This is not a list of hacks or loopholes to your Jiu-Jitsu blue belt. There is no short road, this article is How to get a blue belt in BJJ. This article is about keeping you on the right track on your journey from white to blue belt.
Blue Belt Mindset
Start by doing yourself a favor and remove the word ‘failure’ from your vocabulary. Instead when you do not reach your desired outcome what you are going to receive is ‘feedback.’ Failure is a human invention to help describe the outcome that has not yet reached its final state. High functioning people will always opt for feedback over failure. By changing this perception, you give yourself a to do list instead of giving power to that voice that attempts to tear you down.
Blue Belt Offensive Game
First, you will need to define your first line of offensive moves. This will be a short collection of chronological moves that will guide you to a win. It can be something simple like: standing guard pull to scissor sweep to finish with a paper cutter. This first line of moves should take you from the neutral standing position to a finish. You will have to apply these moves many many times until you body starts doing them automatically. Your end goal is to perform moves from your kinetic memory or the side of your brain that doesn’t actively think about how to perform a task.
Don’t worry about doing fancy advanced moves at this point. No one is expecting this from you. That expectation will come much later. For now you are just getting familiar with jiu jitsu. Getting this first line of offensive moves will be an important tool that you will return to again and again. When the line of moves does not work ask for feedback from your opponent. This will be an essential process to develop. Jiu Jitsu forces you to look hard at your shortcomings. Get comfortable with this. As we say in BJJ, ‘Check your ego at the door’.
Blue Belt Defensive Game
Building your defensive game will make less sense at times. It will be a game of reacting to the opponents in front of you. It will feel more like the movie ‘Groundhog Day’ or ‘Edge of Tomorrow’. Take your pick. It will most likely feel like a series of unrelated mistakes. The best advice I can give here is fail fast and often but take something away from each ‘teaching moment’. Pull your opponents to the side after the match and ask them what you could have done better. If they are good at this process they can pinpoint your first error and give you direction on how to improve your position or stance.
Blue Belt Intensity
All too often, the proper mental training gets pushed to the side. The expectation is that the individual student understand this ahead of time. But I think it warrants a mention. Your intensity to win should be like a swimmer who went too deep and is trying to get to the surface because their air is running dangerously low. That swimmer will do anything to get themselves closer to the surface. This is the sense of intensity that you need to cultivate.
Lastly, Combine these tips with showing up to practice no less than 3 times a week and you should be well on your way to getting your blue belt. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a difficult and unintuitive sport. But when you get the hang of it, it is like having super powers. Your journey will be peppered with hardship. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of those things in life that has no consolation prizes. It is a hard teacher of live. Your progress will be measured in very small increments. Adjusting your expectations will help set the proper frame of mind. Best of luck.