The road to purple must be a bit lonely and long...At judo over the past 2 years we have had at least 5 bjj blue belts come to train with us. From what I gather it is just to get out of that plateau.
I don't have any delusions of grandeur about one day being the very best (a la Ash Ketchum). Settling into my blue has really changed the way I train, and what I look for when rolling. I used to have white belt syndrome BAD, where I was always looking for the tap, regardless of how shittily I got there. It's only just now connecting that I need to put that level of rigor into every aspect of my game, be it hunting a sweep, a hook, or even just defending from a bad position. It is nice to see exactly how little I know, and to have something new to refine.
Originally Posted by David Koresh Jr.
You have already made one of the biggest productive adjustments a beginning to intermediate grappler can make.
Originally Posted by rangerdavy
Don't just work on submissions, or your strongest positions, work on everything, especially your weaknesses.
As pointed out, injuries are a big factor. Most of my injuries and the injuries I've seen from others happen at the lower levels. This also goes to ego as the ego tends to contribute to injuries (i.e. you got caught by a lower belt and don't want to tap until it's too late or decided to continue rolling with someone who obviously doesn't have your personal safety in mind, etc). I've experienced most of my training reducing injuries in the lower belt ranks (white, blue, beginning purple) but have dealt with less at the high purple/brown level (knock on wood). It could be due to getting better at avoiding problematic situations due to an increase of skill and decrease in ego.
Interesting enough, however, is that a either broke or dislocated the tip of my finger at the knuckle competing today. Sometimes, freak injuries will happen. In this case (which, at some of the lower experience levels I wouldn't have done), I decided to use better judgment forfeit my second match. Sucks for me and the guy who didn't get his second match because of it but at least I will be able train instead of trying to have my fingertip surgically reattached due to my ego.
I recently talked to my instructor about this. One thing that can happen is people overdevelop a certain area of their game and they kill with it. They may even overdevelop it to the point they are tapping out those higher ranking/more experienced. However, because of that success they will stay within that comfort zone and not do or work anything else. They tend to develop that area and nothing else, causing their other areas to weaken, almost atrophy, so to speak.
Originally Posted by jnp
When others become better at dealing with that overdeveloped skillet and find ways to overcome it, it can seem like a game-changer. Now their go-to stuff doesn't work as well with someone or a few people. Others begin to catch on and develop defenses. The problem then becomes those areas that are atrophied and weakened. Those areas are probably areas that others are good or at least ok/decent at exploiting. Because those areas are so weak for this particular person, even mildly experienced practitioners, once they are able to deal with the overdeveloped area can readily exploit the weak area.
When you are tapping more experienced/higher ranked people and then all of a sudden, you are getting caught by those you feel shouldn't be able to touch you (again, ego) that can have a negative impact on your training. With some people, the tap and not getting getting tapped king. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity to grow and develop, some loose interest and quit. Around the blue/transitioning phase to purple (for guys) is about the time that tends to happen. That's about the time you are almost forced (due to competitive forces) to round out your game or face a plateau.
I guess I just have a different perspective on this. I find it perfectly understandable and reasonable the vast majority of people won't get past blue belt.
Even at my McDojoish karate school, chances of someone who signs up eventually getting a black belt (4-5 years) is around 1%.
A main reason if this it is difficult to devote 5 years of your life to anything, let alone 10 or more.
People change jobs on average every 3.5 years and the median length of a first marriage is 11.
Although blue is only the first belt ranking in BJJ, it is also significant accomplishment. I would guess that most blues from a credible school can out grapple at least 90% of the general population. For some people that's enough.