found yourself in a bad situation and needed to use BJJ for self-defense.
Is Blue Belt Hard to Get In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
The blue belt is not hard to get in Brazilian jiu-jitsu if you stay consistently training and get a good amount of mat time in. Do not be that guy (or girl) that is cocky the entire way to your blue belt, it is not a cake walk and the biggest factor in the decision to promote you is typically the time you’ve spent actually working on your craft.
Moving from white belt to blue belt you have showcased that you can hang with very experienced practitioners, you have well-rounded skills, strong defensive positioning, and are generally considered qualified to instruct lower-ranked students.
Do Blue Belts End Up Becoming Black belts?
Blue belts are certainly going to lead towards black belt promotions, but the journey can not always go smoothly. This is the first promotion of many to come. If you can move from white belt to blue belt you have what it takes to move up even higher. The requirement you ned on your end is just to contunue to show up and push yourself each day you are training.
Understand this, if you can make it to the purple belt you will inevitably make it to the black belt, it is just a matter of time. The patience, persistence, willingness to learn and skills you develop to attain your purple belt are what will ultimately get you to the promised land aka your black belt.
BJJ is going to be a long and wild ride. You should feel accomplished that you made it to a stage that only 10% of white belts make it to. Being where you are and being fully present in the moments, whether they are good or bad will be a game changer. Quitting should not be an option for you, you did not come this far only to come this far. The blue belt is the most important stage of your jiu-jitsu journey and I can guarantee you that you will make it through this!