BJJ Grades and Gradings

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BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby captaintau » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:46 am | #1

There are a few BJJ practitioners on here so I'm just seeking understanding of the BJJ system of grades and gradings. Please note that I'm not out to start any sort of debate or any criticism of any style. I'm just asking a question. No hidden agenda

What I understand
- BJJ grades take years to earn. On average, if you train 2-3 times a week and compete regularly you can expect 1st Dan in about 10 years
- BJJ coloured belts have a black area on the right end to which up to five white bars can be added to show experience within grade.
- For BJJ black belts this area is red and holds Dan bars
- 6th Dan and upwards is black-and-red
- 8th Dan and upwards is red
- The belt sequence is White, blue, purple, brown, black. So why can you buy orange, green, yellow  and red belts with the BJJ black region?
- A purple belt is a teaching grade
- Usually formal gradings don't take place. Instead grades are awarded as part of seminars based solely on competence against others of same or superior grade
- Success in competition is also a significant factor in grading
- Royce Gracie openly said this evening that a BJJ blue belt knows everything that he knows. The difference is timing and experience.
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby Urban Fisherman » Fri Apr 06, 2012 6:45 am | #2

Roger Gracie is "possibly the greatest Jiu Jitsu competitor to have ever stepped on a mat" and a 2nd Dan.
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby OneDragons » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:48 am | #3

The lower coloured belts can be used for kids, so they can work up to blue belt.

Also 1st Dan is a higher grade than a black belt. I'd say min 12 years to black (3 years in each graqde) would be more realistic if your good enough.
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby captaintau » Fri Apr 06, 2012 1:19 pm | #4

OneDragons wrote:The lower coloured belts can be used for kids, so they can work up to blue belt.

Ah right. I did look it up on Wikipedia. Blue Belt reportedly has a minimum age of 18, thereby being an adult grade. This makes sense.


OneDragons wrote:Also 1st Dan is a higher grade than a black belt.

Are you saying the grading sequence is brown, black, 1st Dan?
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby OneDragons » Fri Apr 06, 2012 8:50 pm | #5

That is exactly what I'm saying.

Also I have seen kids in our club being given blue belts so not exclusively an adult grade.
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby captaintau » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:37 pm | #6

captaintau wrote:Are you saying the grading sequence is brown, black, 1st Dan?

onedragons wrote:That is exactly what I'm saying.

Interesting. Spirit Combat have Shodan Ho ("probationary black belt"), Shodan ("full black belt") and then 1st Dan. My recent Aikido grade was Black Belt, but not 1st Dan. I thought this was unique to Spirit Combat.
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby nz_ROB » Mon Apr 09, 2012 9:40 am | #7

I know a Judo 1st Kyu who was a 3rd Kyu for 10 years because he didn't compete - he gained his current rank by competing and winning his matches ..
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby captaintau » Mon Apr 09, 2012 2:47 pm | #8

nz_ROB wrote:I know a Judo 1st Kyu who was a 3rd Kyu for 10 years because he didn't compete - he gained his current rank by competing and winning his matches ..

This is how the British Judo Association was until recently (last year / year before). The only grade that you didn't have to compete for was the first one (yellow). For all other grades up to about 5th Dan you had to compete. You didn't have to win but you did have to accumulate points. IIRC for everything up to 1st Kyu, two wins would net you enough points to get the next grade. In rare cases (IE very close or contentious matches) you could not win but still get the equivalent points for a win. Equally so if you won but it was a rubbish win then you may not get the winning points. You could lose every match but ultimately still accrue enough points for an upgrade. I think for 1st Dan and about you had to winning consistently against senior grades.
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby dojojojo » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:49 pm | #9

captaintau wrote:
nz_ROB wrote:I know a Judo 1st Kyu who was a 3rd Kyu for 10 years because he didn't compete - he gained his current rank by competing and winning his matches ..

This is how the British Judo Association was until recently (last year / year before). The only grade that you didn't have to compete for was the first one (yellow). For all other grades up to about 5th Dan you had to compete. You didn't have to win but you did have to accumulate points. IIRC for everything up to 1st Kyu, two wins would net you enough points to get the next grade. In rare cases (IE very close or contentious matches) you could not win but still get the equivalent points for a win. Equally so if you won but it was a rubbish win then you may not get the winning points. You could lose every match but ultimately still accrue enough points for an upgrade. I think for 1st Dan and about you had to winning consistently against senior grades.


The BJA points system worked on a points per grade system. Green belt 20 points, blue 20 points, brown 30 points, 1st Dan 100 points and so on, there was also a non competitve promotion, which Dan grades could upon fulfilling the criteria grade once every 5 years. Though the NCP'S were replace several years back with technical dan gradings for those who could no longer compete.
Each grade required wins, close or contentious matches dont come into it, a win is either by way of a wazari or an ippon, wazari gaining 7 points  and ippon 10, these are recorded on a points record card and when the points for each grade were gained the candidate would be required to complete the theory section for that particular grade, then their record book would be signed up to reflect the new grade, All dan grades though were and still are required to be sent by the examiner to the national dan grade registrar, along with the points card, theory sheet and record book whereupon the record book is stamped

Now all grades upto 1st Kyu are technical, whilst not requiring contest points, the theory requirements are far more stringent and cover a wide variety of judo technique, from basics, through renzoku and renraku waza, different grips for particular throws, transitions into ne waza, and on into Kata. so far more that used to be required, the Dan grade system is now two tier, one for contest players, which requires 100 points for each dan grade, though now with time limitations between each grade, the contest system still works on the old dan grade theory, whilst now there is also the technical Dan grade system, each Dan grade now has a huge amount of theory involved using all aspects of Judo, where the contest theory requires random individual techniques to be shown one from each section, the technical requires the entire syllabus (up to whatever Dan grade the candidate is examing for) including all the transitions, linkages, gripping, contest versions, Kata etc. so again a large amount of technical knowledge is required, between each grade is a minimum of 5 years. up to 5th Dan. Beyond this it gets a bit more complicated. All the details are on the technical page of the bja website should it be of intrest.

Almost forgot!, you can also via the contest route be upgraded in one Dan grading, each person is given three fights, if you win two by ippon, you go forward into a line up of three, win these three fights one after another also by ippon wins and you gain the next grade in that day, obviously the theory has to be done on top as well. but for decent contest players, its a good way to go. so rather than attend several gradings fighting for the 100 points, you can do it in one with 50 points.......confused! :D
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby Blackbelt007 » Mon Apr 09, 2012 8:37 pm | #10

dojojojo wrote:
captaintau wrote:
nz_ROB wrote:I know a Judo 1st Kyu who was a 3rd Kyu for 10 years because he didn't compete - he gained his current rank by competing and winning his matches ..

This is how the British Judo Association was until recently (last year / year before). The only grade that you didn't have to compete for was the first one (yellow). For all other grades up to about 5th Dan you had to compete. You didn't have to win but you did have to accumulate points. IIRC for everything up to 1st Kyu, two wins would net you enough points to get the next grade. In rare cases (IE very close or contentious matches) you could not win but still get the equivalent points for a win. Equally so if you won but it was a rubbish win then you may not get the winning points. You could lose every match but ultimately still accrue enough points for an upgrade. I think for 1st Dan and about you had to winning consistently against senior grades.


The BJA points system worked on a points per grade system. Green belt 20 points, blue 20 points, brown 30 points, 1st Dan 100 points and so on, there was also a non competitve promotion, which Dan grades could upon fulfilling the criteria grade once every 5 years. Though the NCP'S were replace several years back with technical dan gradings for those who could no longer compete.
Each grade required wins, close or contentious matches dont come into it, a win is either by way of a wazari or an ippon, wazari gaining 7 points  and ippon 10, these are recorded on a points record card and when the points for each grade were gained the candidate would be required to complete the theory section for that particular grade, then their record book would be signed up to reflect the new grade, All dan grades though were and still are required to be sent by the examiner to the national dan grade registrar, along with the points card, theory sheet and record book whereupon the record book is stamped

Now all grades upto 1st Kyu are technical, whilst not requiring contest points, the theory requirements are far more stringent and cover a wide variety of judo technique, from basics, through renzoku and renraku waza, different grips for particular throws, transitions into ne waza, and on into Kata. so far more that used to be required, the Dan grade system is now two tier, one for contest players, which requires 100 points for each dan grade, though now with time limitations between each grade, the contest system still works on the old dan grade theory, whilst now there is also the technical Dan grade system, each Dan grade now has a huge amount of theory involved using all aspects of Judo, where the contest theory requires random individual techniques to be shown one from each section, the technical requires the entire syllabus (up to whatever Dan grade the candidate is examing for) including all the transitions, linkages, gripping, contest versions, Kata etc. so again a large amount of technical knowledge is required, between each grade is a minimum of 5 years. up to 5th Dan. Beyond this it gets a bit more complicated. All the details are on the technical page of the bja website should it be of intrest.

Almost forgot!, you can also via the contest route be upgraded in one Dan grading, each person is given three fights, if you win two by ippon, you go forward into a line up of three, win these three fights one after another also by ippon wins and you gain the next grade in that day, obviously the theory has to be done on top as well. but for decent contest players, its a good way to go. so rather than attend several gradings fighting for the 100 points, you can do it in one with 50 points.......confused! :D


hence I am still a 1st kyu! I dont have the time or brain power to get a dan in BJA judo
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby captaintau » Fri Apr 19, 2013 12:16 pm | #11

Thread necromancy but this week I came across this:
The new Gracie Jiu Jitsu ranking structure

Interesting if a little too complex. They don't do Dans but instead simply belts and the Black Belt acrues degrees in the same way that a Purple or blue belt does. It falls apart at the Coral and red-and-white belts of course as they are automatically whatever degree.

Also, the grey belt  :?
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby PointyShinyBurning » Fri Apr 19, 2013 1:30 pm | #12

"Gracie Jiu Jitsu" isn't the IBJJF. Generally it refers to Helio's side of the family, who do whatever the hell they feel like when it it comes to grading people.
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Re: BJJ Grades and Gradings

Postby nry » Fri Apr 19, 2013 2:27 pm | #13

Well that's nice and simple...
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