Why Do So Many People Quit Jiu-Jitsu At Blue Belt?

Any Jiu jitsu practitioner that has been training for a decent amount of time knows that getting a black belt is not something that happens overnight. It takes years of hardwork and dedication that is not seen in some martial arts. Black belts are never given to children in jiu jitsu, no matter how good a kid might be.

One reason I believe that many people stop training after they get their blue belts is because they hit a plateau with their training. It happens to all of us, at every belt level. We have a period of time where we see no improvement in our jiu-jitsu. Many people get frustrated and quit because of this, not realizing that this is a quitterphase that you must go through to improve. However, this tends to happen more to white belts than blue belts but is still present at the blue belt level.

Another reason why people might quit at blue belt is because they feel content with being a blue belt. Becoming a black belt in BJJ is not an easy task, and many people who start training do not end up becoming black belts. That is why when you go to big tournaments like the Pan Ams and the Mundials that the white and blue belt divisions are the largest and the black belt divisions are the smallest. The higher up in rank you go, the less people there are. When you get your blue belt one of two things can happen, you will either become more motivated to train and keep progressing or you will be content and not want to keep going.

Everyone has a reason for quitting jiu jitsu or taking time off, except for the people who never stop training. Some call them excuses, while others think that some people might have a legitimate reason for quitting. So I want to hear from all you, why do you think so many people quit BJJ at blue belt?


    • Keep training. White belt is the hardest belt. It’s the most unappreciated of the belts. Push through. I had weeks where all I did was get tossed up. You’ll make it through.

      Where do you train?

  1. I never had that urge when I made blue. But I have been a purple for over year now and with some struggles outside of jiu jitsu I feel that plateau. Just trying to stay on track to black.

  2. Lack of perseverance , not looking at the big picture, everyone is in a rush, enjoy it døn't worry about belts or wins….. they will come……. consider every session valuable making you better on and off the mats…….. unless you really don't like it or care , someday you will regret telling everyone you meet " I used to but I don't anymore " Osss

  3. I had another Kid….4 of them one of me…no deeper meaning. But I plan on going back one day, I love Jiu Jitsu!

  4. Also there is too much focus on the belts. There is so much energy put into "getting blue" that once you grt it and dont feel any different… No point in going forward. Its like asking someone on their birthday if they feel a year older than yesterday. Its just a number and a day older, there is no magical conferrance of wisdom when the colors change. You are still you.

    • I think you nailed it. I’d change the wording to…too much emphasis on the belts. A newly promoted student was a blue belt level the day before they got their promotion, even weeks before. They just didn’t wear the colors. The skill level has been achieved. But, the belt can be the goal, or the carrot and breaks up the journey, offering an award of accomplishment. After my blue belt promotion, I was unstoppable with confidence for a week or two. Then that wore off and I thought…oh crap, kind of starting over again. I started at 44 and I hope I won’t quit some day. But somedays, it doesn’t seem worth all the pain.

  5. Money is a huge reason. It's extremely expensive to train in bjj and compete. Very time consuming as well. I had to stop recently due to financial problems. I will return when I can afford it. I still box and kickbox because it's way cheaper and all I can afford right now. 50 bucks a month for unlimited gym time at my boxing gym.

  6. Only thing that will keep me from purple is a rotten right knee. That does concern me. Injuries suck and eat at your cardio. You go back and it's like starting over.. getting gassed easily, etc.. Injury free is the best way to be!

    • @daniel kilber. That’s a really ignorant statement. I was awarded my blue belt earlier tonight. So by your logic all the blue belts I’ve managed to tap out within the last couple months shouldnt be blue belts. Get real man. If a person gets tapped out by a lower belt rank they should thank the person for exposing a hole in there game and get back to rolling.

      • @ Jack congrats on getting promoted to blue belt. By that statement alone lets me know you are a blue belt. Good job!

  7. Daniel Kilber in a perfect world… I'm 58 and roll with guys half, 3x less than my age. Some are 3X physically stronger and all that mid-level Blue Belt Ju-Ju may not help. There are other considerations in play here. There are also some white belts that have excellent skills. I've seen some give a challenge to Purples.. does not mean the purple should give back their belt either.. learn from it and try again.

  8. Daniel Kilber While I can see why you think this as a white belt, your paradigm changes as a blue belt. Being submitted by your training partners doesn't seem to matter as much as you think it does. The best BJJ practitioners in the world build up their defenses by allowing their training partners to secure the best offensive position possible and then trying to escape. Don't be afraid to tap to lower belt in the interest of improving your game.–Now if a white belt is consistently submitting a blue belt while both parities are rolling at 100%…then that would raise concern.

  9. I have seen alot of guys in there upper 30's and 40's quit because they are afraid of getting injured. These are usually the same guys who fight every match like it's for a gold medal. They do great competing as white belts because they are strong athletes, so they get the blue belt. But they do not experience the same success as blue belt because of the higher level of technique they go up against. They get frustrated because they are losing now and they know they need to train more technically which they relate to being away from their families more. They end up making an excuse and quitting with a closet full of shoyoroll gi's that will forever haunt them. Don't quit guys and gals, work more as a team when you reach blue belt and you will see progression! Freedomfighter

    • Maybe it has more to do how you roll/train while not using proper recovery for you now older body. As an almost 42 year old with a long history of sports and injuries, the warm ups…cool downs…stretching and proper nutrition have made a huge difference. That and maybe a different sleeping position or bed. Good luck.

    • To any geezers reading this, I am 51 and two years into my training. You have to be smart at our age. You have limits that youngsters don’t. You probably can’t train more than three times a week until you start calming down and are able to roll with energy efficiency. Hot baths in Epsom Salts are help to me but my massage ball for working my traps, glutes and anything else that is sore has really helped me of late. First six months of training were hard. Maybe I am blessed in that I am not outgunned in terms of strength, cardio or flexibility, but most of the guys at my place are shocked to learn my age. The other thing is to pick your battles. Tap when your neck is being cranked and don’t tough out shoulder locks. Once you get to a reasonable level of experience, roll often but maybe not as many rolls as the younger guys. You can’t allow yourself to get too tired or you will get injured. Bottom line – be smart about it.

    • I’m 49 with a sore back, soon to be 50 with a sore back, 2-stripe white belt taking private lessons. Great post here and insightful comments. Been doing martial arts since 1987, with a little hiatus. Enjoying BJJ a lot…

  10. Mine is money. I can never afford it. It's always more per month than I have to spare, and if it's not, it's a drive that makes it difficult. I have mats and weights at home so I can make the most of it, but no belts there.

    • don’t quit just find a gym that focuses more on technique if your training partners are hurting you that’s because they’re not good training partners

  11. It takes a special kind of person to deal with the discomfort of bjj, that is one , the other is money , people dont want to pay , they think that they are soo cool that they should not have to pay.not every body has what it takes , it is good that soo many people dont last , but if are running a business you will have deal with it.

  12. That mentality of a white belt shouldnt tap out a blue is the mentality im talking about. What is fundamentally different between a white belt the day before their blue promotion and a blue belt the day after their promotion? Nothing other than that they are now a darker belt color. What would happen if your wholelife was judged by 5 minutes at a time? Or someone wwho went to a different high school is smarter than you but you both graduated high school should you loseyour diploma? When we stop expecting that people are better or worse, we can stop putting so much on belts and just train.

  13. Daniel Kilber if a white belt submits a blue belt A: The blue belt is human, and will get caught from time to time just like you and me, and B: Why is it not that maybe the white belt isnt ready to get his/her blue belt?! This is coming from a 4 stripe white who has submitted quite a few blue belts…and not because they didn't deserve them…they have also submitted me.

  14. I'm 56, a 'weak' purple belt — I can sometimes get rolled up by young/fast/strong white belts — esp if I'm feeling lazy. They have "a lot ot prove" and I'm there w/o a lot of expectations of being a world champ. I don't worry much about belts — Tamara has that right — I think a belt is your teacher saying "I now expect more from you" — it's a responsibility to take on a higher level belt. I am in for the long haul, sore back, ribs, shoulders, and all. Jiujitsu applies to my life as much as my mat. It's as much a way of thinking as it is physical technique. Keeping rolling and don't be a "belt racist" — Royce Gracie used to roll with white belts intentionally — "because they do the most unexpected things" — by the time you're a blue belt, you're working within the paradigm… Oss

  15. Well this reminds me of people asking me why I divorced my husband. Ask me why I married him! At that time it was the right thing to do for both of us, or it felt like the right thing. And when we got a divorce it also felt like the right thing to do. I still love him, 20 years later he's my best friend, his wife is my 2nd best friend, and so on, and what I'm trying to say is, you can try something for a while, and even really love it, but still decide it's not your path. I think by blue belt level we can really say the honeymoon is over. I don't mean the love is over, I mean that's the time you look at something or someone in the face and see it for what it is. It takes a while to figure out what bjj is about, just generally how it works, what the culture is, where you fit into the sport and your own gym. I think blue belt level is actually the time when you can really make an informed decision about whether bjj is for you or not. And if it's not, it's not, no big tragedy. On the contrary, if people decide bjj isn't for them, then hug them, thank them for trying, and let them go. "Anything is one of a million paths." (Castaneda)

  16. Daniel Kilber
    I would disagree with that. I've submitted blues and a purple when I was a white belt. It did not mean I was better than them, I was just better than them during that round. This is also a simplistic view as it does't take into account size, age, or strength.

  17. I think part of it is the fact that a lot of people build up getting their blue belt into a huge thing (and yes, it's an accomplishment but just saying we need to keep it in perspective) and then, suddenly, there is likely to be a LONG road to purple and people just kind of lose that drive to keep pushing. They know enough to feel like they aren't total dead fishes on the mat, and don't want to wait years for that next gold star from the teacher.

  18. I didnt even start training until about 2 years after i had fractured 2 vertebre in my back in a car accident. I couldnt walk for 6 months. It was hard as an athlete and former wrestler not to have that power and explosion. However, I believe it was that lack of strength and a pair of good teachers/rolling partners that helped me develop my skills in jits. If you guys are suffering from soreness, evaluate your circumstances. Find a dojo or a partner who is interested in learning and getting better and not tapping everyone out

  19. That's absurd, Daniel. I don't see anything wrong with a white belt submitting a blue. As a purple, I tap out Browns a fair amount of time and occasionally get a lucky submission against a black belt. That said, there are some really good blues at my academy that have submitted me. Nobody's above an ass-whoopin.

  20. One word plain and simple. Money. It becomes too dang expensive…. From the 175 plus dollars a month membership, to the 100 dollar seminars you have to go to to "show support," then there is the tournament cost and travel cost. I would still be training if I didn't have a family and new born to support.

  21. A black belt where I train said she thinks it's because as a white belt, you think that when you get to blue you actually know some jiu jitsu. Then you get to blue and if you're paying attention you realize you don't know squat. That's discouraging for many people. I saved myself by never thinking that I knew any jits, even after getting my purple.

    • I’m 40. Never an athlete. Getting subbed by a white sucks, but that’s more reason to train. I often take on the younger and stronger kids and am prepared to tap if I do something stupid. This is life. At first I thought I’d be letting my Coach down if I tapped to a white, but any great instructor will let you find yourself in this new realm. Blue belt is one of my biggest achievements too. It is such a huge accomplishment, and I can see why some feel ok with leaving. Most important though, is to have a professor that teaches and guides. Let’s you challenge yourself and does not constantly judge you. I enjoy learning. I hate feeling like I’m letting an instructor down, and good instructors shouldn’t make you feel this way. Just roll.

  22. i have to quit because i just can train 2 days each week and i was paying full price and
    i did was sponsored and i chose my familly but you cant imagine how much i love jiu jitsu and i miss it soooooo bad

  23. Maybe the skills from blue belt up to black don't differ so much. I've never fine jiujitsu. Brazilian or any other. But that's what it appears to be with me. The army and marine Corps train its warriors in grappling giving you competent abilities that compare to a blue belt (maybe lower than that). But its done because combatives and mcmap is only effective on the fundamental level. Its not meant to be used on the tournament circuit. Its battlefield effective. Which further leads me to believe that blue belts are on possession of skills equal to black belts.

  24. Daniel Kilber that's a very narrow minded view, any body can get tapped out…if a white belt practiced only armbars for 6 months straight they couls tap a blue belt that knows much more.

  25. I believe a lot of people come to that cross road in life,, train,, or settle down and have a family,,,, I am blue belt and the hard thing I deal with is how far I have to travel to train,,, but I do it, cause JIU JITSU helped me in life,,,

    As for a lower belt tapping someone out that's a higher,,,"do this " everyone take there belts off,, there ,, you don't have to worry about seeing the color of the belt that beats you,,, YOU WIN OR YOU LEARN!!! That Daniel guy still has lots to learn

  26. Daniel Kilber I have been doing bjj 14 years and when im experimenting or letting guys play and try out there games they can catch me at any level potentially. There is a big difference from rolling in the gym and rolling in a tourney. If your goal as a blue belt is to prove no white belt can tap you then you definitely need to re-evaluate why you are training. Your game grows by trying different things and getting tapped.

  27. I've been blue belt a long time , if a white belt goes crazy you should be able to control them or choke n tap them hard so they don't go too crazy , one or two hard chokes or taps will make them not go crazy coz they know what's coming lol other reason is blue belt is basicly the belt you'll be at the longest and that's where you start developing your style, some people get scared or some give up coz they can't get to the next level, it's not like karate u know the kata then bam u have next belt , bjj is about knowledge about the art and how to learn it and apply it to what works for u , u don't need to compete and fight to get to the next belt , I know people that can teach etc and they brown belts and never went to a competition in their lives, once u start bjj it becomes a part of your life, if u can't handle it then divorce Jiu jitsu and do something else, if you don't have the heart and passion you won't succeed 😀

  28. I don't know I'm 8 months pregnant and still going to classes twice a week. I got my blue belt and found out a month later I was pregnant with my third child. I think for many blue belt is far enough for them. I can't wait to get back to smashing on people.

  29. So a 55 year old blue belt should not get submitted by a 24 year old white belt who has done no gi for years and wrestles in college? I know of a purple belt who ran through high level brown belts but he was an all American wrestler and pro MMA fighter. Belts are NOT an indicator of who is the "best" it's an indicator of time on the mat and command of the art. Most of the best competition jiu jitsu black belts are only 2nd and 3rd degree but would wipe the floor with any red belt or coral belt.

  30. I can see what you mean in theory but the reality of the matter is black belts have thousands upon thousands more reps than a blue belt making it nearly impossible for them to be equal in proficiency of skill.

  31. It depends on your sensei/master. If he/she giving you attention then you wont even think to leave any discipline if not where there's is lack of motivation and spotting the mistake and teaching then you'll only have option left is to leave. But it doesn't mean that you have leave for good. You have to look around there are better professional martial artist who can teach you better.

  32. It depends on your sensei/master. If he/she giving you attention then you wont even think to leave any discipline if not where there's is lack of motivation and spotting the mistake and teaching then you'll only have option left is to leave. But it doesn't mean that you have leave for good. You have to look around there are better professional martial artist who can teach you better.

  33. Dan Nachum and Lee Juliano x'aveir Looney — in any martial arts, it's not so much the learning of hundreds of techniques, as it is exploring those techniques to find what truly works for you and then become extremely proficient at those. An old karate teacher of mine probably said it best — that you train to become a a black belt, and a black belt then forgets everything and starts again to learn it "right." The difference between a black belt and all other belts is in tiny little details — all the ones the rest of us never get quite right, or skip over, or willfully ignore. The black belt masters those details, and they make all the difference.

  34. Getting close to my blue and can feel the pressure. Belt promotions are a HUGE deal in BJJ (unlike other disciplines) and with a promotion comes the pressure to represent the new belt. I think a lot of people fold under that pressure and drop out rather than risk failing to live up to the promotion.

  35. I'm 44. I just got promoted to Blue Belt in June. It took me over 2 and a half years to get. It was one of the proudest moments of my life and one of my best personal accomplishments. I think many people quit because the Blue belt is so hard to get and the average time to get the Purple belt is about 5 years I believe. So that's even harder to do. If you're focused on belts, it's a daunting task I would imagine… I go to learn the art and learn how to fight and be a better person throughout all aspects of my life. Jiu Jitsu changed my out look on a lot of things. So while I'm proud of the accomplishment and respect the belt system, It's secondary as to why I'm really there. I think Blue belts also stop because you still get tapped out by white belts when rolling. As a 44 year old man who rolls with people 15 years to half his age younger that just have more physical energy than I do, I tap a lot. I'm still drawn to being on the bottom in side control too.Always trying to get out of that….lol So while I have no problem with it. Some folks may have a pride issue with it and then give up.

  36. Man I really don't care who quits or stays. I just want to one day become world champ and be notified by everyone. I want ppl to google me Wikipedia me YouTube me. I want to be the guy that a white belt looks at and says I want to be as good as him. If someone quits that's their loss more training for me

  37. I love Jiu jitsu and at 58 year I feel every stress fracture in my body. I'm a purple belt attending only twice. Some days I'm in the zone some not. Once I stop competing in class that's when I start learning. Wish I could attend more often, but I spend close to 23 year training other forms of ma and don't want to be away from the family as much.

  38. People quit at blue belts because by them they have learnt Armbar guard Rearnaked choke hip escape and 2 or 3 other moves. Moving away from the sport of BJJ, well thats all you need. Every thing else becomes part of the Martial Art and not as many are interested.

  39. This is the way it should be… Not everyone can or should be a black belt. If you truly want to train hard, be dedicated, get better, earn it, work through injuries, challenges, life's struggles, and still… You persevere… Then you just might earn that black belt in BJJ. The journey is what it's about, not the belt. The belt is a bonus and a symbol of your achievement. BJJ is a study in life. Not everyone becomes a smashing success and not everyone will get their black belt in BJJ.

  40. I think that it's the Ego. That is where I had the biggest ego problem. As a white belt I went from getting killed to being a killer of sorts. So,I went from not knowing anything to knowing what seemed like everything. Then it was like I could not do anything right. Once I realized I still did not know anything, I was good to go. :0)

  41. Ryan Smith It might just mean its time to promote that white belt…lol. How many tournaments have you attended with 'sandbaggers' ? Some schools are about winning tournaments at any cost — including deliberately not promoting people who should be…

  42. Tamara Leonard not to mention that a blue belt is not a blue belt is not a blue belt — within any belt category there is going to be a VERY wide range of skills. Tournament and even submission skills should not be the sole basis for belts. If I have a 'challenged kid' (say with severe ADD) and he shows up for two years, and learns basic techniques, but gets rolled up — should he stay a white belt forever? I think not.

  43. David Figueroa-Martinez Not to mention that as a purple belt, I will sometimes allow a white or blue belt to submit me so that THEY GET BETTER. Upper belts owe the lower belts to help them improve. I do not believe in the philosophy that they should only be allowed to tap me when they overcome all my skills. Higher belts should teach by example that TAPPING is not a humiliation. Everyone taps at times — even multi world champs.

  44. The sad truth is first, many schools struggle to just break even and stay open, second, some schools are 'money machines' — that's their primary focus, and 3rd, in most cases, even with 4 -5 tournaments a year, you should be able to train at a good school for under $2000 a year. That is a lot of money (in some ways) but like anything else, it's what you decide is the priority.
    I do think schools could do more to find sponsors and/or work opps for students who genuinely can't afford but want to attend. But BJJ is still a fairly young discipline in US…these things will come.

  45. I don't know your situation, but many injuries in BJJ are caused by an unwillingness to tap. That might make sense if you are in a gold match at the Pan-Ams — but in most cases the loss of time on the mat, the psychological inhibition you might experience after a serious injury, and the general discomfort is not worth it. TAP and avoid injury to train more, and get better. If you are tapping, but have a propensity to get injured (maybe due to prior injuries for example, or a loose elbow, etc) recognize that an plan/train accordingly. I am a big believer in "Old Man Jiu-Jitsu" — simple, effective techniques that don't require extreme athleticism or strength — that's what jiu-jitsu is supposed to be (!). Don't confuse sport competition with jiu-jitsu.

  46. I've trained for about 5 years to help with my stress. Soon after, I found that I loved it and I started working with kids and some of the cage fighters at the school. I'm in my 40s and I don't use my age as an excuse. I consider myself very strong and competitive. I thought that I should have been promoted to purple but it didn't happen so I never tested afterwards.I gave a bunch of money for my son and myself to the school. Well the school went under and I just paid for my son to go to Gracie Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for a whole year. I find that now I dont have the time or money to focus on myself. So I'm leaving Jiu-Jitsu as a 4 stripe blue.

  47. I received my brown belt from Royce Gracie, which, in my opinion, makes me as legit of a brown belt as it's going to get. I get tapped from time to time rolling against lower belts. Sometimes I make a mistake. Sometimes I'm trying something new that I am nit very good at yet. Whatever the reason, it happens from time to time. If it doesn't, it means that you're not rolling to improve, you're rolling to win, which stunts your ability to improve at BJJ.

    That being said, if you are a purple belt and are CONSISTENTLY getting tapped by blue belts, there's a concern. You should be able to beat them more often than not, no matter what the weight, strength, speed, and size differences are.

  48. Mark S McDiarmid I disagree with you on one point you make – skill development absolutely SHOULD be the basis of promotion. The thing I pride myself in as a BJJ fighter under Royce is that it is very difficult to get promoted. It can take 12-15 years to get a black belt. This is not Kung Fu, and we don't give away belts for participation, we give belts to people S a benchmark reward for improving their skill.

  49. The initial fast burst of learning is gone and it is a slower more grinding process to go from blue to purple. It is also a stage where you have an understanding of the art (limited; but you know most positions and have some idea of what to do in most spots) and for a lot of people this is enough. The chance to try something new and exciting and start the learning curve again can be much more appealing

  50. 1. Not wanting to dedicate the further time to progress.
    2. Content with blue belt skill level.
    3. Other life priorities that put bjj to the back burner. Making a living, supporting family, personal health that influences your chances to make a living and support those dependants.

    I am a recreational purple belt and training since 2006. When I started I knew I was going to earn my black belt one day. It was an achievement I want so badly and still do. I trained through university, going through paramedic college and now working full time. I refused to be one of those lost in the deep blue sea.

  51. I quit at blue belt. I suffered from neck injuries that plague me to this day. Said neck injuries are my own fault for being to stubborn to tap out even when I knew I should. Second reason I don't practice anymore is I had a second child and my disposable income dropped to next to nothing. I would love to keep training but simply can't afford it. Martial arts are an expensive hobby.

  52. Daniel Kilber Thats quite the ignorant statement. A black belt will get submitted by a white belt if they're doing it right. #keepitplayful

  53. I have trained in many styles. The reason why I believe that most people quit is the same reason a ranking system was placed at all. It was to get the new introduced people to feel more progression in their work. The belt system was created to encourage people not paid or is not their job, as it was to ones whom got to train by the founders, to let them see their progress to their goals. Which in the founders it was their job, they had no choose. Now instead of being paid or given a way to live, the student is the one paying now, they need something to hold on to, too allow them to see their own progress. 20 years of study, I own no black belts but have more knowledge to share than most that have the black belt. As Sensei Moore of Rick Moore Karate, I am no Master until I pass from this life, I still have too much to learn. Which in turn he is a 9th Degree Master (All Red Belt) in Shorin-ryu Karate, he does not like to be called Master at all. So in long the only suggestion I could give to encourage the paying student, is to make more belts, more achievements to show them the constant progress in which they are driving on. Change from the traditional 5 belt system we have to a 12 belt system. Break the stripes in to independent belts. Have in house tournaments. Invites from team gyms, cross train with the other coaches from the team. Have open grappling with gyms, invite a none team gym over on the weekend.

  54. Daniel, just because someone is untrained does not mean they don't know. for me it was a little different, when I came into Jits, I already studied some Judo, Hapkido and Aikido with 4 other styles, so I already knew how to stay tight, small joint subs, and some other things, jits was new to me, I was a white belt. But from the very 1st day do you think I was submitted by everyone with higher rank in jits, no I was not. I surprised some of them, even that I was not use to fighting on the ground, and former styles taught me to leave when it got there, a lot of what I learn was still very helpful. What surprised them the most I think, is that once it hit the ground right away I was using guard without knowing what it was, started doing go go plata while asking what is the name of this I know it is something. Anyways the point of the belt is not how good you are, it is the knowledge and representation of the style that is being worked on. Don't go to a different style gym wearing your belt from another with that gear, then you are challenging the gym. Go as the rank you been given in that style, which if new to Jits your are white. New in Karate you are white. New in Kuk Sool Won you are white. This is because you have no knowledge of that system.

  55. Im 49 an quit at white 4 stripes, I kept getting injured and when I herniated my neck in two places I decided I should try something else.

  56. Daniel Kilber im a 120 pound blue belt but if someone comes along who weighs a lot more then me say like 30lbs or more and have the muscle behind it, they are gonna SOMETIMES have me tap, #1 because im not about to get hurt by a new person who doesn't know what they are doing #2 I let them so they learn. its a good way for new people to learn and gain confidence.

  57. let me add one more thing to that, as a smaller girl who may be a higher rank then the person im rolling with they often tend to think they have to go all or nothing to prove something.usually it gets them no where but its all a learning process

  58. Bob Bryant , Iam also 58 and i agree with what u say. Just because someone of a lower belt taps u doesn't mean u don't deserve to b a Blue, Purple or whatever belt. There will always b someone one out there who can tap u. I personally consentrate on the self defence aspect of BJJ. not so much the sport end anymore as the primary reason i love bjj is the confidence it gives me that i can defend myself if i need to.I do a lot of "street sparing" Cause chances r someone u meet on the street wont even know how to spell jiu-jitsu properly much less know how to handle a guy who knows the art !! Best of luck fellow "older bjj guy !

  59. screw thinking about belts and who could tap who.. just train for the love bjj and every else will work itself out…

  60. Great comment, Mark. I find that losing your ego on the mats is the absolute hardest part of BJJ. I'm a white belt with only one stripe (about six months of training two times a week) and I still feel like I can't or shouldn't lose to newbies who walk in off the street. I know, tap or getting tapped, you're still learning, but it's hard to let go of that thing in the back of your head telling you you need to beat someone who has less training/stripes/belt than you.

  61. Travis Clark well I'm reminded of one of my first tournaments, I had just gotten my blue belt, but there was no one in my age bracket so I got bumped down. Guy took me down so fast, I couldn't believe it — then we had a rematch and he did it again. I asked how long he'd been training. 3 mos he says. I was like WTF? How did you get a blue belt in 3 mos? Oh I was on the Army Wrestling Team for 8 years…so my instructor promoted me. Uh yeah…

  62. Alex Chua I started in Oyama karate — earned brown belt w black stripe — but then my job took me to CA and no Oyama… Mas Oyama is one of the greats.

  63. I don't think I said anything about skills not being basis of promotion — just that there is a RANGE of skills at every level, and that some (not all) allowance has to be made for the circumstances — are you going to demand the same level of skill from a legless person as an able-bodied person? OR is there a level of skill acceptable given what their situation? You can argue for absolutes — but I don't think it's good for jiu-jitsu or the world.

  64. Mark S McDiarmid Ha, yeah, we had a college wrestler come in to our dojo and he was man handling everybody. However, we are all white belts so maybe that should come as no surprise.

  65. You have to train for the love to Jiu Jitsu not for the belt. Martial Artes are inside you not written on diploma or hanging by a belt :3

  66. Everyone has "their" reason to stay or go… Life is complicated… I respect anyone on or off the mat… I always looked at JJ in terms of gaining a skill while working out.. as I got better at the skill the more fun I had so I kept doing it. BJJ has its good and bad like any sport, activity or social group… Just train and have fun… if it isn't fun anymore go do something that is.

  67. Ah yes the blue flu. For me, I've slowed down at the blue belt 1 strip level mainly because I've sustained injuries that have mentally affected me. I'm not done and still get on the mats but I'll admit I've taken the journey at a much slower rate. Seeing a lot of your friends who were once under your ranking being above you or at your level has mixed feelings. One is your happy for those who made it through the countless hours and dedication it takes, the other is your own personal let down for not being more involved. However, as this is not the end merely just a break as Jiu Jitsu is a life long enjoyment and not a race. 🙂

  68. Im 16 and ive been a white belt for almost 3 years, and I’m still very motivated to get my blue belt, and the way I see it is it only gets easier from there.

  69. Rheumatoid Arthritis and diabetes at age 46 has delayed my progress. Both illnesses are on the decrease so yoga and floor drills at home is how I prepare for my return. I will be back.

  70. Having a Judo background, where testing is the norm for belt promotion, I realize politics is an issue in bjj when promoting above blue belt.. from white to blue is all about the finances, keeping payors (students) motivated, continue paying monthly fees. Eventually those practicioners, realize it and get turn off bjj. Not every one wants to compete above certain age bracket due to injuries or responsibilities or simply not seeing the need for it especially since fees to compete in bjj are to high. I am a big supporter of establishing a testing process that can be implemented every 3 months and the criteria to test from belt to belt should be discuss.

  71. Something to consider here too. I have grappled before and I am a single stripe white. I submitted a blue three times last night with a rear naked choke. He seemed frustrated but I told him I use to grapple with guys that fought in the UFC. It also seemed to bother him I was close to 40. But, I am in great shape and train all the time with things that make you practically strong. Also guys, YOGA is KEY in preventing injuries. Since I started I feel a hell of a lot better.

  72. There is a third category:

    You can stay blue for a long time, keep training… And you don’t give up, but you don’t get promoted either.

    I was promoted after three years at white belt in 2008, and it is now 2015, and I never stopped, train regularly (2-3x week), am in decent shape, roll well with other blues and purples… And I am still blue.

    I still love the sport. I don’t want to quit.
    It isn’t politics…
    Age (I’m 45), lack of prior sports background (absolute zero before age 34)

  73. It isn’t instruction. When we have better instructions, I lose ground to my classmates because they learn faster than I do.

    I have joint problems which limit my flexibility and it takes me a very long time to learn new motions. I am pretty strong but I was never fast or agile, so I evolved a game of slowing down faster guys.

    My ego takes a hit for this but I still love the sport. I am not great but not terrible either and I still have fun with it.

    Not all blues leave if we don’t get promoted. Some of us are still here.

  74. I am a 40 year old Blue belt. This subject is close to my heart, I hate the thought of quitting BJJ but at present I have back, knee and shoulder injuries and I got my rib broken rolling 3 months ago whilst rolling with a big white belt who became frustrated that he could not tap me.
    The back problems are what are really getting to me, everything else I can deal with.
    I get severe spasms that leave me on my back for at least 2 weeks with at least a month or so rehab time which means i’m not working in that time either. weather or not to continue or stop training is a serious consideration to me, more because of the fact that if i’m injured how am I supposed to work (employers are understandably unsympathetic to self inflicted injuries caused by BJJ). If I end up going back I need to change my training to adapt to my limitations. I feel I need to avoid the guys who are reckless or less skilled but strong.

  75. Maybe you don’t need to quit BJJ but quit some of the dangerous parts of it. Step One… definitely stop rolling dumb people. You do not owe a reckless guy anything and one of the assumptions we have to have is that everyone can be trusted not to injure a partner. If you aren’t safe when you’re vulnerable, you can’t train.

    Have you tried flow rolling when you’re well enough to do something but not 100%?

    Also, I never tell my employer where an injury came from. It’s a back (or knee, elbow, etc.) problem. No more information needed.

  76. im thinking about stop training bjj, because im starting to get my ears with the famous form of cauliflower, so i don’t want to have my ears like that, but i already got my blue blet and i love to compite!! even though, i have a protective headgear, I think sooner or later my ears will lose the perfect form they used to have!! i have to say that im kind of sad, because this year i had plans, one of those was going to a competition in brazil, and fight in the blue belt category, but now im undecided about getting more glory in bjj (because in the white belt i got podium in the first place, and I now how it feels, awesome!! i mean glory!! which most of the athletes look for) or stop hurting my ears or changing its original form!! please a comment about it, i will really appreciate it!!



  77. Challenge. White belt, I often hated training just because it felt like everything there was to learn was so vast. But much of my white belt days were spent at a place where jits was a new program, so everyone was a beginner and I was quickly able to rise to the top of class, which made it enjoyable. I earned blue and started training at a school with lots of purple and brown belts. I still feel discouraged a lot, theres often classes I go to where i may be the only blue belt amongst a sea of purple and browns, and it is definitely discouraging feeling like you can never develop your game because they’re always one step ahead of you, or you try and work the techniques of the day but they already have the counters so you have limited success. Plus my escapes, it feels like the higher belts already see it coming and know how to defend it. On top of that, promotions are only every 6 months. I wasn’t able to make several of the dates, so it took me about 2 years to get my first stripe. So theres the feeling of always being outclassed that can lead you to feel like theres no progress being made, and if theres no progress why bother? But im not quitting, just frustrated.

  78. When I first got to blue I didn’t feel I was ready but money, distance, and time were all issues that were feeding into my plateau issues. I wasn’t extremely dedicated and would maybe come twice a week tops just to say I was doing JJ. I kinda felt that my Judo experience assisted my promotion to blue belt as well and I lacked the fundamentals of JJ and relied heavily on a few tricks from Judo to stay ahead of my fellow white belts but blue belt was the great equalizer and I just lived by the motto – “if I play by the river long enough eventually I’ll get wet” I started to focus on the techniques I can do and that were basic because bereimbolos and xguards all seemed to technically so I just tried to get good a basic bump sweeps and kimuras. Right now I am 3 years into my blue belt and finally feel like things are starting to click as I can often give a purple a good run for their money, trade wins with other blues and rarely get caught by white belts. I also started to learn because my school started a beginners class and since I was not a beginner I couldn’t attend so I volunteered to assist the coach and roll with the new comers which I normally focus on my positions and sweeps rather than submitting them multiple times.

    Just stick with it. You will get out what you put in.

  79. I started training in 2011 and for the first three years I was definitely not consistent. This was because of my college class scheduling and lack of motivation. However, once our new gym was built in 2014 I began to be more regular. Finally in 2016, I’ve been training 4-5 nights a week and was promoted to blue in May. But, I still feel like I don’t deserve it. Honestly, I feel like I suck. I can hold my own with pretty much everyone else in my gym, but when it comes to competing, I just cant win. I’ve competed numerous times over the years and have only won two matches on points. I’m not sure if it’s nerves or what but I just can’t win in competition. I’ve subbed some good blue belts that have visited our gym and many of my teammates are savage and have many submission wins in competition. I just can’t figure out why I’m not able to succeed in competition. I understand it’s not what I need to worry about. But I just can’t help it. I enjoy representing our gym… I just wish I could make our gym look better.

  80. I’m a Renzo Gracie / George Sernack purple belt, and I was awarded by blue belt in 2014. Next to my wife accepting my proposal and my children being born, being awarded my blue belt was the most important moment of my life. I think a lot of people might quit BECAUSE it’s such a big moment. We finally have been recognized that we’re not noobs anymore.

    (Hopefully) a lineage rich black belt has looked us in the eye, tied on our blue belt, shook our hand, and _________ (either threw us or sent us through the gauntlet.) After that moment, I think it’s natural to have a “what now?” moment? Do I slog away at blue belt for…. how long?…. one year?…. five years?…. then what? I think there’s a huge let down after blue that we all have to deal with. My recommendation in reaction to this feeling is not new….

    Stay with it!!!! Man it’s important. You WILL reach a point where you love training, where you feel like you want to teach, and where getting your butt kicked will be a pleasant learning experience. My purple belt came with a broken toe, a broken nose, hyper extended elbows and knees, dislocated fingers, endless muscle strains, and countless bruises. Those are all normal, and they toughened me to a point where I have a great sense of humor, I make friends easily, I laugh easily, and I’m VERY tough. I’m not saying that to brag, I’m saying it because I know it. And I would not feel so relaxed and happy had I quit when I earned my blue belt.

    Anyone reading this who is a white belt, be ready for blue belt to be a BIG DEAL. Any blue belts, get ready for a world of hurt and learning, and it’s glorious on the other side.

    OSS my brothers and sisters!!!

  81. Hello brothers and sister in BJJ,i am a whitebelt and i have been almoust guiting couple of times i have been training about 3 years and still whitebelt,and reason is i have been moving so i have to change teams,but i think why bluebelts may quit one of the reasons is,that they get pressure on the mats from all directions,lower belts and higher belts and its a fight inside our self on that point,EGO must get smaller we are on journey and its what i call EGO killer road,i have begin this journey and i believe i dont never quit jitsu,my mentally well being demands regular mat time,even tough my work sometimes dont let me train bout 1-3 times a week,but it is what it is,i belive this and that is most spectacular thing in our community,where ewer i go there is allways some of us guys there,OSS to all my BJJ family!!

  82. Here’s my testimony: Sometimes life takes decisions for you. I already lead a full life, and i’ve been playing music for years which also takes time out of work/family time. I’ve been going through a string of mild/medium injuries on the mats and now i need to take a whole week off (first time that’s its not because of a vacation) because i hurt my hand and i’m hitting the studio next week.

    I already have a daughter and my wife and I are expecting twins this winter. Training requires time and money and i’m going to run short of both. I don’t want to quit jiu-jitsu but i can’t help to wonder at some point how much strain keeping this up will put on my family. I’m going to try and setup a space to train in my basement but once you’re out of the gym/academy you’re out of the network if you don’t hangout with people who practice jiu-jitsu outside of the gym/academy.

    I’m not complaining, i’m going through an awesome phase in my life and it’s just a new challenge to spin all these plates at once. I just fear i won’t be able to keep this up. If jiu-jitsu thaught me one thing is that commitment means sacrifices and any real sacrifice hurts as much as it feels good, if not more.

  83. No experience in Jiu Jitsu, but I took Moo Duk Kwan Tae Kwon Do beginning at 18 and stopped at 24 with a 3rd degree Red belt (equal to brown). Toward the end at 24 I was about to graduate college with a business degree and cut back on training due to upper level biz classes taking up an extraordinary amount of my time. After graduation I went occasionally but dropped out, due to work schedules, etc. I can make all the boneheaded excuses I want but the fact remains I wish I had never quit. I was so close to black I could taste it. But being young and single I partied and chased women more than I worked out. Then came a serious relationship, marriage, kids, etc. Now I’m 55 and seriously looking into BJJ. I won’t ever be ungrateful for the experience and training TKD gave me, but as I get older, I want something not entirely focused on forms, etc. I want something direct and to the point. Several occasions my wife and I have been out and we’ve had some tense moments with street punks but I was able to talk them out of it. I’m not tall but fairly muscular and quick but I’m not so sure that I will always be able to diffuse a situation. If that happens I want the training to be ready. I’ve even gotten my oldest daughter interested in BJJ, so it will be interesting to see what we do.

  84. I actually just got my purple today after just over for years as blue… I think the jump to purple is the hardest and can take the longest and in the meantime life can get in the way.

  85. I just quit jiu jitsu recently. I’m a blue belt. I plan to go back after a one year break if life doesn’t get in the way. I quit or took a break at the moment to lose weight. My weight is what is holding me back from improving at a normal rate. I struggle to lose weight because I have a thyroid problem.


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