The most popular question in the world of brazilian jiu jitsu beginners is: How long does it take to get a blue belt in BJJ?
The question is a hard one to answer because there are so many factors involved in determining how long to get a blue belt in bjj.
Unlike other martial arts, achieving a colored belt is one of the hardest thing to do in brazilian jiu jitsu. Because you will need to take responsibility of your belt in many ways than one.
Let’s dig deeper on why blue belt is one of the most important achievements to get in someone’s life:
My Blue Belt Journey
Personally i got my blue belt after a year of training. My instructor decided to give me one without any ceremonial event unlike other blue belts, mainly because i got it when we both came to a BJJ seminar in Singapore.
If you asked me whether i feel capable of being a BJJ blue belt then my answer is no, because i have ridiculously high standard to proudly identify myself as a blue belt. Recently my stigma is confirmed when Nicky Rodriguez was able to won the silver medal at ADCC 2019. He beat 3 WORLD CLASS black belts to get to the finals. Nicky is one of the higher spectrum of comparison of jiu jitsu blue belts but that should be the ideal, doesn’t it?
BJJ White Belt to Blue Belt
The journey from white to blue belt should be one that transform your life in a meaningful way. Besides technical and physical changes you will also be required to widen your knowledge and mental capabilities. Read the next section about bjj blue belt requirements to get a grasp of how long it will take to be a colored belt.
How Long To Get A BJJ Blue Belt?
The average time be a blue belt is around 1-2 years provided you train quite often and strive to get better even outside the mats. Here are some factors that will influence how fast you can get the coveted blue:
- Instructors and academies – Each academies and instructors often has their own criteria of how a blue belt should look like. Ask directly so you can get the right goals to make your journey easier
- Grappling experience – If you have any background in grappling-based martial arts then there is a chance you can get to blue belt level quite fast, just ask Nicky Rodriguez and Travis Stevens.
- Frequency of training – Training twice everyday will make your BJJ better compared to training 3x per week. This is just math. Like it or not you will need to pump your training quantities.
- Competition oriented – Those who actively compete will get more spotlight in the eyes of the instructors (and other students). If you are looking to get an extra step to your next belt then make time to compete whenever you can.
What is A Blue Belt in Jiu Jitsu Means?
Having a BJJ blue belt means you have several qualities that white belts doesn’t have, here are some of bjj blue belt requirements:
Roger Gracie famously said that a BJJ blue belt means you are a master of escapes and survival. A BJJ blue belt should be able to escape from pins and submissions much faster and effective compared to white belts. Here are some guidelines to achieve it. Along with better survival instinct when being submitted by higher belts. You can’t tap in 3 seconds because that is what a white belt will do. Here are more technique guidelines for blue belts:
- Positional escape – You have favorite escape moves for every pin position (Side, North South, Mount)
- Submissions – You are effective in the basic submissions
- Sweeps and guard passes – You have a favorite sweep technique in every guard position
- Submission escape – Basic submission escapes are your forte and you are able to execute them when needed.
Blue belts should also have the ability to spar better than white belts. Here are some signs that your sparring abilities are on the blue belt level
- You are able to survive better and longer when rolling with higher belts
- You should be able to submit white belts when you choose to do so
- You should be able to keep the safety of your training partners, regardless of their belt ranks
In my personal opinion getting a brazilian jiu jitsu blue belt is a much harder accomplishment than getting my bachelor degree. Even though some special talent such as BJ Penn and Travis Stevens has been able to achieve black belt in less than 4 years, getting my blue belt is almost as good of accomplishment when you are a regular guy like me.
If you are still interested in getting a blue belt then be prepared to suffer along the way. Patience and willingness to learn will be the deciding factor of how fast you can get the first colored belt in BJJ. See you on the mats!