White belt requirements

To be a good white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), you should focus on developing foundational skills, understanding basic techniques, and cultivating the right mindset for learning and improvement. Here’s a comprehensive guide on what’s required to excel as a white belt:

1. Develop Fundamental Techniques

Core Techniques


  • Mount Escape (Upa/Buck and Roll): Escape from being mounted by bridging and rolling.
  • Elbow Escape (Shrimping): Escape from mount or side control by creating space and replacing guard.
  • Side Control Escape: Basic techniques to regain guard or stand up.


  • Basic Chokes: Cross collar choke from guard, guillotine.
  • Joint Locks: Straight armbar from guard or mount, Americana from side control.


  • Scissor Sweep: A basic sweep from closed guard.
  • Hip Bump Sweep: A sweep from guard when the opponent postures up.

Guard Work

  • Closed Guard: Basic attacks and defenses from closed guard.
  • Open Guard: Simple concepts of maintaining open guard and transitioning to other positions.

Positional Control

  • Mount: Basic principles of maintaining mount and transitioning between high and low mount.
  • Side Control: Understanding the fundamental controls and transitions from side control.
  • Back Control: Basics of maintaining back control and applying the rear naked choke.

Transitional Movements

  • Guard Passing: Basic guard passes like knee slice and torreando pass.
  • Takedowns: Understanding and practicing fundamental takedowns like double-leg and single-leg.

BJJ Whit Belt

2. Emphasize Positional Awareness

Understand Key Positions

  • Top Positions: Mount, side control, knee on belly, back control.
  • Bottom Positions: Guard, half guard, turtle position.
  • Transitions: Moving between positions effectively and safely.

Positional Hierarchy

  • Position Before Submission: Focus on establishing and maintaining a dominant position before attempting submissions.

3. Focus on Basic Concepts and Principles

Leverage and Mechanics

  • Base and Balance: Maintaining stability and preventing sweeps or positional losses.
  • Frames and Hooks: Using your body effectively to create space and control opponents.

Pressure and Timing

  • Apply Pressure: Use body weight to control and wear down opponents.
  • Timing: Learn to recognize and exploit opportunities for movement or attacks.

Defense First

  • Survival: Prioritize defending against submissions and escaping bad positions.
  • Escape Routes: Understand and practice basic escape routes from common positions.

4. Cultivate Good Training Habits

Regular Attendance

  • Consistent Training: Attend classes regularly to build muscle memory and familiarity with techniques.
  • Drilling: Focus on drilling techniques repetitively to understand their mechanics and applications.

Active Participation

  • Ask Questions: Seek clarification from instructors or higher belts when unsure about techniques.
  • Engage in Sparring: Participate in controlled sparring to apply techniques and learn from experience.

Respect for Partners

  • Safety First: Train safely and respectfully, avoiding unnecessary force.
  • Communication: Communicate with training partners, especially during drilling and sparring.

5. Develop a Learning Mindset

Be Humble and Open-Minded

  • Accept Feedback: Be open to constructive criticism and use it to improve.
  • Learn from Losses: Understand that losses in sparring are learning opportunities.

Patience and Perseverance

  • Embrace the Process: Focus on gradual improvement rather than immediate success.
  • Stay Positive: Keep a positive attitude and be patient with your progress.

Study and Reflect

  • Review Techniques: After class, review what you’ve learned to reinforce knowledge.
  • Watch and Learn: Watch instructional videos or matches to gain different perspectives on techniques and strategies.

6. Build Physical Conditioning

Strength and Flexibility

  • General Fitness: Maintain a basic level of fitness to support your training.
  • Flexibility: Improve flexibility to enhance movement and reduce injury risk.


  • Cardio: Build cardiovascular endurance to handle the physical demands of rolling.
  • Grappling Specific: Engage in conditioning that mimics the movements and demands of BJJ.

7. Understand Etiquette and Culture

Respect Academy Rules

  • Gi and Hygiene: Maintain a clean gi and good personal hygiene.
  • Punctuality: Arrive on time for classes and participate fully.

Respect Higher Belts and Instructors

  • Learning from Others: Respect the experience and knowledge of higher belts and instructors.
  • Contribute Positively: Be a supportive and positive member of the academy.

8. Practical Tips for Being a Good White Belt

Record Your Progress

  • Training Journal: Keep a journal of techniques learned, sparring insights, and areas for improvement.
  • Set Goals: Set short-term and long-term goals for your BJJ journey.

Drill, Drill, Drill

  • Repetition: Focus on drilling basic techniques until they become second nature.
  • Partner Drills: Pair up with training partners to practice techniques and troubleshoot challenges.

Cross-Train and Supplement

  • Explore Related Areas: Consider cross-training in related disciplines like judo or wrestling for additional perspectives on grappling.
  • Supplemental Training: Engage in strength training or flexibility routines to complement your BJJ practice.


Being a good white belt in BJJ is about building a solid foundation of fundamental techniques, understanding key concepts, and developing good training habits. Focus on learning and improving with a positive and humble mindset, and you’ll set yourself up for long-term success in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

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