Just like in your favorite video game the sport of jiu-jitsu allows you to level up. Your real-life avatar that has a job, responsibilities, and needs also has the opportunity to showcase that you are defeating bosses and getting one step closer to level 99. And who said we don’t live in a simulation? In this article, we break down the belt rankings in jiu-jitsu and how long you will typically be there.
Belt Rankings in Jiu Jitsu
Jiu Jitsu is a sport with an internal hierarchy, each belt represents something different and showcases someone’s level of expertise with techniques. Each belt has an internal system within it called stripes, so while being a white belt you will earn stripes as you progress through the rank. It takes 4 stripes within a color to move you to the next rank so each stripe you earn gets you one step closer to the end goal. The amount of time you spend at each level depends on your coach, personal potential, and how often you are training.
White Belt (Year 0 – Year 2)
Being a white belt is the beginning stage of a long journey within jiu-jitsu. A lot of learning takes place across the entire journey to black belt but probably the most intense lessons are learned here at this level. Being a 4 stripe belt shows to others that you are on the cusp of being a blue belt and have pretty much mastered the level.
Blue Belt (Year 2 – Year 4)
Having a blue belt represents that you are in the beginning stages of moving towards mastery. At this stage, you are developing and solidifying your own game.
Purple Belt (Year 4 – Year 5)
We love purple belts within our gym. They are teachers of the academy and rolling with them gives you great insights into what you need to improve on. At our gym, it is not a big deal when a lower belt asks a higher belt to roll but be sure to check the room within your studio.
Brown Belt (Year 5 – Year 7)
Brown belts can and will whoop ass on pretty much anybody. They are the closest individuals to becoming black belts and have the knowledge or expertise to run their own academy/teach their own lessons. We don’t see very many brown belts around but when we do we know they are savages.
Black Belt (Year 7 – Year 10)
Black belts are leaders. Everything revolves around them and the community thrives off of their knowledge and expertise. They are usually the ones running classes and the academy as a whole.
The belt promotion system is unique within jiu-jitsu. The belts are not handed out like candy and coaches take these promotions very seriously. Each level hosts a new set of responsibilities and can only be achieved through time and dedication to the sport.