Why Do Blue Belts Quit

Kroyler’s pro tip about the mystery of the missing blue belts:


Kroyler’s Pro-Tip:

Why do blue belts quit?

Well Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a very difficult martial art / sport to learn and to be proficient in…

What I mean is this, we don’t like to lose or give up, and worse still is losing and then quitting.So,I have found that some white belts don’t want to quit before their blue belt. As it may seem to them as if they haven’t achieved anything yet, or they aren’t any good, and quitting on that status somehow reflects on who they are.This is why we lose baby-blue belts aka the literal brand new blue belts.

So those same few people described above may feel if they work hard enough to get their blue belts then they can quit while on a “win” rather than on a “loss”. It strokes their ego to quit in such manner.This is the blue belt curse.

Other blue belts, the ones that loved the growth they have achieved, and the new techniques they are learning and the day-to-day challenges they are encountering tend to stick around much longer. But even some of those quit too. I have often thought about whythey getthe “blue belt blues” and quit. I think its because Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is constantly putting you through different trials. Most people spend a good chunk of their careers as blue belts and because of thatlongevitywe encounter new obstacles we have not previously encountered. Such as:

1.The physical inability to perform a more complex technique during a drill

2.The inability to mentally process or recall more complex techniques

3.The mental and physical challenge of discovering that the color belts you previously rolled with when you were a white belt were taking easy onyou andhave now taken their kid gloves off. 

4.The challenge in seeing someone more gifted progress through the ranks faster than you even though they may have started after you.

5.Therealization that the knowledge and ability gap between you and the purple belt you look up to is far greater than the knowledge and ability gap between you and the white belt that looks up to you.

6.The realization that the “pool of knowledge” you thought you had acquired in your career as a white belt is nothing but a drop in the “vast and deep ocean of knowledge” that the black beltspossess.

7.As a blue belt you may start to train more often, with more training and a longer periodsof time injuries may start to occur. Fingers, wrist, knee, toes, back and neck pain become a common occurrence. Learning to roll around that is a challenge.

8.Usually at some point of your blue belt career you may compete, the results of a competition may affect you negatively. As most ofusspend a good chunk of our careers as blue belts we may be a brand new blue belt competing with a3-4-yearblue belt veteran. That great mismatch can lead to disheartening.

9.The realization that your blue belt does not award you magical ability and that your ability is a blue belt is a direct correlation to the amount of work you put in.

These new challenges may overwhelm blue belts, may cause them to break under the pressure they self-impose on themselves. The reason for quitting could be one or any number of these combined.

So how do we avoid these weak or flawed mentalities.  Well, we have fun. Understanding that the goal of every day of training is simply to become better then who we were the day before. If we stop comparing ourselves to others and focus on beating a previous version of ourselves, we will soon reach new levels. Example quit comparing yourself to Joe Nobody and start comparing yourself to who you were 1 year ago, 6 months ago, 3 months ago, 1 day ago. You’ll realize then that you are progressing, that you are growing and that you are improving. So, train hard and train often but never forget to have fun and know the real goal is beating a previous version of ourselves not simply becoming a black belt.

Kip Dice