Training in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) can be extremely tough and when you are still walking around with a white belt it may feel like the only thing that ever happens is other people throwing you. Many people feel the wonder of being a master BJJ practitioner drop off after a few months of constant training, or it may just be that you are getting too busy and need to cut something out of your life.
It is completely normal to consider quitting BJJ, with many people quitting BJJ much earlier than you expect. Many times, it is the wonder of the first few training sessions wearing off and people not caring to continue. Sometimes it is their determination that fails, leaving people unable to continue in a sport that can be extremely punishing at times.
There are many reasons why people would quit, and some of them are entirely understandable, while there are others that should be focused on. Many people quite BJJ once they reach a certain belt, sometimes people that quit come back many years later, knowing what the signs are and what you need to do to continue BJJ is important to your training.
These are the facts you need to know about BJJ and why people are quitting or staying on!
What Belt Is Normal For People To Drop Out At?
If you walk through a BJJ gym you may see many types of belt colors, with certain colors being a lot more prevalent than you could imagine. However, you will join with a bunch of other white belt BJJ lovers, and you will all experience different rates of growth. It may take you twice as long to earn your stripes than a friend.
Making it more confusing when you keep going and suddenly start noticing that the crowd that was ahead of you has suddenly disappeared. On average the belt that people drop out of with BJJ is once they reach the blue belt, the first belt that shows you are not completely a rookie.
It has been postulated that this is because people simply do not want to be a rookie in something, and reaching a blue belt is much easier than any of the other belts.
Many people mistakenly think that once they reached the blue belt, they have some semblance of mastery, like receiving the belt suddenly increases their skills the same way it would in a game.
However, it is the increased uphill battle they face that causes many people to drop out and pursue other methods of becoming stronger.
Why Do People Drop Out Of BJJ?
The list of reasons people drop out of BJJ is long and complicated, and we’ve already talked about why rookies with blue and white belts choose to drop out. Knowing this, it is important to know the legitimate reasons that people drop out of BJJ, as these can be the same reasons that you drop out of the sport.
The biggest reason for those with purple belts and above to drop out is because of family reasons, or professional work reasons. As life goes on these people usually have to find a way to divide their time and dropping out of BJJ usually gives them several hours of extra time daily. The other reason is usually a severe injury, which can cause difficulties when practicing the throes and rolls involved in BJJ.
However, there is a big difference between these people that drop out and those that drop out because they have reached a level that they consider good enough.
These people usually end up moving back into the sport many years later, usually when their lives have become a bit more stable and they can safely enjoy their passion for BJJ.
How Can You Overcome The Temptation Of Quitting At Blue Belt?
Most, if not all, BJJ practitioners have the urge to quit BJJ once they reach the blue belt, the grind, the fights, the throws all cause people to feel disheartened. Some of the best BJJ masters in the world have said they felt the same temptation. It will hit you, knowing how to overcome this temptation is important and will allow you to grow as a person as well.
The simple answer is by persisting, even when it feels like a slog to get up and go practice, even when you see someone that entered blue belt before you get promoted, and even when you are submitted for the fifth time in 5 minutes.
You need to keep going because this drop in motivation you are feeling now is simply the drop off from your first bursts of excitement.
Anyone can be motivated to climb the tallest mountain on earth; however, it is your determination that keeps you going even when every fiber of your body and will have given up that makes you different.
There is almost no other thing that will make you keep going, not even your friends dragging you to class every day when you have lost your determination.
What Are The Five Most Important Things To Remember?
These things are what you will need to keep repeating to yourself when you are sitting on your couch arguing with yourself to go when you are trying to learn a new throw, or even when you are lying in bed late at night rethinking life. These five points they’re guidelines for becoming a BJJ master, but also a good way to live your life.
- Training: Go to your training sessions, even if you manage to only get there and barely absorb anything. If you want to do this, you need to train every few days against other people.
- Practice: It’s an adage but it rings true to everything a human can do on this green earth. Practice makes perfect, even if you are learning throws with a dummy, you will find your determination strengthened by the mere fact you spent so much time learning a new technique.
- Determination: Your determination defines what and who you are more than anything else if you can push through the regrets, the doubts, and the fears, you’ll always come through to the other end. Just remember, determination doesn’t have to be a big sweeping gesture, just the act of taking the next step can show your determination.
- Talking: It’s important to remember to talk to other BJJ trainees and your fellow BJJ practitioners, this will put into perspective many of the worries and stresses you may have about continuing. They will be able to help you stay determined and if you have friends at the BJJ gym you will enjoy going there a lot more.
- Surviving: The key to becoming good at anything is surviving the initial challenge of not being able to do everything at once. BJJ is a bit more tough owing to your body being thrown around like a rag doll most of the time when you are still learning, if you can survive the first few months or years, then you will find yourself already miles ahead of the rest.
When Should People Think About Their Future Of Staying With BJJ?
Even with all of this, it can be hard to stay with BJJ and if you consider all the things you have felt up until now and are still thinking of quitting then you may need to think a bit more. Knowing when to stop doing something is just as important as knowing when to stay determined and keep going.
You need to think about your future with BJJ when you are truly not enjoying it if you find yourself regretting going to a session almost every time, and you dread the thought of going then it may be time to reconsider.
The reasons for these feelings can be because you really may not enjoy the sport, or you have simply found something else that you may enjoy a lot more.
You should not feel guilty about enjoying something everyone says you should be enjoying, when you have tried other sports and come back to BJJ you will find that the sport will happily welcome you back.
If you are considering quitting BJJ it is important to remember that everyone considers it at least once in their BJJ career. You must just ensure you know everything behind the reasons for these feelings than anything else, it may only be a temporary slump in your feelings.
Whatever you do, don’t quit BJJ because all your friends are telling you that some other sport is better, usually, you only end up being swept away in fads. These are the people that do everything but never learn anything!