Welcome to Citadel BJJ blog, your trusted Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) school in Iowa City, Iowa
In this blog post, we aim to demystify the world of BJJ ranking system and promotions, shedding light on the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) belt ranking system.
Whether you’re a curious parent or an aspiring BJJ practitioner, understanding the progression and significance of belt ranks in BJJ is crucial. It can be confusing but we will educate you the best way we can. Let’s dive right in!
The IBJJF Belt Ranking System:
The IBJJF is a globally recognized governing body that sets standards and guidelines for BJJ competitions and belt promotions. Their belt ranking system consists of several colored belts, each representing a different level of skill and experience. Here’s an overview:
The Jiu-Jitsu journey begins with the white belt, which signifies a newcomer to BJJ. At this stage, practitioners focus on building a strong foundation, learning fundamental techniques, and developing their understanding of BJJ concepts. Usually, for each belt, you get 4 stripes which are levels of progression within each belt level.
After demonstrating proficiency in the basics, a practitioner may be awarded the blue belt. This signifies progress and a deeper understanding of BJJ. Blue belts continue to refine their techniques, expand their knowledge, and gain valuable experience on the mats. Achieving a blue belt takes about 1-3 years depending on the individual. It took me about 2 years to get my blue belt.
The purple belt represents a significant milestone in a BJJ practitioner’s journey. By this stage, individuals have displayed a higher level of technical proficiency. Purple belts are often skilled enough to help guide and mentor newer students. By this time, the individual has been training for years. From the start of the BJJ journey, it takes about 5 years to attain a purple belt. I received my purple belt after being a being a blue belt for 2 1/2 years.
The brown belt is awarded to practitioners who have achieved an advanced level of skill and knowledge. Brown belts have honed their techniques to a high degree of proficiency & have likely developed a unique style of their own. They are considered highly knowledgeable and respected within the BJJ community. To earn the rank of Jiu-Jitsu brown belt, it takes about 6-9 years of training. This is the last color belt in the BJJ ranking system.
The pinnacle of BJJ achievement is the black belt. Receiving a black belt is a remarkable accomplishment that requires years of dedicated training, commitment, and demonstration of mastery. Black belts are recognized as experts in BJJ and often become instructors or mentors to others. Many black belts consider it one of the greatest milestones in their lives when they receive their BJJ black belt. The average time it takes to receive a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is 10 years. There are about 8,400 registered black belts in the world according to the IBJJF
Promotions & Evaulations:
Promotions within BJJ are not solely based on the number of years trained but on a combination of factors. These factors include technical skill, knowledge, competition experience, attitude, and contributions to the BJJ community. It’s important to note that promotion criteria may vary among different BJJ schools and instructors. Some BJJ schools have promotion classes where the practice is dedicated to awarding multiple students their new BJJ belts. Other gyms promote students in any given training session.
At Citadel BJJ in Iowa, our dedicated instructors carefully evaluate each student’s progress and provide guidance on their journey through the ranks. Matt Leighton is a 2nd-degree black belt & co-owner of the Iowa City BJJ gym Citadel. He awards BJJ belts to the students in his school along with James Kelly. We believe in fostering a supportive environment that encourages growth and promotes excellence.
Understanding the IBJJF belt ranking system and the significance of promotions is essential in navigating the world of BJJ. At Citadel BJJ & Wrestling in Iowa City, IA, we embrace the journey of progression, providing a nurturing environment for our students to grow and reach their full potential. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, we are here to support you every step of the way. Join us at Citadel BJJ, and let’s embark on an incredible BJJ journey together.