The Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt System Explained: This is What to Know
Are you trying to learn more about how the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system works? If yes, you should check out our helpful guide here.
Did you know that a one-hour class of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can make you burn around 1,000 calories? The actual number depends on various factors such as your age, weight, physical fitness, and more. However, practicing Jiu-Jitsu is a great way to get in shape, lose weight, and learn how to defend yourself in case of assault.
If you decide to practice this type of activity, you need to familiarize yourself with the Jiu-Jitsu belt system. Once you progress and learn different types of defenses and positions, you'll be awarded a belt that describes your skill level. Keep reading to learn more about these belts and how they can help you stay motivated and focused!
The White Belt
The white belts are the complete beginners of the sport. This stage is also known as "unconscious incompetence" because you don't even know what you don’t know. You will need the help of the coach and other training partners to learn the basic movement patterns and perform the first jiu-jitsu positions.
While you are a white belt, you will probably feel confused and unsure, but it's normal in the beginning. The goal is to process basic movements in your mind and then put them into practice on the mat. During some classes, Jiu-Jitsu participants also verbalize each movement before doing it for real. This is a good way to preserve your focus and develop basic skills quickly.
The Blue Belt
The next step after a white belt is getting the blue belt. This stage is also known as "conscious incompetence" because at least you are aware of the things that you don't know. Blue belt students are capable of initiating attacks and find an escape from the most popular positions. They have an idea of how to tackle an adversary, but they might still make fundamental errors in practice.
While you're a blue belt, you'll also start to learn on your own and feel more confident on the mat. Since you have a basic understanding of Jiu-Jitsu, you can spot the mistakes your opponent might make and try to capitalize on them. With that being said, there will be days when you feel like a complete beginner again. This is normal, so don't let this period in your training discourage you.
The Purple Belt
This stage is also known as the "conscious competence" and you're basically aware of what you know. While you are a purple belt, you will start to move much more smoothly through positions and guards. You will begin to unconsciously eliminate unnecessary movements that might tire you and ruin your stamina.
Purple belts also learn to utilize their weight at maximum to achieve a greater advantage over their adversary. Making use of weight and momentum is crucial in neutralizing an opponent. While you're a purple belt, you will also focus a lot on your weak points, so that you don’t give your opponent too many chances to tap you. Working on your weak skills can be frustrating, but it will greatly help your game and make you proficient in other areas of the sport.
The Brown Belt
This is the fourth belt you can achieve in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and at this point, you're just one step away from the black belt. This stage is also known as "unconscious competence" because you probably have mastered the skills and techniques that you're not even aware you can do. Brown belts are familiar with almost all Jiu-Jitsu positions and guards and have developed counters for all types of attacks.
As a brown belt, you're also able to teach this art to other students. You will begin to move with great smoothness through positions and come up with your own attack techniques. Brown belt students are capable of tapping a lot of adversaries, but they also get tapped and not feel bad about it.
The Black Belt
This is the final stage in your Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu initiation and it's likely the one you have waiting for. Black belts are true masters of this sport and they practice it regularly. They are capable of tapping most of their adversaries but have a complete disregard when it comes to the outcome of a game. They're in the gym to learn and perfect techniques.
As a black belt, you will develop your own signature moves that can work on most opponents and you can escape from many difficult positions. You have a lot of confidence on the mat and you might even be capable to become creative and develop brand new moves. Brazilian jiu-jitsu is like a game of chess - once you have the rules and fundamentals in place, you can create your own attacks and defenses because your understanding of the game is very advanced.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Black Belt?
This is a common question among Jiu-Jitsu students or people who contemplate starting this sport. As a quick answer, it might take you 5-10 years to achieve the black belt. This probably sounds discouraging for some people, but there are numerous positions and techniques to learn to progress from a white belt to a black belt.
You can definitely shorten that time if you are a quick learner and practice Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on a regular basis. However, even in that case, it might take you a few years to achieve mastery. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a complex art and your coach will not award you a superior belt until you have mastered the fundamentals of the current one.
Now You Know More About the Jiu-Jitsu Belt System!
As you can see, the Jiu-Jitsu belt system is carefully structured to help students get better gradually, without risking an injury. Keep in mind that you also don't need to be a bodybuilder or have an excellent fitness condition to start your training. You will improve your fitness level while practicing Jiu-Jitsu!
If you're eager to try this amazing sport, check out our schedule. You can join a class of Jiu-Jitsu or pick another form of martial arts that you prefer such as judo, MMA or wrestling.