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Black Belt BJJ: The Philosophy Behind the Belt

black belt bjj

Jiu-Jitsu is a sport that teaches you lessons that go way beyond the bounds of the four walls you train in. Just like other martial arts, BJJ has a belt system in place to create an internal hierarchy. This forms a meritocracy that rewards people based on their competence, talent, and effort. Achieving your Black Belt in BJJ is the highest reward one can receive, it is like getting your Pokemon to level 100. In this article, we discuss our philosophy behind the BJJ black belt.

Black Belt Black Belt

The Black belt in BJJ is the most prestigious belt you can be rewarded with. It is typically achieved by those who have put at least 10 years of mat time into the craft. Most people who start in BJJ envision that one day they will make it to this rank only to realize how hard and long the journey truly is. For those with the tenacity and the right mindset achieving this will be easy, all you’ll have to do is work hard for a long period of time, master techniques, and become a greater version of yourself.

Once you hit this stage in BJJ the ranking do not stop. There are two types of black belts in BJJ. The two types are:

White Bar Black Belt

This black belt is typically a competitor who does not lead an academy. Note that if you are a white bar black belt you will not receive stripes like you would if you were a red bar black belt.

red bar black belt

When you see a black beltthat has a red bar this is an instructor at the academy you train at.

Most of the time these people will still like to compete i local or national tournaments. In this rank, you get stripes based on the amount of time you have been coaching others. This is where you will find the ‘degrees’ in the black belt stage. 

The Philosophy Behind the Belt

The average person has no shot of making it to this rank. Let me say that again. The average person has no shot at making it to this stage in their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu career. You do not make it to this rank by being average, you have to rise to the occasion and become a whole new person. That person that makes it to this point always ends up above average. This is not to say that if you start average that you cannot become above average because that is what it is going to take.

Sacrifice, dedication, hard work, and investing in yourself are going to be necessary if you ever want to reach this level of mastery. These are things that the average person just won’t do. Do you want to be above average? We can assume that those that train in BJJ in the first place do not just want to be average.  Aspiring to make it to this stage in jiu-jitsu will force you to the route of becoming the best version of yourself. 

When you arrive, you are truly in the top 1% of humans.

Qualities a Black Belt Possesses

Every black belt we have met has similar qualities. They are steadfast leaders and exceptional human beings. The character qualities that these people emulate should be held to the highest degree because they all possess something uniquely great.

Many people who get their black belt may not be exactly people to model in life but in our experience when we look at black belts we see a form of leadership within the academy they chose to be at. We are careful to tell people to idolize people just because of their belt color but there are positive signs that a black belt typically posses the following qualities:

  • Responsible 
  • Care about the things they do
  • Dedicated
  • Leader
  • Set a good example for others
  • Respectable 

The black belt is a milestone that honestly has a meaning of its own. To each person, it means something different but in its purest form, this is a sign of real mastery over a craft that is not easily mastered. 

Making it to this stage is not for the faint of heart, you have to have some serious conviction to get to this point in BJJ. Jiu Jitsu is not like every other martial art, the people that make it to the highest stage are there for a reason. They excuse exemplary qualities and have dedicated themselves to mastering the skills of being the 1% in BJJ. We hope that people that eventually read this make it to this stage. Going from white belt to black belt is an amazing accomplishment that puts you in a special category of human beings!

Happy Rolling, See You At The Top

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