What Is The Pink Belt in BJJ? (And 3 Reasons To Love It)

Aside from the normal BJJ belts, white, blue, purple, brown and black belts, there’s also a pink belt in BJJ. It’s a belt that the Gracie Academy uses to signify women who have completed their women’s BJJ program. In this article we tell you how you get a BJJ pink belt.

Contents of this article

pink belt BJJ

What is a BJJ pink belt?

A pink belt is a belt used in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu by the Gracie Academy. This belt is used in the Gracie Women Empowered self defense program to help encourage Gracie women to train BJJ. 

The program was created by Rener Gracie because he realized that women didn’t always feel comfortable training with men at the Gracie Academy. The Gracie Women Empowered program is designed to encourage women to train BJJ in a more safe environment.

What is the Gracie Women empowered self-defence program?

The Gracie Women Empowered program is designed to help women achieve a basic level of BJJ and self defense skills. Only women can enroll in the program, and no previous experience or athletic ability is required.

In addition to standard self defense technique this program features techniques specifically to defend against sexual assault. And it also deals with self defense situations that are more common for a woman, such as an opponent that pulls their hair.

The Women empowered program falls into the same category as the Gracie Bullyproof and Gracie combatives programs. These programs aim to give new students an introduction to Jiu Jitsu and basic self defense skills.

How do you get a BJJ pink belt?

To get a pink belt in BJJ you need to complete the Gracie women empowered self defence program. To do this, you have to attend each of the 15 lessons in the program 4 times and then pass the promotion test.

Over the course of these lessons a pink belt BJJ athlete will have learned 20 essential women’s self defense techniques and you’ll have acquired the Empowered Mindset. You’ll also have increased your athletic ability and learned some basic grappling moves that could help fight off larger opponents.

Why did the Gracies introduce the pink belt?

The Gracies introduced the pink belt because they wanted to reward women that successfully complete the Women Empowered self defense program. It’s a tradition in many martial arts to do this with a belt rank.

But, they felt that the skills acquired in the program were too specific to women to warrant the use of any of the traditional belt colors. Therefore they created the pink belt.

How does the pink belt compare to other BJJ belts?

The standard BJJ belts take much longer to earn and represent your ability to fight against other people who also do jiu jitsu. For example, what a BJJ blue belt means is that you mastered the fundamental moves of jiu jitsu, such as the armbar and the side control escape.

The pink belt represents a basic level of self defense skills. It represents your ability to defend yourself against someone who doesn’t do Brazilian jiu jitsu. It’s similar to the technical blue belt, another belt that the Gracie University awards for students who complete the Gracie combatatives program.

Critique of the pink belt

The pink belt has come under fire for not being a legitimate belt. It’s not used by other BJJ schools and it’s not recognized by the IBJJF.

It’s also received many of the same criticisms as the technical blue belt, which is that it’s too easy to obtain. Many BJJ athletes don’t like this because they cherish how long it takes to get each belt in BJJ.

Defense of the pink belt

I personally think it’s great that the Gracies introduced the pink belt into BJJ.

Firstly, because one of the main reasons why people quit BJJ is that the belt takes too long to get. If you compare us we are by far the martial art in which it takes the longest to get a black belt.

Secondly, there’s way more men in BJJ than women. That’s probably always going to be the case to some extent because BJJ is a martial art, but if we compare BJJ and Judo or Karate, we could do better. I think the pink belt is a great way to motivate more women to try out Brazilian jiu jitsu.

Thirdly, you have to remember that the hardest belt to get in BJJ is always the first one. So the hardest is the white belt, and after that the pink belt or technical blue belt. The first belt is the hardest because you have to walk through the door of a dojo, which less than 1% of people ever do in their lives.

Final thought on the BJJ pink belt

Everybody is allowed to have their own opinion on the BJJ pink belt. But I’m personally in favor of it. It’s a great motivation for women to learn self defense skills, and I don’t believe it lowers the value of any of the other BJJ belts at all.