Regardless of which level you are currently at, if any, you are probably wondering how long you have to be at each level and what allows you to move on to the next level. Before we go through all the levels, however, here’s one warning for you: the point of Jiu Jitsu is not climb the levels quickly but rather to enjoy it in the moment. Jiu Jitsu is one of the stricter martial arts that requires 10 years and more to reach the status of a black belt. Many end up getting discouraged because of how long each level takes, which is why patience is a strong aspect of the Jiu Jitsu belt levels. A word of advice: just enjoy each level and keep your ego in check.
The white belt is where every Jiu Jitsu student begins and learns the foundations for everything they’ll practice under future belts. You will learn the most techniques during this belt as well as the names of the main positions. Your goals for this belt will be to know common submissions and guard passes and to choose one technique to master.
In order to achieve the next belt, you must be at least 16 years old and able to pass the guard. Those in this category should be good at defense and be able to escape from all positions without too much trouble. Your goal in the blue belt should be to master two techniques at this point, compete in at least one competition, and have two solid escapes from Mount, Back Mount, and Side Mount.
A purple belt also must be at least 16 years old and have been a blue belt for at least 2 years. Those “wasted movements” from the previous belts will be used to create momentum. During the purple belt, you should focus on improving your weakest areas, strengthen your offense, and start learning to attack using combinations of techniques. Your goals are to be able to do 3 combination attacks from guard position; 3 submissions from Side Mount, Mount, and Back Mount; and be familiar with all variants of the Guard position.
To be a brown belt, you must be at least 18 years old with a total of 5 years of Jiu Jitsu training; During this belt, you will focus on refining your techniques and have your own style and mastered signature moves that will work on most anyone. You will also be able to teach others at this point and counter most techniques. Your goals include perfecting your weight distribution and balance in top positions as well as improving your counter attacks.
The black belt is the highest belt you can achieve any time soon. Black belts must be at least 19 years old with a year of brown belt experience and are typically Jiu-Jitsu professors. They are humble and respectful of others, use their skills for good, and always believe they can improve any skill. The key to being a good black belt is understanding there is always room for improvement and the willingness to continue to learn without advancing.
The red belt is the highest belt but the hardest to obtain. You must have been a black belt for 48 years to be considered for the red belt, and it is considered an honor that is given to very few.
While reaching the red belt is not impossible, it is not something to be strived for. If it happens when you’re old, then be grateful. But your main goal with Jiu Jitsu is to teach others and be humble, not greedy or egotistical. So determine to do your best, stay patient, and have fun while climbing the colors of the Jiu Jitsu belts.