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Detailed Explanation About the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt Rankings

As a practitioner moves higher in the technical knowledge and practical skill of the art, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu ranking system signifies it with a specific belt. Read the SportsAspire article to find out what each belt means, depending on its color.
Sheetal Mandora
Last Updated: May 9, 2018
Many people are aware about this form of martial arts where different techniques are used to wrestle and fight on the ground with someone. The practitioner uses his/her body's leverage in order to dominate and control the opponent on the ground. In this way, when the correct jiu-jitsu techniques are applied, the practitioner can strike or hold the opponent down. Jiu-Jitsu was derived from Japanese martial arts, and is now used as sport grappling which is called gi and no-gi―a tactic for self defense, and other martial arts competitions. Jiu-Jitsu means "the gentle art" but the amount of strength and concentration required is much greater.
How Do You Earn Each Belts
Most people who enter the world of martial arts are keen on reaching the black belt. This journey, to reach the black belt, is very long and tough. In actuality, there are total of 5 belt colors―white, blue, purple, brown, and black. However, since it takes many people quite some time to reach the final belt and the time frame between each belt colors can be long as well, not being able to progress to another level or belt color can be demotivating. Hence, the use of stripes is taken to record your personal progress over time. As time passes, you have to improve your skills, work hard, practice, and most of all, show up for the classes in order to progress ahead.
Including the belt ranking, you will also find the stripes system. Here, small pieces of cloth are sewn on top of the belt your currently have. The number of stripes (often known as degrees) you have will hold a specific meaning―it indicates a student's level of skill within a particular belt rank. Not every school and/or academy will have the stripes system. Now there are many schools/academies which have included a few more colors because of the time difference between each belt color advancements. Depending on which school you attend to learn this art, the ranking will differ. In the following section, we will go over the different belt colors which you may come across till you achieve the black belt.
The Ranking System
To reach a particular belt rank, there are certain requirements that have to be earned. Below we will go over some details of each rank/color for adults (technically, 16 and over).
White Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
This is the first and the lowest belt as beginners wear them. When you are new to this art and don't have any martial arts experience, the white belt is given. Under this belt, students are taught about the different punches, strikes, kicks, and blocks.
Blue Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
After the white belt, the second rank is blue. In this level, a student has to learn and develop the technical aspects of this art. This is combined with the actual practice done on the mat. When the student acquires to combine both the knowledge and can demonstrate it so, he/she then advances to the next belt.
Purple Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
The third, intermediate purple belt comes after the blue belt. After 4 to 5 years of hard work, a student achieves this belt. With this belt, a student has tremendous knowledge, and can also teach the lower ranks.
Brown Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
This belt is looked upon as a transition rank from the intermediate level to the superior (black belt) level. The brown belt can be called either the highest level belt for the intermediate level and the beginning level belt for the superior level. Here, the student has to keep refining his/her skills and technical knowledge.
Black Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
This is the highest rank as it indicates that the student is an expert in the practical skills and the technical knowledge. Regardless of the time it took that student to reach this level, he/she will have to spend perhaps thousands and thousands of hours practicing the art.
Black and Red
Black and Red Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
After completing the 8th degree of black belt, that individual will be awarded with a red and black belt. These individuals are highly experienced as they have unbelievable knowledge.
Red Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Belt
A red belt can only be awarded by those individuals who have been a positive and strong influence of this art and have earned the fame which takes them to the meridian of jiu-jitsu. This belt is achieved after the 9th and 10th degree of black belt is finished.
Apart from the above mentioned ranking system, there are junior belt colors―white, yellow, orange, and green.