The road to becoming a blue belt, the first belt after white, in BJJ is not only long but also challenging. After the promotion to blue belt, the student is still considered a novice in the gentle art even though his skills have considerably increased since the rank of white belt.
With the controversial aforementioned information in mind, how exactly dangerous is a blue belt on and off the mats? In short, blue belts are very formidable opponents on the mats and are capable of defending themselves on the streets.
Since there are only five belts, BJJ students often hold the same rank for years. On average, it takes 1-2 years to make it to blue belt. However, it can take some people even more time as a result of various factors. Therefore, keep this in mind the next time you see a blue belt student with cauliflower ears.
Stick around until the end of this article to get an in-depth overlook of the dangers of blue belts and their abilities.
How Dangerous is a Blue Belt?
As we previously mentioned, blue belt is still regarded as a novice rank. However, students who have received it have learned to defend various positions and submission attempts, they have gone through many submissions and some takedowns; making them worthy opponents.
Takedowns are something that blue belts commonly lack; they can throw white belts that are not too heavy and other blue belts of similar weight. They make up for this by having adequate sweeps, through the use of leverage, sneaky attacks, and foot locks.
Moreover, the confidence BJJ students receive from being aware that they can beat other skillful opponents, let alone defend themselves from bigger people in their daily lives,
goes hand in hand with having a blue belt.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioners gain a lot of strength and cardio as a result of numerous hours spent in the gym. By the time a student reaches the rank of blue belt, he will have increased his cardio and strength in addition to a various arsenal of techniques.
Blue belts are able to defeat:
- Untrained people that are bigger than them
- White belts
- Other blue belts
- Some purple belts
What Does it Mean to be a Blue Belt?
The most basic strategy of BJJ can be stated very simply. One takes the opponent to the ground where he can be easily controlled, seeking to find a dominant position. From that dominating position, one looks to apply a finishing technique that will bring the fight to an end.
The blue belt is one who has taken that strategy to heart, who tries to follow it as he trains, and who lets that general strategy guide the application of the techniques he has learned. It is important to realize that that basic strategy remains the same through all belt levels.
The difference between belt levels is merely a reflection of the increasing technical expertise with which the basic strategy is carried out. The essence of a blue belt lies in the adoption of this strategic element along with the beginnings of the technical expertise to carry it out upon people of a reasonably high level.
Blue Belt vs an Untrained Person
Since BJJ is a martial art that focuses on incorporating technique and leverage as a means of defeating opponents, the average blue belt is able to defeat larger and stronger untrained opponents. Untrained people do not have a clue about how to throw a proper punch, let alone how to grapple.
Even though blue belts typically lack a good takedown game, they are still able to throw most untrained bigger people on the ground. As soon as the fight is taken to the ground, even the basic ability to punch is taken away, leaving the untrained aggressor with limited options.
The next thing to do is to secure and maintain a dominant position, a practice that every blue belt should be familiar with. Dominant positions allow for punches, chokes, and submissions that untrained people can hardly defend against.
Although many larger and untrained people may be beaten, the aforementioned scenario may not always be the case. it is important to note that the weight difference can be overwhelming. For example, a 145lb blue belt may find himself in a tight situation against a strong 286 lb person.
‘’I am a shark, the ground is my ocean, and most people can’t even swim.’’
– Rickson Gracie
Blue Belts vs Other Belts
Some blue belts can tap out higher ranking belts, especially if they are close to receiving their purple belt. Moreover, if they are incredibly strong cardio monsters, dominating fellow blue belts and some purple belts will be even easier.
Blue belts are often considered prey of the higher ranking purple belts and targets of white belts wanting to prove themselves by beating a higher belt. In other words, blue belts are always on the mark since they are a middle belt. This factor alone pushes them to always be on top of their game.
At blue belt, each student starts to develop his unique strategy. For example, they can develop a dangerous de la riva guard and go into various sweeps and submissions against other students that lack the ability to pass to shut down the de la riva hook and pass his guard.
On rare occasions, blue belts with a background in other grappling styles can defeat brown belts and black belts. Yes, this can happen. The best example would be the accomplishment of Nick Rodriguez.
Nick, an accomplished wrestler, took up BJJ in 2018 and was a blue belt when he qualified for the 2019 ADCC World Championships. He fought his way through black belts Mahamed Aly, Orlando Sanchez, and Cyborg Abreu and came in second after his loss to Kaynan Duarte.
Every belt should be respected as it has its qualities that come with it. The rank of blue belt is the first major achievement in BJJ after long and hard years of dedication and consistency. It marks the first step of a long journey.
The time it takes to receive a blue belt in BJJ is equivalent to the time it takes to receive a black belt in Karate. That fact alone should add even more respect to practitioners who have received a blue belt In BJJ, a martial art in which few make it even to purple belt, with black belt being truly elite status.
Although it is only the second belt, blue belts are already very dangerous people that can subdue a lot of untrained people they encounter off the mats. In the gym, you can always count on a good roll that will keep you engaged.