How Long Does It Take to Get a Blue Belt In BJJ?
Many Jiu-Jitsu fans are curious about the blue belt in BJJ and its requirements. Here’s how long it takes to get a blue belt in BJJ:
While there is no set time frame, it typically takes around two years to achieve a blue belt in BJJ. Each BJJ school has different blue belt requirements. To be eligible for the blue belt, you must demonstrate excellent technique and athleticism taught at your academy.
Additionally, passing tests (such as those administered by Alliance BJJ) is an essential part of the process.
In this article, I’ll walk you through the journey of achieving a BJJ blue belt and how you can speed up the time in a BJJ blue belt.
What is a Blue Belt in Jiu-Jitsu?
A blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu is a belt of competence. A blue belt Jiu-Jitsu is a fighter who has achieved an above-average level of submissions from guard skills. He or she knows basic self-defense techniques such as defending against punches, grabs, and back takes.
In order to have a blue belt in BJJ, you must have a deeper knowledge of your strengths and shortcomings.
While training to achieve a blue belt, you must prepare yourself mentally and emotionally along with physical martial arts challenges.
The minimum age for getting a blue belt is 16 years according to IBJJF.
How Hard Is It To Get a Blue Belt in BJJ?
It’s fairly hard and requires more than 12 months of consistent training to get a blue belt in BJJ. A blue-belted student will have a respectable defense and athletic ability to escape from most major positions.
It’s common for blue belt students to stay in school for a minimum of two years with some academies going as long as four.
Blue belt holders are on a good level of fitness. They are used to cover in sweat after sparring sessions.
You would also be exposed to serious blows depending on how safety conscious your training partners are. Hence, the blue belt can be dangerous sometimes.
How Long Does it Take to Get Stripes on a Blue Belt?
Blue belt has up to four stripes and each stripe requires around 4-6 months to achieve. It’s possible to achieve a single blue belt stripe in a few months by training three to four times a week.
A blue belt requires certainly more time than a white belt in Jiu-Jitsu.
You can speed it up with the help of proper coaching and more intense training.
I have written a separate guide for: How to get better in Jiu-Jitsu — Check it out!
5 Factors Affecting the Time to Get a Blue Belt in BJJ
In Jiu-Jitsu, a lot of factors can impact your progress. Here are the five factors that can make or break your blue belt journey in Jiu-Jitsu:
#1 Jiu-Jitsu Academic Criteria
Jiu-Jitsu academies have varying belt promotion standards. Cheaper BJJ schools may not have the same academic standards they do at more expensive ones.
A well-known and reputable Jiu-Jitsu academy will probably have more strict criteria to pass blue belt exams.
Check your academy’s requirements before starting to prepare for a BJJ belt.
#2 Frequency of Jiu-Jitsu Training
Your BJJ belt promotion journey will be faster if you train more often than others.
You must have a training frequency of at least four times per week to push your belt level in less time.
However, if Jiu-Jitsu is only your hobby, don’t expect to climb the ladder earlier than your teammates who are actively training on the mat.
#3 Your Prior Tournament Results
The belt level you will reach depends on the quality of your tournament results.
It’s better to be competition-oriented in front of your instructors. They are more likely to promote you from white belt to blue belt if they are impressed by your dedication and performance.
In my opinion, it’s better to train hard in BJJ tournaments ahead of belt promotion exams than to train every day.
#4 Grappling Experience
The belt level you reach in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu also depends on the amount of grappling experience you have.
If you have prior experience in other forms of martial arts (MMA, wrestling, Judo, or, Muay Thai), you would probably be able to achieve a blue belt earlier.
Training partners who are good at grappling can sometimes be very helpful to beginners.
#5 Time Since You Have Been Training
The belt level you reach will also depend on the time since you have been training for BJJ. If you have just joined the BJJ community, it would be hard to climb up the belt ladder.
Give yourself a few months of training, upgrade your skill level, and move along the learning curve to be worthy of the next belt color.
Here’s an article on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt System
Earning Blue Belt — Complete Timeline
Here’s a thorough timeline of how you’ll become a BJJ blue belt:
3 Months — First Stripe on White Belt
For the first three months, you’ll learn some advanced techniques of guard retention.
When it comes to distance management, using your guard and applying it effectively is critical. You need to be able to use your guard layers in almost every position and distance from your opponent. Some notable layers are spider guards, quarter guards, and deep half guards.
6 Months — Second Stripe on White Belt
In the next three months, you should be able to pass the guard and put your opponent into a defensive position.
Passing this criterion in front of your instructors will earn you the second stripe on your white belt.
9 Months — Third Stripe on White Belt
In the third stage, BJJ instructors will expect you to learn to sweep the guard of your opponent.
It is a technique used to be able to get on top of the opponent when he is having a closed guard on you.
12 Months — Fourth Stripe on White Belt
For earning the last stripe, you’ll learn back take from closed guard positions.
When you are on the back of your opponent, it’s hard for him to take the control back.
15 Months — Blue Belt Requirements Test
At the end of the white belt, you’ll do a submission-based requirements test to earn your blue belt.
If you pass this stage, you’ll be granted the blue belt in BJJ!
Let’s move on to see the requirements of the BJJ blue belt test.
BJJ Blue Belt Requirements
According to the authority BJJ association Alliance Official, here are the skills you need to show to your instructors to pass the BJJ blue belt exam:
Throws and Takedowns
- One leg throw
- Two hip throws
- Two double legs
- One single leg
- One way to defend the guillotine standing up
- One way to defend the headlock standing
- One way to defend the headlock on the ground
Passing the Guard
- Three different ways to pass the guard and get side control
- One sweep from the half-guard
- One half-guard pass
Sweeps from the Guard
- Three different ways to sweep your opponent
- Two ways to escape the mount
- One way to escape the side-mount
- One way to escape the rear-mount
- One way to escape the knee-on-belly
- Three from the mount
- One double attack
- Three from the side-mount
- Two from the back
- Two from knee in the belly
- Three from the guard
Furthermore, students must spend 10-14 months in training with 100-120 completed classes.
How Many BJJ Blue Belts Are There?
There are 265,900 BJJ blue belts in the world and counting. Since it’s difficult to pass the blue belt exam, only less than 25% of students achieve it, leaving behind a high attrition rate.
The minimum age for getting a blue belt is 16 years according to IBJJF.
Tips to Get Your BJJ Blue Belt Sooner
Here are some professional tips to reduce the duration of getting a blue belt in BJJ:
- Class attendance — The more classes you attend, the shorter time it will take to get your blue belt. It reflects your seriousness towards the sport and will write your name in the instructor’s good book.
- Good attitude — Lack of basic morality is the primary reason why people fail to get their blue belt. Therefore, make sure to possess a positive attitude towards others on the mat.
- Motivation — Don’t forget that BJJ has a high attrition rate. Hence, don’t lose your motivation in the middle. Achieving a blue belt will just be a matter of time.
- Safety Consciousness — No one comes in BJJ to get hurt, but accidents do occur. Therefore, be careful with your training partner’s safety.
- Competition Performance — Bringing home some tournament medals won’t hurt your blue belt journey. In fact, it’ll impress your instructors.
Achieving BJJ blue belt will pave the way for the purple belt, brown belt, and black belt. The lack of consistency in training and scheduling can slow down the blue belts along their journey to achieving a black belt.
Understanding Jiu-Jitsu techniques might appear harder than it actually is but with the help of a strong instructor, an individual will be able to move up on getting his/her BJJ blue belt as soon as possible.