arrow-right cart chevron-down chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up close menu minus play plus search share user email pinterest facebook instagram snapchat tumblr twitter vimeo youtube subscribe dogecoin dwolla forbrugsforeningen litecoin amazon_payments american_express bitcoin cirrus discover fancy interac jcb master paypal stripe visa diners_club dankort maestro trash


The Blue Belt Test

The article provides valuable insights into what to expect during this pivotal milestone in our Jiu-Jitsu progression. Whether you're currently on the journey to your blue belt or reminiscing about your own experience, this read offers a reflective and informative perspective.
The Blue Belt Test

by JJB Admin

6 years ago

This article was written by Nicolas Gregoriades, who is a 3rd degree Jiu-Jitsu black Belt under Roger Gracie. Nic is an instructor at Subconscious Jiu Jitsu.

The blue belt is a major milestone on the jiu-jitsu path and represents a solid understanding of the art. When you wear the blue belt you are no longer, in the words of Kurt Osiander, ‘a retard’.

I’m not one of those sadistic instructors who think that you need to have trained for 14 years, licked the dojo mats after each session and won 26 MMA matches before you’re ready to receive your blue belt. On the other hand, I believe you need to do more than just ‘show up’.

Some of the big-name academies use an automated grading system. All a student needs to do is attend a specific number of classes per week on average, for a specific period of time (for blue belt it’s usually 12 months), and they are automatically queued to receive their belt at the next grading.

I’m not a huge fan of this approach as it seems a little clinical. Still, it has the benefit of providing a clearly defined timeline for progression which can be very motivating for beginners.

Based on my own experiences and interactions with fellow instructors, it seems that defined guidelines of any sort are both sought out and appreciated by students. As a result, I am often asked about tests and curriculums for each grade, especially the blue belt.

I don't give belt tests. I believe that if you're doing your job as an instructor properly you'll know the level of your students. This will be a result of both rolling with them and observing them. I’m also not big on the idea of curriculums. Jiu-jitsu is so dynamic that, in most cases, once a curriculum is finalized it’s already out of date.

All About the Fundamentals

But for the blue belt I’ve made an exception because to go from white to blue, I believe that the student should have a good grasp of the fundamentals. And the fundamentals never go out of style.

To me, a blue belt should:

  1. Have a holistic understanding of the art
  2. Have a broad (but not necessarily deep) range of techniques that cover the major positions
  3. Make an attempt to improve his/her general athleticism<
  4. Have a good knowledge of essential concepts
  5. Be very proficient in defence and escapes
  6. Be very proficient with the Side-Mount position (both offensively and defensively)

Taking these into consideration, I created a hypothetical test that can be (loosely) used as a curriculum for beginner students.

Keep in mind that this is merely a hypothetical test. I do not expect every white belt who is preparing for his promotion to blue to know and be able and execute everything in it. It is merely a guideline and should be taken as such.

The Blue Belt Test:


Answer the following questions:

  1. Where did jiu jitsu originate?
  2. What does the phrase ‘jiu-jitsu’ mean?
  3. What is the primary philosophy of the art?
  4. How did jiu jitsu arrive in Brazil?
  5. Explain the difference between Japanese and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.


Perform within 10 minutes:

  • 30 x Push-Ups
  • 50 x Bodyweight Squats
  • 30 x V-Ups
  • 100 Kettlebell Swings
  • 10 Pull Ups



  • Forward Shrimp
  • Backward Shrimp
  • Sprawl
  • Technical Stand-Up
  • Forwards Break-Fall
  • Backwards Break-Fall
  • Side Break-Fall
  • Sit-Out/Hip-Heist
  • Forwards roll
  • Backwards Roll



  • Breath control within a jiu-jitsu context
  • Positional Hierarchy
  • ‘Leverage’ within a jiu-jitsu context
  • The difference between a choke and strangle
  • The concept of ‘Base’
  • ‘Posture’ within a jiu-jitsu context
  • 1 x Concept relating to joint submissions
  • 1 x Concept relating to attacks on the neck
  • 1 x Concept relating to body movement within a jiu-jitsu context
  • The basics of jiu-jitsu self-defence theory
  • Kinesthetic Awareness and why it’s important in jiu-jitsu




  • Defence against Double Lapel-Grab
  • Defence against Standing Head-lock (2 Variations)
  • Defence against a Haymaker
  • Defence against the Choke from Behind

Throws and Takedowns


  • 2 x Takedown concepts


  • Guard-Pull
  • Double-Leg Takedown
  • Hip-Toss
  • Foot-Sweep
  • Osoto-Gari
  • Seo-Nagi
  • Any 2 takedowns from the kneeling-start (‘Combat-Base’) position



  • 2 x Concepts relating to control from Side-Mount


  • 2 x Transitions to Mount
  • 1 x Transition to the Back
  • 1 x Neck Attack
  • 2 x Joint Attacks



  • 2 x Concepts relating to control from Mount


  • 3 x Mount variations
  • 1 x Transition to the back
  • 2 x Neck attacks
  • 1 x Joint attack

Back Mount


  • 2 x Concepts relating to control from Back-Mount


  • 2 x Back-Mount variations
  • 3 x Neck attacks

North South


  • 1 x Neck attack
  • 1 x Joint attack

Closed Guard


  • 2 x Concepts relating to control from Closed-Guard


  • 2 x Sweeps
  • 1 x Back take
  • 2 x Joint attacks
  • 2 x Neck attacks



  • 1 x Concept relating to control from Half-Guard


  • 2 x Sweeps
  • 1 x Submission
  • 1 x Back take



  • 2 x Concepts relating to guard retention


  • 3 x Sweeps

Guard Passing


  • 2 x Guard-Passing concepts


  • 1 x Method for opening a closed-guard by standing
  • 1 x Method for opening a closed-guard from the knees
  • 2 x Standing passes
  • 2 x Kneeling passes
  • 1 x Straight Foot-Lock entry

Escapes & Defenses

  • 2 x Reversals from Side-Mount
  • 2 x Re-guards from Side-Mount
  • 1 x Escape to Turtle from Side-Mount escape
  • 2 x Escapes from Back Mount
  • 1 x Reversal from Mount
  • 2 x Re-guards from Mount
  • 1 x Straight Foot-Lock defence
  • 2 x Triangle-Choke escapes
  • 2 x Straight Arm-Lock defences
  • 1 x Guillotine defence



  • 2 x Concepts related to scrambling



  • 1 x 5 Minute ‘flow roll’
  • 3 x 5 Minute rounds with white belts of similar size, weight and age. He should be able to tap all of these white belts at least once during each round. He should not tap to these white belts.
  • 3 x 5 Minute rounds with blue belts of similar size, weight and age. He should not be tapped more than once per round.


If you enjoyed this video, then you may also enjoy our popular online video course 'BJJ Building Blocks' by 3rd-degree Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Roger Gracie, Nicolas Gregoriades.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

Shopping Cart