Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belts

Progression for each BJJ practitioner isn’t overseen by one regulatory body. Instead like many other martial arts, a student’s rank progression is left up to a qualified instructor to evaluate based on factors such as skill, time, and age.

The time it takes for the athlete to graduate from white belt to black belt is up to the athlete’s professor. However, the IBJJF requires a mandatory minimum amount of time the athlete must spend at each belt level.

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White Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 4yrs old

Min. Time in Belt: None

White is the first step on any BJJ fighter's journey. As a white belt, a student’s main objective is to learn to defend themselves against the more advanced players, and their training will thus have a strong focus on escaping from bad positions while working with more experienced students.

During this time, the student will receive degrees or “stripes” on their white belt, indicated with a piece of tape wrapped around the tail of the belt. If a fighter attends class regularly, they will earn a stripe fairly regularly. After earning 4 stripes on the white belt, the student can be promoted to the gray-and-white belt, which is the first of the colored belts.

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Degrees

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Grey Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 4 yrs Old

Degrees: Traditionally semiannually.

Level 1

The first colored belt of a fighter's career is a significant step and an encouraging progression. The white strip down the center signifies where the fighter has advanced from. 

Level 2

Moving right along, this solid gray belt signifies the solid basics of any BJJ fighter. 

Level 3

The final step before your belt begins to show some real colors. The black stripe in the grey belt should signify where you are coming from and where you are going as you progress toward a highly coveted black belt.

Youth belts have no minimum period of stay in each belt.

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Degrees

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Yellow Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 7 yrs Old

Degrees: Traditionally semiannually.

The yellow belt represents the middle of the road for any youth fighter. This belt has 6 degrees that come along with it.

Youth belts have no minimum period of stay in each belt.

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Degrees

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Orange Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 10 yrs Old

Degrees: Traditionally semiannually.

Much more familiar with the fundamentals now an orange belt is beginning to take on more leadership and responsibility. Training belts lower than you is always an important part of the sport, your role is growing as is your support of the team.

Youth belts have no minimum period of stay in each belt.

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Degrees

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Green Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 13yrs

Degrees: Traditionally semiannually.

Much more familiar with the fundamentals now an orange belt is beginning to take on more leadership and responsibility. Training belts lower than you is always an important part of the sport, your role is growing as is your support of the team.

Youth belts have no minimum period of stay in each belt.

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Degrees

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Blue Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 16 yrs Old

Min. Time in Belt: None for under 18yrs old,  

>18yrs old is 2yrs

The blue belt marks the beginning of the adult color belts. For youth belts, this has been the long-awaited moment of beginning a new journey in a more competitive field.

Adult fighters earning this belt have advanced directly from the beginner's white belt. 

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Degrees

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Purple Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 16 yrs Old

Min. Time in Belt: 2yrs for under 18yrs old,  

>18yrs old is yrs.

Purple belt fighters have established themselves as a competent fighter, has a good grasp of on different positions and fighting styles.

Degrees

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Brown Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 18 yrs Old

Min. Time in Belt: 1yr

Just preceding mastery is the brown belt, a time of profound technical knowledge and a complex but simple game. Whether it is top or bottom, a brown belt is going to be dangerous and merciless.

 

The period between purple and brown is also when most people begin teaching Jiu-Jitsu. This is the period when you start giving back to the art.

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Degrees

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Black Belts & Degrees

Min. Age: 19 yrs Old

Min. Time in Belt: 31yrs for Degrees 1-6, 7yrs for 7th Degree, 10yrs for 8th Degree

Black in the ultimate destination for all fighters. and one only the dedicated ever attain.  

 

For those with black belts, there are still further milestones to achieve. Coral Belts (red and black) represent the penultimate level of proficiency in the art. Still, there’s more. The highest available belt is the Red Belt, with the 10th-degree red belt only meant for pioneers of BrazilianJiu-Jitsu. 

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Degrees

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Black belt periods are fixed, not minimum. They determine how long each practitioner should remain in each belt.