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How Good Is a BJJ Blue Belt (Is a Blue Belt Dangerous?)

how good is a bjj blue belt

   Today I am attempting to answer how good is a bjj blue belt. A bjj blue belt is the second belt that comes after white when considering every jiu jitsu belt in order

In this post, I’ve also attempted to answer is a blue belt dangerous? We’ve broken down this question when it comes to a blue belt versing other belt levels as well as a blue belt versing someone untrained.

A bjj blue belt represents a student’s general understanding of the martial art, knowledge of all basic positions, submissions, and escapes.

So how good is a bjj blue belt? Someone with a bjj blue belt has a strong, general knowledge of all common takedowns, positions, defenses, and submissions in jiu jitsu. They should be able to effectively perform these jiu jitsu techniques on any untrained person around their size.

However, their skill can vary widely since a bjj blue is sometimes the longest belt someone will have.

Individuals can also range from someone at a hobbyist level who still struggles to perform an armbar from closed guard to someone with a strong grappling or wrestling background that is able to give black belts a run for their money. 

One of the biggest advantages is, honestly, a mental one. Just gaining the mat time and experience of what it is like to grapple and control someone in a live scenario is a huge benefit of jiu jitsu.

How Good Is a BJJ Blue Belt – Key Points

  • Most people can expect to get their blue belt at ~6 months – 2 years
  • In a street fight, a blue belt should have the advantage over anyone who is untrained who is of simliar size.
  • A blue belt skill level can vary widely based on the practitioner’s consistency, martial arts background, and any prior grappling experience (ie. wrestling, judo, sambo)
  • A blue belt should understand a set of fundamental techniques and positions
    • They should also develop a learning based attitude (instead of any ego driven one based on the need to win)
  • It’s, unfortunately, still pretty common for white belts to still submit blue belts
  • However, a really competitive blue belt can, on rare occasions, beat a black belt.

  • A blue belt may understand the positions, main goals, an techniques of bjj but they likely would still have some difficulty performing them consistently on untrained individuals
  • While I would still bet on a blue belt in bjj vs anyone untrained, I wouldn’t consider them dangerous to all, especially if they are versing someone who is much larger or has any training experience

Here is one of my competition matches while I was nearing the end of blue belt for further insight into how good is a bjj glue belt:

Since you are able to frequently spar at a very high intensity level in bjj without being exposed to many detrimental injuries, a bjj blue belt will be accustomed to these scenarios and sensations.

They will be able to control their breathing, tempo, and thought process in a grappling scenario much more effectively than what a normal, untrained person might be able to.

In my opinion, this is one of the largest benefits of jiu jitsu and something that a blue belt will have on their side. 

In addition to the mental edge, a completely untrained individual doesn’t have any knowledge of the basic techniques and positions of grappling. A bjj blue belt should be able to enforce their will and dominate someone who lacks this knowledge.

How dangerous is a bjj blue belt  

Versus an untrained individual roughly around the same size, how dangerous is a bjj blue belt?

A blue belt can be considered actually quite dangerous.

They should be able to takedown, control and submit any person without grappling experience.

They will have much more knowledge and grappling ability due to their experience on the mat along with a better understanding of how to control their breathing and cardio.

These two factors are the ones that will likely determine any bout in favor of the blue belt.

Link: Curious about the next belt up? – check out “How dangerous is a purple belt in brazilian jiu jitsu”

“The ground is my ocean, I am the shark, and most people don’t even know how to swim.”

Jean Jacques Machado

Can Blue Belts Beat Most People in a Street Fight?

While blue belt skill can vary widely among individuals and can vary heavily for those at the start of their blue belt vs blue belts closer to purple, blue belts can likely beat most people in a street fight if they are untraining and of a similar size.

A blue belt knows the basics and has begin to have success in their own jiu jitsu. If the person they are fighting doesn’t have any martial arts experience or athletic background, a blue belt can probably beat them in a street fight.

Is a Blue Belt Considered Good at BJJ?

In the realm of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), a blue belt is generally regarded as a practitioner with a solid foundation of skills and techniques.

They have advanced beyond being a complete novice and have earned their stripes through consistent training and dedication. When one considers the vastness of the BJJ knowledge base, a blue belt has only scratched the surface, yet their proficiency and understanding of the art are commendable.

A typical blue belt demonstrates proficiency in various positions, such as mount, side control, and guard (both top and bottom).

They can execute transitions smoothly and efficiently, acquiring an increasingly well-rounded game. Blue belts are often capable of executing a range of submissions, ranging from fundamental lapel chokes to more advanced techniques like the triangle and armbar. Furthermore, they possess essential self-defense skills that they can deploy in real-life situations.

While their knowledge and prowess in BJJ are still growing, blue belts often exhibit crucial attributes such as humility, adaptability, and resilience. These characteristics are critical determinants of success at higher belt levels. For instance, a blue belt might regularly face defeat in rolling sessions, but their willingness to learn and improve from these experiences accelerates their progress.

Statistically, only about 10% of students make it from blue to purple belt, signifying the significance of persistence and growth mindset in reaching higher ranks.

How Good Is a Competitive Blue Belt?

A competitive blue belt is actually considered quite good at jiu jitsu when compared to hobbyist blue belts.

A competitive blue belt can even give black belts a struggle. When I was a blue belt (while extremely rare), I did submit a handful of black belts in training who were older and more hobbyists.

Again, blue belt skill can vary widely among individuals. If the bjj practitioner, is a very active competitor, trains frequently, and is passionate about jiu jitsu they can definitely be really good and can give higher belts a real challenge.

How long does it take to get a bjj blue belt

   Now, how long does it take to get a bjj blue belt? The average person can obtain their blue belt in 6 months – 2 years years with consistent training.

This can vary widely when considering someone’s prior martial arts or grappling experience, athleticism, and dedication.

It is not uncommon for wrestlers to gain their blue belt at the 6 month mark or for someone to get their blue belt at 3 to 5 years due to inconsistent training.

Related: For more info on how long to get a bjj blue belt check out our full post here

Also many people will quit jiu jitsu before they reach their blue belt.

From statistics taking at my gym, below is chart with average percentage of people who stop training at each specific belt.

White Belt~75%
Blue Belt~40%
Purple Belt~10%
Brown Belt~5%

What Percentage of People Make it to Blue Belt?

Approximately 25% of all BJJ practitioners make it to the blue belt level, with dropout rates reducing as individuals progress to higher belts.

The path to a blue belt requires persistence and commitment, as students need to invest significant time and effort into mastering techniques and concepts. On average, it takes between 12 to 24 months of consistent training to be promoted from a white belt to a blue belt, with the journey further uphill to achieve higher belt ranks.

It is essential to keep in mind that reaching the blue belt level represents a notable milestone in the BJJ journey, and it is just the beginning. With continued dedication to growth, development, and learning, those who persevere can aspire to achieve even greater accomplishments in BJJ.

The good news is that once someone hits purple belt the odds that they will stop training drops significantly. This may be why purple belt is one of the hardest to achieve. 

With these figures in mind, many may be wondering the best way to get your bjj blue belt faster

How Do You Get a Blue Belt Faster in BJJ?

From my research among my coaches and training partners below are some quick points focus on:

  1.  Compete
  2.  Train with intention 
  3.  Train as often as possible 
  4.  Avoid over training and burning out
  5.  Put in time when off the mat to review and learn further

Related: check out our UPDATED full post with these tips further explained and how to implement them immediately

1. Competing – will give you a strong edge over your classmates who do not frequently compete.

You will have experienced the threat of an opponent using 100% of their effort against you and will have learned how to deal with this effectively and still perform proper techniques

2. Train with intention – showing up to the gym and live sparring and ending up in any number of random positions without a goal in mind is likely not the best way to work on specific techniques.

Through my research, many jiu jitsu practitioners have cited choosing one or two techniques or specific areas of their game that they wanted to work on and intentionally put themselves their during sparring as one of the main factors in their growth

3. Train as often as possible – this may be the biggest factor of how quickly you will progress. Nothing will top live training experiences.

While all other factors are supplementary and definitely aid your live sparring, spending time rolling will be invaluable and will flat out dictate how much you learn.

4. Avoid over training and burning out – this is the other end of the spectrum to the last point. Many students will start out just going to hard with training in the first weeks or months.

They see how much better everyone is than them and want to train as much as possible to fix this. There is a sense of diminishing returns in how much training time is beneficial.

Also, anecdotally, I’ve seen many fellow gym members train all out for the first couple months only to stop training all together. So it’s important to pace yourself and maximize your learning and training time.

5. Put in time when off the mat to review and learn further – while many don’t utilize this time enough, there are many who do.

With the boom of jiu jitsu instructionals, many students are taking advantage to learn at home and while not at their gym. With these tools you can learn to better fine tune your favorite techniques and quickly work on building up your weak points.

Link: Want to know the best way to learn from instructionals? Check out our guide Here

Does Competing Make You a Better Blue Belt in Jiu Jitsu?

How to get ready for your first bjj tournament

Active participation in BJJ competitions cultivates a growth mindset and enhances various aspects of one’s skillset, making them a better blue belt practitioner.

Yes, competiting as a white and blue better will make your better and make you more dangerous to other untrained individuals.

Competitors are exposed to diverse styles, tactics, and techniques, enabling them to refine their game, address weaknesses, and adopt new strategies.

Plus, the intensity of a competition setting presents mentally and physically demanding scenarios that benefit overall development.

1. Preparation for competitions puts emphasis on sharpening skills, developing strategies, and honing weaknesses.

This focused training approach allows athletes to keenly assess their abilities, pinpoint areas that need improvement, and devise methods to compete successfully. Furthermore, regular exposure to different competitions enables competitors to test new techniques, refine existing ones, and find their unique BJJ identity.

2. The competition environment forces practitioners to push their physical limits and develop their athletic abilities.

The intensity of tournament matches pushes blue belts beyond their regular training boundaries, improving their stamina, strength, and precision. Facing opponents who are also striving for victory creates an atmosphere conducive to growth and adaptation.

3. Competing fosters mental fortitude in blue belt practitioners.

The pressure and intensity of matches, coupled with the heightened emotions often experienced during competition, challenge athletes to maintain composure, focus, and mental resilience. Developing mental strength in competition is an invaluable asset both on and off the mat.

4. Competition experience betters blue belts by exposing them to diverse opponents and unforeseen situations.

The opportunity to face various styles and techniques from practitioners affiliated with other academies broadens one’s BJJ knowledge and experiences. Grappling with unknown practitioners promotes adaptability, a core skill in BJJ progression.

Is It Hard to Get a BJJ Blue Belt?

Achieving a BJJ blue belt can indeed prove challenging, as it entails more than just attending classes and learning basic techniques.

It requires learners to dedicate themselves to understanding fundamental principles, practicing diligently, and honing a certain level of mental fortitude. On average, it takes students about two to four years of regular training to advance from a white belt to a blue belt.

The journey to a blue belt heavily depends on the frequency of training and the capacity to learn new techniques. For instance, students who attend classes three or more times per week and absorb information quickly might progress faster than their less dedicated counterparts. Additionally, some gyms have specific criteria or a minimum amount of mat time necessary for a student to be eligible for a blue belt promotion. This ensures that students have adequate experience in applying BJJ concepts in various scenarios before progressing to a higher belt level.

Mental strength, discipline, and resilience play a vital role in this endeavor. It’s not uncommon for students to experience plateaus and setbacks throughout their BJJ journey. Overcoming these obstacles and maintaining motivation are essential aspects of earning the blue belt. Emphasizing the development of mental grit, students can better cope with the physical and psychological demands expected of a competent blue belt.

How Often Should You Train Each Week?

For recreational practitioners who wish to learn self-defense and improve their overall health, training 2-3 times a week may suffice.

This frequency allows for steady progress while providing necessary rest and recovery periods. Newcomers to BJJ should also consider starting at a moderate pace to avoid injuries and gradually adapt to the sport’s demands.

However, those aiming for rapid progress, competition preparation, or BJJ mastery should consider training 4-6 times weekly.

This increased frequency facilitates greater technical development and helps build muscle memory. Moreover, more experienced practitioners often engage in double training sessions or supplemental strength and conditioning exercises.

Regardless of the training frequency, prioritizing rest and recovery is paramount to avoid burnout, overtraining, or injury. Intense sessions should be balanced with lighter, technique-focused classes. Additionally, incorporating active recovery measures like yoga, stretching, or swimming can promote overall well-being and enhance performance on the mat.

Maintaining a healthy diet and obtaining adequate sleep further aids in optimizing training results. Furthermore, goal-setting and regular progress evaluations can lead to more efficient use of training time and help track improvements. As students advance through the ranks, adapting their approach based on evolving objectives, physical attributes, and personal commitments will ultimately determine the optimal training frequency.

Is BJJ Dangerous?

When practiced responsibly and under qualified supervision, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) is generally considered a safe martial art.

Link: Check Out our Full Post on Is BJJ Dangerous and Common Injuries to Avoid

However, as with any physical activity or contact sport, there is an inherent risk of injury. BJJ is a grappling art that focuses on ground-fighting techniques, including joint locks and chokes, which might contribute to its perceived danger.

Injuries in BJJ often result from overexertion, poor technique, or lack of communication between partners during sparring (rolling).

Common injuries include sprains, strains, bruises, and occasionally more severe ailments like torn ligaments or dislocations. However, BJJ practitioners can mitigate these risks by adhering to safety guidelines and best practices.

To minimize the danger in BJJ, students should:

  1. Train under a qualified instructor to ensure proper technique and guidance.
  2. Find a good training environment that fosters camaraderie and respect.
  3. Communicate openly with training partners about any pre-existing conditions or concerns.
  4. Use appropriate safety gear, such as a mouthguard or ear guards.
  5. Warm up properly and incorporate regular stretching routines.
  6. Tap out early and often during sparring when caught in a submission or uncomfortable position.

It is worth noting that BJJ offers numerous physical and mental health benefits, such as increased strength, flexibility, endurance, and stress relief. Moreover, the sport emphasizes self-defense techniques that can be advantageous in real-life situations. Thus, while its risks should not be ignored, the potential dangers in BJJ can be managed with proper training, caution, and communication. By prioritizing safety and adopting a responsible approach, practitioners can enjoy the sport’s transformative benefits while substantially minimizing the associated risks.

Do you Have to Be Strong in BJJ?

BJJ Strength Training - How to Add Weight Lifting to your Jiu Jitsu Full Guide and PDF

BJJ focuses on leveraging techniques and strategic thinking rather than brute force, enabling weaker or smaller practitioners to effectively subdue larger, stronger opponents.

Renowned BJJ practitioners like Marcelo Garcia, who is not regarded as a powerhouse in terms of strength, have demonstrated remarkable abilities on the mat.

Their success stems from the emphasis on technical knowledge, strategy, and timing as opposed to raw strength. Engaging in regular BJJ practice can steadily increase a student’s strength while also enhancing their skills, allowing them to develop a deeper understanding of the martial art over time.

A comprehensive strength training regimen complementing BJJ training can improve a student’s overall capabilities.

Key components of successful BJJ strength training include the incorporation of functional exercises, such as deadlifts and squats, and a focus on grip strength for increased control during grappling. Another critical aspect is mobility, with stretching and flexibility exercises playing a significant role in a BJJ practitioner’s performance.

Nonetheless, strength is not the only factor that contributes to a BJJ athlete’s prowess. Cardiovascular endurance, agility, and balance all play crucial roles in one’s overall effectiveness on the mat. Consequently, students should focus on a well-rounded approach to improving their physical capabilities alongside sharpening their BJJ techniques.

my weightlifting and bjj transformation over 5 years

At What Age Can You Get a Blue Belt?

The age at which a practitioner can achieve a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt varies with individual circumstances and academy guidelines.

However, the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) stipulates that a student must be at least 16 years old to become eligible for a blue belt.

Prior to the age of 16, children follow a distinct youth belt system, which is designed to teach the fundamentals of BJJ at a pace suitable for their age and physical development.

The youth belt system is divided into various stages, with practitioners moving through white, grey, yellow, orange, and green belts before progressing to the blue belt when they turn 16.

Each of these belts has further tiers, allowing for consistent progress and tailored learning experiences. This structured approach enables young practitioners to grasp the techniques and strategies of BJJ gradually.

Starting BJJ at an earlier age has numerous advantages, including

  • improved coordination
  • agility
  • kinesthetic awareness

Young practitioners have a higher likelihood of developing a strong foundation in BJJ techniques, which can give them an edge over adults who begin at a later stage.

If You Start Younger as a Junior Are You a Better Blue Belt?

There is considerable evidence to suggest that individuals who begin practicing BJJ from a young age often make better blue belts than those who start their journey as adults.

Young practitioners follow a youth belt ranking system, which helps them build a strong technical foundation over several years. When they reach the age of 16, these students have already amassed a wealth of knowledge and experience, equipping them with an array of techniques and situational expertise.

By contrast, adult beginners may struggle with their initial steps in BJJ due to various factors, such as being overweight or out of shape, time/life limitations or experiencing a lack of flexibility and dexterity, which can hinder their progress.

Adult blue belts may make reasonable progress in a couple of years, but it is challenging for them to match the proficiency of their junior counterparts.

Young practitioners who become blue belts at 16 are often more agile, have better physical conditioning, and possess greater overall body awareness, which collectively make them more dangerous on the mat. The early exposure to the art of BJJ allows these young practitioners to transition seamlessly to more advanced techniques, giving them a competitive edge over their adult counterparts.

Do Most Blue Belts Get Their Black Belt

First, the journey from blue belt to black belt is lengthy and requires immense dedication.

It is estimated that only about 3% of individuals who start BJJ will achieve the black belt, taking roughly 10-15 years of consistent practice.

One must consider the numerous life events that might interfere with training and commitment, such as injuries, job changes, family responsibilities, or shifting interests.

Another factor that impacts the ratio of blue belts earning their black belt is the natural attrition rate in any sport or activity. It’s common for individuals to experience fluctuating motivation, periods of burnout, or plateauing. Many blue belts may be content with their achieved skills and not feel compelled to push towards higher belt levels.

However, for blue belts who persist, the training intensity and persistent refinement of techniques will bring them closer to the coveted black belt. As an example, grappling with advanced practitioners of various styles will develop their adaptability and expand their knowledge regarding the intricacies of BJJ, which is crucial for progress.

What if You’re a Blue Belt and You Feel Like You’re Not Progressing?

If you’re a blue belt and you feel like you’re not progressing, you’re not alone. This is actually very common at blue belt (see the next section).

The common reason why you may feel this way is like due to two things:

  1. You now know the basics of jiu jitsu and have realized how far you have to go
  2. You will now have the ability to do very well against some less experienced training partners but will still be beaten by more experienced ones.

Believe me if you are consistent and training hard – you are progressing even if you don’t realize it

The mixed feedback in your sparring (rolls) will make you feel like you are not progressing, but if you focus on working on your weak areas (by purposefully putting yourself in those situtations) you will get better!

What Is Blue Belt Blues?

The term “Blue Belt Blues” refers to the phenomenon of BJJ practitioners experiencing demotivation, doubt, or disinterest in training after being promoted to the blue belt level. The concept captures the emotional plateau that many blue belts face once the initial excitement of the sport fades and they start to grapple with the realities of their long-term goals.

Blue Belt Blues: Key Points and How to Avoid it

  • Understanding the Phenomenon: The term “Blue Belt Blues” refers to the feelings of demotivation, doubt, or disinterest in training that BJJ practitioners often experience after being promoted to the blue belt level. This emotional plateau often occurs as the initial excitement of the sport fades, and practitioners begin to grapple with the realities of their long-term BJJ journey.
  • Increased Expectations: The transition from a white belt to a blue belt increases perceived skill proficiency, which can lead to feelings of pressure and inadequacy. Practitioners and their peers may have higher expectations, causing stress and self-doubt.
  • Long-Term Journey Perception: As blue belts, practitioners start to realize the extensive time and dedication required to progress further in BJJ. This realization can cause doubts about their commitment and ability to continue improving, leading to feelings of being “stuck” or overwhelmed by the advanced techniques and strategies that lie ahead.
  • Social Dynamics: Blue belts often feel like “fresh meat” to upper belts, becoming regular targets for more experienced practitioners. Simultaneously, they may feel an increased responsibility to help lower belts, adding to the pressure and expectations.

Strategies to Avoid Blue Belt Blues:

  • Goal Setting: One of the effective ways to combat Blue Belt Blues is to set attainable short-term and long-term goals. Instead of focusing solely on belt promotions, practitioners should strive to improve individual skills and deepen their understanding of the martial art.
  • Strong Support Network: Developing a strong support network within the gym can help practitioners overcome feelings of demotivation or doubt. This network can provide guidance, encouragement, and a sense of community, which can be immensely beneficial during challenging times.
  • Maintain a Growth Mindset: Blue belts should try to maintain a growth mindset, viewing challenges as opportunities to learn and grow. By focusing on the journey rather than the destination, they can find joy and satisfaction in their progress, irrespective of their belt color.
  • Mentorship: Serving as mentors to lower belts can be a fulfilling experience, fostering a sense of purpose and responsibility that can help counteract the blues. Helping others can often provide a new perspective on one’s own skills and progress.
  • Regular Reflection: Regularly reflecting on one’s journey, achievements, and areas of improvement can help maintain motivation and focus. Practitioners should celebrate their progress, however small, as this can help keep the blues at bay.

There are multiple facets underlying the Blue Belt Blues phenomenon. One significant aspect is the increased expectation placed on blue belts by themselves and others in the gym. The transition from a white belt to a blue belt elevates their perceived skill proficiency, potentially leading to feelings of pressure and inadequacy.

Additionally, blue belts may begin to view their long-term BJJ journey differently, recognizing the extensive time and dedication required to progress to the next level. This mental shift can cause doubts about their commitment and ability to continue improving in the sport. They may feel overwhelmed with the advanced techniques and strategies that lie ahead, inducing a sense of being “stuck” in their current skill level.

Moreover, the social dynamics as a blue belt could contribute to the Blue Belt Blues. Blue belts may feel they represent “fresh meat” to upper belts, becoming regular targets for more experienced practitioners. Simultaneously, they may feel an increased responsibility to help lower belts in the gym, adding to the pressure and expectations.

To tackle Blue Belt Blues, it’s important for practitioners to set attainable short- and long-term goals, develop a strong support network within the gym, and maintain a growth mindset, focusing not just on belt promotions but also on honing individual skills and gaining deeper understanding of BJJ as a martial art.

Why Is Being a Blue Belt Hard?

Again, being a bluet belt is hard because of two reasons:

  1. Unrealistic expectations
  2. You now know the basics of jiu jitsu and also realized how far you have to go
  3. You will now have the ability to do very well against some less experienced training partners but will still be beaten by more experienced ones.

You will be getting mixed feedback in your rolls. There will be days when you have good rolls and touch greatness by surviving and maybe even beating somone more experienced.

However, there will also be days where you may be submitted by lower belts, and it will crush your ego. This will unforunately continue to happy well into purple belt and maybe even brown belt.

Until you fully round out your game and chip away at your weak areas, your training partners will still be able to take advantage of them and submit.

For this reason, blue belt can be considered to be the hardest belt.

Why Do People Quit BJJ?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a challenging martial art that requires dedication, perseverance, and hard work. Despite the rewarding nature of the sport, many practitioners quit their BJJ journey prematurely. There are several reasons why people may discontinue their BJJ training:

  1. Injuries: BJJ is a physically demanding sport, and injuries, both minor and severe, are common occurrences. Some practitioners may find it hard to maintain their training while coping with recurring injuries or chronic pain, ultimately choosing to quit.
  2. Lack of progress: BJJ is a complex martial art, and progress can be slow. Beginners, in particular, might feel discouraged if they don’t see rapid improvements in their technique. Frustration with stagnation can lead to a loss of motivation and eventual dropout.
  3. Commitment: The time commitment required for BJJ training can be significant, especially for those with busy personal lives. Balancing work, family, and social life with regular training sessions may become unmanageable, resulting in practitioners leaving the sport.
  4. Financial constraints: BJJ training and equipment costs can accumulate, making it difficult for some individuals to afford continuous practice. Additionally, the costs of competition and travel expenses to attend seminars can further strain budgets.
  5. Plateaus: Once practitioners reach the blue belt level, some may feel a sense of accomplishment and lose interest in progressing further. This phenomenon, known as the ‘blue belt blues,’ can cause people to quit after achieving their initial goals.
  6. Ego: BJJ is a humbling martial art, as it often exposes personal vulnerabilities. The constant instances of tapping out to higher-level opponents can be disheartening, especially for those with a fragile ego. A strong mindset and resilience are needed to overcome the inherent challenges and continue growing in the sport.

What Should a Blue Belt Know? Blue Belt Requirements

When it comes to BJJ blue belt requirements, students should have a solid grasp of the fundamentals and necessary techniques.

As practitioners climb the BJJ ranks, their knowledge and experience should reflect the expectations associated with each belt. Let’s delve into the essential concepts and techniques a blue belt must know and master.

Adept Grappling and Positional Skills

First and foremost, a blue belt should fully comprehend essential grappling abilities and be comfortable in primary positions like mount, side control, and back control. This includes a deep understanding of positional hierarchy and transitioning between these positions while maintaining fluidity and avoiding common pitfalls. A blue belt should be able to execute basic escapes and guard retention against a stronger and larger opponent, exhibiting their understanding of leverage and technique.

Effective Submission Proficiency

A BJJ blue belt must demonstrate proficiency in executing fundamental submissions such as armlocks, rear-naked chokes, guillotines, and triangle chokes. It’s important for a blue belt to know the details of each technique and anticipate potential counters from opponents. Ideally, a blue belt will be able to chain multiple submission attacks together, capitalizing on their opponent’s tendency to overcompensate when defending.

Defensive Mastery

A critical aspect of BJJ training for blue belts is their defensive capabilities. Good defensive skills include understanding proper framing, utilizing effective shrimping and escaping techniques, and timely use of cross-face and underhook prevention. Moreover, a blue belt should be able to identify and preempt various submission attacks before they become dangerous. This ability ultimately leads to stronger offensive skills, as efficient defense often creates openings for submission attempts.

Takedowns and Guard Passing

Although takedowns are not a primary focus in BJJ, a blue belt should have a fundamental understanding of several key takedowns, such as single-leg, double-leg, and trip takedowns. Additionally, the blue belt should be comfortable with various guard passing techniques, including the knee slice, x-pass, and double-unders pass. Developing an adaptive guard passing style that works against multiple guard types is vital for a well-rounded blue belt.

Strategy and Tactical Knowledge

Finally, beyond individual techniques and skills, a blue belt should be cognizant of overarching strategy and tactics. This includes the importance of managing distance, understanding weight distribution, recognizing when to attack or defend, and identifying opportunities to exploit an opponent’s weaknesses. The blue belt should be able to adapt their game plan to different styles and body types, refining their repertoire and achieving optimal efficiency during live rolling and competitions.

By mastering these essential requirements, a BJJ blue belt will be well-equipped to progress in their martial arts journey and stand out as a knowledgeable and capable practitioner.

What Are the Main Differences Between Blue and Purple Belts in BJJ?

Some of the main differences I noticed when rolling with a blue belt vs a purple belt can be summed up in the below points describing each belt. I’ve also surveyed some of my training partners to help expand on some of my experiences:

Blue Belt in BJJ:

  1. Basic Proficiency: At the blue belt level, practitioners demonstrate proficiency in a number of techniques and possess a foundational understanding of BJJ’s conceptual underpinnings.
  2. Vs Other Belts: Practitioners at this level are often capable of dominating white belts and are competitive with other blue belts. They may tap out some purple belts, but are mostly dominated by them.
  3. Knowledge: A blue belt knows the game of BJJ but has yet to fully master it. Comparable to knowing the major roads in a city, they are able to navigate familiar routes but may struggle with more complex scenarios.
  4. Knowledge Limits: Despite their knowledge and proficiency in techniques, blue belts have yet to fully develop their intuitive sense of BJJ – their ability to adapt and react in real time based on pattern recognition and tactile memory.

Purple Belt in BJJ:

  1. Broader Knowledge: Purple belts are expected to have a broader array of techniques and greater depth in their understanding, showing a significantly expanded technical knowledge.
    • They are capable of instinctively recognizing patterns and chaining together techniques.
  2. Situational Awareness: Purple belt practitioners exhibit an improvement in situational awareness and reaction time, capitalizing on opportunities and predicting their opponent’s moves.
  3. The transition from blue to purple involves increased consistency and instinctive reactions.
  4. Mental Fortitude: Purple belts demonstrate a higher level of mental fortitude and composure. They are engaged in deeper strategic gameplay and showcase a clearer understanding of BJJ concepts.
  5. Vs Others: Purple belts can pose a threat to anyone if they can funnel the match into their preferred game.
  6. The ability to control pressure – how much, where, and when – is superior in purple belts. They can apply pressure more subtly and precisely than blue belts.
  7. A-game: A decent purple belt is expected to have a solid “A” game – a set of techniques that they can effectively employ against higher-ranked belts. If not respected, a good purple belt will make opponents pay.

Can a blue belt beat a black belt?

   The odds of a blue beat being able to beat a black belt are very low. However, competitive blue belts who excel at bjj can, on rare occasions, beat black belts.

It may happen in some gyms at very rare occasions, but a black belt should have a much larger and deeper understanding of jiu jitsu techniques.

They will often have years more experience (generally 8-10 years more) over a blue belt opponent.

A black belt will also have intricate knowledge of common reactions to their preferred techniques. They will have seen almost every possible reaction to their favored submissions and how to deal with them effectively.

Here’s a breakdown of a blue belt versus the higher jiu jitsu belts:

arrow, button, navigation-30330.jpg  Vs Purple Belt:

When considering how a blue belt will fare against other higher belts, it is somewhat common for a blue belt to catch a purple belt in a submission.

A purple belt will have a much better grasp of techniques however they are still prone to making mistakes which a blue belt can definitely take advantage

arrow, button, navigation-30330.jpg Vs Brown Belt:

A blue belt being able to submit a brown belt is fair less likely, even the most athletic blue belt should have a tough time being able  to control and beat a brown belt.

A brown belt will have much more mat time and will have a much higher threshold for survivability in tough spots and submissions.

In order to submit a brown belt, a submission likely has to be perfectly executed.

While a purple belt may still submit to a poorly performed technique with enough strength behind it from a blue belt, a brown belt will have years built up purely gritting out and surviving those same submissions.

arrow, button, navigation-30330.jpg Vs Black Belt:

Finally,  a black belt will move with effortless precision and will seem not to exert much effort at all when versing a blue belt.

While a blue belt will often be scrambling to get to their one or two favored positions, a black belt should have way more knowledge of such positions even if it is one that they don’t frequently utilize. 

With this in mind, a student’s prior grappling experience is always the biggest variable to consider.

Among blue belts, I’ve seen solid high school wrestlers give black belts tough rolls and judo black belts frequently take down black belts in jiu jitsu. 

If you have competed at blue belt, you can definitely almost painfully understand this sentiment.

Someone with previous grappling experience can be considered a threat to all across almost all jiu jitsu belts.

There is nothing quite as scary as stepping onto your first competition as a blue belt and feeling a judo practitioner’s unbreakable grip on your collar.

I’ve put a lot of time and thought into our guide for how to prepare for your first competition.

This is written from my personal experience accrued from over 20 competitions in the past couple years.

If you’re thinking about competing check it out here

Who Is the Most Dangerous Group to Sparr (Roll) with in BJJ?

In a bjj gym, different groups of people may be more or less dangerous to spar with and this can sometimes be more focused withing different belts, often including blue belts.

In our opionions some of the more dangerous groups of people to spare with can be:

  • spazzy white belts or blue belts who rely too much on speed and not enough on technique
  • older belts white or blue belts who are trying to prove something against younger practitioners

In general, the most dangerous groups to spare with are usually white and blue belts. Beyond those belts, you’ll find most practitioners more heavily focued on technique and control and not strength and speed.

Lastly, if you don’t feel comfortable sparring or training with somone, you should always decline training. You don’t have to train or spar with anyone that you don’t want to.

What Would Happen if BJJ Blue Belt vs a Karate Black Belt?

A comparison between a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) blue belt and a Karate black belt reveals stark differences in skills, techniques, and philosophies.

I would bet on a bjj blue belt vs a karate black belt any day. The Karate practitioner simply doesn’t have any answers for the takedowns and grappling of BJJ

While this match-up might not seem balanced at first glance, it can provide fascinating insights on the effectiveness of each martial art in various combat situations.

For instance, Karate is primarily a striking art that focuses on punches, kicks, knee strikes, and some elbow strikes. Its practitioners also train in kata or forms, which serve as a method for practice and to showcase their techniques. A black belt in Karate signifies a substantial level of expertise, with dedicated years of training and endurance, exhibiting proficiency in the art’s striking methods and kata.

On the other hand, the BJJ blue belt encompasses a ground-based fighting system that emphasizes joint locks and chokeholds to subdue an opponent. Although a beginner rank, the blue belt represents a significant leap in skill level from white belts, with competence in fundamental grappling techniques, submissions, and positional control.

In a hypothetical encounter between a BJJ blue belt and Karate black belt, striking will play a pivotal role. The Karate black belt may enjoy a distinct advantage with their finely-tuned striking skills that are intuitive and powerful.

Contrarily, if the BJJ practitioner can successfully take the Karate black belt to the ground, the advantage would likely shift in the BJJ blue belt’s favor because of their extensive grappling experience.

It is important to consider the context in which the two fighters engage; for instance, a mixed martial arts (MMA) bout or a street fight. In an MMA fight of regulated rules, the BJJ blue belt could focus on closing the distance and executing a takedown before applying their grappling skills to obtain a dominant position or secure a submission. Conversely, the Karate black belt would attempt to maintain distance and focus on striking and evasion instead of grappling exchanges.

How Dangerous is a Purple Belt?

A BJJ purple belt is often regarded as a highly skilled and dangerous practitioner.

Demonstrating mastery of key techniques and strategies, the purple belt symbolizes the transition from an intermediate to an advanced grappler. With an estimated 800-1,200 hours of mat time, they possess a deep understanding of BJJ principles and can execute techniques proficiently.

Purple belts are known for their fluid and smooth transitions. They possess a well-rounded arsenal of submissions and can adapt their game to various scenarios. Their extensive experience with different opponents and styles enables them to adapt and problem-solve effectively during a match, making them a dangerous opponent in competitive settings.

Statistically, purple belts belong to a selective group: only approximately 10% of blue belts advance to purple[^3^]. Attaining this rank involves dedication to the art, disciplined practice, and the ability to analyze, strategize, and reflect on one’s own performance.

However, danger assessments should always be contextualized: compared to inexperienced fighters or white belts, purple belts are indeed dangerous. On the other hand, they need to be cautious with higher-ranking BJJ practitioners such as brown and black belts, who are more experienced and technically proficient.

How Dangerous is a Brown Belt?

Regarded as the penultimate belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), a brown belt practitioner is highly dangerous and recognizable for their refined techniques, diverse skillset, and impeccable understanding of the art.

Achieving a brown belt typically takes about 6-8 years of dedicated training, and these athletes are close to obtaining the sought-after black belt.

The danger posed by a brown belt is rooted in their cumulative experience, strategy, and adaptability. Brown belts have honed their craft, specializing in multiple advanced techniques and methodologies that they can execute with razor-sharp precision. They are often capable of subduing lower-ranking opponents with relative ease and can pose a formidable challenge to black belts.

A key characteristic that sets brown belts apart is their ability to apply innovative approaches, blend techniques, and improvise on-the-spot to capitalize on tiny openings. Their mastery in chaining submissions and seamlessly transitioning between positions while maintaining control further cements their reputation as dangerous opponents.

Brown belts also develop comprehensive teaching abilities, often serving as instructors in their gyms. They have a responsibility to guide lower-ranking students, helping them recognize the nuances of BJJ techniques. This further cultivates a brown belt’s understanding of the art, transforming them into dangerous and wise practitioners.

Gracie bjj belt system

   The Gracie bjj belt system is what every legitimate Brazilian jiu jitsu gym has adopted.

The original system developed by the Gracie family has likely taken from many other martial arts, most notably judo. Plainly, the belt structure was adopted to denote rank and experience.

Originally, there were only three belts white, light blue, and dark blue. In fact, it is believe Helio has said that the standard for a blue belt was that they could beat any untrained opponent up to 50lbs heavier in a fight – I wouldn’t consider this as a standard for modern blue belts that fit in the updated belt system.

With blue belt being the second among the 5 modern belt ranks, it is understood that students that hold this rank should have a basic understanding of the martial art.

Link: Want further info? check out: All Jiu jitsu belts explained

Blue Belt and Beginner Tips

As blue belts, BJJ practitioners have successfully progressed from the white belt stage and now possess a firm grasp of the basics. However, consistent improvement is necessary, as this rank offers numerous learning opportunities. The following guidelines provide valuable insights and advice for blue belts:

  1. Focus on fundamentals: Although tempted by flashy moves, it’s crucial that blue belts continue to sharpen fundamental techniques, as these form the foundation of their BJJ skills. For example, UFC champion Demian Maia highlights the significance of refining the basics like guard retention, takedowns, and escaping from unfavorable positions.
  2. Cultivate a well-rounded game: Explore different aspects of BJJ, including top and bottom positions, guard passing, sweeps, and submissions. By blending various techniques and tactics, blue belts can evolve and adapt to various sparring partners and competition settings.
  3. Train with higher belts: Rolling with more advanced practitioners exposes blue belts to new techniques and gaps in their game. Learning from and observing higher-ranked practitioners’ movements and strategies can inspire blue belts to refine their abilities, ultimately accelerating their progress.
  4. Study outside of class: Diversify learning sources by attending seminars, analyzing competition footage, or adopting instructional resources like books and online tutorials. According to BJJ World Champion Buchecha, studying outside the academy is an essential supplement for growth and development.
  5. Embrace failure as part of the learning process: Accepting and learning from mistakes is a vital aspect of BJJ progress. Renowned BJJ black belt and author Saulo Ribeiro states how crucial loss is for growth, comparing it to “muscle soreness” – a temporary discomfort that signifies improvement.

Can BJJ Blue Belts Be Coaches?

Final Thoughts – How good is a bjj blue belt summed up:

   While a blue belt is only the second belt in brazilian jiu jitsu, it is still a respectable achievement and a student of this belt should feel quite competent against an untrained opponent of similar size.

One final time –  so, how good is a bjj blue belt? Someone with a bjj blue belt has a strong, general knowledge of all common takedowns, positions, defenses, and submissions in jiu jitsu. They should be able to effectively perform these jiu jitsu techniques on any untrained person around their size.

It is cited by members of my gym that BJJ practitioners who are deep in their blue belt and well on their way to purple belt have expressed confidence in almost any altercation versus someone untrained in grappling.

They have dealt with many other opponents on the mat with no or little experience in grappling and have likely been able to successfully control and submit them.

While this may be entirely different than an altercation when off they mat, they should be confident in knowing that many of their skills, knowledge, and conditioning will be very useful and provide a strong advantage.

Thanks for reading and see you on the mats!

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