Purpelbelt skills?

I wonder what kind of skills do you think you should have as a purplebelt? Lots of knowledge, time on the matt, winning competitions, good personality?

I am asking this because i am soon up for my purplebelt, and i feel that i am getting it to soon. I am a small guy 145lbs. and i still getting tapped by some of the blues, and some of the big whitebelts can give me a hard time. When i started i thought a purpel was impossible to beat, and now i dont feel like I am impossible to beat.

I wonder what you guys think? Did some of you purplebelts out there feel the same?

How long ya been training??


2 years, five times a week.

"i still getting tapped by some of the blues, and some of the big whitebelts can give me a hard time."

With all due respect, you don't sound like you're "close to purple belt". You sound like you're a high level blue. Maybe by "close" you mean a year.

That said -- here are my thoughts. Purple belts aren't "unbeatable" -- no one is unbeatable. If you train with a person for a long time, chances are that you will eventually catch them at least once. Maybe not if its Rickson, but you know what I mean.

IMHO, the essential ingredient is a thorough mastery of fundamental skills. That comes from mat time -- pure and simple. All the rest -- competition wins, knowledge, etc. -- is just a product of your mastery of basic skills. You should also have a set of techniques that work consistently on the vast majority of lower belts that you encounter. Of course, blues almost ready for purple may give you trouble if you just got your purple. However, if you are defensively sound, they should not be able to tap you.

as a purple belt, you WILL be tapped by lower belts. also, as a brown and black belt, you WILL be tapped by lower belts. it just happens because like previously posted, "no one is unbeatable," especially if you are trying new stuff in class when rolling.

the key to the purple belt is the ability to wrestle without using strength. let the technique do the work for you. it's hard to get at first, but usually when you wrestle someone with their purple, even if they are strong, you feel the technique working and don't feel like you are being muscled. there are some blue belts who are strong, tough, and outweigh you. the blue belts that become purples are those who don't rely on those attributes to win.

once the person has the mentality of a purple belt, i firmly believe they are destined for greatness in jiu jitsu because of the time committment they've already put in coupled with the technical knowledge acquired to that point.

ok, to add to my first post. I do feel that i have very good basic. I am also able to escape alot of bad positios. I have won and placed well at several competitions. The blues never dominate me. The blues that can tap me is close to purpel. The whitebelts does of course not dominate me, but i dont always tap them out. I do hang with the purpelbelts at the academy but they usually tap me.

Famine, I do enjoy and respect your input. Since you are from Renzo's gym you should know.

I do know that its a golden rule that:"when you beat blues you are ready for purpel". But does that take considerations for age and weight?
what if you are 50 years and small, would you then have to beat 2o year old big guys, to get purple?

I think 2 years is pretty early to get a purple, 5 times a week I'd venture you're at least a year away.

When I got mine I shared your feelings about how when we started purples seemed like gods, but now I am there and realize I have so much to learn.

That said, as a purple you should be able to basically have your way with any white belt when you want. You can give position and maybe have to struggle a bit to escape, but not much.

Blues vary, depending on their level. But they should never dominate you.

I belive that todays white belt is a differnt beast than one 5 to 10 years ago. I do not train in BJJ but have had alot of experience in no gi grappling and have rolled with some blues and purple belts and been able to tap or dominate the blues and not get dominated or submitted by the purples. This really pisses off the bjj guys because I'm just a white belt when I roll with them and I know several other guys who do this. There is so much information out there (UFC, pride, ADCC, and instructional videos)on grappling people sometimes already have blue belt knowledge before joining a gym and as white belts give the blues a hard time.

lol @ Howdy

Sorry did I just say alot of crap? Who cares have fun bang chicks, smoke, drink beer, and roll.

In my limited experience, the purples I know think more steps ahead than your average blue. I'm at the point where I can see the next move as it happens, but the purples I know are using setups more than 2 steps ahead.

They are all fundamentally sound, and as was stated, don't muscle around. I can't say that purples everywhere are like that, only the ones I know.

I love to train with all those guys, because they beat me up and show me exactly what they did. Then they do it again.

I was watching one of my purple belt sons roll today and thinking about some of the differences in his game and mine. I was really intrigued to see the way he would control his opponent while in transition. He was letting a fairly new guy do whatever and countering. But, then as they went from one position to another, I noticed that he was doing something purposefull with every limb. Once he lightly hooked under and behind the guys near knee with a foot to keep the guy from turning into him during a back escape. This is just one example. It seemed like he could totally control the guy with light placements of his hands and feet happening automatically as they moved around. None of it was slow or thought out. It was all fluid.

I think that's one hugh difference and why I am a loooooong way from purple myself.


Yup, its all about the technique. A purple can execute the technique in a purer sense and is sharper mentally in terms of putting combinations and set ups together. When youre ready for a purple, you should be able to control most blues because what they lack in technique they often try to make up for in strength. BJJ was designed to exploit the opponents use of strength.

This has been a great thread, albeit a bit depressing. Now I'm convinced I'm not ready yet....

The more I train the more I realize that I need to learn alot more to be a purple. Its crazy.


I was a long time white belt (5 years "+or-" depending on how you count),a short time blue belt (2+ years). For me the difference between blue and purple is mental. When I grapple, it's mostly by feel rather than thinking internally. I usually conscious of defending or attacking with all four limbs. I usually defend or attack with multiple options.

I get tapped by blue belts that are stronger than me or have been blue belts for five or six years, especially when I am trying new techniques. I have "gotten over" worrying about getting tapped when I'm trying new techniques - it's a win/win situation. I get to learn to what I need to do to improve new technques and they get to tap a purple belt - thus, helping them get closer to promotion.

(PS - I got a kick out of Gaitec's post. Although his kids are grown and mine is only ten years old - It's great to see a father's pride about his son's jiu-jitsu skills . . . Let's start a jiu-jitsu dad's forum!)

Promotion should never be about who you can beat, it should be about your application of techniques. Athletes win the Mundials, Pan Ams, etc. we aren't all athletes.

i say you need another year or year and a half at this same pace (4-5 times a week).

Roy Harris has a great article on belt progression that you should check out. When I was a white belt I was learning the game. You learn the different positions, your basic submissions and escapes. When I was a blue belt had a basic knowledge of the game. You could start to see some combination attacks. I spent a lot of time working on escapes because that's were I was getting stuck. This help me progress quicker than a lot of the guys I was coming up with. A lot of them would come in and wrestle but they didn't have a game plan on what they wanted to work on. If Carlos was teaching armbars they would do the drills and then wrestle, if it was back escapes they would do the drills and then wrestle. I still did the drill but when it was time to wrestle I would work a specific game (usually side or mount escapes). I would also grab people before or after class and ask them to hold me in a position so I could work out.


It was about this time that I had the realization of what it meant to "work on a game". I had heard this before but had never really understood it. I was having problems getting squished in my guard and stacked (I'm about 165lb and at that time it seemed everyone I was training with was big corn fed 220 ex-wreslter) I started to use my 1/2 guard with some success and started to rely on this position. I started working on variations of sweeps and attacks. It was about this time that I got my purple. Ever since then I have worked on a new game every few months. I take 1 aspect of my game (usually something I'm having problems with) and work it for a month or 2. I usually start out rolling from there and will really explore the counters and attacks from here. Once I really integrate it into my game I'll start on something else. Roy Harris says brown belt is when you really start working on you submissions and black is when you put your personal style on your game. I'll have to let you know if that's true when I get there. :)