Judo ranks?

Hey guys, I'm in a Judo class and just got my blue belt (Judo blue belt, I know I'm no bjj blue belt). The belts here go white, green, blue, brown 3, brown 2, brown 1, black. I've been doing judo 4 months twice a week. I was never a green belt, he skipped me right to blue. This seems too fast to me, is that normal for judo? Honestly I know a lot more then a white belt but I dont think I could ever pull off a throw in a real fight yet. Also how long should it take to get a judo black belt? And finally, how good is a judo black belt? Thanks in advance.

This seems too fast to me, is that normal for judo?


In Japanese martial arts the colored belts dont mean much.

When you get a black belt in Japanese martial arts all it basically means is that you've seen and understood the concepts behind the techniques and the art. It does NOT mean that you could actually apply them successfully on a resisting opponent.

Essentially your black belt is the beginning of your studies, not the end as most north americans believe it to be.


you should explain fully so you can help him out. you are good at giving non-biased insight. i am sure he would appreciate it.

do you have prior grappling experience?

i do have some prior bjj, I'm a pretty good white belt. Blues handle me almost all of the time, I'm a joke vs. a purple.

"if you took judo at my school, you would still be a white belt. "

Wow, you guys are hardcore! Imagine if your instructor never promoted anyone! You guys would be the mostest hardcoredest!

you should explain fully so you can help him out. you are good at giving non-biased insight.

umm ok..

In most places in the US there are local governing bodies called Yudanshakai (Black belt clubs) who give out rank.

This means that your instructor does not promote you. ever. in fact you must go to a specific tournament and pass tests. ex. in mine (Shufu Yudanshakai, one of the oldest and most traditional in the country) you must pass a written test, a demonstration of specified techniques (usually based upon the 5 sets of the Gokyo No Waza) and Newaza (matwork) and then compete in the tournament, even if you are a non competitor.

If you are a competitor, then in addition to all these things you must collect enough wins in Shiai to get the next rank. (ex. you might need 3 wins to go to green, and then while a green, 5 more to get a blue, ) and it gets progressively harder.

And even if you have all the points, you have to "serve" a minimum time in rank. no less than 6 mo. in most cases below brown. The road to Shodan usually takes 3-5 years.
This does 2 things.

  1. it takes the pressure off of the individual judo clubs to rank everyone.

  2. it creates a pretty quality "product". ex. - you meet a guy who made Shodan as a Competitor in Shufu, chances are the guy has won at least 50 matches in his judo career. of course there are judoka who are not competitors. they do kata, help ref, etc.. judo's hard. it's not for everyone.

Wow Bic that's tight. Well as long as the rules are consistant. It took me 2.5 years to get to brown but I've never seen it as too fast or too slow since i've been promoted after winning tourneys at my current belt level. And I rip through local brown competition.

The rules for belts are different everywhere but i think outside of few cases they are weaker then in BJJ. Belts are truly only relevant for determening what class of opponent you should compete against. Be it a very fast promotion or very slow as long as it is consistant within a given region it serves its purpose. People just put too much into the belt system.