Ever noticed how your academy is always bustling with fresh-faced white belts, all pumped up to learn BJJ, only for their numbers to drop off over time? You're left wondering - why do so many beginners quit?

The road from a white belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is like scaling an enormous mountain. It's steep and full of obstacles that test your strength and resolve. However, it doesn't have to be as daunting a task.

So... Why do white belts quit BJJ?

This question has been plaguing martial arts communities worldwide. After countless hours on mats, interviewing coaches, practitioners and quitters alike; we think we've found some answers.

Let's dig into the main reasons that are making these passionate beginners hang up their BJJ gi before they even get a glimpse of blue belt.

The belt system in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu serves as a constant reminder of your progress. As you advance from one belt to the next, you can look back and see how far you've come. The journey of self-improvement is made evident through the hard work and dedication invested in achieving each belt level.

Each belt level comes with its own set of challenges and requirements. As you work towards the next belt, you'll need to demonstrate proficiency in various techniques, show good sportsmanship, and develop a deeper understanding of the art.

But the belt system isn't just about recognition and progression. The belt system also creates a sense of unity and connection among practitioners in the BJJ community. Your training partners and instructors are there to support you on your journey, and the belt system provides a common language and framework for everyone to understand each other's skill levels.

Remember that the belt system is an invaluable asset as you progress through your BJJ journey, regardless of whether you are a beginner white belt or a veteran black belt. Embrace the challenges, stay committed, and enjoy the ride.

Why Do White Belts Quit BJJ?

The initiation of one's Brazilian Jiu Jitsu experience begins with the white belt. But why do some folks quit before reaching the next level? The answer lies in several factors, from difficulty and consistency to commitment.

Time Commitment and Consistency in BJJ Training

First off, training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu requires dedication. Attending a class or two a week isn't enough; it's essential to stay consistent with your training. A regular training schedule helps improve skills and makes progress more visible.

But let’s face it: Not everyone can make this kind of time commitment due to family commitments or other responsibilities. So when they hit plateaus or feel their progress slow down, frustration sets in which may cause them to quit jiu jitsu prematurely.

Besides that, individuals start BJJ for different reasons - self-defense, fitness improvement or even making new friends through a team sport like martial arts where intensity level varies greatly between participants. This individual journey means setting goals becomes an essential but often neglected aspect among many beginners, causing them to feel discouraged and eventually leading towards quitting jiu jitsu entirely.

Mental and Physical Plateaus

Moving forward, knowledge plays an important role too. Understanding basic techniques is one thing, but applying these moves against resisting opponents is another ball game altogether.

Hitting a plateau isn't exclusive only for white belts; practitioners of all belt levels experience this too, yet they stick around because unlike most white belts who give up after hitting the first few roadblocks due to a lack of adequate understanding of the mechanics behind every move, thereby affecting their overall performance during sparring sessions, pushing them closer to the edge of abandoning the art completely instead of persevering and overcoming the hurdles ahead, learning the deeper meaning of jiu jitsu beyond a simple victory or defeat scenario.

The Wrong Environment

The spirit of camaraderie can significantly sway a person's choice to stick with or abandon BJJ. Creating a culture of healthy competition and mutual respect among training partners is a large reason why martial arts like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is as popular as it is. If a supportive and respectful environment is absent, this could be the primary cause of people leaving BJJ.

This is why finding the right academy is such a huge part of your success.

How Can White Belts Continue Their BJJ Training?

BJJ White Belt Competition

As a white belt, continuing one's BJJ training may seem daunting; however, with the right attitude and strategies in place, significant progress can be made. Here are some helpful strategies to assist you in keeping dedicated to your BJJ practice.

The Importance of Accepting Inexperience and Asking Questions

As beginners in this martial art, it's essential for BJJ white belts to accept their lack of experience. Don't let the fear of appearing clueless deter you from asking questions. Remember that every black belt was once a beginner too.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu requires patience and persistence - progress may be slow at times, but don’t feel discouraged. It’s an individual journey where hitting plateaus is part of the learning process, for everyone.

Making excuses won't get us anywhere in our BJJ training; instead, ask questions about techniques or drills if they're unclear. Your professors and other upper belts in your academy should be there to assist - use them as resources. A successful Jiu Jitsu practitioner, after all, learns by seeking knowledge actively rather than waiting for it passively.

Setting Realistic Goals

The reason people often quit Jiu Jitsu is due to setting unrealistic goals for themselves. BJJ white belts need to remember: progress doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, effort, and consistency. Also don't focus on the progress of others, everyone progresses at a difference pace. 

It takes the average practitioner 13-15 years to become a black belt in Jiu Jitsu, if you're in it for the long haul does it really matter if you're a white belt for 12 months or 36 months? Sometimes its best to enter the next belt level over prepared rather than under prepared.

Focus on mastering the basics first. It's all about consistency, patience, and practice to truly excel in this discipline.


So, why do white belts quit BJJ? It's a mix of the daunting journey from white to black belt, time commitment issues, and lack of knowledge. However, by accepting inexperience and focusing on consistent training, they can keep going.

Acknowledge that you're starting out - it's okay not to know everything yet. Seize each opening to gain knowledge; don't be timid about asking questions or seeking advice from others.

Maintain consistency in your training routine but also listen to your body when it needs rest. Don't let setbacks dishearten you; remember each plateau is just another stepping stone towards progress.

In the end, remember this. A black belt is just a white belt that didn't quit.

November 06, 2023