How to be a Good Blue Belt


1. Time and Experience

Training Time

Minimum Time Frame: Typically, it takes 1.5 to 3 years of consistent training to earn a blue belt.

Regular Attendance: Training 2-3 times per week on average. Some schools might have a minimum class attendance requirement.

Mat Hours

Total Mat Time: Accumulating 200-500 hours of mat time is a common benchmark.

Consistency: Regular practice and active participation in classes, seminars, and open mat sessions.

Shelbey Ingalls instructor

2. Technical Proficiency

Core Techniques

Students must master fundamental techniques, including:


Mount Escape: Upa, elbow escape (shrimping).

Side Control Escape: Hip escape, underhook escape.


Chokes: Rear naked choke, guillotine, triangle choke.

Joint Locks: Armbar, Kimura, Americana, straight ankle lock.


From Guard: Scissor sweep, flower sweep, pendulum sweep.

From Half Guard: Old school sweep, lockdown sweep.

Guard Work

Closed Guard: Basic sweeps, submissions, and guard retention.

Open Guard: De La Riva guard, spider guard, butterfly guard.

Positional Control

Mount: Maintaining position, transitioning to technical mount.

Side Control: Maintaining side control, transitioning to north-south.

Back Control: Maintaining hooks, transitioning to seatbelt grip.

Transitional Movements

Guard Passing: Knee slice, over-under pass, torreando pass.

Takedowns: Basic takedowns or throws from standing, such as single-leg takedown or double-leg takedown.

Defensive Skills

Submission Defense: Escaping or defending against common submissions.

Positional Defense: Surviving and escaping from dominant positions.

Application in Sparring

Live Sparring: Applying techniques effectively during live sparring sessions against resisting opponents.

Adaptability: Demonstrating the ability to adapt and apply techniques to different opponents and situations.

3. Conceptual Understanding

Jiu Jitsu Principles

Leverage and Technique: Understanding and applying leverage principles rather than relying on strength.

Position Before Submission: Prioritizing positional control before attempting submissions.

Pressure and Timing: Applying consistent pressure and understanding timing for transitions and attacks.

Strategy and Tactics

Game Planning: Developing a basic game plan for attacking and defending.

Flow and Transition: Smoothly transitioning between techniques and positions.

4. Additional Requirements

Class Participation

Active Engagement: Regular attendance and participation in class drills, technique demonstrations, and discussions.

Instructor Feedback: Showing improvement and incorporating feedback from instructors.

Attitude and Conduct

Respect: Demonstrating respect for training partners, instructors, and the academy.

Discipline: Showing discipline in training and a positive attitude towards learning and improvement.

Testing or Evaluation

Formal Testing: Some academies require students to pass a formal test, demonstrating their skills and knowledge.

Continuous Evaluation: Instructors often continuously assess students’ progress through regular class performance and sparring.

5. Practical Tips for Earning a Blue Belt

Consistent Practice

Drill Regularly: Focus on drilling fundamental techniques consistently.

Live Sparring: Engage in regular live sparring to test and refine your techniques.

Seek Feedback

Ask Questions: Regularly seek feedback and clarification from instructors and higher belts.

Self-Evaluation: Reflect on your own progress and identify areas for improvement.

Study and Research

Watch Videos: Study instructional videos and matches to broaden your understanding.

Read Books: Consider reading books on BJJ techniques and strategy.


Stay Humble: Understand that earning a blue belt is just the beginning of your BJJ journey.

Be Patient: Progress at your own pace and focus on consistent improvement rather than rushing through the ranks.

Specific Requirements by Association

Different BJJ associations and academies might have varying requirements and standards for promotion to a blue belt. It’s important to understand and follow the specific criteria of your training academy or organization. For example:

Gracie Barra: May have specific curriculums and testing protocols.

Atos: Focuses on a combination of mat time and technical proficiency.

Alliance: May have a structured syllabus and progression timeline.

Final Thoughts

Earning a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu signifies a solid understanding of the basics and the ability to apply them effectively. Focus on consistent training, mastering core techniques, and maintaining a positive and respectful attitude towards learning. Always consult with your instructors to understand the specific requirements and expectations of your academy.

Contact Professor Jodey Ingalls if you have any questions or would like to know more.

Pure Martial Arts & Fitness - Professor Jodey Ingalls

Pure Martial Arts & Fitness – Professor Jodey Ingalls