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Before we get into this blog we'd like to clarify that this isn't some magic cheat sheet to get your blue belt, rather a truncated guide on where to focus your efforts when seeking your promotion to blue belt.

Additionally, another point worth making is that you define the belt, and not the other way around.

You don't get a blue belt you become a blue belt.
Got it?


So let's get into it then!
Although there's no fixed criteria for all of Jiujitsu, it tends to be something like;

1. skill level

2. attitude

3. attendance

4. time at belt. 

They're in no order of importance as some are valued higher by coaches than others.

You might be the nicest guy/girl in the world who shows up everyday for a long stretch, but if you purely lack the skill then there's no feasible way you can represent a belt appropriately. 

Or, you might be a destroyer.
Tapping everyone including some higher belts, you show up everyday and clean up everyone. But are you a douche about it? Do you put yourself above your training partners?

Chances are you're going to get held back until that attitude gets adjusted.

Anyway, let's have a look at what each criteria means and what to put effort into.

1. Skill level
Personally, when rolling with blue belts I can never make them stuck anywhere significantly. What this tells me is that at some point a white belt should know two escapes from every position and be able to shift between them as necessary. 

Add to this two guard passes and two go-to submissions and we've got some serious skill banking up. 

2. Attitude
This criteria is nether here nor there and forms a grey area. However, there are some obvious points to your attitude in the gym.

For one, don't gloat about tapping someone and don't complain that someone tapped you.

Don't go 100% on someone smaller than you and then complain when someone larger does the same.

Don't act above those of the same rank.

That's a few "dont's" so here are some "do's"!

Do encourage others and thank them for their time whether it be technique, a roll, or a higher belt giving your advice. Ps: always thank your coach.

Do take someone getting the better of you in stride.
After all they are helping you develop and if it motivates you to do better next time where's the harm in that?

Do include others and refrain from only training with those who will benefit you. Help more than you are helped always.

3. Attendance
Now the obvious is how often you're on the mat and from what I've gathered through experience and the knowledge of others is that you should ideally be spending upwards of 4 sessions a week training.

Now the other part to attendance is how often you're being mindful and training with purpose when you're on the mat. 

Showing up is one thing, but doing something with that time is another.

4. Time at belt.
This fella is pretty obvious and there's some limitations involved with how soon you can expect your blue. Usually someone will stay at white for around a year at least before they get their blue, provided they are consistent and the other criteria mentioned above are present.

So if you wanna level up, get the 4 points in order and give it your best.
- Jake Anderson

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