BJJ blue belt requirements?

For those of you with extremely good memory, I posted a month ago that after 5 yrs of no-gi grappling I´ve started with BJJ.

The reasons for this was that a black belt instructor started to teach in my gym. Altough I get caught in various collar chokes from time to time, it is going quite well. And a lot of fun!

My instructor said something about soon it might be time for belt promotions for some students.

Although I dont think he is referring to me (as I have only trained there for a month or so) what is the process and the requirements for white-to-blue belt promotions?

If you know so damn much, why cant you just answer my question instead?

"No need for the cranky response, white belt !"
Nice...and correct.

However long it takes before you are so fed up being a whitebelt that you stop paying the fees.


Sadly the majority of BJJ schools don't have a uniform policy or procedure for promoting belt ranks (when I say uniform, I mean across bjj schools, each club no doubt has some sort of procedure of their own). The most common one I hear is "when you can tap blue belts, then you're a blue belt" and so on.

As stated, ask your instructor. Each club generally has it's own way of promoting students.


I don´t like the way this thread turned on me.....

dont sweat it bro... my belt is clear

Look, that's not the case. The problem is that it's a tough question to answer (especially if people are not bjj instructors themselves). The reality is that there are many things which count to grading a student. As a BJJ Black Belt with my own students, there are lots of things I look for. Technical ability, wrestling ability, good character, consistency in training and more. It generally takes around 2 years of training twice a week for someone to get to blue belt. The only short cut is train more often and harder.

Hope that helps.


Like Elvis said, there is no set criteria for belt promotions in BJJ.

For example, I train under Royce Gracie, and he doesn't use strict criteria (he doesn't seem to, anyways). He watches you roll, maybe rolls with you himself, and then awards rank if he feels that you're at that level.

Roy Harris, on the other hand, has strict criteria for promotion (he told me so during a private lesson). He requires his students to demonstrate specific techniques and knowledge during a belt test. His criteria is posted on his website.

Lorenthz - I would recommend the Gracie Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced tapes ( since they deal with collar chokes and how to defend against them in a very good progression. If you can ever do a seminar with Ryron/Rener Gracie or Helio they have a very good system to defend against collar chokes that is not completely shown on these tapes. But the tapes are very good and show a lot.

Other instructors have tapes that specifically cover white to blue material like Pedro Sauer's series ( or Helio "Soneca" Moriera's single tape that he sells at his seminars (

Lorenthz, How are you enjoying the gi work?
I swapped from no gi (after about 2 years training) to BJJ gi work. Although it has improved my grappling in some respects I am tempted to go back to no gi as I'm more interested in training for MMA and find the emphasis on gi based techniques frustrating. (Collar chokes etc)

I'd be interested to hear if you think it's worth sticking with the gi if you're training for no gi.

its different everywhere. since i had a very strong wrestling base, i was beating all the blue belts when i was a white belt. but i got my blue because of actual rolling, no exact test really. but some teachers like Rickson for example, have a list of things you have to do (5 subs from guard, etc.)

However, if someone like Rickson sees a white belt tapping purple belts, he'll promote you on scene.


I think Roy Harris's site has a good list of techniques for blue belt, which is probably pretty consistent with the other Moreira people, if that helps...


You must be able to defeat Mike Tyson in a streetfight and a Judo Black Belt in grappling.

Gary Hughes

The answer will come to you only after you stop asking the question.

got my blue from Renzo in training after passing a purple-belt's guard. Got my purple from Sean Alvazez in much the same way, going toe-to-toe with advanced purples in a round-robin sparring drill. I think this method is pretty much par for the course, with some exceptions (Roy Harris e.g.). I do know that simply winning won't get you promoted in my school if you are just using tard strength or refuse to put the gi on...

i think that the beauty of BJJ is that APPLICATION takes priority over throry.

this is why specific requirements should be only rough guidelines.

The better grappler may be the one who can perform 2-3 solid subs/escapes/sweeps from a position, NOT the one who knows 100 but cant pull off any.

this is the TMA model and it sucks ass.

The main difference between Gi and No-Gi grappling as I have noticed so far is of course that in no-gi grappling you can "muscle" your way out of positions and submission, but with the gi the exact technique of esc a triangle for ex is more important.

No news but still my main lesson. Especially since I used to use force quite alot.

Wouldn´t an BJJ instructor be offended if you asked him his requirements for belt promotion? Thats the main reason I created this thread anyway.