BJJ Blue Belt
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become an extremely popular Martial Art, as many students are lining up to learn the Brazilian art. In BJJ students are required to wear a Gi uniform which is tied up with a belt. There are different bjj belts that all have different bjj belt meanings, as students will earn over time. Students will begin their journey as a white belt and they will learn significant technical skills on their way to becoming a coloured belt.
What This Article Covers:
- How to Build a Strong Foundation
- How to Earn the Blue Belt
- What Are the Expectations of a Blue Belt
- What Techniques Does a BJJ Blue Belt Need to Know
- Escaping Positions
- Controlling Positions
- Stand Up
- Passing the Guard
The first promotion for a BJJ student is the blue belt, and they should be extremely excited. The blue belt phase is a really important time for a practitioner as they are heavily invested in developing their game style. Blue belts are infamous for trying to hunt down higher belts at their academy, and are relentless in pursuit of the tap. Students in this belt phase will be thinking about how to become a black belt in bjj, and will start to make inroads towards their goal.
HOW TO BUILD A STRONG FOUNDATION
Becoming a high level BJJ practitioner starts with building strong habits early in a student's learning. There are many fundamentals that a student should be mastering like; positional escapes, submission defense, controlling positions, sweeping and submitting their opponents.
In the early phase of being a beginner a student must start to develop good habits by sticking to the fundamentals. It can often become complicated for a beginner if they waste their time looking at some of the more complicated movements in Jiu Jitsu. White belts are notoriously known for spending too much time practising moves they found on YouTube, and although some of them might be worthwhile it would be a mistake to overlook the core principles.
Students will soon learn that if they put in the time mastering the foundations of BJJ then they will grow a healthier and more solid Jiu Jitsu game. Working on principles like how to create space, how to close space or how to control an opponent in order to set up submissions is paramount in the development of a beginners future game in BJJ. This will ensure that a student will find easy solutions when they encounter problems later down the track.
HOW TO EARN THE BLUE BELT
Starting a BJJ journey as a white belt is always going to be the hardest time, as it is when the student knows the least about Jiu Jitsu. Trying to improve a student's skills can prove troublesome when they have no idea about balance or posture. Sometimes teaching a white belt can be like pulling teeth, it can be extremely painful for a coach. Students will need to develop their skills exponentially by showing dedication, focus and consistency on the mats.
A common question that beginners will ask is how long does it take to get a blue belt in bjj. The BJJ blue belt requirements can vary. Although there is no easy answer, it is up to how the student adapts to their instructor's philosophy. It can take time to build the necessary skills and most students will spend two years as a beginner before they can obtain a promotion to the blue belt. If a student starts competing as a beginner then that can fast track them towards an upgrade in belt rank. Students that go through the kids Jiu Jitsu belts system will work their way to the green belt bjj level and at the age of sixteen gain a promotion straight to the blue belt.
After a student is promoted to the blue belt, they are met with feelings of accomplishment, and they should rejoice, as they have achieved something not many people worldwide do. The blue belt level is where students make or break, meaning some will go on and power their way from the blue to purple belt bjj level, while others will stagnate and stay as a blue belt for a considerable amount of time. Every student is different but it really comes down to how hard they work on the mats and how they hold themselves within the academy.
WHAT ARE THE EXPECTATIONS OF A BLUE BELT
When a student earns the right to wear a blue belt around their waist, it comes with certain responsibilities. There are many ideologies surrounding the Jiu Jitsu scene, many of these are just common sense while others must be outlined by a coach from day one of a student's journey through BJJ. Students must shower before and after training because that's just good hygiene, and they must clip their fingers and toenails so they can ensure their training partners are less likely to be scratched. Another extremely important aspect is for students to learn about how to wash bjj belt and their Gi uniforms, this is so they minimise the risk of spreading infections like staph or ringworm.
After receiving a blue belt promotion, students are required to show leadership as many beginners will look up to a newly promoted student. Students that reach the second level will often give out bjj White belt tips to their training partners, so they must ensure they only teach the basics they know. The more advanced techniques should be left to the higher belt coaches at their academy. Blue belts must lead by example and show the lower belts how they should behave on and off the mats, this is an important aspect of growing as an academy member.
WHAT TECHNIQUES DOES A BJJ BLUE BELT NEED TO KNOW
There are many aspects that go into a student's progression to a blue belt, and importantly they must stay focused and ready to listen to their coach's guidance. Being skillful is only one part of Jiu Jitsu, it is the dedication and consistency on the mats that will ultimately get a student to that next level. Students will need to have an understanding in many of the techniques taught by their coaches. Let's have a look at what it takes.
Students will need to learn the intricacies of escaping control positions. There are certain positions that a student cannot be stuck in or they will suffer by getting submitted. Escaping positions like mount, side control, back control and the guard is extremely important to help a student progress. Positional escapes are very important sonan opponent will find it harder to set up submissions if a student is already escaping their control. Let's have a look at some of the important positional escapes.
- Elbow Escape: This technique is one of the first techniques an instructor will teach and it is important to help escape from the mount and secure better positions like half guard or closed guard.
- Umpa Escape: This escape is another important foundation to learn and it utilises a bridging motion to help a student roll their opponent out of mount, so they are firmly sitting but in their guard.
- Framing Escape: Developing frames is extremely important so a student can fend off attacks and turn onto their side easier, this will help a student climb back into the guard position.
- Posture Escape: It is extremely important to understand good posture so it can help a student escape from all positions and stay safe from submissions.
- Submission Escapes: submission escapes are very valuable and are a necessity for a blue belt to learn. It is important for blue belts to master their abilities to defend Rear Naked Chokes, Armbars and many other significant submissions.
Students will need to improve considerably at positioning their bodies, as applying the right amount of pressure on their opponents is paramount. Passing the guard becomes easier once a student has achieved significant improvements. Let's have a look at some of the controlling positions.
- Mount: Learning how to maintain a really good mount and then transitioning to a more attacking mount is a foundation that blue belts need to learn.
- Side Control: Students need to learn about short base and long base side control. This is a necessary skill so they are able to control an opponent's side control. Developing a cross face and underhooks is another added importance to this control.
- Back Control: Controlling the back using hooks and a seatbelt is an important aspect of improving at the blue belt level.
- Breaking Guard: It is extremely important to use the correct posture so a student can break through an opponent's guard.
- Turtle: Blue belts must understand how to position themselves on a turtled opponent, this is so they cannot be out transitioned.
- Knee on Belly: Students must learn how to apply a good knee ride, as it is another really dominant position that can give your opponent easy guard retention.
Students need to understand the principles of sweeping an opponent, as it is how you get from the bottom to the top in BJJ. Students should be able to have a few sweeps in their arsenal, and have at least one sweep they are masterful at. Sweeps are massive in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and it will considerably improve a blue belts game. If a student struggles to improve their position from the guard then they will find themselves stuck under opponents very frequently. Let's have a look at some fundamental sweeps that a blue belt must learn.
- Scissor Sweep: The scissor sweep is one of the first sweeps at the beginner level of it will enhance their understanding of how to utilise the knee shield while disrupting their opponents balance.
- Hip Bump Sweep/Kimura Sweep: This variation of sweep is extremely important, as it gives a student the opportunity to utilise a powerful movement and possibly catch a submission at the same time.
- Technical Stand Up: Another important fundamental is learning how to stand up in the guard. Not only is this important for sports Jiu Jitsu it is even more important in a Self defense situation.
Learning submission is extremely important and is the only way to finish off an opponent in a match, relying on points for a win is not the best technique. Learning how to submit is a necessary weapon, because finishing a fight will always guarantee victory. There are a few submissions that lower belts will learn and even though they wont need to perfect them all, they should try to master at least a few.
- Armbar: The Armbar is one of the main submissions in BJJ and it is popular among many high level practitioners, gaining an ability to control an opponent's arm and then use leverage to submit them is a very high percentage move.
- Triangle: The Triangle is another submission that is extremely common from the guard position, there are multiple setups to the Triangle from mount and side control.
- Rear Naked Choke: This submission is one of the most deadly and reliable techniques in the Jiu Jitsu handbook. Securing back control and mastering the Rear Naked Choke is what all practitioners need.
- Kimura: This bent arm lock is another outstanding submission, as it is a good way to secure the finish from guard, side control or mount.
The BJJ blue belt will need to work through some good stand up techniques, as all fights start from the feet. Blue belts don't have to be masterful at wrestling takedowns or Judo throws, but they do need to begin working on many of the components of good stand up practices. Understanding basic grips, footwork and posture is imperative, as they will need to develop a strong base. Learning how to secure dominant grips as well as breaking their opponents grip is important for their progression.
- Break Fall: The importance of correctly break falling will ensure a student doesn't break their arms, dislocate their shoulders or take any significant damage to their neck or head.
- Single Leg Takedown: The single leg is a good option to secure their opponent's leg and attempt a takedown. There are many variations of this takedown but it is important to understand them all.
- Double Leg Takedown: The double leg is a tricky takedown to learn, as it requires a strong driving force in a forward motion, this technique takes time to learn well.
PASSING THE GUARD
Passing the guard is another extremely important aspect of Jiu Jitsu, as it is the only way to get from an opponent's guard into a control position. It all begins with breaking the guard and then using momentum to move past an opponent's legs in order to secure position.
- Hand Positions: Students must know where to put their hands so they don't leave themselves vulnerable for submission attacks.
- Knee Staple: Students must understand how to pin the leg to the mat so they can use their knee staple to attempt a guard pass.
- Posture: One of the most important aspects of guard passing is to keep a strong posture, because then the passer will be impossible to unbalance.
Becoming a blue belt is an exciting time in a students career, so they need to enjoy it while it lasts as the further they go the harder the art gets. So embrace the challenge that is Jiu Jitsu and never give up because all students can reach the black belt bjj level if they just show dedication and consistency.
If you enjoyed this piece, consider checking:
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