Let’s face it:
Beginnings can be challenging and a bit intimidating. You probably remember the first time you ever stepped inside a martial arts studio:
The environment was new, you didn’t know anyone, and your coach taught you important aspects of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Like many people, you probably noticed it:
The black belt tied around the waist of your coach. Majestic and slightly menacing. Such a simple piece of cloth that signifies years of effort, sacrifice, and determination.
So, you couldn’t help but wonder:
“How long will it take me to earn my black belt? How do I even get promoted in this sport?”
Let’s find out.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Promotion
Unlike some martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu promotions are quite strict, and one earns a new belt only if they prove themselves. Rest assured that BJJ belts truly signify a level of expertise.
Progression is also non-linear. You might find yourself stuck at one belt for a long time and make two quick jumps in a matter of years. It all depends on your devotion and respect toward the sport.
All of this makes promotions all the more sweet and satisfying. Having your efforts rewarded after months or years of hard work is a feeling like no other. It might be challenging and a bit frustrating at times, but you get to enjoy your achievements because of it.
For many trainees, promotions are a deeply satisfying experience. On the one hand, they have confirmation of their skills and abilities. On the other hand, they’re reminded of the long road still ahead of them. It’s a great feeling that consists of satisfaction and hunger for more.
What Do Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Promotions Depend Upon
Though it may not seem so, your coach watches you often to determine how well you’re developing and whether you’re ready to move up. Of course, this shouldn’t come as a surprise, and it shouldn’t worry you. The goal isn’t to judge you but to determine your strengths and weaknesses and help you develop further.
So, the best answer we can give you is this: show up consistently, train hard, and remain curious. It almost sounds too simple to be true. But just as Stephen King famously “writes one word at a time,” BJJ mastery stems from repeated efforts.
Some practitioners also choose a no-belt practice, but we believe that belts serve an important purpose. First, they bring a sense of achievement and pride to practitioners. Second, it helps keep them on track toward improvement. These things are essential for keeping practitioners engaged and allowing them to gain a sense of “I’m working toward something meaningful.”
Most gyms and martial arts studios hold guidelines that depend on time spent and expertise shown to determine the trainee’s proximity to a promotion. In most cases, it takes around a decade to go from white to black belt. Of course, this varies from trainee to trainee, and how dedicated they are to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Stripes also get awarded incrementally, and once the trainee shows they’ve gained a level of expertise.
The Bottom Line
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu promotions are fantastic. They give the trainee a sense of progression and allow them to see where they stand. But belts and promotions are not everything. Trainees should learn to appreciate and enjoy the journey as it happens. This is a great way to focus on the day-to-day efforts and stop thinking about the finish line all the time.
At Dream Martial Arts and Fitness, our goal has always been to create the most engaging training experience for our students. So, if you’re interested in immersing yourself in the world of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, come down to our studio for your first class.