BJJ is a very difficult martial art, and it takes about 10 years for an adult to receive the rank of black belt. However, the junior BJJ belts work a little bit differently. This led me to question, what is the system for junior Jiu-Jitsu belts?
The junior Jiu-Jitsu belt order is as follows: white, grey, yellow, orange, and green. At every belt color, except for white, there is a white stripe on the belt, then a solid belt, and then a black stripe. There are also age restrictions on the junior BJJ belts.
Let’s have a closer look at the belt order and what is expected of kids at each level. I will also talk more about the age requirements and if there is any need for grading in BJJ.
Last night I got to do something I’ve never done before. I was allowed to award a belt in BJJ.
These kids are hard working and the last 2 years I’ve gotten to see them grow and mature not only as people but as martial artists. It was an honor to reward that effort and dedication. pic.twitter.com/MTVHiZ1hCH
— MF | Static Hanma 🐢 (@TGStatic) October 21, 2022
How many belts are in kids Jiu-Jitsu?
Overall, there are 13 belts in kids Jiu-Jitsu. In adults Jiu-Jitsu, there are only 5. Therefore, kids get promoted much quicker in BJJ. The exact order of the belts in BJJ are as follows:
- White belt – no minimum age
- Grey belt with white stripe – minimum age 4
- Grey belt – minimum age 5
- Grey belt with black stripe – minimum age 6
- Yellow belt with white stripe – minimum age 7
- Yellow belt – minimum age 8
- Yellow belt with black stripe – minimum age 9
- Orange belt with white stripe – minimum age 10
- Orange belt – minimum age 11
- Orange belt with black stripe – minimum age 12
- Green belt with white stripe – minimum age 13
- Green belt – minimum age 14
- Green belt with black stripe – minimum age 15
Once a child has reached the green belt and black stripe rank, they must wait until the age of 16 when they can receive their adult blue belt. There is an important reason why there are so many kids’ belts and not many adult belts.
You see, kids like to feel like they are making progress and achieving something. And the color of their belt is an indicator of progress for them. Therefore, by promoting them regularly, it helps keep them motivated. So, less kids quit Jiu-Jitsu.
Having said that, if your child is being promoted every few months, it is a sign that the BJJ coach is not challenging your child. As a general rule, the minimum time to spend at each belt is 1 year.
What are stripes for in BJJ?
Stripes are used at belt promotions to signify progress within a belt color. They are used in many martial arts. In kids’ BJJ, they will receive a lot of stripes. Most BJJ schools will give a child a stripe every one or two months.
The stripe system in BJJ is not regulated by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). Different schools will have a different stripe system because stripes are nothing official. They are basically just for encouragement.
The main stripe colors used are red stripes, black stripes, and white stripes. Stripe promotions are very common in kids’ BJJ classes.
*Super proud dad moment* My 15 left behind the last of his kids belts today and jumped up into an adult blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. He’s been doing this for 8 years and this has been a goal of his for a long time. If you know anything about bjj you know this is a big deal. pic.twitter.com/vvjiXqMMfe
— Short_Logic (@Short_Logic) March 3, 2019
How long does it take kids to get through BJJ belts?
On average, it takes about one year to progress through each of the junior BJJ belts. This is assuming that your child is training at least 3 hours per week. If your child does not train frequently or put in the effort, they will take longer.
There are some kids that are super talented, and they can progress every 6 months to the next belt level. But these kids are often heavily supported by their parents. They might train at multiple gyms, compete all over the country, and even be sponsored.
These kids usually have parents that are training BJJ themselves. So, they receive tons of coaching and support.
If you are not able to do that for your child, don’t feel bad. There are many other ways in which you can support your child’s BJJ progress.
The adult belt system is in the following order:
- White belt – no minimum age
- Blue belt – minimum age 16
- Purple belt – minimum age 16
- Brown belt – minimum age 18
- Black belt – minimum age 19
White belt is the first belt in most martial arts. To get your blue colored belt, you have to train for about 2 years.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu students at blue belt level are nothing special, to be honest. These are lower-ranked students that are working towards the purple belt rank. They are only a little better than white belt students, and they don’t have a wide breadth of technical knowledge.
Some people can get their blue belt in just a year of training. Purple belt practitioners have reached the second adult rank. You have to be at least 16 years of age to get this rank and be very, very good at BJJ.
It takes a huge amount of dedication to get a BJJ black belt.
In this recent article on my site, I talk all about the factors that influence your BJJ progress. It is a must-read if you want to reach the black belt skill level without quitting due to injuries and other obstacles.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
How can kids progress faster in BJJ?
Children are going to be very occupied with the thought of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belts. It is their marker of progress. This can be detrimental to students in the children’s ranks though. If you have kids that are gray belts, or new students, you have to teach them to love Jiu-Jitsu.
Teach junior students to strive to reach the pinnacle of the art – superior technique. They should not be worrying about their kids’ graduation system and new belts. And they should not focus on attaining the next belt rank as quickly as they can.
Make sure that the head instructors at the gym are good people. You don’t want a coach that puts pressure on your kid to race through the stripe system and junior BJJ belts. You don’t want your kids to feel like they have to be junior black belts in 3 years.
Teach your kids to enjoy the process.
Curious about the word “OSS” that gets used in a lot of Japanese-origin martial arts classes?
I get into the meaning and origin of the word OSS in a recent article, including how it ended up being used dominatly in BJJ which is as much Brazilian as it is Japanese.
Click click that link to read it on my site.
In BJJ, there are lots of children’s Jiu-Jitsu belts. There are only 5 adult belts. The adult ranks take about 2 years to attain each one. The belt ranking system is different for kids and adults and requires different things from the students.
It takes about 10 years to get an adult black belt in BJJ and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. Once you are a black belt, there are degrees to that too. You can get all the way up to a 9th-degree black belt. This takes more than 60 years of training!
Japanese Jiu-Jitsu is another popular martial art for kids.
In this recent article on my site, I talk all about the ranking system in Japanese Jiu-Jitsu. I go over the factors that influence your progress in martial arts and how you can get better faster.
Just click that link to read it on my site.
Photo by cottonbro studio from Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/photo/boy-in-white-t-shirt-and-blue-jacket-7988827/