Grapplers Graveyard

BJJ Belts System: Everything you Need to Know

bjj belts system

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Life is a video game and each day we get the choice to level our avatar up or stay stagnant where we are. Jiu-jitsu is the best way to level yourself up in all aspects of life. There are so many lessons that are learned on the mats that would be near impossible to pick up through any other sport. The progression system within the sport is an external way to validate that you are becoming a new human. In this article, we discuss the BJJ belts system.

BJJ Belt System: Everything you Need to Know

Belts in BJJ are a crucial part of the ecosystem that is formed inside the community. The hierarchy weeds out people over time because it is damn hard to rank up in jiu-jitsu. No matter the athletic ability, the time has to be dedicated to the mats to rank up. In this sense, Jiu-jitsu creates a true meritocracy and cultivates a culture based on respect and skill. Here is the BJJ belt system:

grapplers graveyardBJJ Belts

White Belt

This is the beginning stage of Jiu-jitsu and most martial arts. Being a white belt is that stage where people should stay hungry for knowledge and get into a routine of consistently showing up.

Blue Belt

This is your first real accomplishment in the sport of jiu-jitsu. It takes about 2 years to get here for most white belts.

Purple Belt

The purple belt is the stage where expertise is starting to form for a BJJ practitioner. We wrote an article on this stage that can be found here.

Brown Belt

Brown belts are black belts in disguise. They have the knowledge and skill to teach other people Brazilian jiu Jitsu or even open up their gym. Running a business is a completely different skill set on its own but in theory, the teaching aspect is pretty much locked down by the brown belts.

Black Belt

This is the last stage most people will get to in the sport of BJJ. Other belts can be achieved but you should not worry about those. Those belts are Red belt and coral belts.

rankings up in jiu jitsuWhat Should You Focus On?


  • Learning all the techniques taught in classes
  • Get a good understanding of the basics
  • Cultivate a new mindset
  • Eliminate limiting beliefs
  • Get an idea of what you want to get out of Jiu-jitsu
  • Build a habit of showing up


  • Master the basics
  • Focus on showing up and putting your time in this stage is the longest one you will find yourself in
  • Don’t let the blues get ahold of you
  • Compete as much as possible


  • Develop your style of play
  • Don’t be late to warmups – set a good example
  • Help out in the gym and maybe take a lower belt under your wing
  • Compete


  • Fine-tune the details of the style of play
  • Build out at least 5 – 8 systems for your game
  • Being a leader on the mats
  • Compete


  • Running and/or growing your gym (if that is the route you took)
  • Leading inside the gym
  • Compete



  • No physical requirements are needed
  • Must be a student who is willing to learn and wants to have fun


  • Good grasp of the basics
  • Ability to get out of bad situations at ease from people your size at the same level or below


  • Showing signs of expertise
  • Spent 2 years at least at blue belt
  • Mastering the basics and starting to develop a style of play
  • Master a chain of attack that can lead to a win 


  • Spent at least 1.5 years at purple belt
  • Developed a game
  • Start mastering multiple chains of attack
  • Be able to defend almost all attacks that come your way


  • Spent at least a year at brown belt
  • Master your style of play
  • Understand all techniques 
  • Be able to get into favorable positions at will

belt rankings in jiu jitsu - bjj blue beltWhat Does Each Belt Mean?


This is the student stage of martial art. At this stage, you should be recreating yourself and forming a new relationship with the way you operate. Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that has changed millions of people’s lives but it will only change if you allow it to work its magic on you. Build a habit of showing up and focusing on the principles you learn along the way.


Blue belt is the stage where you have shown a level of commitment to the sport to those around you. You have demonstrated that you are capable and able to handle situations as they rise within a rolling session.


The purple belt means you are showing signs of serious commitment to the sport and demonstrating that you are becoming an expert. This stage is said to be the first stage where you are considered close to master the sport. Most people never make it past the blue belt, you are in a league of your own at this point.


You are effectively a black belt in disguise. The badassery that is capable of a brown belt should never be underestimated.


You are a leader on and off the mats. Jiu-jitsu has changed you for the better at this point. Welcome to an exclusive club of human beings that have reached the pinnacle of a highly respected sport. This belt is earned, with no handouts along the way. Jiu-jitsu is an excellent sport to get into if you are looking to change every aspect of your life, learn self-defense techniques that work, and want to have fun along the way. In this article, we outlined everything you needed to know about the belts that you can achieve along the way! Happy Rolling!

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