Know why blue belts always quit BJJ?
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?
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, but will still 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.
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. Chances are on your journey to Blue Belt, you probably got an injury or 5. 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.
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. They train in a completely different manner and when you throw punches and kicks in the mix it changes everything.
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. Personally, I know that I can’t quit at Blue Belt if I stay a White Belt forever :)
Truly Yours, Anonymous White Belt