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So you made it out of the beginner stage huh? Well, congratulations, the fun is just beginning! The next stage (and longest stage) you will find yourself in is the blue belt.
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.
BLUE BELT JIU JITSU
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. 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!
Adult Belt System: White Belt
The Brazilian jiu jitsu belt system starts you out at the white belt stage. At this stage your main focus should be learning the basic offensive moves and the basic defensive positioning. This stage is known as the survival stage and typically people will spend at most two years here at this stage if they are training pretty frequently.
After showing competency at the white belt stage your first promotion will be to the blue belt level. As a BJJ blue belt, you are showing signs of progress in the martial art and starting to be a leader in lower ranked students eyes. It is recorded that only about 10% of white belts will make it to the blue belt level before quitting. Those that stick it out to this stage and continue to train BJJ will showcase a well rounded skillset and have put ample amount of mat time on their backs.
BJJ Belt System: Blue Belt
The second adult rank and your first big promotion while training Brazilian jiu jitsu will be the Blue Belt level. The blue belt is a representation of an intermediate adult ranking, you are clearly better than a beginner but not quite at the level of expertise as a purple belt level practitioner, brown belt, or a black belt.
A blue belt promotion is a big deal. you have showcased to those around you that you have what it takes to move up the ranks in this BJJ journey. Your dedicated training, technical knowledge, and fundamental understanding is what move you to this stage. You should be proud of yourself for accomplishing this goal.
How Long Does It Take To Get A Blue Belt In BJJ?
Typically it take about two years of consistent training to get your blue belt. It is not common for a promotion to happen under 12 months but it can happen if someone has a good amount of wrestling experience. It is common for someone to get a promotion in between that 12 – 24 month timeframe after consistent amounts of training.
Trials and Tribulations
The learning curve from the blue belt to the purple belt is much steeper than the previous stage. At the blue belt you already know basic techniques, sweeps, how to impose your will, and much more now the learning has to be taken into your own hands and you have to go deep to take your game to the next level. Sometimes your school may not have the curriculum to get you to that point so it is on you to seek out that knowledge and gain the expertise necessary to advance.
This belt can be very frustrating because you can experience many plateaus along the way. Getting to the next stage will not be easy and along the way, you will have many days where you feel like you are not getting any better or in some cases getting worse. You will have to push through these moments. Maybe your teammates are getting much better or maybe you had an off day, either way, trails will come but you must see them through. You are chasing after a belt (purple) that shows the first signs of expertise, this is no easy feat. The skills needed to get to the next level are much deeper than you may think.
What Should I Focus On As a Blue Belt?
- Find 1 or 2 Positions to develop a high level of offensive strength
- Do not neglect your defense. Defend and escapes from various positions
- Get good wrestling
- Learn all basic submissions and build systems to chain them together
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!