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Blue Belt Requirements 2.0

11 years ago Roy Dean released a DVD entitled Blue Belt Requirements. I manned the camera and our good friend TJ would appear on screen. This video would become wildly popular, putting Roy on the map as a rising star in the BJJ world. No one had yet codified on an instructional video what is required to become a blue belt, so it quickly became a cornerstone in many a white belt’s journey. During the ensuring years we would join forces to produce half a dozen other DVDs. All of them would become very popular, but the king of them all to this day has continued to be Blue Belt Requirements.

Despite the long-lasting popularity of BBR, it was looking pretty dated. We filmed it in 4:3 aspect ratio in standard definition, as wide screen high def wasn’t ubiquitous yet. We also weren’t particularly good filmmakers. The production, camera work, and ancillary material on newer DVDs would be decidedly better. So a few months ago Roy announced that it was time to revamp the old title. A couple weeks ago we got together to film it at Third Way BJJ.

For me this project was particularly enjoyable because it revealed how much Roy has evolved as a teacher. When we filmed the original one, although Roy was already a superb instructor, he had only been a black belt for about a year. Now, 11 years later, he has taught these techniques hundreds of times to literally thousands of people. I noticed many subtile differences in the way these techniques were presented. As good as the original was, there is now a maturity in the details. I also found it rewarding that Roy leaned on my own knowledge to help him refine certain positions and techniques. Over the years we’ve each been on our own separate BJJ journeys, so in some ways I’m no longer purely his student.

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