One question might pop up often for anyone wanting to step into the martial arts world: “How do I get to the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu?” It’s not just about wrapping a colored fabric around your waist. It’s about dedication, technique, and years of practice. And one thing I can say for, it’s not gonna be easy.
Understanding the path to the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu, particularly in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (often referred to as BJJ), will clarify this martial art’s ranking system. So join me in discovering how you can get to the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu.
What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a martial art with roots traced back to Japan, but it found its distinct form and techniques in Brazil. The Gracie family, central to BJJ’s history, popularized it, emphasizing ground fighting and submission holds.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t rely on kicks and punches, unlike many other martial arts. Instead, it focuses on takedowns, ground control, and submissions.
The belt system indicates a practitioner’s experience and skill level in BJJ. The journey starts with the white belt, the first belt, and a beginner’s introduction to the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. As you progress, you move from the white belt level to the blue belt, the second adult rank.
Over time, with dedication, one can climb up the ladder, moving from the blue belt to purple belt, brown belt, and finally the black belt. However, beyond the black belt, exceptional belts are awarded at the highest levels, like the coral and red belts.
The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system is unique and holds profound importance in the martial arts world. Each belt color is more than just a rank; it’s a testament to the hours spent on the mat, every jiu jitsu move mastered, and every belt challenge overcome. The progression from one belt to another isn’t only about time spent but the skill acquired, the techniques mastered, and one’s contribution to the BJJ community.
Stay tuned as we discuss each belt’s significance, from the first belt a newbie wears to belts awarded at the highest levels in the world of BJJ. Whether you’re just starting as a white belt or you’ve been progressing to higher belts, this guide will help you understand the path to the highest rank in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Reasons You Need To Know About How to Get the Highest Belt in BJJ
- Setting Realistic Expectations
Knowing how to reach the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu helps set clear and realistic expectations. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t about overnight success or quick promotions. Unlike a weekend workshop or a crash course, achieving a black belt, let alone the red or coral belts takes years of blood, sweat, and tears.
- Facing Adversity Head-On
As you climb the belt ranking, you’ll be tested in many ways. Some days, those tests will come in the form of skilled opponents; on other days, it’ll be internal battles of motivation and persistence.
But as any Jiu Jitsu athlete will tell you, the mats don’t lie. They’ll humble you, show you your weaknesses, and then offer you a chance to learn and improve.
- Personal Growth
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu offers growth, both inside and outside the dojo. The discipline, resilience, and patience you develop while working through the BJJ belt system can translate to many other aspects of life. When you’re pushed to your limit on the mat, you’ll discover strengths you didn’t know you had.
- A Rewarding Experience
Yes, Jiu Jitsu is challenging. Yes, it’s hard, but man, is it rewarding. From the very first tap to mastering a complicated submission, the feeling of achievement in BJJ is amazing. For many, including me, starting jiu jitsu ranks high on the list of the best decisions ever made.
- Respect for the System
The belt system in BJJ isn’t just about colors and ranks. It’s a legacy, a tradition, and a measure of a practitioner’s dedication to the martial art. Each belt, from white to red, tells a story of hard work, dedication, and the pursuit of mastery. Knowing the steps and challenges associated with each belt rank can foster a deeper respect for the process.
- Staying Motivated
Understanding the path to the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu gives you a roadmap. You’ll know what’s expected at the blue belt level or the milestones to achieve before progressing to the next belt rank. This knowledge can motivate you, giving you clear goals to work towards.
Diving into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and its belt system isn’t just physical. It’s a commitment to personal development, understanding, and respect for one of the most complex martial arts. The belts are badges of honor, dedication, and years of perseverance.
So, if you’re thinking of stepping onto the mat, get to know the belts, respect the process – then brace yourself for one of the most enriching experiences of your life.
Step-by-Step Instructions To Achieve The Highest Belt In Jiu Jitsu
Navigating the belt system in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a test of perseverance, skill, and dedication. Just like the layers of a tree, every belt represents a new chapter in the martial artist’s growth story.
We’re about to unravel the layers leading up to the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu, giving you a crystal-clear path to mastery in this revered martial art.
1. White Belt: The Foundation of Your Jiu Jitsu Path
- Understanding the Basics
Dive into the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with the white belt tied around your waist. The white belt is the first belt within the ranking system, a gentle reminder that every black belt fighter once started right where you are.
- Choose your Gear
- Become a Sponge
This stage is all about soaking up knowledge. Toss your ego aside, be open-minded, and let every lesson mold you. What is your goal here? Absorb, adapt, and apply.
- Ask and Learn
Think a question is too basic? Get that out of your head! If it helps you get the Jiu Jitsu techniques, then it’s worth asking. Your instructors and senior students are there to guide you. And there will most likely be somebody in the room who is grateful you asked.
- The Challenges Ahead
Many get humbled at the white belt level. Tapping out might feel like the norm, and it’s easy to get lost in the sea of techniques. But that’s all part of the martial art process. Stick with it, and you’ll see growth. If you keep showing up, you’ll get it eventually.
- Drilling Over Rolling
Yes, rolling has its place, and it’s fun. But at this stage, drilling becomes your best buddy. It’s through repeated practice of moves that they start becoming second nature. So, get those drills in.
- Keep the Ego in Check
Step onto the mats with a student’s heart. Respect every opponent, every move, and every lesson. You might find yourself on the receiving end more often than not. It’s okay. That’s your foundation being laid.
Remember, it’s not about rushing to the next belt rank. In time, as you grow and learn, your instructor will recognize your progress and know when you’re ready to step up to the next belt level. For now, focus on the art, the techniques, and most importantly, the journey within Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
2. Blue Belt: You Finally Know Jiu-Jitsu
- A Noteworthy Milestone
Kudos to you! Achieving the blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu isn’t easy. The blue belt is the second belt to achieve and is a testimony to your dedication, sweat, and repeated practice.
Sadly, many tap out before reaching this level. But not you. You’ve weathered the storm, signaling a noteworthy progression from the white belt level. The blue belt is often seen as a significant rank transition, separating those who are not consistent in the martial art from those who are truly committed.
- Rolling with Confidence
The blue belt stage shifts the gear while your initial days are about soaking in information. Now, it’s about the application. Expect to spend much more time rolling, testing your skills, and refining your techniques.
- Teach and Be Taught
Stepping into the blue belt level brings with it a dual role. You are a student fine tuning your skills and now have the responsibility of guiding the white belts. Sharing knowledge, sharing tips, and simply being a Guide for those trying to set their foot in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- Defining Mastery
The blue belt signifies your capability to defeat untrained people and white belts. Before awarding this belt, coaches make sure you deserve it. Their confidence in promoting you underscores their belief in your understanding of foundational techniques and your ability to apply them.
- Sharpening the Saw
Think of the blue belt stage as your intermediate training ground. You’re no longer learning the basics; you’re enhancing them. Each session, each roll, and every belt means another opportunity to polish those skills, sharpen your moves, and inch closer to mastery.
- Onwards and Upwards:
The road to the purple belt, the next belt in the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ranking system, is long. But don’t be discouraged. Be receptive, ask questions when in doubt, and trust the process. The blue belt is often a rank held for a long time, but with discipline and regular practice, the transition to higher belt ranks will be only a matter of time.
- Patience is Power
Achieving the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu requires time, patience, and relentless dedication. While you may feel the itch to progress quickly, remember the value of mastery.
Trust in the journey, trust in your coaches, and most importantly, trust in yourself. Keep showing up, keep rolling, and remember that every belt and rank brings you closer to the pinnacle of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu mastery.
3. Purple Belt: Nearing Mastery in Jiu-Jitsu
- A Celebrated Achievement:
At the purple belt level in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, you made a mark. This belt deserves respect. With years of dedication, sweat, and rolls behind you, the purple belt is a sign of your commitment to the art. Reaching this belt rank means you moved beyond the foundational levels, pushing boundaries and challenging your limits.
- An Informal Mentor:
This rank will give you the admiration and respect of the lower belts. Don’t be surprised if others will approach you, seeking guidance, technique demonstrations, or simply insights into your journey. Embrace this role. Purple belts are generally there to share their knowledge and help others grow, and it’s not just rewarding, but it also strengthens your understanding of martial arts.
- Challenge Yourself:
While guiding the lower belts is important, your growth at the purple belt level lies in challenging yourself. Prioritize rolling sessions with fellow purple belts or those holding a higher belt. Facing adversity, grappling with better-skilled partners, and constantly being on your toes – that’s where the growth happens. Remember, every roll with a higher-ranked person sharpens your skills, strengthens your defenses, and prepares you for the journey ahead.
- Step Into Competition:
Now’s the time to truly put your skills to the test. Dive into competitions, face off against skilled opponents, and see where you stand. Such platforms aren’t just about wins or losses. They’re about understanding your strengths, recognizing areas of improvement, and refining techniques under pressure.
- The Temporal Bridge:
The gap between the purple and black belts, the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu, might seem big, but it’s bridged with time and persistence. At this point, it’s not just about acquiring new skills but refining, mastering, and integrating what you’ve learned. Keep showing up, be consistent, and with time, the black belt level will become reality.
4. Brown Belt: The Final Hurdle
On Your Way:
At brown belt level you’re on the edge. only little separates you from the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu. You’ve ascended the belt system, and with the brown belt, you’re a stone’s throw away from the pinnacle of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu ranking. But, as you’re aware, the last leg of any journey is often the most challenging.
Deep Dive Dedication:
The brown belt is a sign of the years you dedicated to jiu-jitsu. It’s a testament to your expertise. Yet, now’s the time to dig deeper, train harder, and focus more than ever before. These might be some of the longest years in your BJJ journey, and that’s because the transition from brown to black belt isn’t only about skill – it’s about mastery.
Finding The Masters:
It may be difficult, but it’s essential. Seek out those few who are still ahead in the game. Rolling with black belts will open up nuances you hadn’t spotted before. Competing with the crème de la crème will sharpen those tiny edges that make a world of difference at the highest levels of this martial art.
Forever The Student:
It’s easy to fall into the trap of complacency, especially when you’re this advanced. Adopt a white belt’s curiosity. No matter how much you think you know, another layer, technique, or strategy is always waiting to be discovered. Hold onto that beginner’s mindset because that hunger to learn will catapult you to the next belt level.
Eyes On The Prize:
The black belt is not just a belt color or another rank; it symbolizes unparalleled expertise and years of dedication. Every session, every roll, every competition from here on is a step towards that black belt level. Believe in yourself, your growth, and most importantly, that the black belt isn’t just a possibility – it’s inevitable if you just keep going. Stay relentless, for you’re crafting a legacy in jiu-jitsu.
5. Black Belt: The Pinnacle of Dedication in Jiu Jitsu
The Mountaintop Moment:
You’ve done it! With the black belt around your waist, you reached the zenith of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system. This isn’t just any belt. The black belt is the symbol of the highest belt in Jiu Jitsu. It reflects the sweat, the hours, and the years you poured into this martial art. For many, the black belt is the end goal, but it’s a new beginning for you.
The Master and the Mentor:
As a black belt, you’re not just a practitioner but the north star for everyone on the mats. The black belt is the highest belt you can achieve, and that’s why many will look up to you, seeking guidance and wisdom.
Embracing your new role as a teacher is essential. But teaching isn’t just about sharing techniques; it’s about inspiring passion, dedication, and perseverance in every belt.
While this may be the highest rank, your evolution in the sport never stops. Every jiu-jitsu session is an opportunity to refine, tweak, and perfect. Seek out matches with other black belt fighters because iron sharpens iron. The world of BJJ is always shifting, and as the martial art evolves, so must you.
With the expertise you hold, competitions aren’t just about participation; they’re about mastery. Facing off against senior black belts and in the BJJ world helps you see where you stand. But remember every match, win or lose, is a lesson.
Beyond The Black:
While many see the black belt as the final destination, there’s an entire world beyond. The coral and red belts are reserved for those who’ve dedicated decades to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. They represent the highest levels of achievement, exceptional belts awarded only to the most dedicated. Wear this black belt with pride, but never lose sight of what lays ahead.
Embracing the Cycle:
Now that you’re here, looking back at your journey – from the white belt level, transitioning through every belt color to the black belt – it’s essential to remember your roots. The belt rankings are not necessarily just about skill; they’re milestones on a continuous loop of learning. While you might have achieved this belt, the spirit of the first belt, that insatiable hunger to learn, should never vanish.
In essence, having a black belt means you mastered the art of jiu-jitsu. But true mastery lies in the realization that there’s always more to learn, always another layer to uncover. Celebrate this monumental achievement, but stay hungry, humble, and above all, keep rolling!
Key Considerations For Successfully Climbing the Belt Ranking System
While the steps of mastering jiu jitsu techniques are important, there are some more insights to consider. Firstly, climbing the jiu jitsu belt rank ladder is not a sprint but a marathon. On average, it takes most dedicated practitioners between 10-15 years to get the black belt, the symbol of expert technical and practical prowess in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Each belt, from white to black, often requires 2-3 years of commitment, given consistent practice at least 2-3 times a week, preferably more.
Remember, the stripes on your belt represent the culmination of hours of sweat and technique refinement, so wear them with pride. Yet, perseverance, patience, and passion are the true cornerstones of progressing in this art beyond the technicalities.
Taking It To The Next Level: How To Surpass The Black Belt
Achieving the black belt is monumental, but in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, honors are beyond the highest rank awarded. One such rank is the Coral belt, a Black/Red belt. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) mandates a minimum of 7 years at this belt before progressing. Known formally as the coral belt, these jiu jitsu belts are worn by those with exceptional influence in the sport, often addressed by the honorary title of ‘master.’
The next phase sees the transition to the White/Red belt. This belt signifies immense dedication, with the IBJJF requiring a practitioner to remain at this level for at least 10 years. This belt is a testament to the practitioner’s enduring commitment and significant contributions to the art.
Lastly, the Red Belt stands as the pinnacle. This 9th degree belt is the highest accolade awarded to living practitioners. Reserved for those who reached the zenith of the art, this belt is about technical prowess and the impact and influence one has on Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
A title that resonates deeply within the community, wearers of the red belt are often addressed as ‘grandmaster.’ Given its prestige, if one were to receive a black belt at 19, the earliest they could anticipate a ninth degree red belt would be at 67, showcasing the years of jiu jitsu dedication this honor demands.
While the journey to the black belt is long, the path beyond it is reserved for those who truly embody the spirit, technique, and philosophy of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. The climb never truly ends, but every belt worn, every stripe earned is a badge of honor, dedication, and passion.
Bjj Belt Progression: Final Words
In the dance of Brazilian jiu-jitsu, from the foundational techniques of the white belt to the revered status of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, one truth is consistent: dedication and hard work are what brings you there.
Getting the highest belt in jiu jitsu is not simply about talent or quick learning but about the commitment to mastering every move, every technique, and every philosophy associated with this martial art.
As you transition to the next belt, remember that each rank is held with responsibility and respect. Your belt also serves as a testament to the hours you invested, the challenges you’ve faced, and the expertise you acquired. When you wear this belt, it’s a symbol of your dedication.
So, to every practitioner out there, whether at the beginner stage or at an expert level, keep grinding. Your journey, steeped in hard work and perseverance, defines your legacy in this art.