How Long Does It Take To Get A Black Belt In BJJ?

How long does it take to get a black belt in BJJ?

There are some martial arts where you can achieve black belt status in as little as three years. BJJ on the other hand takes a very long time. In fact, it takes longer to get a black belt in BJJ than any other martial art I am aware of. That said, how long does it take to get a black belt in BJJ?

Most people who train BJJ regularly will receive their black belt in roughly 10 years. Of course, some people achieve black belt status sooner and for some, it will take longer than 10 years. That said, becoming a BJJ black belt takes a lot of hard work and dedication. 

Becoming a BJJ black belt is something very few people will ever achieve. Though I don’t know the exact stats, most people I have talked to estimate that 1 percent or less of the people who start jiu-jitsu will make it to black belt.

Like anything in life mastery of any craft is something few will achieve. Making it to black belt in BJJ is not an easy task. However, that does not mean you should not try. Getting to black belt in BJJ is really as simple as not giving up. With that in mind let’s look at why so few people make it to black belt in BJJ.

How Fast Can You Get A Black Belt In BJJ?

There are many reasons why most people do not make it to black belt in BJJ. After all, it can take up to 10 years or even longer to become a black belt. Though there have been rare exceptions of people who have become black belts in less than 5 years they are the rare exception.

But just for simplicity, let’s use the average time it takes which is about 10 years. With that in mind, how many people do you know that have stuck with any sport or hobby for 10 years consistently? That would exclude someone who has been golfing for 10 years but only goes to the course once a month.

We are talking about people who spend multiple times per week perfecting their craft. The truth is that it is hard to stick to anything for that long. That said, there are some very common reasons that people quit jiu-jitsu before the black belt. The first is simply the amount of work and time it takes to become a BJJ black belt. 

The Work And Time It Really Takes To Get A BJJ Black Belt

It’s not simply the time it takes that holds people back from becoming black belts in BJJ. Rather it is the amount of work you have to put in during that time that is the hard part. Though many aspects of training jiu-jitsu are very enjoyable, there is also a not-so-fun aspect as well.

To become a BJJ black belt requires that you are going to have to drill certain techniques thousands and thousands of times. Just like in any sport, playing the game is fun but often repetitive drilling will eventually get old. That is at least for the vast majority of people.

That said, it is certainly something you will have to do to achieve black belt status in BJJ. Of course, this goes with anything in life you wish to become one of the best in the world at. That said, when you get there I am sure you won’t regret a single moment of all your hard training.

Life Gets Busy

Another very common reason is simply that life gets busy. Many people will start jiu-jitsu when they are young and often when they are single. But over those 10 years it takes to get a black belt, your life will go through some serious changes. A good example of this would be getting married and starting a family.

Or perhaps you start your own business that requires a lot of your time. Either way, most people will eventually start to have priorities that are more important to them than training BJJ. I am not suggesting that this is a bad thing by the way.

In fact, taking care of your family should be a bigger priority than jiu-jitsu. However, there is likely a way you can do both. Of course, you might have to cut back on training a little bit, but there are probably other areas of your life you can cut back on instead of family time. If you truly have what it takes to become a black belt in BJJ then you will find the time to train.

How Long Will You Spend At Each Belt Before Becoming A BJJ Black Belt?

The thing that will determine how long it will take you to reach black belt in BJJ is how long you will spend at each belt. You will spend time in four different belts before you reach black belt.  That would include the white belt, blue belt, purple belt, and brown belt. With that in mind, let’s look at how much time will likely be spent at each belt.

White Belt

The first belt in BJJ is the white belt. This is the belt you will wear on your first day of class up until you reach blue belt. Most people can expect to spend anywhere from 1-3 years of training before becoming a blue belt. There average would be somewhere close to two years.

The white belt is where you will learn the basic fundamentals of BJJ. Depending on the academy you go to, you will progress to blue belt after you have a basic understanding of the basics of BJJ. If you are a white belt looking to advance to blue belt check out our article: How Long Does It Take To Get A Blue Belt In BJJ? 

How Long Will You Spend As A BJJ Blue Belt?

The next belt after the white belt is the blue belt. This is often the belt many people say is the hardest to get through. People often report a phenomenon known as the blue belt blues. The reason I think this happens is that after spending so much time at white belt, you are really looking forward to becoming a blue belt.

After all, you’re finally not at the lowest BJJ belt level anymore! However, after the excitement of becoming a blue belt wears off, you then realize you are also going to be at this belt for another couple of years. Most people will spend about the same amount or more time at blue belt as they did at white belt. This would equate to roughly 2-3 more years.

How Long Will You Be A Purple Belt In BJJ?

The purple belt is the next belt after blue in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This is the belt right in the middle of white and black. It is also the belt most people will start to recognize you as a higher belt. At purple belt, you have a good understanding of BJJ and are starting to develop your own game.

You can expect to spend another couple of years at purple belt as well. Most people take roughly 2-4 years to move past the purple belt. So already we are looking at likely still being at the purple belt level after 5-6 years of training.

Time Spent As A BJJ Brown Belt

The brown belt is the last belt before the black belt in BJJ. Getting this far is something that very few people who start jiu-jitsu will ever achieve. Probably less than 3 percent of people who start BJJ will become brown belts. It takes most people 6-9 years to even reach the brown belt

Brown Belts have a very high amount of knowledge and skill in BJJ. At brown belt, people are simply ironing out a few kinks on their way to becoming black belts. Most people will spend another 2-3 years at brown belt. After adding up how much time will be spent at each belt you are looking at roughly 10 years of training to become a black belt in BJJ.

What Is After Black Belt In BJJ?

Many people who have been black belts for a long time equate getting a black belt to starting over as a white belt again. After all, it is not like there is nothing left to learn after becoming a black belt in BJJ. In fact, there are 6 degrees of black belt you can achieve. Many people will become BJJ instructors after becoming black belts.

Red And Black Coral Belt

After the black belt is the red and black coral belt. This is technically a seventh-degree black belt. It goes without saying that very few people will make it this far. The Coral belt is reserved for those who have made a very large impact on the BJJ community.

Red And White Coral Belt

Next is the red and white coral belt. This would equate to an eighth-degree black belt in BJJ. This is a very rare belt that is reserved for true masters of the art. You must spend 10 years at this belt before possibly moving on to the highest belt in BJJ.

Red Belt

The highest rank in BJJ is the red belt. This is a ninth-degree black belt in BJJ. Only the highest of BJJ masters will make it to a red belt. These are people who have dedicated their life to jiu-jitsu and would be referred to as grandmasters. These are people who have played a major role in the art of BJJ. Though there is technically 10th degree, it seems to be reserved only for the original pioneers of BJJ.


Joshua Paul

Joshua Paul is a BJJ purple belt who lives in Austin, Texas. Joshua loves all forms of grappling and when he is off the mats he is likely spending time with his wife and son.

Recent Posts