Reader Question: Now that I’ve got my blue belt, should I train any different techniques?
Jiu-Jitsu Times: A new blue belt was asking more specifically about competition legal techniques. Is there a whole new world of legal submissions open now that one has some color around one’s waist?
In looking at the official IBJJF rule book (every serious competitor should review it before a big competition), there are few differences between techniques that were illegal at white belt and are now legal at blue belt.
The straight foot lock is legal at white belt so nothing changes there. The minor difference in the foul for head outside single is unlikely to significantly impact your game.
I was surprised to learn that wrist locks have now become legal for blue belts. Former aikidoka rejoice! Does the new blue belt need to focus intensely on wrist locks now? Probably not. An increased awareness of wrist locks is likely more relevant to ones training.
Perhaps one of my instructors put it most simply: “At the end of every arm and shoulder lock there is a wrist lock.” Think about the omoplata, straight arm lock from the mount, kimura, and so on. Useful for grip breaking also.
More significantly, at brown belt (formerly purple belt) knee bars are legal in IBJJF competitions. Toe holds also only become legal at brown belt.
Many leg lock fans believe that students need not only train sport competition legal techniques for their belt rank, but all of the leg locks.
Sure, you can’t use them in IBJJF tournaments, but you can and should be familiar with the positions all through your training.
In theory, if you don’t start training knee bars until you are a brown belt, you will be a brown belt with white belt level knee bar attacks and defenses.
How much do the rules of IBJJF competition influence your training?
Does anything go or does your school adhere closely to the IBJJF rules in training for the different belts?