What is the Blue Belt Blues?
The Blue Belt Blues is a term commonly used for people that lose motivation to train Jiu-Jitsu, this usually happens after that person gets a Blue Belt.
However I would rather call it the BJJ Blues, believe it or not, it will get you more than once during your Jiu Jitsu journey.
After fighting it myself (a few times), and having the chance to speak to multiple high-level black belts about it, I have a few useful tips to help you fight the Blue Belt Blues.
Is there a Cure?
The first thing to consider is that the “Blue Belt Blues” Syndrome happens, commonly when we accomplish a big goal and we see the next one too far away or it is unclear.
The progress seems to slow down and you have the pressure to “perform”
In many cases, obtaining the next color belt is the motivation, and after blue, this might seem like an impossible journey.
If you think about it, this happens to everyone in different areas of life. Losing motivation is human and it can happen very easily.
1. Remember why you started doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Whether you are not enjoying training, your gym’s energy or you just don’t feel like going today, remind yourself why you started in the first place and why you enjoyed it.
2. Take one day at a time
While listening to Keenan Cornelius in a seminar a few weeks ago, his answer to the question, how often do you train? resonated a lot with my current mindset.
(Paraphrasing) […] when I was younger I used to train a lot more, but I don’t think it is smart to train as often as I used to, I use my time differently and try to do some other activities instead.
Basically taking a break sometimes and doing something else, will allow your body and mind to heal.
3. Take a Break
From White Belt to 1 year into my Purple Belt, I rarely skipped training, sometimes training twice or 3 times a day, competing in every possible tournament and rolling as much as I could. I was, of course, a student,
Suddenly reality hits and you have to go on business trips and skip training for weeks at a time!
This was a blessing in disguise! Sometimes skipping class (voluntarily or involuntarily) will allow you to rethink and reset your BJJ goals allowing you to come back even more motivated!
4. Understand your peaks and valleys
During your BJJ Journey, you will experience peaks in which you will feel unstoppable and valleys in which the new guy will tap you 45 times.
And it is OK! Even the best athletes have these, the difference is that they never quit, they are able to recognize what they are having trouble with and fix it.
As a matter of fact, the best BJJ Fighters obsess with their flaws until they are able to overcome those difficulties, they innovate and modify their game when they face a wall usually after defeat.
So… DO NOT QUIT!
5. Do something else!
Related or unrelated to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, doing another “extracurricular” activity will give you the chance to diversify your time and make those valley times in jiu-jitsu more enjoyable.
Instead of getting frustrated with one activity, try MMA, a boxing class or my new favorite Go Surfing! You will learn something fresh and new, and it could even help you with your BJJ skills, maybe you are acquiring more strength, condition, equilibrium or learning skills.
Do you have any other tips that could help others go through their BJJ Blues?
Write them in the comments Below! and don’t forget to share.