Blue Belt BJJ Requirements
Being promoted from White to Blue belt is one of the most significant bjj belts that a student will acquire in their BJJ journey. A White belt student will often feel like they will never understand Jiu Jitsu concepts, so when they are finally promoted it feels like a tremendous achievement.
Becoming a Blue belt is an exciting time for a BJJ student, but with the new belt promotion comes certain requirements. All students must adhere to a set of guidelines, but once you become a Blue belt there is a new found sense of loyalty and respect. A White belt can be excused for certain behaviours because they are still learning the ropes, but a Blue belt must take the step towards solidarity.
What This Article Covers:
- Early Habits
- Earning the Promotion
- Being Promoted to Blue
- The Responsibilities of a Blue Belt
- The Requirements for Earning a BJJ Blue Belt
Learning how to become a Black belt in bjj starts at the early stages of being a White belt. Students must begin to form good habits by not glazing over the foundations, instead they must explore and master the fundamental principles involved with Jiu Jitsu.
White belts will often become YouTube Warriors, as they will practice the cool and fancy techniques they search for. This is a mistake for many students, as they don't spend enough time mastering the foundations. If a student has no idea of how to escape from certain positions, or how to break out of the guard then doing a berimbolo to back take has no purpose. Forming good habits like passing the guard or escaping the mount, will ensure that if they are faced with a problem during a match a solution will be easy to execute.
EARNING THE PROMOTION
Being a White belt can be an extremely tough time in a students Jiu Jitsu career, as they soon discover the rigorous conditioning involved for the mind and the body. Students will need to develop their skills through dedication, concentration and continuity.
Most White belts will always ask the question, how long does it take to get a Blue belt in bjj. There is usually a time factor involved, as many schools will make a student wait approximately two years before a promotion. White belts can also fast track their promotions by being successful at BJJ competitions, but generally a promotion is given as the student shows that the criteria has been met.
BEING PROMOTED TO BLUE
When a student is awarded a Blue belt, they often feel like they have achieved an amazing accomplishment. The fact of the matter is, a Blue belt is still extremely young in terms of Jiu Jitsu age. Most high level practitioners look back on their Blue belt days and know they were not very good, but to a fresh Blue belt they are superstars.
The Blue belt curse is real, as a lot of White belts will earn their promotion then drastically reduce their training hours. There are the few who step up to the challenge, as they embrace their new belt rank and head down the path of progression. Becoming a Blue belt has its own set of responsibilities and guidelines to follow.
Let's have a look at some of the requirements that a Blue belt should follow.
THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF A BLUE BELT
When a BJJ coach awards a belt to a student, there is always a level of trust and responsibility that comes with it. There are a few unspoken requirements that are purely common sense and many that are conveyed by a coach.
Students are encouraged to shower before training, clip their finger and toenails and told how to wash bjj belt and their Gi's, once a student is a Blue belt it has to become second nature. The importance of washing Gi's and belts are imperative, as there can be infections that can spread like ringworm and staph. Also keeping your nails short will minimise training partners receiving cuts, which can also lead to infections. A coach will always ensure the mats are cleaned properly after each session, so it is the duty of a representative of the academy to also ensure they carry good bodily hygiene.
Blue belts must show leadership, especially when they are mentoring their younger White belt siblings. Blue belts are infamous for giving bjj White Belt tips so they must ensure they teach the basics, and leave the advanced techniques to the coaches. A Blue belt must lead by example and show the younger belts how they should behave inside an academy.
When a White belt joins an academy you can expect an adjustment period in terms of behaviour. Quite often a student begins BJJ in need of a life change or is battling mental health issues, after some time training in Jiu Jitsu it is an extremely humbling experience. By the time a student is promoted to Blue there is an expectation that he or she will hold themselves with integrity. BJJ is a sport that is highly community driven, so a student must be integral and help preserve the ideology of their academy and the safety and respect of their members.
THE REQUIREMENTS FOR EARNING A BJJ BLUE BELT
There are a lot of factors that go into earning a Blue belt promotion, above all else a student must stay focused and willing to learn. Skills will only get a student so far, they must form a good relationship with their coaches and ensure they are consistently on the mats.
Get to know Roy Dean's Blue Belt Requirements at BJJFanatics.com.
To achieve a Blue belt one of the prerequisite components is to be able to escape from every major position like the mount, side control, guard and back control. A student must be able to have a go to escape from each position and a reasonable guard break, or at the very least have good submission defense. Positional escapes are extremely important when developing a good solid foundation for Jiu Jitsu. If a student learns to master the escapes, then they become extremely hard to submit which is one of the most important aspects in Jiu Jitsu and self defense.
Some of the important positional escapes are as follows;
- Elbow Escape: This technique is a fundamental must as it will help you escape from the mount and secure a half guard and then full guard.
- Umpa Escape: The Umpa escape is another fundamental dynamo, as having the ability to explode from your bridge will get a student out of trouble.
- Framing Escape: It is important to develop frames so a student can easily turn onto their side, whilst being in side control, the result will be an easy way to re-guard.
- Posture Escape: Developing posture will hold a student in good stead, as they will find it easier to escape from back control or out of the guard.
- Submission Escapes: There are a number of submission escapes that a grappler needs to learn, although a Blue belt does not need to master these in order for promotion. It is however important that they start to enhance their abilities to defend Rear Naked Chokes, Armbars and Triangles which are the three most common submissions.
Students must have a good understanding of how to position their bodies, knowing the right sequence of movements when trying to control their opponents is a must. They also need to have an idea about how to correctly apply body pressure, with the right pressure and body positioning, then guard passing and transitioning becomes a lot easier. To understand body positioning they need to practice all control positions including;
- Mount: Maintaining a defensive mount and transitioning to a high mount is a fundamental requirement of becoming a Blue belt.
- Side Control: students need to learn short base and long base side control. They have to develop their skills in utilising the cross face and moving between blocking the hips with their arm and their hips or knees.
- Back Control: Learning how to control the back using hooks and a seatbelt control is another non negotiable, as it is one of the first few control positions taught as a White belt.
- Breaking Guard: It is also important to utilise posture correctly in order to break through an opponent's guard. A student can use the cat stretch or pinning the arm and using the standing guard break.
- Turtle: Blue belts must understand how to at least position themselves on a turtled opponent, so they do not get swept. Having an ability to break down the turtle is a necessary skill.
- Knee on Belly: Students must learn the foundations to a good knee ride, as it's another position that can give your opponent easy guard retention.
Having a decent sweep game is also an ability a student must acquire in order to gain promotion. They should be able to have a couple of sweeps in their repouture, and have at least one sweep they have mastered. Sweeps are a huge part of Jiu Jitsu, and for a Blue belt it is a necessary weapon they must learn. If a student cannot improve their position from the guard then almost certainly they need to continue working on their development.
Here are some foundational sweeps that a Blue belt must learn;
- Scissor Sweep: The scissor sweep is one of the first sweeps a White belt will learn, because it helps them understand the basics behind balance, weight distribution and utilizing a knee shield.
- Hip Bump Sweep/Kimura Sweep: This variation of sweep is extremely important, as it gives a student an in depth experience in unbalancing their opponents and at the same time using that aspect to transition into a submission.
- 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.
It also pays to have at least one good submission in a student's arsenal, as the need for a finisher is very important. It would be extremely hard for a coach to award a Blue belt if the student didn't have a go to submission. Learning how to submit is a necessary tool, because if you can finish the fight then in sports Jiu Jitsu the referee is not involved. It is also important in a more self defense aspect, as it could save a student's life. Gaining the skill set of submission attack is how Blue belts will start to give higher belts trouble. There are a few submissions that young belts will learn and even though they don't need to master them all, they should pick one and try to master it.
- Armbar: The Armbar is one of the go to submissions for many high level practitioners, gaining an ability to secure leverage against your opponent is an art form.
- Triangle: The Triangle is another submission that is commonly secured from when you are playing guard, although there are setups from mount and side control. The Triangle can be an extremely effective weapon against an opponent.
- Rear Naked Choke: This submission is one of the most deadly and reliable techniques in the Jiu Jitsu arsenal. Securing back control and mastering the Rear Naked Choke is a great choice for any practitioner, because in the opinion of many, Choke is King.
- Kimura: This bent arm lock is another popular choice of submission, as it is a good way to secure the finish from guard, side control or mount. This submission was made famous by the world renowned Kazushi Sakuraba.
STAND UP GAME
Another important aspect for Blue belts is the stand up game. All fights begin from the feet so it is important to have knowledge in this area of grappling. Although a Blue belt doesn't have to be able to Uchi Mata or Drop Seonagi, they definitely need to understand basic grips, footwork and posture. They must have an understanding of base and how to keep their balance, and how to have dominant grips as well as breaking their opponents grip. A fundamental must for Blue belts is;
- 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.
There are takedowns that White belts will learn, but it is not a requirement to master them before receiving a Blue belt, as they take a few years to really get good at.
- Single Leg Takedown: The single leg is an easy option to secure their opponent's leg and attempt a takedown. There are many variations of this takedown and it takes a long time to master them all.
- Double Leg Takedown: The double leg is a tricky takedown to learn, as it requires an intense amount of driving force and posture. This is another takedown that takes a long time to master.
Guard retention is another non negotiable for receiving a Blue belt. Students must acquire the ability to retain guard from all positions, as they can find themselves in deep trouble if they don't practise it. When developing good guard retention a student must learn to hustle, because it is all about the inches when it comes to guard retention.
PASSING THE GUARD
Passing the guard starts with breaking out of the guard, so it is important for Blue belts to be able to do both. They don't have to be a master at the passing game, but they must have a fundamental understanding of a few components involved like;
- Hand Positions: Students must know where to place their hands in order to block a guard player from sweeping or submitting.
- Knee Staple: Students must understand the value of manipulating an opponent's leg and being able to trap it with a knee staple in order to attempt knee slice or backstep passes.
- Posture: One of the most important aspects of guard passing is keeping a good posture, because if a guard player cannot break down the passer then it becomes easier to pass.
Overall becoming a Blue belt is an exciting time in a students career, so they should enjoy the ride and continue to develop as a Martial Artist. There is a lot of enjoyment to be had going from Blue to Purple belt bjj so don't give up and embrace the challenge, as the BJJ community is among the best in the world.
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