How Many Belts Are There in Jiu Jitsu ( + The Belt Ranking System)

Did you know that women are victimized by sexual assaults nearly five times higher than men? Jiu Jitsu is a martial arts that many women have turned to for gaining confidence when it comes to self-defense. 

Whether you want the physical knowledge and power to defend yourself against attackers or are looking for something to occupy your time, Jiu Jitsu is a full-body sport that can benefit you just as much mentally as physically. Kids can also get started in Jiu Jitsu, although schools handle their belt rankings for children differently. In general, a blue belt is not awarded until the student reaches 16 years of age.

Even if you have been involved in the sport for a while, we have a must-read article for you. In our guide, we will go over the different Jiu Jitsu belt ranks and colors to help you gain a better understanding, so keep reading on for more information!

What Is Jiu Jitsu?

Before diving into Jiu Jitsu belt ranks, it helps to know a little more about the famous martial art sport. Jiu Jitsu focuses on close-encounter combat, emphasizing technique and leverage if you are a smaller opponent going up against someone with the height and weight advantage. 

The ultimate goal of Jiu Jitsu is to incapacitate your opponent by pinning them to the ground. While practiced worldwide, Brazil was primarily the starting point of Jiu Jitsu’s popularity and is how it acquired the name Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

How Many Jiu Jitsu Belts Are Available?

There are eight total Brazilian Jiu Jitsu belts, with additional ones for young children. Once children reach age 16, they enter adult Jiu Jitsu belt ranks. Here is a more comprehensive list of the colors and belt levels available:

  • White
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Red/black
  • Red/white
  • Red

There is another terminology often used in Jiu Jitsu called stripes or degrees. Stripes are awarded as a type of grading system between belt progression. On average, each belt also has four degrees until you earn a black belt. 

At that level, you can add stripes based on the time and commitment dedicated to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu until a red belt is achieved. How can you earn this prestigious level? 

First, you have to put in the time and effort, progressing through all the previous levels. Many times, it takes over a year to progress from one belt to another in the beginning stages. Progressing through the middle stages can take years, and you must meet certain age requirements. 

By the time you can qualify for a black belt, it is likely ten or more years later. A red belt takes decades and a lifelong commitment to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; it is a rare and prestigious honor with only a handful of individuals who have ever achieved this status. 

The benefit of studying and implementing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques spans beyond physical prowess. Research also shows that it can improve your mental health, reduce aggression, and improve resilience. 

How To Get a White Belt

Many beginner Jiu Jitsu participants wonder what they need to accomplish for a white belt, if anything. Technically, you do not need to do much to earn your white belt. 

Simply registering for courses and stepping onto the mat is enough. A standard gi usually comes equipped with a white belt as you start out.

A white belt essentially means “beginner.” You can usually earn stripes within a few months, depending on your dedication and the instructor’s judgment. 

Jiu Jitsu Belts vs. Karate Belts

Another debate is the belt system used in Jiu Jitsu versus karate. Karate usually entails a test that participants must pass before obtaining another belt progression. In Jiu Jitsu, it is solely based on time, experience, and the instructor. 

As you master skills and techniques, you will gradually earn more belts. While karate works similarly, there are more regimented guidelines. There are also a few other color differences. 

Karate belt colors include yellow, orange, and green, and after a black belt is earned, you can progress through ten degrees. Like Jiu Jitsu, this requires extensive time and dedication, with only a few individuals ever earning this highest level. 

Progressing Through Jiu Jitsu Belt Ranks

Progressing through Jiu Jitsu ranks requires extensive practice. Regular training helps you progress through the belt ranks more quickly. However, it is still important to remember that you have to meet certain time requirements before achieving higher rankings. Many individuals are well into adulthood before obtaining these long-sought-after belts. 

It also helps if you have a qualified instructor and clinic that can help you advance your skills, mindset, and technique. While mastering Brazilian Jiu Jitsu takes time and mental stamina, it is essential you continue working on your physical abilities. Some key areas you can target are:

  • Cardiovascular endurance
  • Strengh training
  • Balance and Coordination

You can incorporate various exercises, such as circuit training, HIIT training, or running. These allow you to target multiple muscle groups and develop whole-body strength, flexibility, and mobility. Flexibility exercises are crucial to progressing through Jiu Jitsu belt ranks since it prevents injury and can increase your power during specific movements. 

Start Jiu Jitsu Courses Today

Jiu Jitsu is excellent for all ages and can help develop your self-defense skills. Jiu Jitsu belts also give you a system for measuring your progress and achievements. 

As you become more familiar with martial arts and learn the techniques, language, and skills, you can earn higher degrees. Over time, you may find that Jiu Jitsu benefits you physically, mentally, and emotionally, allowing you to connect with your body and mind in a new way. 

Are you ready to get started? Register for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu courses today!

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