The Journey to Blue Belt in BJJ: A Personalised Path

Oly Whelan Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Dog BJJ Head Instructor

The journey from white to blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a significant milestone for practitioners, symbolising a deepening understanding of the sport and a commitment to its disciplines. However, the time it takes to achieve this milestone can vary widely, influenced by a gym’s criteria for advancement. This variability often leads to a critical question: How long does it take to get a blue belt in BJJ?

The Conventional Criteria:

Many commercial gyms have adopted a primarily attendance-based approach to promotions. Under this system, practitioners may receive their blue belt after participating in a set number of classes or after a certain period. While this method ensures a minimum time commitment to the sport, it often overlooks the depth of understanding and skill development critical to true advancement in BJJ.

Black Dog BJJ’s Approach:

At Black Dog BJJ, we diverge from the purely attendance-based criterion, believing that the essence of BJJ advancement lies in skill acquisition, practical application, and personal growth. Inspired by the BJJ Globetrotters’ philosophy, we focus on dynamically assessing a practitioner’s skills through rolling and sparring. Promotion to blue belt is not a solitary decision but a consensus among several instructors who have observed tangible improvement in the individual’s technique, strategy, and adaptability on the mat.

The Role Of Competition:

In the journey to achieving a blue belt at Black Dog BJJ, competing holds a significant place, serving as a real-world gauge of a practitioner’s skill level against opponents of similar skill, age, and weight. Through competition, instructors can objectively assess a student’s performance, mental fortitude, and technical proficiency, considering regular and successful competition participation as a key indicator of readiness for advancement. While victories in tournaments signal a student’s potential for a belt change, they complement ongoing assessments of technical skills, understanding of BJJ principles, and personal growth observed during training. Competitions, therefore, are not only about testing oneself against peers but also about embracing an essential component of personal and martial development within the BJJ journey

A Personalised Journey:

We recognise that every practitioner’s journey is unique. Instead of measuring progress against others, we consider how much an individual has evolved relative to their potential and skill level, factoring in age and weight class for a fair assessment. This personalised approach ensures that achieving a blue belt is not just about meeting a quantitative benchmark but about embodying the qualitative growth in one’s BJJ journey.

The Path To Blue Belt

Achieving a blue belt is a deeply individual experience that varies for everyone. Some may reach this level in as little as a year, while others may take several years to develop the requisite skills and understanding. The key is consistency, dedication, and a focus on continuous improvement. At Black Dog BJJ, we encourage our practitioners to embrace their unique paths, emphasising that the journey is as important as the destination.


The journey to obtaining a blue belt in BJJ is a reflection of personal growth, skill development, and a deeper immersion into the art. At Black Dog BJJ, we prioritise a holistic and personalised approach to advancement, ensuring that when a practitioner is awarded their blue belt, it signifies a meaningful progression in their BJJ journey. Remember, it’s not about the speed of the journey but the depth of the experience. Embrace your path, and let your passion for BJJ guide you toward your next milestone. Book your free class and start your journey now

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