Curious students starting jiu-jitsu often ask the question “How long does it take to get a blue belt?” How many bjj students will scoff at this innocent, honest question and respond “Belts are not important! I don’t care if I stay a white belt forever!“
While it is true that the most important aspects of training jiu-jitsu are to enjoy yourself and improve your techniques, there is nothing wrong with wanting to progress to a higher belt. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see the next level up and work towards it.
Most individuals who are interested in trying jiu-jitsu are goal oriented individuals. They have an idea in their minds of a higher level of skill and jiu-jitsu knowledge and are eager to work towards it. That first significant milepost is the blue belt.
Having specific goals to strive for is important to our motivation. It helps focus our efforts in the right direction.
Could you imagine taking a computer course or taking a Spanish language class and having no idea of the curriculum or what are the different levels? What if the instructor told you “Don’t worry about any of that. I’ll tell you when you are there!” Unsatisfying and lacking clear goals to work towards.
Your first year of training will be both exciting and challenging. Exciting as every class will expose you to an important technique to build your jiu-jitsu. It will be challenging in that there is an overwhelming amount of information to process.
Setting a goal of getting a blue belt will bring focus to your efforts. There will be the small rewards of stripes along the way to recognize your steps forward and help motivate you to push through the inevitable obstacles and plateaus that will arise.
You will be far less likely to skip a training session and stay home on the couch when you know the only way you can reach your goal of blue belt is to get your gi and get on the mat. The vision of that goal will exert a strong pull on you.
When you initially start jiu-jitsu blue belt seems so far away. But the blue belts in your academy were at one time also new beginners. And through consistent effort they achieved a blue belt.
Why not you? Set a goal to be a blue belt!
See also on Gracie Barra : 3 Reasons Your Friends Should Try Jiu-jitsu
Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Saigon, Vietnam