Jiu-Jitsu Ranking Information

Jiu-Jitsu Ranking Information

Earning Rank in 10th Planet Jiu-JItsu

As with other martial arts, the progress of a student is marked with a series of colored belts. Unlike other martial arts where a Black Belt marks a person’s proficiency in a style, in Jiu-Jitsu the rank of Black Belt is conferred to individuals who have Mastered the art of 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.

Having the only Black Belt Instructor in Bellevue , we are incredibly proud of our Lineage. Sensei Derek Stewart > Eddie Bravo > Jean Jacques Machado > Rickson Gracie > Helio Gracie. Our aim is to keep the value and tradition of the jiujitsu belt pure maintaining the strict requirements that have helped keep the art as prominent and valued as it is today. Below are the minimum age requirements before earning rank. In addition to the minimum age requirement. We have strict standards based on competition history, performance and understanding of the curriculums, and other factors determined by the instructor.

Your growth in jiujitsu is your own personal journey that will have varied lengths of time that differs student to student. The nature of the art is that competitors tend to get promoted faster due to their constant test of their technique. However competition is not required it is merely the quick answer for those who are hungry to progress.

For those patient and not competing enjoy the journey and focus on your jiujitsu improving. Focus on the ability to execute your technique against resistance successfully over time with minimal force and maximum control. 

Adult Belt Colors: White Belt - Blue Belt - Purple Belt - Brown Belt - Black Belt (Professor)



Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is famous for its informality and conservatism in regards to promoting students to a higher grade. This is largely due to the type of martial art that it is and the style that is used to teach it. There are few specific set “rules” about what a student should know before promotion occurs, and it is generally up to the instructor to decide if the student is ready for advancement.

The success of Jiu Jitsu as an effective martial art is largely due to its teaching and grading methods which, as well as drills, techniques and fitness, places such a large emphasis on live sparring and associated performance in this, as well as competition. The individuals performance and skill level is one of the key foundations of grading. Therefore Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that is places an emphasis less on theory and more on performance in application of the martial art, and students are graded as such.

It is an accepted principle to never promote a student before they are of a skill level equal to or higher than others of that level that they will be competing against, this ensures that students are promoted conservatively and are representing the sport and their school/team as best as possible. This policy of conservatism is a key aspect in making Jiu Jitsu one of the most effective martial arts in sporting and real life applications.

Below are the Beginner Minimums for advancement. Learning our Beginners core curriculum is crucial to blue belt promotion. Understanding that curriculum to an instructors level is crucial for advancement beyond blue. Review our minimums below. Additional questions? email info@simsdojo.com

Adult Jiu-Jitsu Belt Minimums (youth / teen below)


Frame of Reference

As a white belt, your goal is to create a frame of reference for your future learning. This is where you figure out what you need to know, and start to formulate a plan for how to acquire it. Think of BJJ as a jigsaw puzzle that you are putting together. At the white belt level is where you create the bordering or outer edges of the picture before you begin filling in the centre. Finish jiu-jitsu 101 and the 10th planet basics asap. You must learn how the chess pieces move before you can strategize and play the game. 101 and Basics is the start. 


Learning to relax is an absolutely essential skill and white belt is the best time to acquire it. I cannot overstate how important this is. The only way you will be able to do this is by learning to control your ego.

Remember: nothing is expected of you at this stage. Try to focus your energy on taking in all the different aspects of the training experience instead of trying to win every sparring encounter.

Less is More

A major enemy of the white belt is the tendency to try to acquire too much technical knowledge. It may seem counterintuitive, but at this stage learning twice as many techniques will not help you twice as much. It’s actually more likely to hinder your progress. It’s far better to get a deep understanding of a few basic movements and techniques than to get confused by an overwhelming number of possibilities.

Get in Shape

Conditioning is also important for the white belt. Although several weekly bjj classes will eventually cause your body to adapt, this can be sped up with an intelligently designed supplemental training program. 

Some Suggested Goals at White Belt:

  1. Learn the names of each of the main positions and acquire a basic familiarity with each of them. For example, be able to identify the guard position.
  1. Learn to control your ego by accepting that you will be beaten by the more advanced students. If you are big and naturally athletic this will be even more important for you.
  1. Get used to the ‘feeling’ of jiu-jitsu. Pay attention to how your body moves on the ground and the way a resisting opponent uses his strength and weight.
  1. Choose one from each position technique and try to master it. For example, one guard pass, one submission from side mount, one sweep etc.


Focus on Defense

I once asked Roger Gracie, the best jiu-jitsu fighter in history, what made him so good. After thinking about it for a while, he replied: “I built my game off a solid defence. I first made it almost impossible for anybody to tap me out.”

Hearing that made a deep impression on me. From that point on I focused almost exclusively on my defence. In fact, I will not promote any of my blue belt students to purple until they have a rock-solid defence. I want to see them able to escape from all the major positions and classic submissions with relative ease. I don’t care what flashy sweeps or submissions they can do, if I don’t struggle to control and submit them they won’t get graded.

Get Good at Guard Passing

Secondly, You will need to learn to pass the guard. To me, passing the guard is the most difficult aspect of jiu-jitsu. And every year it becomes harder, as new more complicated guards emerge. You will spend a great deal of time in opponents’ guards, so it makes sense to become proficient at dealing with them. When one of my students is approaching purple belt, I start grooming him by making him begin most of his sparring matches inside the other player’s guard.

Some Suggested Goals at Blue Belt:

  1. Have two solid escapes from Mount, Back Mount and Side Mount.
  1. Master three techniques for passing the guard, in particular one each from any closed, half and open guard variant.
  1. Fight in at least one competition.

Required Minimums to achieve this rank:

  • Complete jiu-jitsu 101 - All 4 sections
  • Complete 10th Planet basics - all 4 sections 
  • Complete 100 combined all skill levels/Int/or Advanced Classes
  • 16 yrs Min



Learn to Use Momentum

This is the belt of movement and momentum. Through the acquisition of timing and sensitivity, you will learn how to use and generate momentum (as well as redirect the momentum of your opponent) to achieve many of your objectives. A lot of the ‘wasted movement’ that naturally occurred in your game at the previous belts will be shaved away.

Although sparring is always an integral part of jiu jitsu, at the purple belt you really need to put the hours in. There is no short-cut here, but ‘Flow’ rolling and grappling with your eyes closed will definitely help.

Double-Check Your Foundation

Purple belt is also where you will finish laying the foundation of your entire game. As mentioned earlier, I suggest that the bulk of this foundation be a solid defence. Before you become a senior grade it’s wise to revisit this and make sure that you are a master of escapes and a nightmare to submit.

Focus on Your Weaknesses

About a year into your purple belt is a good time to do an honest assessment of your game. Figure out where you have the greatest weaknesses (or ask your coach) and through focused training make it a goal to turn those areas into your greatest strengths. This will make you a well-rounded fighter that is able to specialize into his style of choice.

Dangerous Guard

A good purple belt also has a great offense and is dangerous from any position. This is also where the player should start learning to attack using combinations of techniques – an initial set up and at least one counter to the standard defense.

As a purple belt your guard should be very effective. You should have a familiarity with all the different guards and be very dangerous from at least a couple of them.

Required Minimums to achieve this rank:

  • Assistant Level Instructor for Jiu-Jitsu 101 and 10th Planet Basics
  • Complete 100 combined all skill levels/Int/or Advanced Classes
  • 17yrs Min


Shifting from Defense to Attack

The brown belt is the point at which your focus will shift primarily from defense to attack. The air-tight defense you laid during the earlier belts will allow you to be much more aggressive in your hunt for submissions, sweeps and passes, as you will have little concern about being attacked or being placed in a bad spot.

Dominant From the Top

A brown belt is always a threat from the top positions. In mount and side mount he knows how to use his body weight and makes sure the fighter underneath feels and carries every ounce of it. He will pass the guard at even the narrowest window of opportunity, and his excellent balance will make him very difficult to sweep while he does so.

Depth of Technical Knowledge

Even though you will probably develop your own style and preferences, there will be very, very few positions or situations that you will be unfamiliar with as a brown belt You will have learned (or created) counters to almost all the most commonly experienced defensive and offensive techniques. This means that you will be one or two steps ahead of lower-level opponents.

You also will have several ‘signature’ techniques. These are moves which you know exceptionally well and have a relatively high percentage of success with on almost anyone.

Begin Teaching

A quality brown belt should be able to teach the art to others. This is actually when many BJJ players realize that they have a passion for teaching and decide to embark on coaching as a career path. You will also understand that teaching is a good way to consolidate the knowledge you have gained up to this point and acquire deeper insight.

Holistic Approach

By now, as a long-term jiu jitsu player, you have probably started to take a holistic view of your training in the art. You realize that your jiu jitsu performance is intrinsically interlinked with your physical and mental health, so you will seek to improve both using any avenues available.

Required Minimums to achieve this rank:

  • Full Level Instructor for Jiu-Jitsu 101 and 10th Planet Basics
  • Complete 100 combined all skill levels/Int/or Advanced Classes
  • 18yrs Min


Transcending Technique

You now know that there are no absolutes in jiu jitsu and begin to transcend the techniques and guidelines you picked up along your journey. You can easily ‘riff’ during sparring – just going where your body and your opponent take you. Your deep, intuitive understanding of the art means that you can instinctively ‘feel’ your way through most matches, even when confronted by a move or situation you’ve never seen before.

Fresh Eyes

The black belt starts to look at everything with a fresh set of eyes. You are now able to take see new nuances in ‘basic’ movements that you’ve already practiced thousands of times, and continue to improve and refine them.

You will also begins to see jiu jitsu in everything and draw inspiration from not only other martial disciplines, but diverse fields of art and study.

Quality Human Being

Most importantly, the path to the black belt has created (or enhanced) a quality human being.

By this stage you will know far more about your body, mind and spirit than you did at the start of the journey into jiu jitsu, and you will be acutely aware of your capabilities and limitations.

The black belt  is humble, friendly and respectful of others. Although you are a highly efficient and dangerous martial artist, you never seek confrontation and only use your skills and abilities to defend and help those less capable.

  • Full Level Instructor for Jiu-Jitsu 101 and 10th Planet Basics
  • Complete 100 combined all skill levels/Int/or Advanced Classes
  • 19yrs Min

As with many other martial arts, the black belt is the highest common belt within Brazilian jiu-jitsu, denoting an expert level of technical and practical skill. Estimates of the time required to achieve the rank vary, but all holders of this rank have thousands of hours of experience. Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belts are often addressed within the art as professor, although some schools and organizations reserve this honorific for more senior black belts.

Youth and Teens Ranking Information

The ranks for children are different. Blue belt and higher ranks have age requirements starting at 16yrs old, so children have the following ranks beginning with White, Gray/white, Gary, Gray/black, Yellow/White, Yellow, Yellow/Black, Orange/White, Orange, and Orange/black. Each belt has 4 stripes followed by a red stripe indicating a probationary period before the schedule belt test. 

Each stripe has a minimum class attendance requirement of 8 - 12 classes. 


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