The Different Jiu Jitsu Belt Levels

Like many other martial arts, Jiu Jitsu also has tiers and different colors of belts to represent a practitioner’s level of mastery.

At one point, we’ve all been curious about the different Jiu Jitsu belt levels.

No worries! Stick around as we go through all of the Jiu Jitsu belt levels.

(and if you want to learn first about Jiu Jitsu and its origin, click here)

Two Men Preparing For Jiu Jitsu Belt Levels .

How Many Belts Are There in Jiu Jitsu?

There are five primary Jiu-Jitsu belt levels, from white to black: blue, purple, brown, and black.

There are also three higher-tier variations of the black belt and 13 belts for kids. 

Some levels you can finish in a year of hard work, but most students need about ten years to get to the black belt level.

White Belt – Humble Beginnings

Every new student gets their white belt as soon as they start.

It means training and education. This part of your training is for learning and paying attention. 

Even though there are few goals for this phase, you should learn and understand basic steps, kicks, punches, and movements.

The main goal of your first training will be to build up your stamina, strength, and flexibility to do better in the later phases.

Focus on learning the moves and fitness at your own pace.

Blue Belt – Defense

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, a blue belt is the second adult rank.

Blue belt trainees spend hundreds of hours on the mat learning various techniques. 

Blue belt is usually the rank where a student learns a lot of moves.

For a practitioner to get a blue belt from the IBJJF, they must be at least 16 years old. 

It means that they are now part of the adult belt system.

During blue belt training, you’ll focus mainly on learning how to tackle and do defensive drills.

As training focuses on defensive moves, students must compete in a match to show they understand before moving on to the purple belt. 

These matches aren’t anything to worry about as they are not that difficult.

Purple Belt – the Knowledgeable

The IBJJF states that a person must be a purple belt for at least 1.5 years.

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, an adult with a purple belt is in the middle level.

The practitioner with a purple belt has acquired much knowledge and is qualified to teach lower-ranked students.

In other forms of martial arts, students with the equivalent of a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu can now be instructors.

For a purple belt, the IBJJF recommends that a student has been a blue belt for at least two years and that they are at least 16 years old.

There are slightly different requirements for those who go straight from the youth belts.

Related Reading: What Is The Belt Order In Taekwondo – Get To Know Here.

Brown Belt – Attack

The brown belt is the last before reaching mastery and obtaining your black belt.

The brown belt curriculum emphasizes offensive techniques while continuing to practice defense drills.

The IBJJF says that a brown belt must stay a brown belt for at least a year.

Trainees must also be 18 and have a purple belt for 18 months before getting a brown belt. 

This stage is for practitioners to continuously hone their skills with the time they have until the next belt.

Black Belt – Mastery

Only athletes who are at least 19 years old can obtain black belts.

You must be a current member of the SJJIF to request a black belt certificate. 

A black belt SJJIF member listed as the primary instructor or assistant instructor at an SJJIF member school can qualify for a degree.

Black/Red (Coral belt)

The IBJJF says that a person must be a black and red belt for at least seven years.

When a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt gets to the seventh degree, they get a belt with red and black stripes that alternate. 

People often call this belt the coral belt.

Coral belts have vast amounts of experience, most of which have significantly impacted Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

They are often called “masters.”

White/Red – the Eight-Degree

The IBJJF says that a person must stay on a white and red belt for at least ten years.

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation recently changed the rules for moving from a seventh-degree black belt to an eighth-degree black belt. 

A person who has reached the 8th-degree black belt level will wear a red and white belt.

Red Belt – Grandmasters

A Young Red Belt With A Grandmaster.

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the highest belt one can get is a red belt at the ninth degree.

At this stage, the practitioners whose influence and fame take them to the peak of the art.

It replaces the ninth and tenth-degree black belts.

If a person gets their black belt at age 19, the earliest they could get their ninth-degree red belt would be when they are 67. 

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu, anyone with a red belt is a grandmaster.

Kids Belt System; Ages 4-15

Children can move up to the next belt in the following order: 

  • White
  • Gray/white
  • Solid gray
  • Gray/black
  • Yellow/white
  • Solid yellow
  • Yellow/black
  • Orange/white
  • Solid orange
  • Orange/black
  • Green/white
  • Solid green
  • Green/black

Each belt has five levels.

You can earn a clear belt and four stripes over time based on what you know, how you act, and how well you do in a tournament.

Students can only move up through the belts on the list if they have a black belt from the SJJIF.

The athlete’s birth year determines if they are old enough to compete.

Also, a youngster cannot compete at the same belt level if they win the same SJJIF tournament two years in a row.

Related Reading: Karate belt order – Read All About It Here

Final Thoughts

Martial arts are all about dedication and discipline.

It is no surprise that it will take years to get to the higher belt levels.

It is always possible to start, but if you can, you will have an edge if you begin your training early.