A BJJ blue-belt is a white-belt who…

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Faixas-azuis na academia de Jiu-Jitsu de Marcelinho Garcia, em NY. Foto: John "Ric" Ricard

Blue-belts at Marcelinho Garcia’s academy in New York. John “Ric” Ricard

In BJJ, as a wise man once said, it’s not the student who receives the belt; it’s the belt that receives the student. A graduation takes place naturally, like a prize for one’s effort, dedication and attitude. Herein lies the democratic beauty of Brazilian jiu-jitsu: it is the teacher, and only the teacher, who knows whether the student deserves the “promotion.”

And what changes from one stage to the next? For example, what differentiates a blue-belt from a white-belt? Is it just technique and experience? Or is there something more substantial and subjective separating them?

In search of definitions for this noble and populous class of BJJ blue-belts, today Graciemag reminds you that deep down, a blue-belt is just a white-belt who…

… came back the next day.

learned to glue their hips on the mat.

… always makes a move with a plan-B up their sleeve.

doesn’t lose the armbar from the mount every time, for they know to weigh down the leg.

… arrives early to train.

… doesn’t tap out saying, “Whew, I’m exhausted.”

… has understood the concept of the main positions, and doesn’t just repeat what is shown like a robot.

… moves all parts of their body in harmony, and doesn’t forget to use their legs when they use their arms.

… studies BJJ outside the gym, with a little help from Graciemag.

… gives their teacher more pride than work.

You think a blue-belt is a white-belt who has learned what? Let us know below.

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