The question of how long it takes for one to get a black belt in BJJ is something that any amateur or beginner is often curious about. As a jiu-jitsu learner, you should be conscious of this fact: jiu-jitsu is unlike other martial arts.
How long does it take to get BJJ black belt ?
The system is practically designed to run through 10 years. Throughout them, you’d reach various milestones (belts) that you would necessarily need to hit before you could get your black belt.
Your entitlement to each belt is more like a qualifying process, which is rounded along various parameters.
Firstly, it involves your effort and your instructors’ decision. Some schools consider how fast you learn, some look at competition results, some how you do against higher belts and belts of your rank. Some also follow the IBJJF recommendation for belt ranking.
Traditionally, you should have in each of these belts for at least two years, maybe more. Everything depends on the number of hours you put in training and how fast you are able to win each of the plateau found in each of these belts.
The journey to get the black belt
Let’s take a rundown on the different stages and what each of these belts entails.
White: The white belt is often considered the empty cup. If you compare it to the Western schooling system, it would correspond to the kindergarten level. At this point, you are only going to be learning the basic skills that you would need to succeed.
Blue (fundamentals stage): the second belt is the blue one. This stage is known as the fundamentals stage. It is a stage of self-discovery where people usually stay the longest. On average, you’ll be a blue belt for 3 years. Also where people most often quit BJJ… At this stage, you will learn to focus on your defensive strategy and your guard passing.
Purple: at this belt stage, you will learn to become rounded. It is at this stage you search for the game that works best for you.
Brown: this is more like the golden stage. At this point, you become a strategist, you develop your own strategy to win. You know what works and what doesn’t, what are your best moves to win and how to effectively defeat your opponent.
Black: this is the deal belt stage. This is where your instinct of the game is developed and you already know what is the best for you. But you don’t forget you don’t stop learning here, there will always be techniques to improve and new ones to practice.
Your Speed Determines Your Timing
If you manage to take 2 years to achieve each belt, you will take 10 years to get a black belt. Otherwise, for the fast-trackers, 8 years is also possible. For the conservatives, 12 years wouldn’t be inappropriate. Most importantly, work hard and enjoy the journey all the way through.
See what does Bernado Faria think about this topic in the video below.