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White To Blue- What Do You Do?

White To Blue- What Do You Do?


Are you new to the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu? Are you reaching your one year anniversary of starting to train, or maybe you don’t practice at all and you are just curious about how people are promoted from a white belt to blue belt. Realistically there is not a rubric to follow that will undoubtedly put you on a time schedule to transition smoothly from a brand new, wonderful white belt to a new and sweat free, beautiful blue belt.

While there are not any checklists lurking around to use as a guide, there are general skills and techniques that you should be comfortable with by the time you are promoted to blue. These can come in a similar pattern to your training partner that started at the same time as you, or they can go completely in a different order based on your personal style and learning method. There is not a wrong way to go on a belt journey, as long as you end up where you want to be! Some roads are bound to be longer and bumpier than others, but that doesn’t matter- be proud of your own progression and try not to compare yourself to how fast or how slow you add stripes. 

That being said, what are some things to pay special attention to at the beginning of your Jiu Jitsu trip? Since you are new, most of the techniques that you will master as a white belt are defensive; examples include back escapes, proper breakfall skills, and how to move away from someone’s offensive attack. Once you are more comfortable with your body mechanics and muscle memory in general (plus, you will be surprised how sore you might be after a class of just moving away from someone) you will be able to brush over some basic submissions. 



Starting from the basics applies to everything- we learn to crawl before we learn to run, right? The same concept applies to Jiu Jitsu and martial arts training. In order to hone and perfect the slight body motions it takes to become a master, you first have to become familiar with the intricacies and movement flow. Start your journey with a general overview of the sport, understand what you are going to be working towards so you have a picture in your mind before you begin to put together the smaller pieces. Think of it this way, you always want to have more control than your opponent and you never want them to have more control than you. Yes, that is much easier said than done, but if you start to approach each scenario with that goal then it becomes easier to parcel out little details to address. 

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For every submissive position you are in, you want to understand where to position your body to avoid getting submitted in order to escape and why, and for every dominant position you are in you should learn how to remain dominant and what submissions are available to you from there. This skill can be achieved by first learning what common positions are dominant and which are not and then focusing on a few basic methods of escape or submission techniques from those. The high percentage submissions are up there for a reason, so focus on those and don’t worry about others! Just because you view something as “basic” or “fundamental” doesn’t mean an upper belt isn’t going to try and submit you with it, so practice those mount escapes! 

Luckily most schools are well aware of this pathway of learning, so oftentimes warmups and drills reflect the repetitive motions you need to get your body used to performing on the mat. Shrimping, putting in frames, and weight distribution are just a few of the common themes you 

will see in a regular Jiu Jitsu warmup routine. Consequently, once you learn how to perform them up to snuff, you’ll want to learn how to withstand someone trying to defend themselves against you. What good is being about to shrimp out of a bad position if you always end up in the same place again? Get a few submissions under your belt and work them until you can do them in your sleep, then look into adding more to your arsenal. A few examples of basic ones to begin with are a triangle, americana, rear naked choke and an arm bar. 



Blue Belt Requirements 2.0 by Roy Dean  Digital

Being a white belt can seem incredibly daunting, but it’s also great to be at the beginning of your journey with so much potential. Follow these tips along the way, learn from a few of the BJJ Fanatics athletes and you are sure to be a blue belt in no time! Check out Blue Belt Requirements 2.0 by Roy Dean!



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