Getting the first stripe on your BJJ white belt might be meaningless in the big scheme of things.
But for many, it is the first step towards Jiu-Jitsu proficiency and a huge win. That is because so many of us have never achieved any sports success in life.
If you are a beginner looking to find direction to get that first feeling of accomplishment, you’re in the right place.
Let’s look at how long it will take you to earn the first stripe on your BJJ white belt (on average).
Table of Contents
- The Significance Of Your First Stripe
- What’s Needed To Earn Your First BJJ Stripe?
- How Long Does It Take To Get White Belt Stripes?
- Tips To Get Your First Stripe In Record Time
- What Does It Mean To Be a White Belt With One Stripe
- You Have The First Stripe, Now What?
- Final Thoughts About Getting Your First BJJ Stripe
The Significance Of Your First Stripe
The first stripe is your first significant BJJ achievement. This is a proud moment for any beginner.
Having your first stripe means that you have put in the work for at least three to six months. Your body has taken the punishment, and you have adjusted to the physical demands of BJJ.
There is a significant amount of discomfort Jiu-Jitsu beginners need to endure. There is a social discomfort of being the new guy. Then there is also the physical discomfort of being constantly tapped out by basically anyone with an upper rank.
But as you progress, you get familiarized with your classmates. You can easily maneuver around the mats and hold your own. You are now part of the group and, hopefully, friends with at least half of the people in the gym.
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What’s Needed To Earn Your First BJJ Stripe?
To earn your first stripe in BJJ, your coach will evaluate you. Your trainer will consider things like skill, progression, and effort. Each school has different standards. However, there are no formal standards — it all depends on your coach’s evaluation.
Regardless of how your gym handles the subject, you’ll see almost every stripe white belt has some common traits.
uninterrupted Training Time
BJJ takes time and consistency. You must put in the hours and develop the skill representing the stripe you want to earn.
On average, you must be training three times a week for a minimum of three months. Additionally, your training sessions should last at least one and a half hours.
If you can consistently put in the work for three months, you can earn your first stripe at most BJJ academies.
Understanding The Fundamentals
Being proficient in your techniques is of the utmost importance. Your stripe will indicate your skill level. And technical proficiency is judged upon your performance on the mats while executing techniques, rolling, and performing drills.
There are a few basic techniques that you must perform to be eligible for your first stripe. These include:
Close guard Principles
Open Close guard
Armbar from guard
Rear naked choke
Single/Double leg takedowns
Basic Sweeps from guard
Side control escape
Maintaining back control
Maintaining Side control
How Long Does It Take To Get White Belt Stripes?
Getting your first stripe depends on the progress you reach in the first three to six months.
Your coach will evaluate your skill level and award you your first stripe, given that you grew as a grappler in your first months as a white belt. It all depends on your time and proficiency on the mats.
The key here is to focus on your training. Attempt as many classes as possible (without getting injured). If you take care of the training, the stripe will come by itself.
Getting Your First White Belt Stripe In One Year
On average, it takes about three to six months for a practitioner to attain the first stripe on their white belt.
But if you take classes less than three times a week and remain inconsistent, then getting your first stripe in a year is possible.
However, if you get the first stripe in your first year, you might want to switch gears and show up to class more often.
Getting Your First Stripe In Six Months Or Less
Getting your first stripe in the first six months is the perfect goal for the average BJJ guy.
If you show up to class consistently, overcome the beginner struggles and understand the fundamentals of Jiu-Jitsu, then you will get your stripe in less than six months.
Some gyms award more than one stripe while promoting their students. So if you work hard, you might even get more than one stripe on your belt.
Tips To Get Your First Stripe In Record Time
Your promotion depends on your school’s curriculum and your mastery over it. This is different for each school. But applying the following tips will help you reach that goal in record time.
Master The Basics
There are a few basics that you need to master to be a one-stripe white belt. Make sure you understand the basics of the following
- Self-defense principles.
- Basic attacks.
- A few sweeps from guard.
- Espace from some basic positions.
- Don’t get submitted as quickly as in your early days.
Fulfill Your Gym’s Criteria
Make sure you put in the number of hours that the gym has established. Around 25 classes might be the sweet spot for most academies.
Furthermore, it would be best to have the skills mentioned above in your arsenal. You are not supposed to be a master at them, but having the basic knowledge and executing them is necessary.
If you show up to the gym five days a week and spend an ample amount of time on the mats, then nothing is going to stop you from getting that first stripe in record time.
If you can dedicate your time to Jiu-Jitsu, you will be able to get promoted in no less than three months. However, if you are slacking and taking days off, it will hinder your progress.
Don’t Obsess With Getting That First Stripe
If you obsess over getting your promotion, then it will demotivate you. Your goal should be to learn the techniques while having fun.
Please don’t force it. Let it happen naturally. If you obsess over the promotions, stripes, and belts, you will lose sight of the ultimate goal of BJJ. That is becoming the best version of yourself on and off the mats.
What Does It Mean To Be a White Belt With One Stripe
There is a lot to learn in Jiu-Jitsu. The first few months can be challenging, but Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu becomes an addiction as you progress.
You start to have fun along the way with your fair share of challenges. When you look back at your journey, you will realize that you have achieved the following:
- Basic movements.
- Establish your position in guard, mount, side-control, and back-control.
- Defense tactics.
- Offensive tactics.
- Physical strength.
- Increased mobility.
- Improved endurance.
- Increase in muscle mass.
- Decrease in body fat.
You Have The First Stripe, Now What?
After getting your first stripe, reflect on how far you have come in such a short time. Think about your mistakes, the challenges you faced, and how you overcame these obstacles.
Realize that this is just a tiny step in a journey that will go on for at least a decade.
Do not focus on the belts, stripes, and promotions. Focus on getting the work done, getting better, and attaining mastery.
After getting your first stripe, focus on getting your blue belt in record time. Understand your limitations and work on them. Make sure you work on all the flaws in your game to develop a solid base.
Your focus should be on becoming the best version of yourself, mastering the basics, and having fun on your journey.
You should also dedicate a decent amount of time to develop sharp mat survival skills. This will help you get better as a white belt faster.
Final Thoughts About Getting Your First BJJ Stripe
The process to get your first stripe will have its ups and downs. You are now in the gym, and it will take both your mind and body to get adjusted.
It will be challenging and painful, but don’t get frustrated if you are not promoted.
Even if others are climbing the ladder quicker than you, all you have to do is stay patient. Remember that Jiu-Jitsu is not a race. Your only competition is yourself.
Focus on mastering the basics, listen to your instructors, and be consistent. Do not obsess over getting the first stripe. Instead, obsess over how you can get better each day.
If you enjoyed reading this, make sure to check out more recent posts. Send this blog to your training partner or someone who has just started their journey in Jiu-Jitsu.
Until the next one!