Brazilian Jiu jitsu Belt Rank System (IBJJF)

“How long does it take to get a blue belt in jiu jitsu?” I know you’ve heard that question – or at the very least, some manifestation of it…i.e. sacrifice “blue” for “purple”, “brown” or “black” belt.

Well, you can go to the IBJJF page and check out the generally accepted guidelines, or just check out the excerpts here…I kind of took the meat and potatoes of it for adults (adults being 18 and above).

*NOTE: This is done as time to the next belt. For example, adult blue is 2 years. This means that it is two years until you can be promoted to purple belt. Brown is 1 year, this means that it’s a minimum of 1 year until you can be promoted to black, etc.

The reason for the IBJJF guidelines is to unify BJJ through the world and competition to keep one standardized and acceptable timeframe. OF COURSE there will be exceptions. Again, these aren’t my standards, they are from the IBJJF website.


  • White – No minimum
  • Blue – 2 years
  • Purple – 1.5 years
  • Brown – 1 year
  • Black – 31 years
  • Red/Black (coral) – 7 years
  • Red/white – 10 years
  • Red – Indefinite

*NOTE: From black belt on, the periods are not minimum, they are fixed and determine how much time the practitioner should wear each belt.


  • Up to brown belt, the degrees of each belt is at the discretion of the academy. When a practitioner receives their black belt, they must adopt the promotion system as set forth by the IBJJF (see above).


  • The 10th degree red belt was/is only given to the pioneers of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu


  • Purple belts can graduate a white to blue
  • Brown belts can graduate a blue to purple
  • Black belts can graduate purples to brown
  • In order to be promoted to black belt, the candidate must have someone with their 2nd degree black belt doing the promoting who is certified through the IBJJF


  • A red bar on a belt differs in meaning from gym to gym…they signify that the person wearing it is in an authoritive position at the instructor’s discretion. It means that they are either monitors or instructors.
  • NOTE* Through IBJJF guidelines, in countries or areas where enough black belts aren’t available, purple and brown belts may receive “instructor” status until the minimum number is reached at which point “instructor” status will be suspended.

Categories: EVERYTHING (in no particular order), Jiu Jitsu and Judo

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5 replies

  1. How is instructor status defined?

    • I pulled this and generalized it through the IBJJF website. What I failed to really promote is that the IBJJF isn’t a governing body in BJJ, it’s not a regulatory entity or anything…it’s simply a major tournament organiation, so what is here, is their IDEA of timeframes – by no means a guideline.

      That being said, instructor status is usually in areas where black belts aren’t available – blue, brown or purples can get the red bar and be instructors…once black belts are available, that status is revoked…again, according to IBJJF…in my BJJ, I’m an instructor at purple, but we don’t go by them.

  2. “Brown belts can graduate a blue to purple”

    No offense, but it doesn’t seem like you edit your posts at all.

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