Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the fastest-growing martial art in the world due to the extreme growth of the UFC during the 2020 pandemic. Jiu-jitsu is something all MMA fighters have to be proficient to even be considered on the circuit. In this article, we break down the Brazilian jiu-jitsu belt order!
White Belt (1 – 2 years)
The white belt symbolizes that you are just a beginner in this long journey through martial art. Jiu Jitsu is the only martial art that takes years to move up the ranks. Most instructors within the community are very strict about how they promote and the timeline at which they do it.
No one will ever intentionally hold you back from progressing or gate-keep you but it is important to note that belts are earned and not given out like candy. Time, dedication, and real skills need to be developed to be considered to move up the ranks.
Most people do not make it out of being a white belt. 90% of people in your white belt classes will not make it to that next big milestone – the blue belt.
Blue Belt (2 – 5 years)
A blue belt in Jiu-Jitsu, means you are considered “street proficient”. You can easily handle just about any white belt and have a good grasp of your techniques, strengths, and weaknesses. You are by no means an expert but you are honing in on your skills. At this point, competition is a great way to poke holes in your game and find out where you could improve to make it to that next stage.
Only 5% of blue belts will make it to the purple belt.
Purple Belt (3 – 5 years)
Once receiving the purple belt in jiu-jitsu you will be considered a partial expert at your craft. At this point, you have proven to those around you that you are dedicated to Jiu-Jitsu and shown that you can master various techniques. Coaches start to pay particular attention to you, helping you work and hone your skills. Most people spend 3 – 5 years at this stage.
Getting here is a huge accomplishment. Many people do not make it and you have just solidified yourself in a finite group of people. Competitions here are very competitive and you will oftentimes find yourself up against child prodigies!
Brown Belt (1 – 2 years)
At brown belt, you are considered a black belt in disguise. You are extremely proficient, and skilled, dedicated time on the mats, and are close to mastering your craft. Most people that make it to this stage will only spend 1-2 years here. You are well on your way to being a black belt!
If you started this sport in your mid-twenties chances are you dedicated a better half of 6-8 years to get to this point. You will be heading into an awesome stage of your life with a huge badge of honor around your waist.
On average it takes 10 years to get. This belt is the highest accomplishment one can receive in the sport. It is a symbol of the accumulation of all your training and the time you have spent. There are two types of belts at this stage.
White bar Black Belt
You are a competitor but do not teach people
Red Bar Black Belt
You may be a competitor but the red bar symbolizes that you are an instructor
Black belts are the leaders of the academy. The true 1%. We rely on their guidance to keep a functioning art and keep the spirit of jiu-jitsu alive. Making it to the black belt shows much more than cool brownie points at a family dinner. Getting here proves to everyone that you are not someone to be messed with, you can dedicate yourself to something hard, and you have great character.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a sport that will change everything about your life and how you carry yourself on a day-to-day basis. Making it through the ranks is no easy task but it is a journey worth taking.
If you want to find yourself in a different category of human beings, doing jiu-jitsu is a surefire way to get that accomplished. We hope to see more people make it to the finish line with the sport. Remember, everything is relative within ranking up in jiu-jitsu. Someone starting later in life will not be judged on the same criteria as someone younger than them when it comes to ranking up. Understand that all journeys are different and that these belts should not be your focus along the way!