How Long Does it Take to Get a Black Belt in BJJ?

How Long Does it Take to Get a Black Belt in BJJ?

This question about how long does it take to get a Black Belt in BJJ is always something that any amateur, beginner or a non-practitioner is curious about. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system is very strict compared to other martial arts. But it does have a belt system like Karate, Tae Kwon Do, Aikido, and Judo – but the time it takes going to the next belt level is much longer!  

It usually takes between 8-15 years to achieve a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Most people say ten years as a rule of thumb, but on average, it would seem to be closer to 12 years.  

A typical BJJ student might go through many years of extensive training in order to achieve the rank of Black Belt in BJJ, and there are some who are able to achieve the black belt in less than eight years, but it's rare and notable.  

To put it in perspective, the time it takes for you to get your black belt might be the same amount of time you would take to get your PhD!  

Black Belt in BJJ

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Belt Progression

How much time does an average BJJ student to spend on each belt level? There are certain factors or requirements that academies look into for stripe or belt promotion, these include:  

  • The student’s progress and skill
  • The student’s competition experience
  • The student’s knowledge of techniques and being able to execute them properly
  • The student’s overall attendance
  • The student’s determination to the sport 

Questions a BJJ student might have would be, what does each belt color mean? And what skills do I need to have, or what should I be working on for each belt color? To answer these, we’ll consider some of the general characteristics at each belt level: 

White Belt

Average Years of Training at this Belt Level: 1 to 2 Years 

During white belt, you will learn to survive, you’d get beat when you spar with higher-ranking belts, you’d be tapping a lot, and you’d get frustrated. But with the right mindset, you will realize that you learn every time you tap. As a white belt, you should let go of your ego to avoid hurting yourself or your training partners. This is where you start to learn the basics and the time for you to understand the jiu-jitsu game. 

Blue Belt

Average Years of Training to be at this Belt Level: 2 to 3 Years 

Blue Belt in BJJ

For most beginners, the blue belt is their primary goal, and some might feel that it is more important than the black belt. Hence, the reason why most fresh blue belts start to disappear, experience the blue belt blues and some get infected with Bluebeltitis or the feeling where you are unable to train due to the intense pressure on your ego of having to defend your blue belt in sparring and the possibility of getting tapped by a white belt. 

But if you had the passion and discipline to get the blue belt, then you definitely have what it takes to stick to the sport and keep training until the next level. At this stage, you are experimenting, learning the fundamentals, applying the techniques in combinations, developing a strategy, and setting your foundation for the rest of your BJJ journey. 

Purple Belt

Average Years of Training to be at this Belt Level: 4 to 5 Years 

On this belt level, you already know your game and still continue to develop setups, combinations, and attacks. You are no longer working on techniques that don’t suit your game but rather focus on your strong areas. You could’ve already gotten a black belt in most other martial arts with the time you spent to get a purple belt in BJJ, and at this stage, you probably have learned almost all the techniques in your academy’s curriculum up to black belt.

Brown Belt

Average Years of Training to be at this Belt Level: 7 to 8 Years 

If you reached this level, you are now almost a Black Belt. You already have an arsenal of techniques that you use during sparring. You are refining your skill rather than learning new ones. You’ve developed more strategies and now being able to control every roll. 

Brown belt

Black Belt

Average Years of Training to be at this Belt Level: 7 to 8 Years 

You have now mastered the art of grappling. Your mastery of BJJ shows evidently during sparring, especially with lower belts. You have smoothened the rough edges of your technique. 

You know how to answer the “whys?” behind techniques and also the “what ifs?”. To be a good black belt, you have to continue and improve your game as well as help your students achieve success. 

Factors to Consider when Training BJJ

Training Frequency

How many times a week should you be training BJJ? It’s a common question for most beginners, and you have the option to train five or more days a week. You have to be careful though, and consider rest and recovery because the more you train, the more you’ll need to recover. Not being able to recover properly might lead to injuries, and injuries will delay your progress. 

Black belt in Bjj

Instructor's Teaching Skills

Your coach doesn’t have to be a high-level World Champion or a high-level competitor, but he should have the technical knowledge about the fundamentals, key details, and the patience, especially with new students. Someone who knows his stuff and can identify the details you are missing helps you in developing a game plan and focuses on the skills that you need to improve. 

Training Method

It's important when talking about training methodologies that you have an understanding of what each method is for and why you do it.  

Black Belt in BJJ

Drilling is for you to get the movements down and to improve speed and fluidity, improving your muscle memory.  

Positional sparring is for you to get concentrated practice on connecting the moves together and working from a specific position. The resistance level can vary, but basically, you're taking the movements you worked on during drilling and working on applying them in a concentrated fashion.  

Rolling is putting everything all together: timing and transitions, where you practice and test a technique, it’s where you see the holes in your game are, and it is where you recognized the transitions between positions. 

Final Thoughts

The journey to Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu requires years of long extensive training, but it is highly rewarding and a great achievement. It is the result of a lot of blood and sweat that you have sacrificed through all the years of training and competing. Keep in mind that the journey to black is a long one, but it isn’t the end of the journey – it only begins a new one