Getting your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu blue belt can be a long and arduous task. It takes at least a few years of training for the average practitioner to attain a blue belt. But how long does it take to get a BJJ blue belt? It depends.
There are different methodologies for getting a BJJ blue belt rank (gi and no-gi). Depending on where you train, there are also variations on the time and requirements to earn a blue belt rank.
In any martial art, the time it takes to get your rank largely depends on your instructor’s philosophy. Some instructors have lax policies. Others are rigid in promotions and aren’t susceptible to politics and favoritism.
Regardless of how long it takes to get your blue belt, it is a meaningful goal for any BJJ practitioner. Being awarded one symbolizes hours of hard work and dedication. It marks you as someone experienced and skilled in their game.
It feels almost like you just completed the intro course, and now you’re ready to go deeper into the complexities of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Table of Contents
- What’s Needed To Become A BJJ Blue Belt?
- Is It Hard To Get A Blue Belt In BJJ?
- Is A Blue Belt In Jiu-Jitsu Good?
- How Dangerous Is A BJJ Blue Belt?
- BJJ Blue Belt Essential Techniques
- How Long To Get A BJJ Blue Belt
- Tips To Accelerate Your Blue Belt BJJ Promotion
- What Does It Mean To Be A BJJ Blue Belt
- You’re a Blue Belt. Now What?
- Final Word About How Long Does It Take To Get A BJJ Blue Belt
What’s Needed To Become A BJJ Blue Belt?
One of the most common questions instructors face from newbies is, “How long will it take me to get a BJJ blue belt?”. It is a legitimate question, but everybody never has the same answer.
There is no set time frame or official checklist of techniques you need to master to reach the blue belt level. For every school, there are different criteria. And the decision lies solely on your instructor’s judgment.
However, there are some basic requirements that every blue belt candidate must meet. You must execute several movements like:
- Guard passes.
In other words, have a basic understanding of common attacking and defending techniques.
You get most bjj fundamentals
Armbars from guard or hip bump sweeps are BJJ fundamentals every blue belt understands.
For some people, it might take a year or two from the start of their training to gather all the knowledge necessary for the blue belt level. For others, it might take even more.
However, your journey to becoming a blue belt is a competition against yourself and no one else. Many things will happen along the way.
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Is It Hard To Get A Blue Belt In BJJ?
The difficulty level of attaining your blue belt is a subjective matter. If you are muscular, athletic, and have a grappling background, you can achieve your blue belt within a year.
However, if you are old, weak, and do not have a prior background in sports and athletics, it might take you a couple of years or more to get your blue belt.
If you are constantly switching schools and aren’t familiar with your instructors to the extent, they can witness your progress, that might be a setback to achieving your rank.
Is A Blue Belt In Jiu-Jitsu Good?
A Jiu-Jitsu blue belt is highly skilled and can handle itself well on the mats. They have a solid base of techniques at their disposal, including a well-rounded repertoire of attacks and defensive maneuvers.
More often than not, they can tap out white belts with ease. Or dictate where the fight goes on the ground.
Often the growth is exponential when you are starting in Jiu-Jitsu. A plateau occurs after you attain a blue belt, slowing your progress down to other ranks.
But up until that level, a Jiu-Jitsu blue belt is a skilled athlete with the rank to prove it. It also depends on their time in that specific belt level and their earned stripes.
A blue belt with four stripes that often roll with higher ranks is better than a recently promoted blue belt.
How Dangerous Is A BJJ Blue Belt?
A blue belt is often safe on the mats. They have enough skills and experience in various BJJ positions to defend themselves from the bottom. Blue belts can execute a good number of techniques, chokes, and locks.
Moreover, their capability to move on the ground is far better than someone still at white belt or an untrained individual.
Once the blue belt has established their position on the mat through guard passes, sweeps, and submission attempts, they often reach advantageous positions to attack other players.
A blue belt is one of those people that you wouldn’t feel comfortable going up against without any prior experience.
A BJJ blue belt, when compared to newbies, is a dangerous adversary. Those skills are transferable into MMA and on the streets with some adjustments.
BJJ Blue Belt Essential Techniques
There are a few techniques that a blue belt should know to be more successful on the mats.
Every school has its own set of rules and prerequisites that their white belt students must adhere to before getting promoted to blue belt.
You need a solid base to build your technique and ability. Here are a few moves you need to master to progress on your journey.
Learn to perform different guard passes effectively. This will help you establish a dominant position without getting stuck in your opponent’s guard.
You can dominate one or two to reach blue belt level. But, you should know the most common and practical ways to pass any guard.
Double Under pass
Closed Guard Passing
Knee slice pass
Leg drag guard pass
You should perform a few sweeps to become a strong adversary. You can dominate at least one or two well and progress to blue belt level.
But, each time you achieve a new rank, more sweeps are added to your arsenal that you should have mastered by now. This will make your journey faster and easier on the mats.
Some essential BJJ sweeps are:
Basic half guard sweep
Spider guard sweep
You should establish a dominant position on several opponents at blue belt and pass their guard.
That is why you need to learn how to perform submissions. By now, you also should have an idea of which techniques are most effective for you.
Learn to perform these submissions from at least from guard:
All fights start on the feet and not on the ground. If you work the takedown, the fight will go to the ground. In competition, that’s two points.
That is why you must learn takedowns. You need to be familiar with different Clinch takedowns, double leg techniques, and single-leg techniques.
Learn to perform at least one or two takedowns that you are most confident in and work well for you.
A few essential takedowns you should drill are:
Double Leg Takedown
Single Leg Takedown
Arm drag INSIDE TRIP
You should be able to escape anytime you’re stuck in poor positions. You should have a solid defensive posture, remain calm, and start your escape attempt, hopefully to an advantageous position.
Learning new escapes is a natural part of your journey, and you have to resist the trend of sticking to one move and avoiding others like the plague.
Some essential BJJ escapes at blue belt are:
Escaping bottom mount
Escaping bottom side control
Escape back control
Escape Knee on belly
Escape reverse side control
Basic Self Defense Techniques
You must be able to defend yourself against back takes, takedowns, punches, grabs, and an onslaught of attacks from your opponent. Every BJJ practitioner must protect themselves against basic street fighting maneuvers.
However, more and more schools nowadays neglect the self-defense aspect of BJJ to focus solely on the sport.
Chris Hauter said it best, “Train sport but think street.”
Basic Solo Drill Movements
You must be able to do basic solo drills independently, without an instructor. Solo drilling is a must for any BJJ practitioner. When you’re on your own and have the time to drill, you can fine-tune your technique, enhance your skills and develop new moves to add to your arsenal.
Solo drills are essential for developing good muscle memory and body mechanics.
Elbow escapes, front rolls, shoulder rolls, shrimps, back rolls, hooks, under hooks, berimbolos, and sprawls should be ingrained in your regimen.
How Long To Get A BJJ Blue Belt
Remember that the average time frame for anyone to attain a BJJ blue belt is one to three years. However, that number varies for each individual. Some gifted BJJ practitioners can get it as early as nine months, while some folks can stay stuck in the white belt for three years or more.
The key is patience. But there are several factors that, if followed, will reduce the time to get your shiny new blue belt, like:
Is It Possible To Get A Blue Belt In One Year?
It is possible to reach the blue belt level within a year. However, you should be obsessed with that goal and have a significant amount of free time to dedicate to BJJ.
For example, consistency is essential. You should be able to attend at least three classes per week and train approximately 30+ hours per week. That will accelerate your journey to blue belt level and teach you discipline and commitment towards your practice.
You should also have a firm grasp of all the fundamental moves for each position and be able to execute those moves multiple times without the need for further supervision by an instructor.
However, reaching a blue belt within a year is not realistic for most people with other responsibilities in life.
Getting A Blue Belt In Six Months – Myth Or Truth
Getting a blue belt in six months is rare but not a myth. Each school has different criteria upon which they hand out blue belts. There is no strict guideline that the Jiu-Jitsu community follows. It all depends on your school and a bunch of other factors.
Such as a background in Judo, Wrestling, Sambo, or any other grappling sport. The time and effort that you put in your training. The number of tournaments that you have competed in.
Also, your talent, strength, athleticism, and dedication on the mats play a critical role. It is entirely possible to get your blue belt within six months.
Although, if you are not able to get that belt in six months, don’t feel discouraged because it is rare for schools to award a blue belt so early. Jiu-Jitsu is more about attaining mastery over yourself than belts and competitions.
Tips To Accelerate Your Blue Belt BJJ Promotion
You must have heard this phrase a thousand times in your life, “Life is not a race; it is a marathon.” And just like life, Jiu-Jitsu is a marathon as well. Results never come overnight. Without giving up on the journey, it takes years of grinding, sweating, and bleeding on the mats.
So stay consistent, and make sure you attend at least two to three classes every week. If your dedication is higher, and you can make the time, take as many lessons as you can every week.
Even outside of the class, being consistent with your physical training, diet, and sleeping is key to recovering well and getting stronger.
It is unnecessary to compete, but if you want to skyrocket your progress, competing has no other equal. You will learn more on the competing grounds than you will ever learn in a regular class.
A live-action test of your skills can give you the confidence you need to progress and prove to your instructors that you are worthy enough for that promotion.
That doesn’t mean you go out and win every tournament, but if you compete more often. Your progress will be faster than ever.
Avoid getting injured
As simple as this sounds, most athletes often overlook this aspect. So listen to your body when it gives you a negative signal. Tap when you are getting choked or locked. And avoid letting your ego get in the middle of your training.
Use an ample amount of tape on your fingers, decompress every night, use ice baths, and stretch to relax your muscles. Take the day off if you feel sick. Avoid mat burns and bacteria accumulated in your GI, clothes, and skin.
Simply put, don’t neglect self-care. You’re putting your body through a lot. Take care of it.
Take private lessons
Private lessons are an excellent way to fast-track your progress in Jiu-Jitsu. It allows you to work on your weaknesses with your instructor and learn at your pace.
Many academy owners often give significant discounts for private lessons, so take advantage of that.
If this is something you can afford, go for it. It is worth it.
Buy Online BJJ courses
Buying online BJJ courses is a cheaper alternative to private lessons. However, make sure that you understand how the course is structured and follow the same concepts of a private lesson.
A high-quality online course will teach you basic fundamental movements and positions for all belt levels. The plus side will help you reach your goals quickly by focusing on the fundamentals.
What Does It Mean To Be A BJJ Blue Belt
Belts, ranks, promotions do not mean anything unless you attach meaning to it. It is just a piece of cloth.
But the amount of dedication it took you to achieve that piece of cloth gives it a whole different meaning.
To become a BJJ blue belt means that you have proven your skill on the mats. You are a tough individual who can handle yourself in a competition or a street fight. You are not a newbie anymore who makes rookie mistakes.
You are level-headed, skilled, and dangerous. But there is a lot more to learn and more ranks to attain.
It is the first belt you earned. Be proud of it, and don’t give up now.
You’re a Blue Belt. Now What?
Achieving your blue belt is a huge accomplishment. You are now well on your way to attaining the next rank. But most people get complacent after getting that first promotion. Boredom seeps in, and you make smaller gains compared to when you were a white belt.
Training gets more challenging, and techniques get more complicated. A plateau occurs, which stagnates your growth.
Remember, you might never dominate BJJ 100%. Even after getting a red belt. Why? Because Jiu-Jitsu is in constant evolution, growth, and improvement.
your first significant checkpoint in bjj
The blue belt is a checkpoint to measure how far you have come and how far you still need to go. It is the first step towards mastering our art. But to go beyond a blue belt and become a black belt takes much more dedication and hard work.
There is another journey ahead to Purple belt. Unless you are a hobbyist, set a clear goal in your mind and work towards it. It will take patience, years of hard work, time, and money. But eventually, as you progress, it will be worth it.
keep gathering techniques
Lastly, being on the blue belt is a technique collection phase. Learn everything you can, fill out the knowledge gaps in your game, and try to find two to three complementary sweeps and submissions for every position.
You already know the weapons at your disposal. Blue belt is the time to start sharpening your sword.
It is a good idea to start BJJ mind mapping at this stage — it will bring clarity to all the new movements you’re learning and how they work together. Also, it will show you where there’s room for improvement.
Final Word About How Long Does It Take To Get A BJJ Blue Belt
As you reach the pinnacle of your BJJ, remember that you are not the only one who is at a plateau. Even the greatest athletes go through it.
You will make mistakes, get frustrated, and lose motivation during your path. It is inevitable. But Jiu-Jitsu is a way of life — it brings out emotions and teaches discipline in addition to technical growth.
It is a never-ending cycle that will keep you on your toes throughout your years on the mat.
However, do not focus on getting the belt, instead focus on getting better each day with minor improvements. Show up and apply yourself, and the belt will take care of itself. And always remember to have fun.
If you enjoyed reading this article, make sure you send it to a buddy of yours who might get the blue belt soon.