In this post I explain how long it takes to get each belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, and which factors influence how long it takes until you get your next belt in BJJ.
Belt progression timeline
In the table below you can see the average time it takes to get a certain belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
You can also see what the minimum time at a certain belt is, before you can officially go to the next belt according to the international Brazilian jiu-jitsu Federation (IBJJF).
|How long does it take to get from the last belt? (years)||Minimum time from the last belt (IBJJF) (years)*|
*Note that gyms only need to adhere to the IBJJF rules if the athlete competes in official IBJJF tournaments
How long does it take to get a blue belt in BJJ?
For beginners with no prior experience in another martial art it usually takes about 2 years of dedicated training to learn everything white belts need to know to get their blue belt.
For a lot of people it takes longer because they don’t train consistently as a white belt. It’s not uncommon for people to stay at white belt for 3 or 4 years. That’s why some people think the blue belt is the hardest belt to get in BJJ.
If people have prior experience in another martial art they can get their blue belt much faster.
For example judo black belts usually get their blue belts within half a year. And judo black belts are also required to compete at the blue belt level instead of the white belt level in most Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions.
How long does it take to get a purple belt in BJJ?
Most blue belts get their purple belt in about two years.
That means that most people that start training Jiu-Jitsu get that purple belt in 4 to 6 years.
The transition from blue belt to purple belt is usually quicker than that from white belt to blue belt.
This is because blue belts usually train regularly and more times per week than white belts.
It’s not uncommon for blue belts to get their purple belt within 2 years, especially if they were white belts for a long time.
However, to compete in official ibjjf tournaments you can only compete at the purple belt level if you have been officially registered as a blue belt for at least 2 years prior to that.
How long does it take to get a brown belt in BJJ?
The transition from purple belt to brown belt takes 1 to 2 years for most people.
That means that most people that start training BJJ can get their brown belt in about 6 to 7 years. (Assuming no long hiatuses due to injuries or other breaks.)
How long does it take to get a black belt in BJJ?
It usually takes 10 years to get a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and it’s not weird if it takes you up to 15 years.
This is much longer than in other martial arts. For example, you can get a judo black belt in 4 to 6 years.
If everything goes right, you could expect to get each next belt in 2 years, for a total of 8-years to get your black belt in BJJ.
But for most people things get in the way. Maybe there’s a period where you can’t train as much because of your personal life, or maybe you’ll get injured.
The perfect Direct Bath to a BJJ black belt it’s quite uncommon and that’s why the average time it takes is longer than the time it takes to get a black belt in a perfect world.
What determines how long it takes to get each belt in BJJ?
The main factors for how long it takes you to get each belt in BJJ are:
- Training frequency
- Training quality
- Your instructor
If you want to get to the next belt faster in BJJ, the best thing you can do is to train more.
The second best thing you can do is to train better. You can set goals for your training, watch instructionals at home, and do all the other best practices for training BJJ.
The last thing that determines how long it takes to get your next belt is your instructor.
Some instructors simply give belts faster than others.
And while you can change instructors, you should never do this to get your belt faster; pick your instructor based on how good a teacher he is.
Why does it take longer to get belts in BJJ than in other martial arts?
The reason that it takes longer to get belts in Brazilian jiu-jitsu than any other martial art is that the belt progression system is not standardized.
For this reason it is also much more impressive to get a belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu than it is in other martial arts.
For example in judo there is a fairly limited set of throws that you need to show to get a belt.
Moreover, for your belt promotion you need to show these techniques against unresisting opponents, rather than in sparring.
That means that in judo you could get a belt while actually knowing only a limited amount of judo, even if you can’t do those techniques in sparring.
So in judo they know that anybody can get a black belt, but it doesn’t mean that you can actually throw people.
That’s why in judo they often distinguish between normal black belts and black belts that compete. The latter are far more impressive to them.
The same is true for many other martial arts: Karate, Taekwondo, Japanese jiu jitsu and so on.
In Brazilian jiu-jitsu you can’t get a belt by merely showing a technique against an unresisting opponent.
You need to hit these techniques sparring or competition.
And doing well in sparring is much harder than doing well against an unresisting opponent.
That’s why it takes much longer to get a belt in BJJ than in any other martial art.
Final thoughts on how long it takes to get a belt in BJJ
I hope this post helps you understand how long it takes to get each belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.
In the end, it’s about the journey, not about the belts. Just be patient.