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How Long Does it Take to Get a Black Belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu?

How Long Does It Take To Get A Black Belt In Gracie Jiu Jitsu?

Posted: August 25, 2020

Royce Gracie Jiu Jitsu is a great way of learning self-defence skills for the real world while also improving your physical fitness.

A black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu demonstrates that you’ve gained the skill to practice the full spectrum of masterful self defence.

This is part of a process, as you work your way up through the different belts in jiu jitsu.

But how long does it take to get a black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu, and what do the different belt colours mean?

What are the Belt Colours in Gracie Jiu Jitsu?

The different belt colours in Gracie Jiu Jitsu include junior belt colours, for under 16s, and adult belt colours for age 16 and over.

To gain a black belt you should be 18.

The junior belt colours are:

  • White
  • White-Yellow
  • Yellow
  • White-Orange
  • Yellow-Orange
  • Orange
  • White-Green
  • Yellow-Green
  • Orange-Green
  • Green.

The Adult belt colours are:

  • White
  • Combatives belt (white with a blue centre stripe)
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Brown
  • Black.

In the junior belt rankings, each colour has a recommended maximum age, therefore, a student may not always need to progress through each of the colours, one after another.

For an adult novice, you begin with the completely white belt and move on to the Combatives belt.

What Do the Belt Colours Mean?

The colour of your belt shows what level of proficiency you have achieved in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.

In the junior rankings, there are more belt colours. This enables instructors to award children more frequently, helping to motivate them to continue to progress.

With adults, there are fewer colours, and therefore progress between them will be relatively less rapid.

There are various set techniques you must learn to progress, but progression is primarily at the instructor’s discretion.

As you advance, you gain stripes, which are placed at intervals on the coloured bar of your belt. These stripes show your level of achievement between the coloured belt rankings.

You require four stripes to then move to the next colour.

Adults, at white belt stage, are beginners.

To then learn the fundamental skills for the Combatives belt can take around eight to twelve months.

This belt is a symbol of your proficiency in self-defence, where you are street-ready for most common self-defence situations, and able to apply Gracie Jiu Jitsu in the real world.

Blue Belt and After

How do you know when you’re ready for your blue belt?

While gaining the Combatives belt is an indicator of consistent training and gaining essential skills, the blue belt is a step up.

The blue belt shows that you can comfortably use all positions on the mat, including basic self-defence and using your body, health and energy in both defence and offence. You should also be able to bolster this core competence with a willingness to take on advanced learning.

Gaining a blue belt can take between one and two years, and it requires consistency in your approach to learning and training with Gracie Jiu Jitsu. In many ways it marks the switch between applying your skills as a street-based self-defence system to practicing jiu jitsu as a demanding sport.

This is an important concept to grasp. While the black belt might appear as a peak of achievement, it will only come if you first learn the basics and progress effectively through the stages.

After blue comes purple. To gain this belt you must be approaching elite level. You have learned how to spar effectively in all positions and your technique is fluid and natural, in both defensive and offensive sparring situations.

The brown belt takes this expertise further. Now you are both advanced and masterful on the mat when sparring with partners. You can demonstrate a knowledge of 65 defensive tactics and techniques specifically. You have built on your accumulated knowledge while becoming highly skilled.

Gaining a Black Belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu

The black belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu represents the full range of skills in practicing this form of self defence as a master of the art.

It is about more than just physical technique, however. The black belt embodies lifestyle and philosophy alongside carefully-honed reflexive responses. It is truly an expert level.

As such, it is not something you should expect to achieve rapidly. It might take you anything from eight to 14 years to reach this level.

But the point isn’t in the colour of the belt at the end of your training. Rather, it’s in what you learn and gain as part of the process, right from the very start, when you wear a white belt.

Gracie Jiu Jitsu offers a lifetime’s reward, which is about more than colours and rankings.

Learn Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Surrey

We’re based in Redhill, Surrey, and we’ve been teaching Jiu Jitsu since 2001.For more information, please contact us.



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