Why Do So Many White Belts Quit BJJ? [Opinions]

If you’re familiar with Brazilian jiu jitsu, you’ve probably noticed that white belts, the beginners of the art, often face a high dropout rate. It’s not uncommon to see enthusiastic individuals start their BJJ journey, only to quit before progressing further.

But why does this phenomenon occur?

In this article, we will delve into the reasons behind the frequent dropouts among white belts in BJJ. We’ll explore available data, and opinions from Reddit and forums, and provide insights into the experiences of practitioners.

So, let’s dive in!

At What Belt Do Most People Quit BJJ?

When examining the attrition rate in BJJ, it’s crucial to determine at which belt level most people decide to discontinue their training.

While the answer may vary slightly depending on different academies and individuals, white belt is widely recognized as the stage where the majority of practitioners quit.

The early stages of learning BJJ can be mentally and physically challenging, and many people may feel overwhelmed by the steep learning curve.

At What Belt Do Most People Quit BJJ Reddit Comments

Based on the Reddit comments, here are some points about the why and when people quit BJJ:

BeltMain Points
White BeltMany people quit within the first few months, especially after the first class or within the first 90 days. Lack of fitness/athleticism can be frustrating for some practitioners.
Blue BeltThe blue belt blues is a common phase where people may quit. After achieving blue belt, some individuals struggle with the self-expectation to perform better and compare themselves to higher belts.
Purple BeltThere is a drop-off at the purple belt level. Life responsibilities, injuries, and a long journey to reach higher belts can contribute to quitting. However, most people who reach purple belt eventually continue to black belt, but the drop-off is noticeable.

How Many People Quit BJJ at White Belt?

The number of individuals who quit BJJ during their white belt journey is significant.

While specific statistics may not be readily available, it’s safe to say that a notable portion of newcomers give up before advancing to higher belt levels. The reasons behind this phenomenon are multifaceted and require deeper exploration.

What Percentage of White Belts Make It to Blue Belt in BJJ?

BJJ Fanatics shares an opinion about this issue which, for sure, reflects the general opinion and experience of most practitioners in BJJ. Determining the precise number of white belts who discontinue their training in BJJ is challenging.

Roughly speaking, it can be estimated that only 3 out of every 10 white belts progress to the blue belt level. Consequently, it implies that more than 70% of white belts decide to discontinue their BJJ journey

This statistic is remarkable considering the fact that those who continue often express their admiration for the BJJ culture.

Why Do So Many White Belts Quit BJJ?

Understanding the reasons why white belts quit BJJ is crucial for both practitioners and instructors.

Let’s explore some common factors that contribute to this high dropout rate:

  1. Steep Learning Curve: Brazilian jiu jitsu is a complex martial art that demands time and effort to master. As a white belt, beginners face a daunting array of techniques and concepts, which can be overwhelming. Some individuals may struggle to cope with the initial challenges and feel discouraged, leading them to quit prematurely.
  2. Physical Demands: BJJ requires significant physical exertion, stamina, and flexibility. White belts may find themselves exhausted and sore after intense training sessions. These physical demands can be a deterrent for those who are not prepared for the physical toll it takes on the body.
  3. Injury Risk: BJJ is a contact sport, and injuries are not uncommon. White belts, still new to the techniques and movement patterns, may be more susceptible to injuries, especially if proper precautions and training techniques are not emphasized. These injuries can hinder progress and discourage individuals from continuing their BJJ journey.
  4. Lack of Immediate Progress: Progression in BJJ is not always linear, and it can take a significant amount of time before visible improvements are noticeable. White belts might feel frustrated by the slow pace of their advancement and lose motivation as a result.
  5. Lifestyle Conflicts: Committing to regular BJJ training can be challenging, particularly for individuals with demanding work schedules, family responsibilities, or other commitments. Balancing these various aspects of life can prove difficult, causing some white belts to prioritize other areas over their training.

How Many People Quit BJJ Before Blue Belt: Reddit and Forums Opinions

To gain further insights into the experiences of white belts and their decision to quit, let’s turn to the opinions shared on Reddit and various BJJ forums.

While these opinions may not represent the entire BJJ community, they provide valuable perspectives:

Main Points
BJJ is physically and emotionally demanding
Many people find it difficult to justify the cost of training
The BJJ community is seen as “weird” by some
Takedowns and being thrown can be mentally challenging
The lack of direction and clear progression in the belt system
Intense sparring sessions can be intimidating and lead to injuries
Other life commitments and family responsibilities
Lack of immediate progress and instant gratification
The dominant alpha culture in some BJJ schools
Lack of motivation and perseverance

How Long Do People Stay at White Belt?

The duration of one’s white belt journey in BJJ can vary significantly.

Some individuals may spend only a few months at the white belt level before advancing, while others might take several years.

The time it takes to progress depends on various factors, including training frequency, dedication, natural aptitude, and the promotion criteria set by the academy or instructor. It’s important to note that BJJ is a lifelong journey, and each practitioner progresses at their own pace.


The dropout rate among white belts in BJJ is a well-known phenomenon within the community.

The challenges faced during the early stages of learning, coupled with factors like physical demands, slow progress, and lifestyle conflicts, contribute to a significant number of individuals quitting before reaching blue belt.

However, it’s important to remember that BJJ is a journey that requires dedication, perseverance, and a genuine passion for the art.

By addressing the concerns that lead to dropout rates and fostering a supportive training environment, instructors and practitioners can work together to encourage more white belts to continue their BJJ journey, ultimately benefiting both the individual and the wider BJJ community.

White Belt Dropout Statistics in BJJ (Estimates)

Belt LevelDropout Percentage
White Belt70-80%
Blue Belt20-30%

Note: The statistics provided in the table are estimates based on personal community experiences and may not represent the entire BJJ population.

Remember, the journey to becoming a proficient practitioner in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu requires patience, perseverance, and a resilient mindset.

So, if you find yourself struggling as a white belt, don’t be disheartened. Keep training, seek guidance, and embrace the challenges along the way. With time and dedication, you’ll discover the true beauty of BJJ and reap the rewards of your efforts.

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