The Blue Belt Journey /// By: Vincent Inoncillo - alldaybjj

The Blue Belt Journey /// By: Vincent Inoncillo

Now that you’ve read our post on the stages every white belt goes through (, we’ll now take you through the next chapter of your jiu-jitsu journey – the blue belt. During this stage, you will be the hammer while white belts are the nails… and at the same time you are the nail for higher belts. You should be confident in your game as you continue to develop it. During your time as a blue belt you will begin exploring your curiosity with different techniques, allowing you to build off of the foundational basics you acquire as a white belt. Blue belt is where you are no longer a beginner and have made it to the next chapter of your journey. 

By now you should have a basic understanding of jiu-jitsu and how to demonstrate your knowledge. In the same token, you are developing the foundation of your game by trying out different moves and learning the offensive and defensive aspects of them. Certain positions you will feel comfortable and confident in, while there are others you may not. The blue belt is where you will obtain a wealth of knowledge of techniques that will shape you. Here are some beneficial areas to build on during your time at blue belt:

  • Guard Passing: Learning to break open the guard and initiate a pass is something you should have learned early as a white belt. Different people will play off of the bottom differently and you should be prepared to react accordingly. Knowing at least one guard pass for each guard situation will be helpful as you can change up and combine your passing.
  • Defense: Having a couple go-to escapes from each position helps to fortify your game. Along with that is defending guard passes, or retaining your guard. Practicing guard retention will become natural after awhile and will help preserve your gas tank instead of being put into compromising positions where you would have to escape.
  • Offense: Reaching dominant positions will be likely in this stage of jiu-jitsu. From here maybe you imposed your will on another person or maybe they just let you get there to see what you can do. The challenge here is for you to take advantage of this opportunity and submit them or maintain your offense by transitioning to another strong position if they happen to get out of the first one. The submissions you hit will vary depending on the person and how they react or defend against you. 
  • Basics: Throughout your entire journey in jiu-jitsu, the basics is always what it will come down to. If you can play worm guard effectively, but cannot escape the mount or side control, then maybe there’s more room for improvement. Always keep a sharp foundation, as that is what will help with your progress and succession through the ranks.

This is just a simplified guideline of what blue belts will encounter during this belt period. There will be a lot of self-recognized progression, plateaus, and even times where you don’t feel either and nothing feels like it’s working for you. Look at this as an opportunity to evolve your game, because at the same time your training partners and opponents in competition are also getting better. This is why the importance of having a strong foundation of the basics is always encouraged. You can always go back to it. 

Every student, teacher, and academy is different, so the meaning of “foundation” may differ as well. What you learn during white and blue may be different than what someone across the country or other side of town is learning. Experimenting and asking a lot of questions also help. As mentioned earlier, blue belt is where you will obtain a wealth of techniques and you may only use a portion of it during this time and that’s okay too.

You will have good days and bad days. You will feel invincible and other times not. Just remember to keep learning and keep training. Even when you feel nothing is changing, it is always changing. Being a blue belt means you are a student as well as a teacher. You may not always have the answers right now, but eventually you will. 

Lea Young

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