Overcoming the Blue Belt Blues: “I’m Not Getting Better at BJJ”

Overcoming the Blue Belt Blues: “I’m Not Getting Better at BJJ”

You’ve got your blue belt! The best thing that happened to you since you started BJJ. No more standing in the back of the line. You’re now a color belt and nobody can take it away from you. Some even might think that it’s a straight way to black belt now on, but the truth is you’re still far away from your dream. The question is: how to make the next step and not quit?

Another problem is ‘Blue Beltitis;.


According Simon Hayes instructor at Carlson Gracie UK, it’s a common disease in BJJ:

“After reading many threads recently from white belts wanting their Blues i just wanted to warn you people of a vicious disease to watch out for that can easily infect people who get a belt too quick,but can also infect anyone else who gets a new belt.
The illness can take the form of a common cold,lasting a few days,or it can mimick a nasty flu bug,lasting a couple of weeks.

In extreme cases it can take as long as a broken limb to heal-MONTHS and in a few documented cases it can infect and never be healed.

This disease leaves the Infected person feeling unable to train due to the intense pressure on their ego of having to defend their new belt in sparring and the possibility of a lower grade tapping them out.

You may notice the beginnings of the infection as it takes hold with things like-you will find a reason you have to work late and not go training. Persuading yourself that you have a slight injury or strain and to miss training. You may find yourself only training on friday nights when you know most guys will not get to the dojo. You may find yourself at Judo more often where you don’t feel the pressure of your new BJJ grade under the guise of “needing to work on takedowns more.” You may only realise the infection is taking a hold when you find yourself in a Gym, Bench Pressing and doing Bicep Curls when you should be at class rolling.

You will know you have beaten the disease when you look forward to rolling with the naturally athletic Body Builder white belt with unbelievable talent, so you can test your sweeps and submissions from guard.”


Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu black belt Robin Gieseler talks about the blue belt blues and how to get past them. It is common for jiu-jitsu practitioners to experience very big highs and lows at the beginning of their journey. Keep training through a slump and you will come out of it much better. Be encouraged when things are not going well because when everything comes in to focus again you will be much better.