With every new group of new White Belts entering the academy, washouts are just as much a part of the process. For whatever reason, be it life or injuries most White Belts will come for a trial class or two and then quit. Now among these new White Belts, you’ll see a dedicated bunch that will tough it out and earn their blue belts. But right as they collect their Blue Belt from their promotion ceremony, they’re just gone, never to be heard from again. What gives?
I would be interested in hearing what you have to say about this...
Blue Belt for all intents and purposes is a limbo belt; it’s still considered a beginner belt, but you’re still considered a trained individual if you have one. Blue belts will be able to handle most White Belts with the exception of the D1 wrestler or sandbag, but will still likely be toyed with by Purple to Black Belts. For a lot of people getting past the hump of White Belt only to still be dominated by Purple through Black Belts can seem demoralizing.
To even get a Blue Belt, you would be training consistently for a year (on average). Day in and day out, getting smashed by any belt with a hint of color. Even if you make it through the crucible of White Belt, there’s still a big gap between Blue and Black that’s enough to take ten years on average of dedicated study. Most people who aren’t dedicated will just leave. To a lot of people Jiu Jitsu isn’t everything, and that’s fine. Not everyone has a 4 year degree, let alone a 10 year degree. Jiu Jitsu for most people takes away a lot from the attention we have to give to our kids, significant others and career growth.
Getting smashed by colored belts multiple nights a week isn’t good for the body most of the time. Kimuras, armbars, kneebars, and ankle locks won’t do your joint health any favors, especially if you’re an older practitioner like me (i'm in my 40's). Chances are that on your journey to Blue Belt, you probably got hurt or injured several times which forced you to take time off.
Paying for doctor’s visits on top of mat fees isn’t doing any favors for your wallet, and provides yet another reason to quit. Keep in mind if you do get injured this may take away from your household duties, dedication to a business or work, extra curricular activities or being a parent.
Newsflash: Most blue belts actually think they know enough Jiu Jitsu to be considered as a dangerous martial arts practitioner. Perhaps there are some blue belts who compete in MMA or have wrestled with a person who does not know Jiu Jitsu and felt the surge of power that comes with submitting someone who does not think BJJ works. People in MMA (BTW) train in a completely different manner and when you throw punches and kicks in the mix it changes everything. I think if you took 80% of the people in your garden variety BJJ school and threw them in a 5 Minute round with punches and kicks they would look at fighting a bit differently. Lets not stray off topic too much...
Here are 5 general reasons blue belts quit BJJ:
1. Lack of Progression
One of the main reasons blue belts quit BJJ is because they feel that they are not progressing as fast as they would like. BJJ is a complex martial art, and it takes time to master the techniques and develop muscle memory. As a result, some blue belts may feel frustrated when they are not able to execute moves correctly or defeat opponents during sparring. This feeling of stagnation can lead them to lose interest and ultimately quit.
To avoid this, it's important to remember that progress in BJJ is not linear. Some days you will feel like you are making huge strides, while on others, it may seem like you're not improving at all. It's essential to stay patient and trust the process.
Another common reason blue belts quit BJJ is due to injuries. BJJ can be a physically demanding sport, and injuries are common, especially for beginners. While some injuries may be minor and easily healed with rest, others can be more severe and require a longer recovery time.
Injuries can not only be physically taxing but also mentally draining. They may cause blue belts to miss classes and fall behind in their training, leading them to feel discouraged and lose motivation to continue. To prevent injuries, it's important to listen to your body and take necessary precautions during training.
3. Time Commitment
BJJ requires a significant time commitment, with classes ranging from one to two hours. For some blue belts, this can be challenging to balance with work, family, and other responsibilities. As a result, they may feel overwhelmed and decide to quit.
To overcome this challenge, it's important to prioritize and manage your time effectively. This may mean sacrificing some social activities or finding a training schedule that works best for you.
Training BJJ can be physically and mentally demanding, leading to burnout for blue belts.
If blue belts are not taking enough rest days or overtraining, they may experience burnout. This can result in them feeling unmotivated, physically drained, and ultimately quitting BJJ. It's crucial to listen to your body and take necessary breaks to avoid burnout and maintain a healthy training routine.
5. Change in Interests
Lastly, blue belts may quit BJJ because their interests have shifted. It's not uncommon for people to try out different activities and hobbies before finding the one they are truly passionate about.
While BJJ may seem exciting at first, it's possible that blue belts may discover other interests or goals that they want to pursue instead. This change in interest is a natural part of personal growth and shouldn't be seen as a failure.
In conclusion, there are various reasons why blue belts may quit BJJ, from feeling frustrated with their progress to burnout or a change in interests. However, it's important to remember that every journey is different and that setbacks and challenges are all part of the learning process.
Look, most things worth doing in life aren’t easy, mastery of Jiu Jitsu included. The best thing to do to make sure you don’t quit after Blue is to take things slow. Take breaks if you need to, and enjoy the process. Learn at your own pace and don’t let anyone rope you into writing checks your body can’t cash. Train smart, take your time and learn, your body will thank you.
Train Safe & Train Often,
Matthew Tropp | BJJ Report