There is a lot of talk about BJJ being so tough both physically and mentally and how so many white belts quit. While I don’t buy into the idea of BJJ being so much tougher than other sports it is a fact that many beginners quit.
Why Do White Belts Quit BJJ?
White belts quit BJJ because they find the sport isn’t for them, the membership becomes unaffordable, getting to the gym is no longer convenient, forced to focus on other areas of life such as family and career or they find another hobby.
It may be cool to think BJJ is such a badass sport that only the toughest and strongest can handle it but don’t believe the Jiu Jitsu marketing, the truth is a little more boring.
Most white belts quit BJJ because they find the sport isn’t enjoyable. They try it out sometimes once, sometimes for months, and come to the conclusion that it’s boring, not interesting, and their time is better spent elsewhere.
It’s not because they are weak or soft and can’t handle the so called intensity of BJJ. I mean who hasn’t tried out different hobbies over the years only to quit them. I didn’t stop playing tennis because I couldn’t handle the brutal nature of the sport I just decided to focus more on grappling because I found it more enjoyable.
The cost of BJJ is also a big factor that has led to the demise of many white belts. Coughing up $150 to $200 every month to train is not easy for many.
When people are looking to save money and reduce their expenses hobbies are usually the first thing people start scaling back on. Quitting BJJ and having an extra $200 a month in your pocket can make the lives of many much easier.
People who enjoy martial arts and fighting sports but are on a budget will often look for cheaper alternatives to BJJ such as Judo, boxing, wrestling, or Muay Thai. People can find clubs that specialize in these martial arts for $50 to $70 per month.
The commute is a major reason white belts give up BJJ. Not everyone is lucky enough to live within a short and easy commute to their gym. Many white belts may start off living close to a BJJ gym but when they move it becomes impractical for them to keep training.
Other white belts may live far away from a gym and at first be super fired up to train that they are willing to endure a 60 minute commute but after their initial enthusiasm wanes the trip is just not something they can justify.
Life can often get in the way and lead to many white belts hanging up their Gis for good. You often see white belts who have gotten a full time job or recently had kids go AWOL and never return to the gym. When life gets busy it is normal for people to quit their hobbies.
For many BJJ is just one of many hobbies they do. So often when their time gets stretched thin they will be forced to sacrifice at least some of their hobbies. BJJ is invariably one that gets cut.
One of the biggest reasons white belts leave Jiu Jitsu is simply because they find another hobby. It is very common for people to pick a new hobby, experience a wave of enthusiasm, and be super into it for a while, and then as the months go by they start losing interest, and then finally after 6 months or a year they no longer enjoy it and quit.
They then move onto their next hobby and repeat the same process. For many BJJ is just another hobby that they try and enjoy for a brief period of time.
I’m a big believer in Occam’s Razor which states when you are looking for the answer to a question you should choose the simplest solution. When looking at the reason why white belts quit Jiu Jitsu we shouldn’t try and find some intricate answer and believe that it’s BJJ’s unique attributes that create a high dropout rate but rather go for the most basic answer.
White belts quit BJJ because they find the sport is not enjoyable or they become bored of it. Other factors such as price, amount of free time, and commute time can influence their decision but at its base whether or not a white belt quits Jiu Jitsu comes down to how much they enjoy the sport.