Outlined: BJJ Rankings

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If you’re new to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, or have just started to think about your future in the sport, you might be curious about what the general progression of belt ranks looks like for adults.

Each belt has different elements to focus on, techniques to learn and requirements to move on. I will run down the basics of each for you so you can keep in mind what the rest of your Jiu Jitsu career has in store! 

White Belt: A white belt is a blank slate for any adult starting new in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The only requirement to earn this belt is the desire to learn the sport and interest in starting your journey. In general you will be a white belt for one to two years, earning stripes along the way. During this time you should focus on defensive and escape maneuvers for the most part, as well as learning some fundamental submissions and guard escapes. 

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Blue Belt: In order to become a blue belt, it is required that you are at least 16 years old. During your jiu jitsu knowledge will expand extensively. Now is the time to become familiar with the majority of techniques, and to master the fundamentals. It is required to stay a blue belt for a minimum of 2 years before moving up in belts. Don’t get discouraged during this time, as your stripes will come much slower than they did as a white belt! 

Purple Belt: A purple belt is the first color belt that is considered an “upper belt” ranking. They are generally viewed as capable of instruction, especially to lower ranks. You will begin to develop mastery of advanced techniques, as well as a preference to your own grapple game. Practice the flow of your game during your time spent here, and share your knowledge with lower belts. Based on experience and knowledge, a purple belt in Jiu Jitsu is similar to a black belt in other martial arts. It is required that someone remain a purple belt for a minimum of 1.5 years before moving on in ranks. 

Brown Belt: A brown belt is the highest achievable colored belt in Jiu Jitsu. To get to this rank you must have at least 5 years of practice under your feet. During your time here, focus on refining your skills and focusing on the minute details of your craft. Continue to help educate the lower belts around you (now including purple belts). You must be at least 18 years old to receive a brown belt, and are required to remain at this rank for a minimum of one year before being promoted.

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Black Belt: Earning a black belt in Jiu Jitsu is a high honor, as it is the highest common belt ranking in the sport. A black belt represents expertise in technique and practice skills, as well as mastery at instruction. Individuals that achieve this feat are often referred to as “professor” to show respect and acknowledge their hard work. You must be at least 19 years old to be eligible for a black belt, with thousands of hours on the mat. 

Coral Belt: A coral belt is a special honor that not many people have achieved. This high degree is reserved for anyone that has actively been a black belt for over 30 years. It goes without saying that anyone at this level is highly technical, precise and efficient in their skill. They are the backbone of the sport and if you get the chance to learn from one, do it! 

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