“The rule is to train, train and train some more. Train until the lamb becomes the lion.”
– Paulo Miyao ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a ground-based grappling martial art that makes use of leverage techniques and submission holds to outpower an opponent and BJJ Blue Belt Curriculum. The self-defense combat sport was established for helping a smaller person tackle a larger opponent to the ground. In doing so, it becomes easy to defeat the attacker by wrestling on the ground instead of fighting while standing. BJJ practitioners learn effective grappling skills that target the limitations of the human anatomy, allowing them to execute joint locks and chokeholds for combative advantage. Naturally, speed and timing are crucial to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, as they give you a split-second chance to take your attacker by surprise. This martial arts discipline is something that anyone and everyone can sign up for to develop agility for successful takedowns and quick escapes. Like all martial arts practices, BJJ programs follow belt ranking systems to acknowledge proficiency at each level.
Origins of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Jujitsu is a Japanese martial arts style that literally translates into “gentle art”. It took the shape of several variations down the combative timeline, with different Asian roots and naming styles. Eventually, the Japanese form met a Brazilian adaptation of the original self-defense techniques, leading to a ground-breaking phenomenon that shook the entire world. In 1914, the iconic Japanese judoka, Mitsuyu Maeda, traveled to Brazil and shared his martial arts expertise with a group of students. He was more popularly known as Count Koma, and his jujitsu skills were the martial arts royalty admired throughout the world.
The Gracie legacy
Carlos Gracie was one of Count Koma’s students. His spark for jujitsu practices went on to ignite a wildfire pursuit for a brand-new outlook on the Japanese martial art. Carlos was the pioneering force behind Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and he launched the first-ever Gracie BJJ school in the 1920s in Rio de Janeiro. Over the years that followed, the Gracie family name became synonymous with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Gracie descendants formed a whole new wave of generational pride in this discipline, organizing more schools and giving BJJ a global platform for recognition. As a result, BJJ techniques met the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contests, international tournaments, and various mixed martial arts (MMA) programs. The combat sport saw a meteoric rise around the world, blazing the trail wherever it went.
Gi or No-Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
A Gi refers to the martial arts uniform worn by BJJ practitioners when doing BJJ Blue Belt Curriculum. It is basically a kimono outfit comprised of a jacket, pants, and a rank belt. The Gi and No-Gi styles of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are two common forms of practicing this combat sport. Belt qualifications require proficiency in both styles, as there are different grappling techniques executed under each method.
Gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners wear the standard Gi uniform, and this allows them to grab the opponent’s clothing. With better grips as anchor points to control your movements, you get to fight your opponent more efficiently by being able to take them down and throw your own body into complex BJJ stunts. The friction from the Gi’s lapel, collar, sleeves, and pant legs adds more leverage to keep your fighting tricks grounded and well-executed.
The No-Gi is where practitioners do not use a uniform. Instead, they wear boardshorts with rash guards. This changes the rules for grappling strategies as opponents cannot grab each other’s clothing. No-Gi fighting techniques are fast-paced and more fluid as there is no restriction or friction from the uniform fabric. The students need to refine their technical executions with No-Gi, since they can no longer leverage their moves by grabbing the uniform.
The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) governs both Gi and No-Gi practices. With championships and other events, the organization creates the rule framework to guide contest scores and belt rankings for both of these BJJ fighting disciplines. In ascending order, these belts are classified into white, blue, purple, brown, and black belts – with various degrees and post-black belt opportunities.
Celebrities with BJJ backgrounds
BJJ practitioners and instructors in BJJ Blue Belt Curriculum often have a breadcrumb trail that connects their lineage to one of the original founders of the martial art. While exploring some of these intricate hierarchies, we stumbled upon famous Hollywood celebrities who have practiced under BJJ icons, like the Gracie descendants themselves! With different motivations behind their BJJ pursuits – from personal milestones and movie stunts to awareness campaigns – these celebrity martial artists often use their social media presence to make real, impactful differences. We found this BJJ trivia quite fascinating, and here is a list of our favorite celebrities who are belt-winners in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- Paul Walker – brown belt, with an honorary black belt
- Ashton Kutcher – brown belt
- Jason Statham – purple belt
- David Bautista – purple belt
- Demi Lovato – blue belt
- Tom Hardy – blue belt
- Keanu Reeves – white belt
The BJJ blue belt
What it represents
The blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is its second adult ranking level that symbolizes fundamental understanding and execution of various BJJ positions. It is a step ahead of your beginner white belt starting point, and claiming a blue belt acknowledges your qualification for serious BJJ pursuits. In order to maintain the blue belt status in BJJ Blue Belt Curriculum, BJJ practitioners are required to complete a certain duration before they can get promoted to the purple belt.
There is a vast array of responsibilities and exciting opportunities to take on. Blue belt martial artists are quite often the role models for new students in BJJ Blue Belt Curriculum, as a blue belt is something on the near horizon compared to the elusive black belt. This creates scope for teaching and helping in the dojo, sharing your strategies and forms to assist white-belt students. Most martial artists consider the BJJ blue belt to be equivalent to other martial arts black belts. This speaks volumes about competence and perfection turning the grappling gears behind the scenes.
What it expects from you
Once you wear a blue belt in BJJ Blue Belt Curriculum, you need to learn how to combine BJJ forms into a cohesive grappling style. This ranking level is all about connecting the dots and bridging the gaps in your offensive and defensive techniques. The main idea is to be able to bring all of these skills together, so you can improvise your combat style in real-time and stay in control of the dynamics. This includes anticipating the white belt move and switching to your best way out. Primarily, you should meet the core objective of ground-based grappling, which is to subdue a larger opponent successfully.
Of course, you will not be expected to know everything or have the perfect answer to every question. You still have a long way to go, and you will definitely discover something new ahead. Blue belt sessions against white belts should generally prove that you know what you are doing, whereas competing against higher belts has a way to burst your ambitious bubble – if you thought you knew it all! The key is to remain humble and enjoy your time at the blue belt by being open to unexpected defeats as well as unimaginable victories on the mat.
What time commitment it needs
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu schools have different prerequisites for belt promotions, following the standards laid by the IBJJF. In general, a white belt needs around 2-3 years to graduate to a blue belt, and maintain the status for at least 2 years for purple-belt eligibility. The time elapsed at the BJJ blue belt can be a very frustrating and demanding wait until the next promotion. It is quite often the longest time commitment to a single belt throughout the BJJ learning curve. Practitioners dedicate a lot of time to the skills and techniques needed to move to the purple belt, and it can be very discouraging to come so close and still fall short.
Therefore, instead of trying to fast-forward the steps, it is important to enjoy and make the best out of your blue belt phase. BJJ practices are not about how quickly you move up the ranks; you just need to be sure that this is something you love doing. After all, it is called a learning curve and not a learning line for a good reason!
BJJ blue belt curriculum
General learning outcomes
There are standard benchmarks that need to be met for receiving your first official belt – the blue belt – in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, keeping aside the beginner white belt. While different BJJ schools may follow their own teaching styles, the BJJ blue belt curriculum is comprised of some common learning outcomes around the world. It includes the basic requirements and BJJ positions that practitioners must acquire to earn and maintain their blue-belt rank. The complete curriculum focuses on every fundamental aspect of this martial art, giving practitioners maximum exposure to technical forms so that they become familiar with almost every essential move. The curriculum avenues to blue belt cover techniques for around 2 years of training, with different BJJ credit hours and minimum class requirements.
The general BJJ Blue Belt curriculum objectives in various academies expect you to attack as well as defend using the core BJJ positions and applicable techniques. You need to demonstrate your skills and confidence in major submission categories, competitive streaks on the mat, grappling agility, and most importantly, efficient self-defense. Schools train in Gi or No-Gi contexts and often follow a strictly self-defense or strictly combat-sport perspective. Regardless of the BJJ “school of thought”, the most crucial and standard requirements are the same everywhere, as discussed below.
The defensive moves for blue-belt levels include:
- technical standups
Various standing movements take on both defensive and offensive forms, such as:
- penetration step
- break fall and front roll
The blue-belt requirement for the bottom game is to develop your most reliable, go-to guard that the opponent will find difficult to overcome. The curriculum your school follows will usually focus on joint locks and chokeholds for maximum leverage during a fight from the ground level. These include:
- the closed guard – effective grip fighting that leaves less room for the opponent to break it open
- the closed guard sweeps – including scissor, pendulum, and sit-up sweeps to bring you on top
- the open guard – also referred to as the tripod guard
- the open guard sweeps – like the tripod and sickle sweep moves
BJJ top positions govern competitive streaks and allow you to demonstrate self-defense caliber. The most famous positions in blue belt curricula are as follows:
- side control
- low and high mounts
- back control – body triangle, double hooks, seatbelt grips
- knee on belly
- guard passing – staple pass, torreando pass, single underhook pass
These standing requirements focus on effective takedowns and strategies for rolling to the ground – and taking the fight at ground level.
- single and double leg takedowns
- guard pull
- body lock throws
- hip throws
- inside and outside reap
The submissions category
Within the vast submissions category, different moves and stunts highlight the key Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu phenomenon – making a larger opponent surrender and lose the fight. Blue belts are expected to specialize in a series of submission holds that render the attacker harmless. Some of these essential submission tactics include:
- cross collar choke
- ankle lock
- guillotine choke
Blue belt practitioners should be able to escape from a difficult position. This comes in quite handy to find an escape route, adding versatility to your BJJ transitions. The skill and technical neatness required for quick escapes make this ability an absolute must-have for blue belt qualifications. Some resourceful escape strategies are:
- side control bottom – like the bridge and shrimp escapes
- mount bottom – knee to elbow escapes
- turtle bottom – rolling escapes
- knee on belly – hip frame escape
BJJ Blue Belt Curriculum self-defense
Coming to the primary goal of every martial arts practice, self-defense caliber will easily eclipse all other combative strengths. There are various grappling strategies to tackle your opponent to the ground and defend yourself. Some examples are:
- effective takedowns
- headlock escapes
- distance management
BJJ drills and warmup routines help students revamp their etiquettes and execution styles. Solo drills could take the form of:
- proper belt-and-Gi wearing instructions
- break falls
- reverse shrimp
- forward roll to stand
- backward roll to stand
Blue belt checklist
The above BJJ moves are not an exhaustive list – a complete BJJ Blue Belt curriculum will give detailed breakdowns of each BJJ requirement, explain the several technical variations you can adopt, define the minimum criteria for approval, and so on. As a BJJ blue belt, you will be expected to use your BJJ ammunition in real-time, and so it helps to have backup techniques up your Gi sleeve. The main aim is to push your boundaries for live rolling and tick off some important checklist elements such as:
- do I have enough techniques and variations per position?
- can I outpower larger, stronger opponents?
- do I have adequate street-ready skills for effective self-defense?
- am I competent enough in both Gi and No-Gi contexts?
- do I have a balanced coverage in all areas, or are my skills more polarized?
Once in a blue moon
The blue belt is a very special incentive for BJJ practitioners in BJJ Blue Belt curriculum, as it pulls them out of their beginner white shell and catapults them to the very heart of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu lifestyles. It makes it official that you take the combat sport seriously and are ready to advance through the ranking system. With major ground positions and live rolling strategies, you begin to demonstrate BJJ stunts through instinctive ease and comfort over time. There is plenty of room to include new positions and fighting styles, and blue belts get to experiment with different possibilities scattered throughout the BJJ curriculum.
At this level, you have to accept losing to a white belt opponent and learn to endure unexpected defeats. This is because a blue belt does not mean that you are invincible, and by losing to the lower belt, you come face-to-face with your grappling weaknesses. At the same time, there are also opportunities in which you defeat the higher ranks. The secret to enjoying this blue-belt status is to appreciate the highs and lows and take them in stride.
This is the time to build connective, combative bridges to address your learning gaps. From the vantage point of a black belt, looking back to your blue-belt in BJJ Blue Belt curriculum stage will remind you of the transformative power of this impactful journey. Not every martial artist manages to keep their blue belt status, and people often quit after this rank due to the challenging, rocky climb ahead. It always helps to set achievable milestones and focus on moving one step at a time – thanks to the belt stripes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that break down the belt degrees for streamlined progress. This makes the blue belt goal more realistic, and the idea of time no longer feels daunting. Students tend to focus on time limits and finishing lines rather than the journey itself. Talk about slow and steady winning the race!
“There is no losing in jiu-jitsu. You either win or you learn.”
– Carlos Gracie, Sr.