How to Beat the Blue Belt Blues

If you’ve been practicing for a while, you’ve probably heard the term “Blue Belt Blues”. You may have even seen training partners receive their blue belts, and then fade away. It’s usually a slow burn; they start coming twice a week, then just once, then maybe once a month. Soon, they’re gone, their contract is up, and they don’t renew it.


Some speculate that, once you’ve gotten the blue belt, you feel accomplished. You can beat pretty much any Day One White Belt (except maybe the former wrestlers, you know who you are), and when someone asks what belt you are, you don’t have to tell them white. Since the general public pretty much only knows white and black, blue sounds impressive.

And it is. It takes dedicated training to earn a blue belt. But, it is so far from a black belt. This, perhaps, is the reason for a pause. You’ve given your time, your energy, your mental and physical strength to learning Brazilian Jiujitsu, and yet, you are likely six to eight years from black belt.

This can be discouraging.

The passion that was ignited when you first started has faded; the bloom is off the rose. You’re doing more laundry than ever before, and yet you are still beaten by the purple, brown, and black belts.

This is where discipline must step in, if you are to continue on to black belt.

A black belt is a white belt who never gave up.

You have to discipline your mind, make savage the body, and drag your ass to class every week. Strategies for coping with the Blue Belt Blues include dialing down the intensity to give your mind and body a break, but you have to be sure you can crank it back up. Handle anything off the mats that you’ve been ignoring in the pursuit of your BJJ passion. When you’ve caught up on the world, it’s time to dive back in, or give it up.

So ask yourself: Do you want this? Do you want to keep learning? Does this still excite you? When was the last time you looked forward to class? Sometimes all we need is a little break to get some perspective. Dive back in, and grind until you reignite the fire.

At the end of the day, the only person standing in your way is you.

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Rachel Dows

Rachel is a 20-something year old writer and martial arts enthusiast. She works at a desk job all day to afford to be able to spend the majority of her free time at the gym, where she is a blue belt in BJJ. She also sometimes goes outside to run, hike, and enjoy living in small town USA.

Rachel Dows has 65 posts and counting. See all posts by Rachel Dows