going twice a week, how long do you think it would take for a person who is very athletic and driven to get a blackbelt in Judo? I'm aware this is a very broad question, I'm just looking for estimates.

3 - 5 years. But, black belt simply means competency in the basics, and earns you the right to get your ass kicked in the best division in a judo tourney.

thx Ashy.

Depends where you go. Here in the USA, people want to be more Japanese than the real thing. It may take you as long as 7-8 years in some clubs. Note I wrote "some clubs" I'm sure ashy's take is also good.

In Japan, from all I've heard since I've never been there, you can do it in 2-3 years.

Guess which country has the best competitors.

(Flame on!)

I know there are some very good people involved in US Judo, and I have no idea what the problem is, or if there even is a problem. All I can see is the final results, which is where it counts, imo.

Again, I have no idea if this is an issue or not, but maybe, just maybe, promoting people quicker would help in the area of retention/turnover. Which in turn would increase the pool from which to build on.

what are the belts in the us?

Depends where you go and if you are an adult or a junior.


White, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, for juniors.

White, yellow, green, brown, black, for adults.

What adults in the U.S. don't wear orange nor blue belt?

In Canada? The belt colours are, as follows: (Yes COLOUR is spelled with a 'u.')

Azure(off white), Chartreuse, Coral, Teal, Navy, Sienna, and finally charcoal/black. And no.....we don't have an indigo belt like bjj.

throws magenta-coloured scarf over shoulder....walks out in huff

O Canada!

My home and native land.

Ryan Bow got his blackbelt from the kodokan in less than a year.

It is true that one could get their black belt in Japan faster than outside of Japan BUT this has to be consider in context.

First off, Judo is extremely popular in Japan and there is no lack of opportunities to train, places to train as well as individuals to train with.

Secondly, as already stated the concept of Black Belt is perceived differently in Japan (at least among martial artists) then it is outside of Japan. So getting a black belt isn't as much as big deal there because there are some many and because it only represents mastery of the basics.

No plain black belt would ever open their own school in Japan nor teach at either the Kodokan or any university (or even grade schools). To become an instructor in Judo in Japan requires more at least four degrees on the black belt and some physical education course work.

So why is it such a big deal here in the US? I'm not immune to it either, getting my black belt was a very big deal to me.

getting my shodan was a big deal to me. but i was 17 then. after that, the rest didnt make any bit of difference to me and ive always been a lazy-ass when it comes to submitting paperwork and that stuff for promotions.

id be perfectly happy to die as a 6th dan, there is no need for me to rush getting there.

Same for me, I was young and don't really care about rank now.

But you can't dump that off as an "adult thing" because the people who control promotions are adults (in theory anyway) and those are the ones who make "black belt" seem like some sort of cosmic experience.

I think it partly is a culture thing but more so I think it is simply a context thing.

I think when Kano created and implimented the belt ranking system people in Japan understood what it meant. I mean, Kano was an educator and the belt ranking system created for Judo seemed to fit the same logic/rational as grade levels in the regular school system.

I mean the belt ranking system of Judo actually had no other equilivant among martial arts (all martial arts that use belt rank systems modelled it after Judo). The only other "institution" that had a similar system in place was the regular educational school system. And I think it was pretty easy to get a sense what the belt ranks meant overall and what each belt rank meant in relation to each other.

In other words it essentially understand progress and understand which point of progress has the greater significants.

In the U.S and other parts of the world the Black belt is view as the top of the mountain whereas in Japan it is view as the bottom of the mountain. The black belt in Japan represents all the years it took to progress through basic education (primary to elementary to high school) and now is the "foundation" for the next levels (college, graduate school etc).


Interesting take. However, if that truly is the case, I have been floundering for 10 years in the first semester, getting kicked out of class, hanging out with hippies, playing guitar, and smoking something illicit.

ashy, where do you live?

"In other words it essentially understand progress and understand which point of progress has the greater significants. "

Exactly! Belts were given to show individual progress much like the rankings in other activities in Japanese education system. They are NOT meant to be, "that guy sucks because he is a Judo BB and I beat him". Some BBs in Japan never compete. Some schools are set-up for high-level competition. It is just a marker of individual achivement.

Originally Newfoundland, the frozen cat-swinging province (inside joke)....but now....Central Ontario, Great White North. Whom may I ask is calling? lol

ummm what city Ashy?

Do you know the Grappling Connection? Peterborough. Why do you ask? Have I said something that reminds you of someone? Someone that you met that is emotionally unstable? Or was it my profile?