Got Your Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Now What?

So you got your blue belt, now what?

This post is sort of a companion post to this one – kind of like a part 2.

As a white belt you were told to just “keep showing up” and to defend and survive. Well, you kept showing up, defended like your life depended on it, and survived the white belt phase. Now, after all the mat burns, cuts, and bruises, you’re on to a new belt phase. The Blue Belt Phase.

After I got promoted to blue belt, I thought to myself…

“What am I supposed to be focusing on?”

“What are my new goals?”

“Am I supposed to get tapped less often?”

“Do I need to be good at Z guard?”

“Will I all of a sudden be way better than my white belt friends?”

I had many questions about what I should be expected to work on once I got my blue belt. On the one hand, all the things I’ve been doing as a three and four stripe white belt, got me promoted. So do I just keep doing that’s stuff?

For example, I’ve had enough people at my gym tell me how good my defence is and how hard it is to submit me (but it’s certainly not impossible, that’s for sure.) So do I keep up my solid defence and survival skills?


Being a blue belt feels cool. I feel like I’m a white belt again, in the sense that there is even more new stuff for me to try and learn. Sort of like a white, blue belt. I mentioned in a recent blog post that my focus is now on offence, learning to attack. This is a good new goal for me to work on. Other then offence being my new focus, my own expectations are pretty much the same: show up, try my best, defend, survive, do a competition or two, and be safe.

Trust your head instructor’s judgement. They promoted you because they believe you’ve earned it. Celebrate your success! But after you get done telling all your real life friends and your social media ones you got your blue belt, give it a rest and get back to the mats.


Don’t quit. Sure, life gets busy and you may not be able to train as much anymore. But keep at it. For example, Life got busy recently and I only went once this past week, one hour. It’s better than nothing. And I plan on going 4 hours next week. I’m trying to adopt the attitude or point of view of a life-long-leaner.

For example, I love reading about many different subjects and I don’t plan on quitting reading anytime soon or ever. Similarly, jiu jitsu is always evolving and the intricacies of the basics are so deep that I probably can’t learn them all.

That’s fascinating to me, but like the reading, there are many different types of subjects, or in the case of BJJ, instead of subjects, there are: concepts, techniques, methods, styles, and details that will keep my interest in the sport for many years to come. That’s the plan anyway.


Depending on your gym or academy, qualifying for your blue belt can require different skills. I received my blue belt about a month ago so, I don’t know what I don’t know and I don’t know what you should know or work on when you get your blue belt. But for me, knowing the fundamental positions, and perhaps some escapes from each position. Lately, I’ve been working on my attack and escaping. But I would refer to your head instructor, what they want you to learn or what they have been teaching you lately. Trust them.

Staying Humble

Don’t be one of those new blue belts who quits because they think they know everything about jujitsu. They’ll be one of those new blue belts who thinks they’ll never be tapped by white belt again. WRONG. Still getting attacked by the people I’ve always got tapped by. And I will probably keep happening for many years to come. But just because I have my boo belt now, doesn’t make me any better than any of the white belts that I started my journey with, the ones that are still here anyway, and I couldn’t be more excited for them to get their blue belts which I’m sure it’s just around the corner.

The screenshot below is of a tweet I posted recently, asking folks what their experience being a blue belt was/is like and if they have any advice for four stripe white belts. I got some great answers! Click the screenshot below to read the comments…

(click photo to go to Tweet)

And here is a recoding of me reading all of the comments I got from people answering those questions (same video from the top of the post).

And here is a Twitter Poll I put out asking people to vote for what they thought was the hardest bjj belt to endure. And the winner is…Blue Belt!

(click photo to go to Tweet)


This post is from the perspective of a new blue belt. Someone who has had more experience being a blue belt could have a deeper understanding of what you need to do. But so far, I’ve been given good advice about what you and I should expect being blue belts.

You and I have a long grind ahead of us. Going from white belt to blue belt was pretty straight forward: Survive.

Now we know a little bit and need to refine our game and figure out how to do things like escape and attack, or whatever your head instructor is teaching you. This is going to take a while.

I got my blue belt in a year and a half, but I don’t expect to get my purple belt that soon, I’m guessing three years at least. But if you and I stick with it there’s no stopping us on our road to black belt. Let’s take it one training session at a time.

Good luck!

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