Blue belt blues

So basicly you have been training with that blue belt in sight for a while. And then one day you finaly get it. Now what, after 2 months of proving you really deserved blue, a wierd feeling creeps up on you. Suddenly you have stoped improving, the spark is gone. That purple feels to far away, but still there is a lack of goals. What do I want to do with my game? A friend told me to set my sights on a tournament, and to train like a madman for it.

Any other sugestions. Many here are blue or above and have surely felt this way, any piece of advice or inspiration would be gladly apreciated.

Focus on the journey, not the destination.

absolute is correct! Also, you have to keep in mind that you're going to grow with less leaps and bounds as you progress further...

Nice to know Im NOT alone. Its hard to stay hungry. Of course time on this forum HELPS! Kind words, a good joke, a sick photo...can lift the spirits. ABSOLUTE is correct, its in the journey.When I think about the folks Ive met,road trips, good times, laughs, sharing techniques,a few post workout beers etc. etc. Let us not forget the "endorphin dump" after a good workout!

Vantagepoint: Your post has done something great for me and perhaps others.

I realize IM STILL ADDICTED TO BJJ !!!!!!!
Gotta go need a fix.

Train safe,but TRAIN!!!

From what I've seen and heard, most people in BJJ drop out between blue and purple. I think it's the hardest level to get through. I can tell you, though, it is absolutely worth it!

BJJ is not so much a hobby or sport as it is a "career" in terms of length of participation. I'd recommend just focusing on getting better and more sound technically.

Finally, allow yourself to enjoy small victories. Be happy that you pulled off a sub that you never have before or that you were able to escape a position with much less effort than you normally do. I've found this has helped me to enjoy BJJ a lot more as well as keep me focused.

Oh yeah, and make sure you're always having fun while training.

If you don't have goals, it will be hard to stay morivated. What ARE your goals? What are they in the short term? What are they in the long term? What are goals you WISH you could set for yourself, but don't feel confident enough to do?

I'll go first:
Short term goals
-Refine my basics, round out the areas of my training so that I have some good escapes from every position
-prep myself for purple belt by improving my awareness, as well as focusing on guard control & guard passing
-Improve my sport-specific conditioning: isometric strength, explosive bridging, smoother shots
-Improve my thai round kick

Long term goals
-Reach a HIGH level of skill in the areas of Boxing, Controlling the Clinch, Takedowns with AND without the gi, and ground grappling. To put it in Specific and Concrete terms, I want to be a very TECHNICAL black belt in both Judo and BJJ, with equal skill levels in Wrestling and Boxing

Goals I Wish I could set
-Compete in MMA


Yes, I too have begun to feel my game platue out as well, my fellow BJJ players. I like the whole short term goals philosophy. I try not to let it get to though. Don't want to get too discourged. So I leave with the great words of a philosopher Friedrich Neitsche- 'What does not kill me, will make me stronger'.


make your weaknesses your strengths.

I know exactly where you're coming from. Purple, not to mention brown, seems so far away. Between blue and purple is an optimal time to quit. I went to a good school and worked like crazy to get blue. Now I've got it, I don't even like it that much because of every white belt is going 110% to tap you so they can move up the ladder.

For me, the fun comes in trying to come up with new (for me) approaches to the game. For example, I'm really trying to get half guard sweeps. I'm also trying to work my top game more.

Everybody peaks and plateaus, just hang in there and you'll get through it!!!

lol at thegregor.

Bro, I feel your pain. I was a blue belt forever and finally got my purple this year. There were some lean times, believe me.

For what its worth, just forget about the belts. forget about getting the purple or brown or even the white belts gunning for you. No matter what you do, it's a long way away -- it will only seem longer if you fixate on it.

I just started thinking about setting up little, short-term goals for myself and achieving them.

Take it one day at a time. Enjoy your blue belt. Enjoy working on your skills. Go sign up for Lloyd Irvin's emails (I have no affiliation, but I think he gives good motivational advice) and think about actively improving one of your weaknesses everyday, until its one of your strengths.

Don't worry about getting tapped, or dominated, by anyone. the academy is for learning. it's ok to get tapped when you're trying to improve your game. Go roll with the biggest guy in your academy. Find the guy you hate rolling with and roll with him everyday.

enter some tourneys (but not too many). mix up your training -- try gi and no-gi. wear the jacket and some shorts, or pants and a t-shirt.

Just keep it fresh and set out daily and weekly and monthly goals for yourself. The time will speed by and you'll be a black belt before long.

Then you'll look back and think: "what was I rushing for".

Stick with it. Your training has highs and lows that will come in cycles. Stay focussed and study hard. Dont be afraid to experiment.

I'm going to drop all of the zen type b.s. and tell you the following: Don't be a weenie and get your butt to class! You could take up TKD, or you could be a REAL pussy and start golfing with all those faggoty Doctors and Lawyers.

Thanks for all the great advice. Im gonna try some of your advice and only focus at one thing at a time. To try to improve the weeker parts of my game. Now Im sad its christmas and I cant go back and try it out. Its nice to know that Im not alone to feel this way atleast.

I'm looking forward to the blue-belt blues. I'm sick of being a white-belt!

This is why belts in a dynamic fighting form like Bjj (much like boxing and wrestling which are dynamic fighting forms) are bad.

They take away the motivation one has to keep on keeping on, to improve, to do their art well.

Once a person reaches a belt, whether that is, for one person, a blue belt, and for others a purple, brown or black they lose something. That fire to keep pressing forward.

Without an extrinsic motivator (which is what belts are) a person will have to focus on instrinsic motivators (internal factors and reasons). And one of those instrinsic motivator is practicng for practicing sake, practice to get better just for the sake of doing something one loves to do well.

This is one reason why I try my best not to focus on belts and try even not to let that get into my head. Because once it does then it is a constant mental battle. The "reward" of the belt will somehow always affect my overall focus which is just to improve and do Bjj well.

I agree with m.g.'s sage advice, except I don't think of belts as 'bad' for BJJ. On the contrary, I think they are a convenient way to organize people for competetions that works well for the most part.

The dangerous thing about having a belt system is that people fixate on the belts instead of the game. I prefer to think of earning a belt as a compliment from your instructor, nothing more. I want to work my butt off and erase my weaknesses so that I'm deserving of that compliment whenever my instructor decides to give it to me. Be more concerned with improving your game, and things will start to come together. Forget about what's tied around your waist and worry about performance.



I see you point. I guess I should say that one should view belts within the context of their creation. In other words consider and understand exactly what belts are meant for.

To me, belts are the same as grade levels (first grade, second grade, third grade, etc) in elementary, middle and high school, and academic levels (freshmen, sophmore, junior, senior) in high school and college.

Belts simply represent a level of experience and learning which one should have that corresponse to a certain amount of time one has put into the "artform" or "activity".

They are good as a means to measure progress as well as a means of setting certain types of goals for both the student as well as the instructor. But beyond that they don't have meaning at least not in regards to performance.

if you want belts, join TKD. BJJ is a long journey that will take the rest of your life. Ten years best case for black, forty more to put on a red/black belt. So in the words of the great, late Bruce Lee, "don't worry about the belt around your waist just train and learn."

Pick one technique for a particular period of time, like a month, train it so you can do it from anywhere.