You want to progress from one BJJ belt to another, but that doesn’t mean you can rush the process.
It’s also sometimes impossible to have a clear answer of how long it’s going to take.
It’s simply due to the fact that every person will proceed at a different pace and different BJJ instructors will have different requirements for what you need before getting a belt or proceeding to the next one.
For example, you might have to go through a certain amount of classes or even win a medal before you can get your hands on a sparkly new belt.
It’s also important to know that sometimes stripes are added to the end of your belt as a symbol of you making progress to the next rank and you’ll need to achieve four stripes before you can move to the next belt. With that in mind, let’s check out everything you need to know about BJJ belts.
How Many Belts Are There?
It helps to know how many belt colors there are so that you’re aware of what you’re trying to achieve. In BJJ, the most common belts are (from lowest rank to highest rank) white, blue, purple, brown, black, and red.
Generally, there are many factors that influence how soon you’ll make it from one belt to the next, such as your level of skill, success in competitions, knowledge, time on the mat, and your overall dedication to the sport.
It will take years of training to progress to higher ranks in the sport. How long does it take to get a black belt in BJJ? You’re looking at an average of 10 to 11 years to get a black belt. Yes, seriously, a decade!
Why Does It Take So Long?
There’s a good reason why it can take a decade to achieve a black belt in BJJ. It’s mainly because of how belts in BJJ are known to be awarded to students at a slow pace.
This is for the simple fact that instructors are proud of the history of BJJ and they therefore put significant meaning and value on each belt. In other words, the value of the belts that you achieve in BJJ are not to be taken lightly.
The BJJ belt system is much more difficult to move through when you compare it to the belt systems of other martial arts.
This is largely because there are so many techniques that you need to master – thousands of variations on techniques, actually, and all with their own details that you need to remember and know how to implement!
How Long It Takes To Achieve Other BJJ Belts
Let’s look at how long you can expect it to take for you to achieve other colors before you get to black belt.
This belt is the one you start with, whether you’re a child or adult. When you get this belt, the focus of your training is on being able to survive an attack and stop your opponent in their tracks.
There’s no minimum time in which you can have a white belt. During the time that you wear a white belt you should learn important techniques, such as escaping side control, escaping mount, and passing guard.
When you achieve a blue belt, it’s an important milestone as it shows that you’re competent in the art of BJJ. When you’re blue belt, you should have a strong understanding of common movements, a range of techniques, and solid defence skills.
It will take about two or three years for you to become a BJJ blue belt. You can achieve it faster if you stick to a regular, committed training schedule, but you’ll need to be ready to undertake hundreds of hours on the mat in order to learn and practice your moves.
The purple belt is special because some see it as an advanced rank. It shows your commitment to the art of BJJ. When you become a purple belt wearer, you will have a strong understanding of your methods and techniques.
You will also have a strong, coherent strategy when dealing with your opponent – by this point in your journey, you’re starting to build your game. Your thoughts and actions have become more ingrained. It can take about four to six years to achieve a purple belt.
When you reach the brown belt milestone, it’s exciting because it’s the last one before you can achieve the elusive black belt. By this stage, you should have a solid understanding of the art of BJJ and be an expert when it comes to its basic techniques.
You should also be making adjustments to your strategies to help you achieve the black belt. It’s common for people to have to wear a brown belt for a year before they can proceed to the black belt. It can take seven or eight years to achieve the brown belt, though.
This is the holy grail of BJJ. When you achieve a black belt, you’re basically an expert in the art of BJJ. When you consider this, it’s easy to see why it can take a decade or more to achieve it!
The sad truth is that not many people will stay committed to achieve a black belt, so if you can do it it’s a really amazing achievement.
Interestingly, the red belt that comes after the black belt is actually still part of the black belt. Referred to as the coral belts, the coral belt and red belt are red and black in color like coral snakes.
These are given to students who have achieved the highest levels of achievement and years of commitment. People who achieve a red belt in BJJ are usually referred to as grandmasters. It can take decades to reach the red belt because it requires a lifetime’s dedication to the art of BJJ.
Can You Speed Up The Process Of Getting A Black Belt?
While you might want to know the “secret” of getting a black belt faster, the important thing is to remember that there are no shortcuts! It takes many years to master the art of BJJ, but the time will be well spent achieving the other belts and milestones of BJJ.
Those will get you closer to achieving a black belt while ensuring that your journey is the most important and rewarding experience.
It’s important not to focus too much on trying to get a black belt as quickly as possible as that could derail your progress – this pressure is why some people quit along the way, and it’s unfortunate.
It’s also good to bear in mind that your progress through the BJJ ranks isn’t always going to be linear. You might find yourself in a months-long plateau where you feel like you’re getting worse instead of improving, but that extra commitment is sure to help you leap into the next rank.
It takes both physical and mental strength to push through it and achieve your goal. If you don’t have a dedication to the art that’s required to reach black belt level, then you won’t make it.
Can you commit to it and achieve it in a shorter amount of time?
Now, if you had lots of time at your disposal to commit to the art, you might wonder if you could achieve a black belt in BJJ faster. It’s important to consider your stage of life, though.
If you’re 17 years old and highly athletic and you can easily train twice a day without having other commitments in your life you could end up getting your black belt a bit faster. There are stories of people like Geo Martinez and Nic Gregoriades who achieved their black belts in a few years.
However, they are the exceptions. if you’re a bit older, you don’t have as much time to dedicate to the art as you’d like, you’re not very athletic, and/or you have pre-existing injuries, it will take you longer to get there. That doesn’t mean you can’t get there, though, and that’s the point to remember.
It’s said that a black belt is basically a white belt that never quit! That’s something important to bear in mind to help you stay on track with your goals.
What is the red and white belt?
This is a belt that comes after the red and black belt, and the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) states that students need to stay at this rank for at least 10 years before they can move on.
What comes next?
The red belt is the final belt, the grandmaster belt. It’s said that it’s the highest possible rank and the most difficult to achieve – a 19 year old who has a black belt could only expect to achieve their red belt at the age of 67! (via Evolve Vacation)
Chasing the elusive black belt in BJJ is exciting, but it requires tons of passion, hard work, and commitment. So what’s stopping you?
In this article, we’ve looked at what you need to be able to achieve all the belts in BJJ as well as the black and red belts that are symbols of mastery.