Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Belt Requirements are much different from other martial arts such as Karate or Tae Kwon Do where there are 7 to 9 belts until one reaches the Masters Rank. In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu or Bjj there are only 5 recognized belts up to the Masters Ranks that are recognized by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation or IBJJF.
The belts are as follows:
The Belt Ranks and proficiency do not line up with the other Martial Arts as well. Generally for the average non competitor it can take a person to go from White Belt to Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu 8 to 12 years. Where in Tae Kwon Do you would be into your Masters Ranks 4th Degree Black Belt and above in that time frame.
For Example, In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu a Blue Belt which is your first official Belt is about the equivalent to a new 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do or Karate.
With that said the belt levels in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu require more time in between belts but by no means does it represents your technical abilities when compared to the same blet colors in other Martial Arts. So the emphasis is on focusing on advancing your skill level threw drilling, practicing and sparring instead of measuring on belt color.
Tips for Advancement in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu:
Listen to your Instructor – they have much more time training, learning and watching Bjj.
Drill over and over – Repetition is the mother of all skill. The only way you will be able to train your body to react properly in high intensity and physically challenging situation as an attack is to develop proper muscle memory for your techniques. That is done by drilling those movements thousands of times.
Take Notes – Use them to help you remember or write down a problem area so when asked by your instructor if you have any questions you will be able to get answers to the specific issue you were having.
Work your weak positions – It is guaranteed you will be put in them sooner or later and you must learn how to counter and escape.
Sparring is not a competition it’s practice – Sparring is for you and your team mate to practice and develop your skills. If you just go as hard as you can and dominate your partner without letting them work you do no one any good, increase injuries and eventually lose team mate to work with. If you want to pick up the intensity communicate that to your training partner before you decide to go 150% and rip his arm off.
Be patient and open to challenges, you will have them – Everyone was a beginner, even the upper belts. Do not get discouraged because you can not do a technique as well as a more senior student. As you continue to drill and practice you will develop these skills sooner than you realize.
Focus on Skill Instead of the Belt – Do not compare yourself to others its better to be a lower belt and tap higher belts than to be a higher belt and be dominated by lower belts.
My instructor once told me:
“Do you want to be a Black Belt or just have a Black Belt because anyone can just go to the store and buy a Black Belt just to have or you can earn it and be a Black Belt that can not be taken away even if you lose the belt”.
Come to Class – Even if you’re horrible, if you show up and practice it is inevitable you will improve and advance. If you do not you will stay where you are at the last time you walked out of the Academy.
The thought is practice on improving your technique and skills and the belts will naturally come.