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tallgeese
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Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6862
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 5:05 pm    Post subject: Brown Belt Promotion Reply with quote

Hey all, we shot some video last weekend when a couple of guys who run an affiliate school earned his Brown Belt in BJJ after a really extended period of study. The journey to this level in any art can be a grind. In BJJ it can be even longer with 60 percent of that time (at least) dedicated to executing under live conditions. It's a giant milestone.

Here are some thoughts on what goes into a Brown Belt beyond just the technical considerations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4LtGG46X_s

Comments, thoughts, etc are always welcome!
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sensei8
KF Sensei
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Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15712
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brown Belt...it's truly an epic milestone for any practitioner of any style of the MA! Time on the floor plus time on a journey equal that which can't be denied, and in time, one finds themselves much more closer to another epic milestone...Black Belt.

Congrats to Josh and Clint; well deserved!!



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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congratulations to your students, and equal congratulations to you. Yes, it's all about your students, but when your students earn a promotion, part of you earns one too in a way.

I've heard a ton of different time tables in BJJ promotions, but I have to ask: how long on average do the different belts take? What's your order of belts (pretty sure brown is the last one before black)? Some BJJ guys like to throw around the phrase that a 1st dan in BJJ is like a 3rd dan in other arts.

I think the first student said 6-7 years of study?

Just curiosity. I know everyone's different and different BJJ schools do things differently. People always say it takes a long time, but I've never seen anyone say something like a 1st dan usually has 10 years of consistant training.
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tallgeese
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Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6862
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
Congratulations to your students, and equal congratulations to you. Yes, it's all about your students, but when your students earn a promotion, part of you earns one too in a way.

I've heard a ton of different time tables in BJJ promotions, but I have to ask: how long on average do the different belts take? What's your order of belts (pretty sure brown is the last one before black)? Some BJJ guys like to throw around the phrase that a 1st dan in BJJ is like a 3rd dan in other arts.

I think the first student said 6-7 years of study?

Just curiosity. I know everyone's different and different BJJ schools do things differently. People always say it takes a long time, but I've never seen anyone say something like a 1st dan usually has 10 years of consistant training.


Our belt system runs White, Blue, Purple, Brown, and Black. Each belt gets 4 stripes.

Time frames vary even within schools. 15 years ago 10 plus years was very common to black belt. That was also a time frame where black belts were few and far between. Now days, times have compressed somewhat. Some purest will argue that this is a degradation in quality. I think one only has to look at the product that is being put out there to realize that this is not the case. Jiu jitsu practitioners are getting deeper and more technical at each rank with each generation of artist. It's due to the number of training opportunities and sheer access to black belts early in one's career.

That said, it's still a big time commitment. For us, you can figure about 2 years per rank. So it comes out to about 8 years to black belt. That's about six months per stripe.

As I inherited from my instructor, if I'm doing my job as a coach there's no reason you standard student who attends class 2-3 times per week can't attain a full rank in two years. Some schools will use competition as a benchmark, personally, I could care less if someone competes or not. It's just not my thing. But for some people it's important.

So you're getting into the Purple Belt rank about the 4-5 year mark that many Eastern arts get you to Black Belt in (so there is some correlation to the offset of rank) but there's a ton of variability there as well.

It's important to note that unlike many arts, one does not enter the Black Belt ranks in BJJ at 1st Dan. You go in with a Black Belt. After 3 years (roughly but not before) you get promoted to a first stripe on the Black Belt. So by the time one lands the first dan rank you'll have 11ish years into the system. It's at this point you can make Black Belts yourself (although at Black you can rank up to 4 stripes of Brown in the organization I'm part of.)

Hope that answers some of the questions.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tallgeese wrote:
JR 137 wrote:
Congratulations to your students, and equal congratulations to you. Yes, it's all about your students, but when your students earn a promotion, part of you earns one too in a way.

I've heard a ton of different time tables in BJJ promotions, but I have to ask: how long on average do the different belts take? What's your order of belts (pretty sure brown is the last one before black)? Some BJJ guys like to throw around the phrase that a 1st dan in BJJ is like a 3rd dan in other arts.

I think the first student said 6-7 years of study?

Just curiosity. I know everyone's different and different BJJ schools do things differently. People always say it takes a long time, but I've never seen anyone say something like a 1st dan usually has 10 years of consistant training.


Our belt system runs White, Blue, Purple, Brown, and Black. Each belt gets 4 stripes.

Time frames vary even within schools. 15 years ago 10 plus years was very common to black belt. That was also a time frame where black belts were few and far between. Now days, times have compressed somewhat. Some purest will argue that this is a degradation in quality. I think one only has to look at the product that is being put out there to realize that this is not the case. Jiu jitsu practitioners are getting deeper and more technical at each rank with each generation of artist. It's due to the number of training opportunities and sheer access to black belts early in one's career.

That said, it's still a big time commitment. For us, you can figure about 2 years per rank. So it comes out to about 8 years to black belt. That's about six months per stripe.

As I inherited from my instructor, if I'm doing my job as a coach there's no reason you standard student who attends class 2-3 times per week can't attain a full rank in two years. Some schools will use competition as a benchmark, personally, I could care less if someone competes or not. It's just not my thing. But for some people it's important.

So you're getting into the Purple Belt rank about the 4-5 year mark that many Eastern arts get you to Black Belt in (so there is some correlation to the offset of rank) but there's a ton of variability there as well.

It's important to note that unlike many arts, one does not enter the Black Belt ranks in BJJ at 1st Dan. You go in with a Black Belt. After 3 years (roughly but not before) you get promoted to a first stripe on the Black Belt. So by the time one lands the first dan rank you'll have 11ish years into the system. It's at this point you can make Black Belts yourself (although at Black you can rank up to 4 stripes of Brown in the organization I'm part of.)

Hope that answers some of the questions.


Thanks for that. I used to work with a guy who studied BJJ. He studied for about a year when I left that job. Being a former Army Ranger and employee at West Point, you think he'd be big on rank. He had no clue when promotions were held and how long the time frames were. In a good way, he just trained and didn't care about it.

His teacher/dojo owner was a purple belt. Not knowing the system or rank structure, it was a red flag for me. That CI was also a 4th or 5th dan in judo though. That dojo's policy was only a black belt can promote students, regardless of the students' rank, so they had to wait for the CI's teacher to come in. It was one of the Gracie's system, but I can't remember which; one of the R's, but not Royce or Rickson.

Speaking of which... Is there uniformity/standardization among the different BJJ schools, such as in judo, or is it more along the lines of karate where every school seems vastly different in techniques and rank/promotion standards?

I only know a handful of people who've studied BJJ formally (non-MMA integrated); most didn't last longer than a year or two. I'm pretty sure the Army Ranger is still active in it, but I haven't talked to him for about 3 years now.
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tallgeese
KF VIP

Joined: 04 May 2008
Posts: 6862
Location: McHenry County, IL
Styles: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Bujin Bugei Jutsu, Gokei Ryu Kempo Jutsu, MMA, Shootfighting, boxing, kickboxing, JKD, Pekiti Tersia Kali

PostPosted: Tue Sep 15, 2015 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JR 137 wrote:
tallgeese wrote:
JR 137 wrote:
Congratulations to your students, and equal congratulations to you. Yes, it's all about your students, but when your students earn a promotion, part of you earns one too in a way.

I've heard a ton of different time tables in BJJ promotions, but I have to ask: how long on average do the different belts take? What's your order of belts (pretty sure brown is the last one before black)? Some BJJ guys like to throw around the phrase that a 1st dan in BJJ is like a 3rd dan in other arts.

I think the first student said 6-7 years of study?

Just curiosity. I know everyone's different and different BJJ schools do things differently. People always say it takes a long time, but I've never seen anyone say something like a 1st dan usually has 10 years of consistant training.


Our belt system runs White, Blue, Purple, Brown, and Black. Each belt gets 4 stripes.

Time frames vary even within schools. 15 years ago 10 plus years was very common to black belt. That was also a time frame where black belts were few and far between. Now days, times have compressed somewhat. Some purest will argue that this is a degradation in quality. I think one only has to look at the product that is being put out there to realize that this is not the case. Jiu jitsu practitioners are getting deeper and more technical at each rank with each generation of artist. It's due to the number of training opportunities and sheer access to black belts early in one's career.

That said, it's still a big time commitment. For us, you can figure about 2 years per rank. So it comes out to about 8 years to black belt. That's about six months per stripe.

As I inherited from my instructor, if I'm doing my job as a coach there's no reason you standard student who attends class 2-3 times per week can't attain a full rank in two years. Some schools will use competition as a benchmark, personally, I could care less if someone competes or not. It's just not my thing. But for some people it's important.

So you're getting into the Purple Belt rank about the 4-5 year mark that many Eastern arts get you to Black Belt in (so there is some correlation to the offset of rank) but there's a ton of variability there as well.

It's important to note that unlike many arts, one does not enter the Black Belt ranks in BJJ at 1st Dan. You go in with a Black Belt. After 3 years (roughly but not before) you get promoted to a first stripe on the Black Belt. So by the time one lands the first dan rank you'll have 11ish years into the system. It's at this point you can make Black Belts yourself (although at Black you can rank up to 4 stripes of Brown in the organization I'm part of.)

Hope that answers some of the questions.


Thanks for that. I used to work with a guy who studied BJJ. He studied for about a year when I left that job. Being a former Army Ranger and employee at West Point, you think he'd be big on rank. He had no clue when promotions were held and how long the time frames were. In a good way, he just trained and didn't care about it.

His teacher/dojo owner was a purple belt. Not knowing the system or rank structure, it was a red flag for me. That CI was also a 4th or 5th dan in judo though. That dojo's policy was only a black belt can promote students, regardless of the students' rank, so they had to wait for the CI's teacher to come in. It was one of the Gracie's system, but I can't remember which; one of the R's, but not Royce or Rickson.

Speaking of which... Is there uniformity/standardization among the different BJJ schools, such as in judo, or is it more along the lines of karate where every school seems vastly different in techniques and rank/promotion standards?

I only know a handful of people who've studied BJJ formally (non-MMA integrated); most didn't last longer than a year or two. I'm pretty sure the Army Ranger is still active in it, but I haven't talked to him for about 3 years now.


Purple Belt as an instructor rank in BJJ isn't the red flag that it is in a lot of systems. Remember, we're talking about a 4-5 year training commitment at that point. It's getting more and more rare these days, just due to the proliferation of Black and Brown Belts. However, it's still not unheard of.

Heck, I know a Blue Belt in a neck of the woods without ANY BJJ instruction that opened a place of his own. His coach is a Purple Belt who answers to a well known Black Belt in the nearest (using the term loosely) metropolitan area. Some people would get worked up about that, except he's won every major at White and Blue belt after a 5 year stint doing no-gi.

It can be subjective.

Speaking of, there is little in the way of standardization across groups. Largely due to the different focus of each school. Some people make competition a standard, some demand time served, others expect that fights get taken. It's a broad range. There are standards within groups, but even some of those aren't written down.

Generally speaking, if you're hanging with the next rank AND you've got the right amount of time in (which again varies) you're going to be a candidate.
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JR 137
KF Sempai
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Joined: 10 May 2015
Posts: 2442
Location: In the dojo
Styles: Seido Juku

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tanks again.
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