How to Combat the Blue Belt Curse

8:29 AM Moo 0 Comments

BJJ Eastern Europe published an article today about Blue Belt Beltitis also known as the blue belt curse. Once reaching blue belt, an overwhelming amount of practitioners quit! But why? Time schedules? Injuries? Pride? No more desire to reach further accomplishments? Or maybe a combination of all of the above. Becoming a blue belt was not what I expected. Everyone said "Watch out, soon you'll have a target on your back." I distinctly remember the first training after blue belt promotions, the sea of blue I expected to see was, well, scarce to say the least! Blue belt didn't have this effect on me! It made me hungry! It made me want to train that much harder, luckily I had people around me pushing me to be consistent. So how does one beat the blue belt are a few tips:

1. Lose that ego. You've got your belt now, right? No amount of getting tapped is going to take that away.

2. Expect more from yourself without worrying about the expectations of others. Easier said than done, right? Pressure makes diamonds.....sometimes. Sometimes it also causes people to fear failing at all. Answer to yourself instead of others.

3. Set goals. Having something to work towards limits your opportunities to just give up. I've started giving myself 2 things a week I want to work into my rolls, or two things I want to improve. I put myself in bad positions with people larger and more technical than myself and work from there. It's helping to build my confidence and it's keeping me motivated.

4. If you find yourself plateauing, consider why. Change the way you train. Try something new. You know how the saying goes: "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results."

5. Take care of injuries! They're bound to happen but you can always train smarter! When I was a white belt I said "meh, I rolled my ankle/I broke my finger/I'll just see how far this shoulder can go" Insert any other dumb phrase there, as I continued to spaz out and roll through my injury. Now I know to take care of myself. Chances are you're training a bit harder these days, focus on recovery!

6. Give yourself a new challenge. Never competed? Do it. Always wanted to play spider guard? Go for it. You'll probably surprise yourself. Variety is the key to any relationship and let's face it, you're in one with BJJ.

7. Just train. Tired? Train. Nervous? Train. Worried about getting tapped? Train. Smallest person in your gym? Train. Sick? Gross, don't train and spread your nasty germs....but you get the point!

8. Enjoy your journey! Blue belt is so early on in the game. There are so many things to learn, positions to try and ways to get tapped! Enjoy the experience and the room left for progression!

What about you folks? What do you do to stay motivated?