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BJJ Belt Timeline

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The BJJ belt system takes years of hard work and effort to advance through. Many athletes struggle to make it to blue belt let alone black belt!

Many white belts ponder how long it will take to make it through all the belt rankings. In this article we will b,e focusing on how long it takes to make it through the whole BJJ belt system.

Understand How to Move Up a Belt in Jiu-Jitsu

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Progressing in BJJ takes physical and mental strength. Learning new techniques and applying them during live rounds or tournaments can be very difficult, especially for beginners. Here are a few tips to move up in rank faster.

  1. Do not think of your next belt promotion:

    Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is about enjoying the experience of learning new skills and applying them during intense and stressful situations. When you are focusing on when your next belt promotion is going to be. You lose sight of what it means to practice BJJ. You are no longer rolling to have fun and progress, you are rolling to prove and earn something.

    This is when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu becomes dangerous not just for your mind, but for your partner’s body as well. Rolling with an ego at practice typically results in injury.

    Focus on enjoying your time on the mats and don’t stress about when you’re going to get that promotion to purple belt.

  2. Compete:

    Competing, no matter what belt you are, is an incredible way to fast-track your progression. If you are constantly winning tournaments at the white belt, your coach will most likely want to challenge you, moving you up a rank to the blue belt. If you are constantly winning those, it’s pretty obvious you deserve a purple. If you are a good student who is dominant on the mats, your coach will have no problem giving you a promotion to challenge you during competition.

  3. Stay consistent:

    Being consistent is essential in any combat sport. It is very difficult to go once every two weeks and excel. If you are looking to be promoted as soon as possible, come to as many practices as possible. Not only will this benefit your technique and confidence when competing, but it will also show your professor that you are putting time into the sport of Jiu-Jitsu. This is one of, if not the best way to get a promotion. Like everyone always says; consistency is key!

    1. Help out around the gym:

      Helping staff out of the kindness of your heart by cleaning the mats or sweeping the floors shows that you are a true martial artist. Jiu-Jitsu practitioners aren’t just good at what they do, but they are good in all aspects of life. Coaches aren’t just looking for jocks that destroy their competitors during competitions, they are looking for kind, intellectual individuals who are disciplined and show progression over time. If you are a killer on the mats, you stay consistent, and you are kind enough to help out around the gym, it won’t be long before you are getting your next promotion.

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BJJ Belt Timeline

Students are promoted through the following BJJ belt order

How long does it take to get to the black belt?

Getting your black belt is an incredible achievement in any martial art. It shows proper discipline and knowledge of the sport.

A white belt could be expected to earn their Black belt in an average of ten years. This may seem like quite a while to some, but to earn your black belt, you have to learn and perfect hundreds of techniques. Although the journey is long, the experience and memories you gain make it all worth it in the end.

The Stripes on Brazilian jiu-jitsu are rewarded for:

  • Time spent training

  • Jiu-jitsu knowledge

  • Behavior and attitude on the mat

  • Performance

White to Blue: The First Rank

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The leap between the white belt and the blue belt is one of the most important and difficult jumps you can make in the sport of BJJ. 90% of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu athletes quit before they accomplish this task. So why is it so hard to commit to the sport?

Like any other martial art, Jiu-Jitsu hurts. There are plenty of uncomfortable situations that many athletes are not okay with being in.

Along with that, BJJ is very difficult. The learning curve is exceptionally high and when you first start training as a white belt, you are going to get beat up.

But as you consistently show up, you will start tapping out other white belts, then blue belts, then purple belts, and eventually black belts!

The leap from White belt to blue belt typically takes an average of 2-3 years depending on age, consistency, and placement at tournaments.

White Belt Goals

As a white belt progressing up to your blue belt, you should be able to:

  • Podium at tournaments

  • Submit the majority of the white belts at your dojo

  • Know basic submission techniques

Blue to Purple:

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Going from your blue to purple belt gives many practitioners pride and confidence. It is important to keep that pride under control, many practitioners get humbled and end up losing motivation shortly after getting their purple belt.

Remember that there is a big difference between blue and purple belts.

Those who have the ranking of purple typically have exceptional speed, strength, and technique that in most cases can outmatch a blue belt’s BJJ game.

As long as you continue to learn and progress through the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a blue belt you should be getting your purple in about 2-4 years.

Blue belt Goals

If you are a blue belt striving to reach the rank of purple, you should be:

  • Winning local tournaments

  • Getting on the podium at big tournaments

  • able to teach kids the fundamentals of Brazilian JIu-Jitsu

  • Let go of your pride

Purple to Brown

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Moving up a rank from purple can be an extremely difficult task. To continue to progress at such a high level, you must stay consistent and continue to add new techniques to your game. Purple belt’s skill level can vary from person to person.

Some practitioners who wear a purple belt may be older than others. Some may compete and others might not. If you train consistently and show that you deserve it, you should reach the brown belt in 2-5 years. That may seem like a long time for some.

You will be promoted when you deserve to be promoted.

Purple Belt Goals

As an aspiring brown belt, you should

  • Be able to teach a fundamental class

  • Tap some brown belts

  • Completely understand the basics of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

     

Brown to Black:

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Although the time gap between this gap may not be too long, it may seem like the lengthiest in all of Jiu-Jitsu.

Many brown belts get ahead of themselves and get too excited knowing they are just one step away from finally having their black belt in BJJ.

Although it is an exciting and monumental experience to look forward to, it is important to take your time at this level and focus on your technique.

Black belt tournaments are a whole different world compared to the brown belt brackets. As a black belt, you may be going against someone in your bracket who has eight or more years of experience fighting against the black belt.

Take your time at this level and do not rush the experience. If you are close to being promoted and you compete often, enjoy the feeling of domination in your bracket.

It is a whole different ball game when you reach the level of black. As a brown belt, you should be expected to get your black belt in 2-4 years.

Brown Belt Goals:

As a brown belt in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu, you should be:

  • Able to teach a mixed-level class

  • comfortable presenting yourself and your skill set in front of other practitioners

  • Able to coach kids

  • Competing or training at a high level

     

Black belt in BJJ

Being promoted to a lack belt can be an emotional experience for many. Every black belt you see on the mats has put blood, sweat, and tears into the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It takes years to reach this level, but it comes with its perks. For one, you can become better known.

If you are a competitive fighter who is beating black belts at high-level tournaments, you are going to get your name around no matter what.

Jiu-Jitsu is a tight-knit community. Word of new and high-level athletes spreads like wildfire. If you aren’t as into competition, at black belt, you will have far more opportunities to help teach at your dojo.

There are plenty of white belts in your gym that would love to learn from your years of experience.

Remember that even though you are a black belt, this is still the beginning of your journey.

If you choose to continue in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu, you have countless years ahead of you and hundreds of techniques to learn. Stay humble and enjoy what the sport has to offer

Black belt Goals

Black belts should be able to:

  • Coach students at tournaments

  • If competitive, compete at a high level

  • Master the basics of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

As you progress in Jiu-Jitsu, make sure to enjoy the process. As stated previously, BJJ is a long journey that consists of many ups and downs. Some days you are going to be the hammer and others you are going to be the nail. Take the tough days in stride and embrace them. Be thankful for your health, opportunities, and journey.

Happy Rolling!

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FAQ

How many years does it take to get belts in BJJ?

On average each belt takes around 2-3 years to advance from. These periods depend on how well you perform against opponents, how hard you train during practice, and how kind and courteous you are on and off the mats.

How to move up in belts faster?

The easiest way to move up in belts faster is to stay consistent. Consistency will allow you to progress fully through your belt ranking, it will allow you to learn and remember more over a long period, and prove to your coaches that you are going to stay consistent through the next colored belt as well.

What belt is Mark Zuckerberg?

Forty-year-old Mark Zuckerberg got his blue belt back in July of 2023. He has been training consistently for about a year now and even participated in his first-ever Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament a while ago.

He has access to the best of the best when it comes to coaches and teammates so his progression has skyrocketed in the past few months.

What belt is Joe Rogan?

The podcast star known as Joe Rogan has a black belt not only in Taekwondowell-renounced but in Jiu-Jitsu as well!

He has trained for years and competed in many tournaments all around the United States Even though Taekwondo is his main sport, Joe Rogan has found time to progress and excel in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

What belt is Elon Musk?

The well-renounced millionaire known as Elon Musk has been said to briefly train BJJ along with a handful of other martial arts. He has been well respected by many black belts in the sport and looks to get back in training to prepare for his upcoming fight with the creator of Amazon, Mark Zuckerberg.

As stated previously, Elon practices a wide variety of martial arts. Some of these include Karate, Taekwondo, Judo, and of course, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

It is refreshing to see such big icons praising the art of Jiu-Jitsu. It is about time the sport gets its time in the spotlight.

Having these huge names such as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg put such respect on BJJ is truly incredible not just for fans of the billionaires who decide to try it out, but for the overall family and economy of the sport.

Which belt takes the longest time to progress through

Out of all Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belts, the black belt is the most difficult to make it past. A Jiu-Jitsu practitioner must be disciplined enough to make it past seven degrees of the black belt before being given the promotion to the coral belt.

The coral belt is a white and red belt that a practitioner receives when they get their eighth degree of black belt.

This typically takes decades to achieve due to the length of time between the promotions.

All in all, the jump from black belt to coral belt is easily the most difficult and time-consuming leap that you can jump in the sport of Jiu-Jitsu

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