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BJJ Belt Ranks: Kids Ranking System

BJJ Belt Ranks

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Jiu-jitsu is an excellent sport to get your kid signed up for now! Not only is it great on the pockets concerning other sports they could be picking up but it is also something that will teach them valuable lifelong lessons. In BJJ there is a ranking system, while a kid is under the age of 16 they will adhere to the system that we talk about in this article! Just like regular BJJ belt ranks, there are five levels your kid can reach while training in the sport under the age of 16!

how many belts


There are two divisions within jiu-jitsu: the kids and the adults. It makes sense to separate the two because the strength output from these two demographics is completely different. You will stay in the kid’s division as long as you are under the age of 16.

It is important to note that every coach is going to be different in the way they promote their students. Some will progress faster than others just due to the philosophy that the coaches have around promotions. If your child trains jiu-jitsu, which is something we highly recommend, to begin with, make sure they are focused on their progress with the art rather than the belt around their waist.

Here are the belts that kids can receive in their time training jiu-jitsu:

  • White Belt

  • Gray Belt

  • Yellow Belt

  • Orange Belt

  • Green Belt

official belt ranking system

You will notice that in each rank there are sub-categories that can be achieved. Most coaches will keep the same color belt and just stripe the belt that they are currently training in. After breaking the yellow belt, a child that is training in jiu-jitsu will be most likely to receive a blue belt upon turning the age of 16. Kids usually only get their blue belt when they turn 16 no matter how high they reach within the kid’s system, in some rare instances you will see a kid get promoted to purple belt.

Benefits of Kids Doing Jiu Jitsu

The benefits of doing jiu Jitsu for adults run deep, to begin with, but if you are looking to get your kid into a sport maybe jiu-jitsu could be a great idea! Not only is it relatively cheap to do compared to other sports like baseball, volleyball, basketball, or soccer but your kids will pick up excellent life skills at a very young age!

benefits for kids


A discipline is taught through the repetition of techniques. To get good at jiu-jitsu and to win competitions, one must have the discipline in place to learn new moves, counter opposing moves, and stay in favorable positions. Discipline is something most adults lack, to begin with.

Self Defense

The world is growing increasingly dangerous as the days go on. Now more than ever it is extremely important to be able to protect yourself in bad situations. Jiu-jitsu was designed for just this. Whether it is a bully or just a physical altercation that arises, jiu-jitsu is an excellent form of self-defense that will leave your kids feeling more confident to handle.

Self Reliance

Jiu-jitsu is a one-on-one sport and because of that, you will have to learn how to rely on yourself and your abilities. Again, this a trait that most adults do not possess, learning this at a young age will only make kids have a better and brighter future. The sooner they can learn this skill the better!

In this article, we broke down the kid’s belt systems in BJJ. We truly believe in the power that jiu-jitsu can have over someone’s life! It is an excellent tool that can be used to be an exceptional human being in all aspects of life.

The Five Main BJJ Belt Ranks for adults

The jiu-jitsu belt system for adults is one that most people are common with. The system consists of these five belts:

  1. White Belt

  2. Blue Belt

  3. Purple Belt

  4. Brown Belt

  5. Black Belt

White Belt

As a BJJ white belt, you are learning the most. It is the stage where most of your major fuck-ups will happen. It’s aimed at creating a framework for the future knowledge that you will learn while taking on Brazilian jiu-jitsu. White belts learn basic techniques and do their best to just survive at this stage.

As a white belt, you should just be a sponge for knowledge. The majority of your time and effort will be spent on learning techniques and learning how to get out of bad positions you find yourself in while rolling.

official ranking system

Blue Belt

Students at the Blue Belt level will have a strong idea of how they should attack. A student with the coveted blue belt can use good defensive tactics and can escape major positions with ease in most cases.

At this stage, you would still be considered a beginner in some respect but chances are you’re still making fundamental errors, but you’re keeping enough knowledge to take the right steps. As the blue belt, you realize skills are missing or crucial techniques that need cleaning up. When a blue belt is achieved, the ability to increase independence and confidence will grow.

bjj blue belt

The blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the belt that you will spend the majority of your time at. At a minimum expect 2 years as a blue belt but in some cases, the grind up to a purple belt can take an added 4 more years. Getting to the Purple belt is a serious accomplishment because by this time majority of people have given up on getting to this point.

Athletes over the age of 16 years old can receive this belt. If an athlete is under 16 they will just progress within the realm of the kids ranking system.

white and blue belts - blue belt

Beware of the Blue Belt Blues!

Due to the nature of the sport of jiu-jitsu and the fact that it is so hard to rank up, most people will make it their biggest goal to accomplish getting a blue belt. What happens when people achieve a huge goal that they set out to achieve? Well, sometimes they slip into a slump or even go a complete 180 and lose interest entirely. This is what the blue belt blues are.

In your journey through the sport, you will have many ups and downs and for a good number of people, their first real test is at the blue belt stage. The “blues” is a term that signifies feeling uninterested, down, and to a degree depressed about something. It usually occurs when something that we have been focusing on actually materializes. After we accomplish a big goal and the grind is “over”, no matter how great it was, we often are left with a feeling of emptiness.

When you apply the term “blues” to jiu-jitsu it is easy to guess what is going on. The blue belt blues is not something to be dreading and most people will experience it. The blue belt stage is the most important stage you will go through in your journey through jiu-jitsu and also happens to be the longest.

Most people will find themselves at this stage for at least a year and a half up to three years.

purple belt bjj - bjj belt ranks

Purple Belt

The purple belt is the stage at which you start to show real competence. Most people will tell you it is a sign that you are on your way to mastering this martial art. By this time, you have spent at least 6 years training and brand-new white belts will look at you for guidance.

If you make it here, your path to getting to the black belt is clear as day. You’re right around the corner from the biggest accomplishment you can get within this martial art. Do not give up and be sure to take care of your body so you do not have any major setbacks along the way.

The youngest you can be to possess this belt is 18 years old.

brown belt bjj - bjj belt ranks

Brown Belt

Currently, the IBJJF requires practitioners to spend twelve months with a purple belt before they can get promoted to a brown belt. You can check the timeline for the belt system on their website (source). The youngest you can be to possess this belt is 18 years old.

Competing with a brown belt can be intimidating because this position is one in which IBFJJF allows movements such as hooks, reaps, or knee bars.

Black Belt

The black belt is the last stage of the Jiu-jitsu ranking system. At this stage you are considered a master of your craft in many ways but may not feel like it at times. Even when you reach this stage there are still many things to look forward to.

Chances are, if you make it here, you have shown to those around you the type of person you are. We have spoken to many black belts and they tell us the world opened up to them when they got this rank. They pass on wisdom to lower belts (like ourselves) saying things like belts do not matter, what matters is that you proved that you could show up for yourself and completely change who you are as a human.

black belt bjj belt - bjj black belts

What lies beyond black belt?

After receiving the black belt there are degrees that a black belt will receive. The Red and Coral belts are real, and IBJJF recognizes them. This class is called “grandmaster”, there are currently only 19 IBJAJF red belts and most belong to the Gracie family. Yvonne Duarte made history and received the coveted red belt at the start of August 2021 (source).

Here is How Black Belt Degrees Work

First Degree Black Belt – Earned after 3 years of proven activity in Black Belt

Second Degree Black Belt – Earned after 3 years in the First Degree stage or spending 6 years as a black belt

Third Degree Black Belt – Earned after 3 years in the Second Degree stage or 9 years as a black belt

Fourth Degree Black Belt – Earned after 5 years in the Third Degree stage or 14 years as a black belt

Fifth Degree Black Belt – Earned after 5 years in the Fourth Degree stage or 19 years as a black belt

Sixth Degree Black Belt – Earned after 5 years in the Fifth Degree stage or 24 years as a black belt

As a black belt, the last degree you can get is the 6th degree. When you reach this stage you will be presented a whole new belt known as the coral belt or red belt. Getting to a BJJ black belt is enough of an accomplishment already, the number of people that will make it to this stage is so few and far between. As a red belt, you are still considered a black belt. The highest-ranking color belt you can receive is the tenth-degree black belt (signified as a red belt).

black belt degrees - bjj belt ranks bjj belt system

Keep showing up

That’s 80% of life and is a good place to practice this is within the martial art of Jiu Jitsu. This is just one of the reasons why we firmly believe that jiu-jitsu is a powerful tool for self-improvement. The progression through the system engrains principles in your life that will mold you into a leader amongst your peers.

Keep showing up and putting in the work. Whatever you want in life is going to take a massive amount of time and effort to accomplish anyways. One step at a time you are becoming the best version of yourself through this martial art. If you can continue to find a way to show up and get 1% better in martial arts we do not doubt in our mind that you will be able to apply the same skill in your daily life.

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