What does it mean to be a Brown Belt in BJJ?

BJJ got kind of more restrictive belt system than other martial arts. It often takes over 10 years to get a black belt. When you get purple, you can say that you are halfway to your black belt in BJJ. However, being in the middle of your journey is still not that pressing. Once you have bjj brown belt, it starts to get serious, because you are now almost a black belt. So, what should you represent at this point?

BJJ Brown Belt Level of techniques

The basis of your skills is fluency and efficiency.  Your knowledge of the fundamentals is complete. At this level, few positions or moves should be unknown to you. Preferably even none. However, it is less about knowing techniques as much as it is about the finest details in executing them. You are now more focused on what makes a move efficient and all the ways in which it can be applied. Also, not many things should surprise you now. At this point, you can easily adapt and respond to changing conditions in a fight. As a BJJ brown belt, you should plan a few moves forward like an experienced chess player. Not without a reason, BJJ is called the Game of Human Chess.

At this point, the opponent can no longer take you by surprise. You’ve always got some contractions prepared for his moves. However, as a brown belt, you are not all about defending yourself. While sparing, you are carrying out complex attacks on your own. Moves combinations should be a daily part of your life as a brown belt. You should enforce techniques automatically and immediately. At this level, the movements are already automated and smooth.

Warning! Automated doesn’t mean mindless. Daydreaming while sparing because we know exactly what to do is as dangerous as not knowing what to do. Despite your high skill level, you cannot forget to still be focused and concentrated on fights and opponents.

Behavior and attitude

When you get brown belt is time to be dominant on the mat. You are just right behind black belt in eyes of your lover belts friends. At this time, you should be ready to teach others. Or at least to be the source of information for them, give them advice, etc. What’s more on this level, you should be known on the mat for some of your moves. Your club friends should already know in which area are you specialized. Also, you should have some spectacular moves of your own.

However, your high skill level can, unfortunately, lead to the danger of overconfidence and “I already know this technique, so I don’t have to train it” attitude. As a brown belt, you are only one step away from the black belt, so you happen to rest on your laurels. This is the worst thing you can do. Being a brown belt is all about details. You are still learning and improving your moves. It is the best time to fix any glaring weaknesses, not to rest on your laurels.

Time and official Brown Belt requirements

It is said that to get a brown belt it requires at least 5 years of dedicated training.
However, it usually depends on the club you train in, your trainer, etc. There is no one golden rule that everyone will get a  belt after x years of training. It is the decision of your coach based on many factors as a person’s skills, knowledge, dedication, contributions to the school and the sport, their ability against people of comprehensive experience, weight category and age, tournament performance, and more. However, there are still some official requirements. According to the IBJJF standards, the person to be promoted for brown belt should be at least 18 years old and spent a minimum of 18 months as a purple belt.


Every brown belt is different. We can’t hold everyone to the exact same standard.
We shouldn’t forget that being a brown belt means something different to everyone. Hobby brown belt at the age of 50 can’t be compared to some young competing and winning in everything brown belt.