Have you got the blue belt blues, feel like you have plateaued or have you made it through to the other side and just got your purple belt, but saw some of your friends quit along the way. Jiu- jitsu like any martial art has a high rate of drop out, before you reach that goal of a black belt. This could be for a number of reasons, but as a jiujitsu practitioner you just have to keep going through this slump and make it out the other side.
Many people quit Jiujitsu very early on in their journey as they believe they are just not cut out for it. But after that, the highest drop out rate is blue belts (the first belt after white). This could be due to family or health issues or lack of motivation. However for many at blue belt they have a percieved lack of progress. At white belt, every class you go to you can learn something new and see the progressions in your jiujitsu very quickly. However, for blue belt and higher belts jiujitsu becomes about fine tweaking of moves with small details adding to your game. This type of training and percieved lack of progression can lower anyones motivation and really tests a jiujitsu practicitioners persistance with the sport. Its important to just keep turning up and you will get better. Just remember that everyone goes through these phases on the way to black belt so you are not alone in your feeling of slumber.
Another reason alot of people shy away from jiujitsu when they get to blue belt is the feeling of being a SMALL FISH IN A BIG POND. Where they were once the BIG FISH in the beginner divisions. Suddenly as a blue belt you can be against very high level competitiors which can dishearten many people. As competing is expensive, if you go and loose every match for a few competitions it is easy to think, what is the point? Naturally talented individuals who have been sucessful at white belt now need to change your game to add in some tatics and a game plan. To help you as you come up against opponents who have been doing jiujitsu for X amount of years longer than you.
Injuries, injuries, injuries.
What can I say, injuries are unavoidable in a sport like jiujitsu, and from my personal experience blue belts are unfortunately the ones who get injured the most. As you try out new flashy techniques to show off, or as your white belt training partners try to show they can beat a blue belt. Even possibly because the higher belts dont go so easy on you any more. Just remember each training session you are putting your body under significant amounts of strain. You need to REST and REHABILITATE properly if you are injured. Dont come back to training with a half healed injury as the chances are you will injure it again but worse.
Tips to beat the ‘Blue Belt Blues’
- Believe in yourself and your Jiu-jitsu – There is a reason your coach promoted you to your new belt.
- Persistance is Key – Keep turning up and your Jiu-jitsu will improve.
- Make sure you are training sensibly to avoid injuries – if your a smaller person, dont go with the ultra heavy weight for rolling.
- Train hard, Do strength training, Stretch, & Rest and your Jiu-jitsu progression will fall into place.
Let me know in the comments below what you struggled with at blue belt or how you got through the blue belt blues!