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How Long Does It Take to Get a Blue Belt in BJJ?

How Long Does It Take to Get a Blue Belt in BJJ?


As a new BJJ practitioner, you've given yourself the most important promotion of them all. You have promoted yourself from someone who stood on the outside looking in and have taken the crucial step to join the BJJ family donned your white belt.

What This Article Covers:


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The Blue Belt: Your first major goal

After learning how to tie that jiu jitsu belt, you can turn your attention to the first major goal of all white belts, the coveted blue belt. The time spent at white belt can vary amongst schools, instructors and practitioners. Most school owners would agree that, for most students, the journey to blue can range between a year and up to three years, with the occasional student achieving the blue belt faster and the occasional student achieving it slower.

For more guidelines on what it takes to earn your blue belt, check out Roy Dean's instructional all about that topic!

how long to get a blue belt in bjj

One very important thing that most people don't realize until much later in their journey to black belt is that the actual length of time you spend at each belt is much less important than the amount of quality training you can squeeze into that time. Mat time is a key factor that for the most part, we all can control and it is the one of the only real secrets to getting better at BJJ and progressing.

Let's take a look at all of the different things that a student should focus on to make their time at white belt impactful and enjoyable. By being mindful of these elements, the student will be much more likely to earn their blue belt in a timely manner.

Things to Focus on from White Belt to Blue Belt

White Belt Training Frequency

Mat time and consistent training frequency will be one of the first things that an instructor will notice from a new student. While there is no specific magical number of classes one should attend each week, it is clear that more time does usually produce more results. But with most average practitioners, training schedules typically include 2-3 sessions per week.

Once you've established a schedule, no matter how many or how few sessions you can get in each week, it's important to stick to that schedule and make sure that those sessions become the minimum number you attend each week.

With mat time being one crucial way to get better and class attendance being the primary key to mat time, it's important to realize that there are ways to get creative with your training and add more time into your sessions.

Many gyms have multiple classes per day or evening. If you can only attend classes on 2 days per week, perhaps there is a way for you to squeeze multiple sessions into those days. You can very easily take 2 days a week and turn it into 4 or more sessions if you plan strategically.

Another way to increase training time when perhaps there are no other sessions on the days you attend class, is to stay after and roll after class as much as you can. Most academies build time into their schedules to allow students to live train or drill the techniques that they've been learning. With the help of one or more training partners, you can create mini-classes to review and drill new techniques or to live spar to put those moves into practice.

If getting to the academy for these extra sessions around your classes isn't a possibility due to your schedule or commute, a final option would be to get some portable mats at your home and work on some solo drills and bodyweight exercises to help compliment the training at the academy.

One of your BJJ white belt goals might be to consistently take 2-3 classes per week and include another chunk of time dedicated to drilling or conditioning exercises. With a solid structure and intention to your training, you will make the journey from white belt to blue belt much more seamless and valuable. This will provide a very balanced training schedule that will give you periods to absorb techniques and periods to work on and hone the execution of the techniques.

It goes without saying that breaks need to be avoided.  Jiu Jitsu quickly becomes a lifetime project and with any lifetime project, there are always new curveballs being thrown our direction. Career, family, and school changes can impact one's training over the course of the journey to black belt, so it's important to recognize the possibility and be able to adjust if necessary.

In these early stages of our development, any interruption due to career changes or whatever, will be detrimental if adjustments are not made quickly.  Sometimes this can mean relocating to a new academy. Though unfortunate in many cases, changing academies over the course of a decade is not all that uncommon. Finding and settling into your home academy is a process that is worth doing methodically and correctly.

White Belt Student Mindset

Once you've established your training regime and frequency of sessions, it's time to hone in on what actually happens during classes.

First and foremost, especially for those with a limited training schedule, it's important to be 100% present during each and every class. It's important to work to leave any stresses or life challenges outside the door once class begins.  Anything you are dealing with before class, will be there waiting for you after class and many times, giving yourself permission to focus on class for an hour or so, may actually allow you to tackle your issues more efficiently.

The average class begins with some sort of warmup which can include BJJ specific movements, calisthenics or other exercises meant to get the blood flowing, warm up cold muscles and get the students ready for the tasks to come.  

Once the class is warmed, the instructor will typically call the class to the center to demonstrate a few techniques or positions. It's important to recognize these scenarios as laboratory settings with the instructor setting the scene explaining what should happen when an opponent does such as such action. A very common mistake that students in class can make is to become too caught up in WHAT IF scenarios related to the techniques being explained.

There are literally an infinite number of different variables that can change during the execution of a particular technique. Your instructor's goal most likely is to show the most common or more likely options that you may encounter.  By constantly going over in your mind all of the infinite number of WHAT IFs you can think of, you are stopping yourself from absorbing the technique and laying that first foundation that is necessary to understand when contemplating all of the possibilities.

After the instructor demonstrates a technique, he/she will usually break the group into pairs to practice the move on each other. Not only is it important for you to put 100% of your intention into executing the move on your partner, it's crucial to also give the proper reaction and be a good uke for your partner so that they may learn the technique most effectively.

Should there be any periods of live training during the class or afterwards, as a white belt, it's important to accept the fact that you don't have much technical knowledge. Along with this fact, knowing that the technical knowledge you do have will not be applied perfectly, will help you enjoy the experience of live training rather than becoming frustrated by it.

Your goal with your partner at all times is to train safely, meaning that you can go intensely if the situation calls for it, but techniques and transitions must be entered into with control. You're not looking to injure your training partner or yourself, so rolling with a solid, positive intention while simultaneously being mindful of your surroundings and your opponent will quickly make you a sought after training partner.

Understanding that WINNING can take on many different forms, it's important to understand how to approach our training rounds.  If I'm rolling with someone of equal tenure and rank, I am going to look to match their intensity level and work to out position them and dominate them until I can set up a submission. This would be if we were both of the exact same belt rank and with similar tenures.

When training with someone with more experience, it's important to adjust our understanding of what it means to win. As a white belt, you will be amazed the first time you roll with a purple belt or higher. Their ability to move themselves and control you with little or no effort, is truly inspiring. 

Therefore, to set out and attempt to 'beat them' might be a little silly as they can probably control you with little or no effort. Instead, maybe you say to yourself, I'm going to defend all of the submissions or perhaps this round he's going to submit me no more than twice--after submitting you last time they trained 12 times. When you're just starting out, surviving an entire 5-6 minute round can be a huge accomplishment that you should be proud of.

For more on the blue belt, check out Roy Dean's instructional on the topic!

how long to get blue belt bjj

Finally, when rolling with someone of lesser experience, it's important to create ways for you to win without demoralizing them. And remember you're both white belts, but perhaps you've got 2-3 stripes, meaning you've spent upwards of a year or more training. On a really basic level that could mean 150-200 more classes than this person who maybe just started last week.

This situation is a great time to put yourself in bad spots and try to work your way out. Letting the inexperienced student mount you or take your back serves a number of purposes. For them, it allows them to start in superior positions that they don't have the technical skill to get to yet on their own. For you, it allows you to focus on using pure jiu jitsu to work your way out without too much fear of submission attacks, because the newer student won't have the same tool box as a purple belt or brown belt in class.

Creating mutually beneficial training scenarios will go a long way towards improving the BJJ skill of both parties, while making it fun and engaging for everyone.

Consistent training and a positive mindset will go a long way towards moving you up the ranks towards that blue belt, but there is one more thing that you must be mindful of, without getting too obsessed with it--the technical knowledge or knowing the moves. 


Take a deep dive on one specific skill per month with the top instructors in the BJJ Fanatics family.

With your subscription you’ll get:

  • Private Lesson (Masterclass)
  • Preview of our Upcoming Daily Deals to better plan your purchases
  • Rolling breakdowns & more.

You’ll also get At Home Drills to work on, a Preview of our Upcoming Launches More!


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White Belt Moves

As you begin to stack up attended classes, over time, you will become exposed to chokes, joint attacks, different types of guards, standing techniques, takedowns, etc. Absorb as much as you can from your classes. Ask meaningful questions. Create opportunities for you and a training partner to drill the techniques. Attempt to use the techniques during live sessions and be mindful of what's working and what is not and ask yourself why? 

There's never been a better time to be a student of BJJ, with resources like BJJ Fanatics at your finger tips. With just a few clicks, you can sit down in the comfort of your own home or watch on your own mobile device, techniques that have taken the best athletes of our sport years to perfect and in moments you can begin to absorb these techniques to put into practice.  

Focus on the basics in the beginning because they are the foundation that all other techniques are built from. Don't rush to fill your toolbox with tons of poorly crafted techniques. Instead, look to get through the white belt with a decent understanding of the various positions.

Hopefully by employing these BJJ white belt tips your journey to blue belt will be smooth, enjoyable and filled with challenges that make you a better person.  The BJJ belt meanings will change for you over time, but in the beginning make the white belt the belt of wide eyed wonder and take your time. Just make sure you get to where you want to go.

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