Grapplers Graveyard

How Long To Get Black Belt in BJJ

how long to get black belt in bjj

We often get asked the question “How long will it take for someone to get to a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu?” and the answer to that is more complicated to answer. Typically the journey to a black belt in BJJ will take someone about 10 years but some people achieve it faster or slower depending on their specific circumstances.


The short answer to this question is that it takes about 7 – 15 years to get your Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt depending on several things. When training BJJ a lot of people will run into hardships (injuries or taking long breaks from training, moving, etc) in their career, typically occurring at the white, blue, or maybe purple belt stage. Depending on your specific circumstance and how much time you put on the mats, you can see this happen as fast as 7 years or as long as 15 years.

Our coach, Alex Martinez reached the rank of black belt in a seven-year time frame, while people like Mo Jassim, the man behind ADCC, took close to 20 years to get to this belt level. Probably the biggest indicator that shows that someone will make it to this stage is just the sheer tenacity someone has to change who they are as a human.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is not an easy sport by any means and it will not get any easier. A lot of people started this sport because they heard it was a life-changing experience. Those that come in for the reason of wanting to reach new heights as a human are more likely to reach the black belt than those that are just after the belts and glory.

Asking the Right Question

We believe that if you are asking the question “How long does it take to get to a black belt in BJJ?” you are asking the wrong question. The question you should be asking yourself when you sign up for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu should be who you want to become.

Who Do You Want to Be?

Jiu Jitsu is a sport that we believe is the greatest tool for self-improvement. We are not alone in this line of thinking either. The likes of Jocko Willink, Joe Rogan, and Lex Fridman are all on record speaking about how much BJJ has changed their lives for the better. Each year more and more people are realizing the benefits that come from this sport and it is amazing to witness.

Do you want to be someone who finishes things that they start? Or maybe you want to be calm under pressure. Possibly someone who shows great levels of discipline in their diet, lifestyle, and workout routine. All of this is possible.

Getting to the highest stage in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a lifelong pursuit that will be worth it for those that make it. It is an amazing thing to shoot for if you are starting but it is important to stay focused on the important things that will change along the way. Your effort, dedication, and discipline will be the things that get you to this level the fastest!

How Long is the Stay at Each Belt Rank?

There is a time limit that people typically stay at for each belt. The following is a minimum requirement for each belt level:

  • White Belt: 2 – 4 years
  • Blue Belt: minimum 2 years
  • Purple Belt: minimum 1 year
  • Brown Belt: minimum 1 year

What Factors Will Make Me Wait Longer to Get a Black Belt in BJJ?

Life will throw things at you that are really out of your control right, so many of things that might slow down your progress to black belt is frankly out of your control to some degree. Now that is not to sit here and discourage you by any means but really to stress this idea that you need to fall in love wit the process if you want to get to this point.

No one who has gotten to black belt thought about the time they would have to spend to get there, they just loved training jiu-jitsu every day and did it for 10 years straight.

Your BJJ Training Consistency

With that being said, you need to build consistency with the amount of time you dedicate to training. If that is only three times a week, so be it. If you can squeeze more you just speed up the process. The more time you get on the mats in a shorter period of time will help you progress faster.

Background in Another Form of Grappling

Many people that get into jiu jitsu have goals of maybe one day stepping into MMA. Many people that train martial arts in general typically have some kind of background either playing contact sports (like football) or with some form of grappling (judo or wrestling). Depending on how much experience you have with grappling before hand will determine how fast (or slow) you rise through the ranks.

Every coach will be different but it makes sense when you think about it. If you were an all conference wrestler in the Big 10 and decided to train jiu jitsu after your wrestling career was over, you should get a belt promotion fast, you are probably already better than most people when you walk into the room.

Not Training Regularly

No training regularly mixed with a lack of experience will be the best way to stall your growth in Brazilian jiu jitsu. Build good habits and stay consistent with your practice and you will progress. We all have ebbs and flows through life so there will be periods where you feel like you are progressing and periods where you feel like you are getting worse or platauing. Pushing through these moment are what seperates most people in their journey to the jiu jitsu black belt level.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions related to the topic of how long it takes to get your black belt in BJJ.

How quickly can you get a black belt in BJJ?

This depends on a number of things. Someone who has previous grappling experience in a martial art like judo or wrestling, may progress faster than someone who is new to the world of grappling. It also depends on how much time you spend in the gym. It should be noted that majority of people are at minimum spending 7 years training before they get a black belt and many will be longer.

The chances of this happening are very slim. The fastest anyone has gotten their black belt was in 3 – 4 years. Unless you are willing to train a couple of times a day, have grappling experience before you start training jiu-jitsu, and a freakish memory, the chances of getting your black belt in three years is low.


There is no fun in rushing the process anyways. Why do you need it in three years? Just to say that you did it? Ego is something that we have to control when we start training, the fact of the matter is your coach grinded for 10 years to get his belt and you will more than likely be in the same camp. Enjoy the process.

On average, it takes 10 years to get your black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Some people can make it happen sooner at around 7 years but many are around that 10 year mark.

On average it will take 10 years to get your black belt.

In the Meantime...
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