Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, like most martial arts, uses a traditional belt system to track student progression.
Using a belt system has benefits to both the teacher and student – getting a new belt is a sure way to motivate the practitioner which then encourages the instructor to do his best in teaching the class.
The first big step in a student’s Jiu-Jitsu progression is the blue belt.
What does it mean to be a BJJ Blue Belt?
The blue belt is a major step in one’s journey because it means that you are beginning to understand the general concepts of BJJ.
To be considered a blue belt, it is expected that you know the fundamentals (attacks, defenses & escapes) of all basic positions.
You are not a total beginner anymore and now have the green light to build your “game” by experimenting on different positions, sweeps, and submissions.
Blue belt is when most practitioners start to form their specific style of Jiu-Jitsu by experimenting on different guards and attack patterns, and that’s why it’s generally known as the phase of “collecting techniques”.
Rickson Gracie, one of the most influential figures in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has this to say about the blue belt:
“In white belt, you do not have much idea. there you get to create your reflexes and your understanding of the game. To become a blue elt, you need to know all of the sport. You already know how to ride, throttle, arm locks and escape the grip. Have you ever felt the pressure from opponents, can last more in training and know how to breathe properly? Have you become a creature of Jiu-Jitsu? “
How Long does it take to get the Blue Belt
In terms of timeline, it takes around 2 – 3 years to get a blue belt if you train consistently.
It is not set in stone though, so it’s best to just allow your coach to decide. If your coach tells you you’re ready, then you’re ready.
The thing about belt promotions is that the instructor has the final say if you are ready or not.
It can be quite difficult to self-assess in BJJ because everyone in the dojo is getting better, so don’t put too much thought into it and just train as best as you can.
Aside from the timeline, some schools also take into consideration things like joining tournaments, hierarchy in the dojo and attendance to their decision making.
It’s always a good idea to talk to the head coach to make sure you understand his criteria on choosing candidates for promotion.
Blue belt is an important belt that every white belt dreams of getting. But at the end of the day, it is but a small step in the journey to black belt.
While getting the blue belt is a good goal to have, it’s more important to focus on getting better every time you step on the mats.
Build your game from all possible positions and place a lot of emphasis on drilling and roll time.
I guarantee that if you put a lot of effort in improving these aspects of the game, you’ll get your blue belt sooner rather than later.