The BJJ belt rank system is as follows, from lowest to highest: White belt, Blue Belt, Purple Belt, Brown Belt and Black Belt. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a grappling based martial art that focuses on ground fighting and submission techniques. BJJ has a belt system in place to recognize the skill level of the practitioners. The ranking system begins with white belt, followed by blue, purple, brown and black belts which are considered the highest rank in BJJ. The average time it takes to progress through the ranks depends on many factors including individual dedication, training frequency, and natural aptitude for the sport. White belts typically take between two to four years to reach blue belt rank. Blue belts usually require at least two years of additional training before purple belt is earned. From there, the timeline to advance to brown and black belt can vary greatly as the skill requirements become increasingly more challenging. In general, it takes an average of 10-15 years of dedicated BJJ training to reach Black Belt rank. However, this timeline can be longer or shorter depending on the individual’s ability and ambition. Overall, BJJ is a great martial art that requires commitment, dedication and hard work to progress through the ranks. The reward of earning each new belt is a satisfying accomplishment and allows practitioners to continue learning and growing in their BJJ journey. Here are 10 reasons you MAY NOT get promoted or advance in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu! 1. Poor Physical Condition: Many BJJ academies may test the physical strength and endurance of a student before they are promoted to a higher belt rank. If a student does not meet these requirements, they can be held back from advancing. Lets be honest, in order to progress in BJJ you should see improvements in your physical shape. 2. Attitude Problems: Maintaining a professional attitude is essential when practicing BJJ and other martial arts. Students that display disrespect or unprofessional behavior in class may be held back for their lack of respect towards instructors and peers. Its always important to be respectful and help others. There is always that "new person" who comes in with the idea he is better than everyone else or knows more than he or she really does. Perhaps this person may take longer to advance. 3. Not Following Rules: Each academy has its own set of rules that must be followed while training in BJJ and breaking those rules can prevent promotion. This could include anything from arriving late to class, missing warm ups to underage drinking or drug use. 4. Refusing to Learn: BJJ is an art form that requires constant practice and learning in order to develop skills and knowledge. If a student refuses to learn, they may not advance for not taking their training seriously enough. Its good to simply follow instruction and learn. If you learn you will advance. 5. Poor Technique: In order to progress, students must demonstrate proper technique when executing moves and submissions in BJJ class. Students who fail to do so can be held back if they are unable to meet the academy’s technical standards. Keep in mind the technique works. Why not simply learn how to be more technical? Those who can apply this technique will advance. 6. Not Showing Dedication: BJJ is a sport that requires dedication and commitment from its practitioners if they want to reach higher belt ranks. Those who lack the dedication necessary will likely find themselves in stasis if they fail to put in the hard work and effort. every academy has a person who simply has not advanced because they are simply not learning because they are showing a lack of dedication. 7. Not Competing: BJJ is a competitive sport and competing can help students accelerate their progress. Those who choose not to compete may not be promoted in BJJ for not pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and testing their skills against others. This is not an actual requirement however you may advance faster if you compete. 8. Low Attendance: Consistent attendance is necessary for students who want to continue progressing in BJJ. If a student does not attend class regularly, their instructors may determine that they are no longer making enough progress and decide to keep them at their current belt rank. instructors do understand that we all have lives to live and bills to pay however you can make an effort to learn. 9. Poor Attire: Proper attire during training is essential and some academies have strict guidelines on what type of clothing must be worn while practicing BJJ. Those who don’t comply could be held back for not following the rules and regulations of the academy. As well, hygiene is important and must be a part of the overall academy standards. 10. Not Showing Respect: BJJ is a martial art that is based on respect, both to instructors and other students. Those who fail to show proper respect can be held back for failing to demonstrate good character and etiquette in class. Some examples of this are going too rough with students, being rude and not following instruction during class. These are just a few of the reasons why someone may not get promoted in BJJ, but it is important to remember that each individual academy may have different criteria for promotions and even demotions. If you want to reach higher belt ranks in BJJ, make sure that you stay dedicated, work hard, and always follow the rules set by your instructor!
The BJJ ranking system is an integral part of the sport as it helps recognize the achievements of dedicated practitioners. With the right amount of dedication and determination, practitioners can enjoy a rewarding journey as they continue to advance through the ranks.
Matthew Tropp | BJJ Report