Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu borrows much of its ranking system from Judo, the Japanese martial arts form that came to be in the late 1800s. Although Judo is its foundation, in many regards, the ranking system of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (commonly shortened to BJJ) has been modified. These changes were done so that it would better align with the skill sets, practices, and themes of BJJ as a specific martial arts form.
From White to Black Belt and Beyond
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu uses the colored belt system that most are familiar with.
Children ages 4-15 who participate in BJJ go by the way of a ranking system that differs from adults. The colored belts go as follows: white, gray, yellow, orange, and green. Within each color that follows a white belt, white and black variations are added to show rank progression. These variations were put in place as an incentive for children to keep working towards new goals, as sitting under an unchanged ranking for years could feel too long for those who are younger and new to the sport.
For adults 16 years and older, the order goes white, blue, purple, brown, black, and beyond. With all of the belts preceding the black belt, an individual is required to remain at that particular level anywhere from one to two years. If someone practiced BJJ as a child and then moved into the adult ranking system they may be placed above the initial white belt ranking (depending on their skill level).
Once black belt status has been achieved, one must remain a black belt for a minimum of 31 years. Although 31 years seems like a lifetime in and of itself, there are three levels that have been achieved beyond that of a black belt — the highest ranking having only been reached by one individual.
Start Working Your Way to a Black Belt Today
Does Brazilian Jiu Jitsu sound like the type of exercise for you? Contact Jiu Jitsu Nation located in Smyrna, Tennessee for more information!