Understanding the Belt Classifications of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a martial art based on grappling. The core of the training and skills learned are focused on the concepts of control, resistance, and force.

Belt Classifications of Brazilian Jiu JitsuHowever, one aspect that may seem odd when compared to other self-defense art forms is the dominance of the ground position as opposed to the predominant standing positions of many other fighting styles. This martial art is centered around the idea of wrestling and forcing the opponent into a more vulnerable and controllable position on the ground rather than pure attack and strength, meaning that the moves are designed to equalize and overcome size, weight and strength discrepancies between opponents.

Like most martial arts forms, this fighting method requires years of dedication and practice to become a true master. Students of Brazilian jiu-jitsu must graduate through their training, receiving a different color belt upon each successful completion of training. There are five belt levels: white, blue, purple, brown and black. While some levels may be completed within a year of dedicated training, most students will take about 10 years to achieve the black belt.

However, that does not mean our students are not capable of defending themselves. The early stages of training are all dedicated to defense because it is necessary to learn how to protect yourself from an attack early, especially if the training is to have real-world self-defense benefits. As with any martial art, training is a way of life, and graduating through the belt classes represents learning and achievement. Each different belt color has its own significance as students progress.

White Belt for Initial BJJ Training

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu - Houston TX - Elite MMAThe white belt is achieved immediately for every new student. It signifies training and learning. During this phase of your training, your goal is to relax and pay attention. While there are not a lot of expectations of students in this phase, you are expected to learn and understand general steps, kicks, punches and motions.

The main focus of your initial training will be about building endurance, strength and flexibility for the later phases. We want all of our students to succeed and progress through the belt system, but we want you to do it at your pace, so remain diligent in practice, commit to learning the movements and focus on your conditioning to move to the next belt level.

Blue Belt for Defense

The blue belt is the first graduation or progression in training. This belt signifies that you have an understanding of basic movements and that you have built the endurance levels necessary for the next phase of training. During blue belt training, you will focus primarily on tackle training and defensive drills. However, you may also learn invasion maneuvers from a few different positions:

  •       Side mount 
  •       Back mount 
  •       Standard mount 

As training is focused on defensive moves, students must compete in a match to demonstrate their understanding before moving onto training for the purple belt. These matches are nothing to get too concerned with, as they are not complex.

Purple Belt for Momentum and General Fighting

Jiu Jitsu Belt LevelsA purple belt signifies an understanding of general fighting and momentum. While holding this belt, our students will focus on learning further strategic movements. You cannot obtain the next belt without learning various routines, drills, and exercises.

Each of these practices is meant to equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to ascend to the next level of your training. Most students wear a purple belt for a minimum of one year.

Brown Belt for Attack Techniques

The brown belt is the final belt before mastery and black belt achievement. During your training with the brown belt, you will focus on more attack techniques while continuing practice on defensive drills. During this phase of your training, our instructors will work with you to show you different submissions, sweeps and passes.

Also, you may find that you are beginning to demonstrate your own unique style, which your instructors will help you to hone, teaching strategic countermoves, offensive tactics and defensive steps.

Black Belt for Mastery of the BJJ Basics

BJJ Belt ClassificationsThe final belt is the black belt, which signifies a mastery of the basics. You are considered an expert in the fundamentals at this stage, meaning that you can break down the fighting style, movements and patterns of your opponents to successfully compete in matches. However, every martial art form requires lifelong dedication and training to master more advanced techniques.

You can always learn from other more experienced fighters, and sometimes even younger students have something to teach. Therefore, even as a master, you are still a student.

Brazilian jiu jitsu is a martial art that focuses on grappling and is dedicated to the understanding of control, force and resistance. While overall mastery does take years, it is possible to learn defensive skills relatively quickly with dedication and practice. If you are interested in learning this fighting style, then contact Elite MMA by calling (713) 496-0328.


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Understanding the Belt Classifications of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu / Elite – MMA Houston, TX

Mixed Martial Arts Houston


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