What are the Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?


Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ), a martial art that has gained recognition and popularity worldwide, borrows its ranking system from Judo, comprising of different colored belts. These belts reflect a student is progress, understanding, and practice of the martial art. The belt system signifies the journey of a practitioner from a beginner towards mastery in BJJ.

The White Belt

The White Belt is the first belt in BJJ. It indicates a learner who has just started their journey at the Phuket Grappling Academy. This period is considered one of exploration, where learners begin to understand fundamental techniques such as guards, submissions, escapes, and more. Although frustrating at times due to the steep learning curve, this stage is crucial in laying a solid groundwork for future development.

The Blue Belt

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the next level after obtaining a White Belt is the Blue Belt. A Blue Belt holder has a deeper understanding of BJJ fundamentals and have started to put these foundations into practice during sparring sessions. The focus at this level often shifts towards core strategies and technical precision.

The Purple Belt

Following the Blue Belt comes the Purple Belt – this signifies an intermediate-level practitioner. As holders of this belt, practitioners become more creative with their attacks and combinations due to their improved skill set. This period also sees an increase in refining personal game styles and advanced techniques.

The Brown Belt

Next, we have the Brown Belt – representative of an advanced BJJ player. At this stage, students have usually refined their unique style. There is an emphasis on mastering all techniques they have previously learned along with increasingly enhancing their personal game plans.

The Black Belt

The top level in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu hierarchy is represented by The Black Belt. Achieving this demonstrates that one has comprehensively mastered BJJ techniques – offensive, defensive and counter-attacks alike

Other Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

In addition to these common colors (white through black), other special belts exist within BJJ:

  • Red-and-black belt (Coral belt): Awarded to black belts who have reached 7th degree
  • Red-and-white belt: Awarded to black belts who have reached 8th degree
  • Red belt: This highest level belt symbolizes a grandmaster who reached 9th or 10th degree black belt

Please note: it takes numerous years or even decades of rigorous training and commitment becoming one among these coral or red belts.

In Summary

colored belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are not merely symbols of rank – they denote an ongoing learning pathway that encapsulates personal growth over years or even decades.