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Why People Leave BJJ at Blue Belt and How to Avoid Being One of Them

Blue Belt Blues – What are the top 5 reasons people quit at blue belt?

Have you heard about Blue Belt blues? What are the reasons why people quit when they’re blue belts in bjj? 

So, what is it? Well, have you noticed some of your team mates who are currently blue belts slowly fading from the scene? From training 3-4x a week to once a week and eventually not showing up? 

Well, it may seem that blue belts quit training altogether more often than those at other belt levels.

Trust me, this is not uncommon. Moreover, this can happen to any BJJ practitioner out there, but most commonly it happens to the blue belts. 

Why is it happening though?

Is it the curse of being a blue belt? To be honest, it is not.

Well, training martial arts is different for everyone. Therefore, there are different reasons why we started in the first place and of course there will be a reason why we quit or put a stop to what we do. 

Read along and I will be talking about the common reasons why some of the blue belts halt their progress after being promoted. 

Check out this video to know more about why people quit at Blue belt.

Note that the reason can vary for individuals, and we are not here to judge anyone.

What is a blue belt in jiu jitsu?

What is a blue belt in Jiu Jitsu? Blue belt is the second belt rank in Brazillian Jiu Jitsu. Therefore, if you are a blue belt, it means that you now have a deeper understanding of BJJ fundamentals. Moreover, you are capable of keeping up with your defenses and able to escape major positions with your techniques and acquired skills.

 Goal Setting

Everyone who trains BJJ has a different goal in mind. Some people want may want to:

  • lose weight
  • learn self defense
  • gain confidence
  • earn a black belt
  • socialize

But we have those who just train and once they reach the second rank in the belt system, which is blue. Their goals start to change, or atleast stay stagnant and they just decide to stop after achieving their milestone.

Training gets boring

Boredom is very common, not just in day to day life but also in BJJ training!

There would be BJJ practitioners who have mastered the fundamentals already and would feel bored during training. Some would find the drills and class repetitive so they slowly slack away and lose interest to engage in the sport because it cannot catch their attention anymore. 

White belts and those less experienced may occasionally beat them

If you are a white belt, or have experienced being one already, then you should know that one of the goals during this rank is to improve your skills and submit a higher belt during the open mat sessions. 

So you can look at it this way, white belts are blue belt hunters. They get on the mats to learn from you and to test their skills. There are times that those of lower rank are able to submit a higher belt and somehow, this can cause one to question themselves. 

They feel like they are not getting better

Have you ever felt like you’re not getting any better?

Have you ever doubted yourself? This is common when it comes to the blue belts. Some of the blue belts I have trained with in the past have talked about their insecurities because they feel like no matter how much they show up to train, their skills are not improving.

They don’t know what to learn next

Have you ever experienced being lost and not knowing what to do next? It can be in your career choice, in a new city, etc.  Don’t worry! This can happen to anyone, even BJJ practitioners. 

 We have blue belts who quit because they start to contemplate what to learn next and they just can’t seem to figure out what is next until they get tired of the feeling of being lost and quit.

Belt Rankings in Jiu Jitsu

Let us talk about belt rankings in BJJ. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu just like any martial art does have a belt system which indicates the rank of the individual. Moreover, it’s also not just simply levelling up five times. One must earn four stripes for each rank in order to achieve the next belt. 

 Read on, and we’ll talk about the five belts in BJJ. 

  • White Belt– this is the lowest of all the ranks, and anyone who starts BJJ will automatically be a white belt. In this belt, the fundamental escapes and submissions are taught. Moreover, a premium is given to movement like shrimping because this is essential for escapes. If you are a white belt, keep in mind that your goal is to survive. This where you will learn how to tap when needed and the importance of positioning yourself before you submit your opponent. Click here, if you want to read more about what you should focus on as a white belt.
  • Blue Belt– this is the second rank achievement for BJJ practitioners. If you are a blue belt, it is expected that you know the core of BJJ already. You have a vast understanding of its fundamentals and are able to apply it in your game play. Moreover, this is where you have a wide range of techniques to defend yourself through your submissions and escapes. This is also the phase where you know the type of approach you like to do during open mats. With your knowledge and skills you will be able to develop or focus more on the different techniques.
  • Purple Belt– if you did not feel the blue belt blues and continued with your journey, then expect to gain a purple belt. Purple belt is considered an advanced level in BJJ. This where you are mentally and physically capable of stringing different techniques naturally without thinking of your next move. This is when your body and mind becomes one, and allows you to be capable of reacting to offenses based on habit and instinct. 

You are mentally and physically capable of stringing different techniques naturally without thinking of your next move. This is when your body and mind becomes one, and allows you to be capable of reacting to offenses based on habit and instinct. You to be capable of reacting to offenses based on habit and instinct.

You can also note that purple belts do assist in teaching lower belts. 

  • Brown Belt– You are almost there! This the final belt before one becomes a black belt in BJJ. In this level, you will notice that the practitioners are polishing their moves before they level up. You can see that they have vast knowledge in the sport and are capable of thinking two-three moves ahead of their opponent. At this rate, the practitioner already has a signature move that they are known for. 

One thing you can expect at this rank is that these brown belts are teaching already. 

  • Black Belt– you are no longer a student or a coach if you have earned your black belt in BJJ. In addition, you will be considered and called a professor. The journey has been long but once you get here, you are the living representation of what Jiu Jitsu is all about. You are an expert in the craft and upholder of the BJJ principles off and on the mats.

How long to get a blue belt in BJJ?

How long does it take to get your black belt in BJJ? On average? Well, it will take about 10 years of training to earn your first degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. However, this can take less or longer depending on several factors. I listed below some of the things, that you can consider:

  • Consistency with training
  • Development of your skills and techniques
  • Your defenses 
  • Tournament achievements 

You can check out a more detailed post about how long to get a blue belt by clicking here.

 How to get passed the blue belt blues?

How to get past the blue belt blues? There are a lot of ways and this can vary per person! But here are some of the tips I have for you! 

  • Learn new positions, submissions or techniques. There is always something new to learn every time you go to training. Observe the different moves of your teammates during open mats. There are also a lot of resources available online. You can simply go to Youtube and check out new moves to learn and try with your training partner. 
  • Consider signing up for a competition. Shake off those competition nerves and sign up! Test your skills on a whole different level. This will be a different experience. This can also trigger something in you that can encourage you to train harder because you have something to prepare for.
  • Gain understanding of your weak points and make a plan on how to improve them! As you get on the mats, you will learn what are the things you should work on. Observe the positions you always get stuck at, watch out for submissions that you want to master and improve. Build your strength and stamina. 
  • Open up about your struggles and seek the help of higher belts. They may have experienced what you are feeling or encountered the same thing during their training years and they are capable of providing advice and feedback that can help you come through your obstacle in BJJ. 

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