A black belt is everything that anyone in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wishes for rather than anything else. However, there’s a lot more to a belt than just the rank, and you should be aware of it. BJJ belts are essential in all aspects of the sport, from techniques to equipment. They’re also critical from a technical standpoint as they have the potential to become very powerful handles. Overall, belts are an important part of The Gentle Art, and nothing less than the finest can suffice.
To make it any easier, we’ve produced yet another in-depth buyer’s guide. Consider this the only guide you’ll ever need to choose the right BJJ belts, not to mention anything else!
Today, we’re going to look at all of the BJJ belt choices that are worth our time. The aim is to determine which options are the most suitable for you. We’ll go into everything, from the fundamental advantages and disadvantages to more in-depth comments. We have such a wide range of the best BJJ belts that you’re sure to find one or two that are just right for you!
The Best BJJ Belts Available Today
We take a look at some of our favourite Jiu-Jitsu belts available on the market today.
Gold BJJ is a wonderful company in the world of BJJ. You should expect high-quality belts from them, just as you can expect high-quality equipment from them in general.
Even though their belts are in the moderate to high price range, their style, efficiency, and construction render them an excellent investment.
The belts are manufactured using high-quality heavyweight cotton, which is a tough fibre. This indicates that the belt will last, will not shrink after the first wash, and be resistant to tear and wear. The Gold’s belts have double-stitching, making them much more worthy of staying in place throughout your training session.
The belt is available in white, blue, purple, brown, and black, many of the regular BJJ belt colours. It isn’t going to be sleek, but it will get the job done. Gold BJJ’s emblem is one of our favourites, and I believe these belts are some of the best-looking on the market!
You’ll also be pleased to learn that it complies with the IBJJF’s competition thickness requirements. Where it comes to weight, it’s moderately dense and rigid when you first have it, but it’ll tie well with a little breaking in.
Overall, the Gold BJJ Jiu-Jitsu Belt is a decent option of high quality and enough colour and size range to be used by every BJJ instructor for both training and tournaments.
We couldn’t really look at the best BJJ belts without including a Tatami product. Tatami is the supreme BJJ brand, producing anything a grappler might want. From Gis to belts, rash guards, bags, and backpacks, there’s plenty for everybody. As a result, they’re a foregone conclusion when it gets to BJJ belts.
The Tatami belts are available in any of the standard BJJ grading systems. They also include all of the children’s colours. The true benefit of a Tatami belt is that it is inexpensive with the excellent service it provides. Overall, if you’re unsure which belt to get or a total novice, a Tatami BJJ belt is the way to go. In any case, as long as the belt length is right, you cannot go wrong.
Sanabul, like Tatami, is a business that offers a reasonable price for a high-quality product. Belts from Sanabul are available in a variety of colours and sizes. They’re still dense but lightweight, and they’re incredibly robust. The colour is rather consistent, does not wash off, and is readily distinguishable.
The strongest quality of this belt is its durability. It’s also an IBJJF-approved belt, making it one of the better BJJ belts you can get your hands on. Thickness is the one factor that could put certain people off. Despite not being particularly heavy, the Sanabul Jiu-Jitsu belt is thicker than any of the other choices on our list. This isn’t really a negative thing; it’s just a matter of personal taste. Through especially scrabbly rolls, the Sanabul belt, considering its width, remains securely in place.
The material is another great attribute of this belt. It’s made of anti-microbial and antifungal cloth, so your belt won’t get infected. Even this isn’t a reason for not washing it daily!
Venum belts, like Tatami belts, are hard to overlook when compiling a list of the best BJJ belts. Venum is a leading manufacturer of BJJ-specific equipment, including Gis, belts, and no-Gi gear. Venum’s belts are made of 100 percent cotton and are of superior value. This belt model is thicker, closer to those used in Sanabul.
They are just as tough as some of the others on our list of the best BJJ belts. They are available in a wide range of colors and are fade-resistant. If you don’t have enough excuses to buy one of Venum’s belts, they normally offer a free pad as a bonus for any order. Consider the belt to feel stiff at first, but breaking it in won’t take long.
While Versus is known for producing extremely durable Gis, that’s not the story for belts. Their belts have an oddly smooth texture to them. This is a plus, although it is uncommon. Versus belts are almost difficult to untie due to the lighter nature of the thread.
Versus belts are made of ultra-high-quality cotton and are available in all of the standard BJJ colours. They’re as light as they come, but they’re both incredibly solid and robust. These belts don’t reveal tear and wear unless they’ve been used for a long time. The colours are still vibrant and distinct, and they are immune to fade when washed. That’s one less reason to leave your belt unwashed. Another aspect worth noting is that the belt is slightly smaller than most, which benefits as a belt with an almost flawless knot.
Another classic BJJ along Tatami and Venum lines. Fuji is among the most reputable Gi and belt manufacturers in the world. Fuji’s belt is widely regarded as the gold benchmark for the strongest BJJ belts. They’re inexpensive, of a high standard, and when tied, they’re soft but snug. They’re also available in any conceivable Jiu-Jitsu-related paint, although in a lighter edition than most others.
Fuji Judo belts are available in various colours, including white, blue, yellow, brown, black, among several others. Since they’re made of high-quality fabric, they’re a bit rigid. In adult measurements, they are slightly dense, but they tie together easily enough. They use high-quality fabrics, have reasonable costs, and a wide range of colors for both children and adults. The sizes differ, but they range from A1 to A6 and several other, less common sizes.
Moreover, as an IBJJF-approved belt, obtaining a Fuji belt has no disadvantages. The belt will tolerate repeated washing and usage without issue. They’re still pre-shrunk, but no matter how many times you wash them, they won’t get any shorter. Overall, Fuji is among the greatest BJJ belts of all time, and they don’t seem to come short of that anytime soon.
BJJ Gi fighters usually use the Revgear belts as backup belts. The primary explanation for it really isn’t a lack of consistency but rather affordability. The Revgear belts are just the most inexpensive on our list, making them suitable for use as a backup belt.
All Revgear belt is constructed of cotton and has a 1.5-inch normal diameter. It comes in the same lengths as Gi sizes except in a wider variety of shades. This is just a very robust belt that will do you well for a long time. With the level of reliability they achieve, it is more than adequate as a backup plan.
The Hayabusa belt is clearly suitable for all sexes, as though all such belts aren’t already. The true worth of this belt, however, lies in the way it’s made.
The Hayabusa is an incredibly tough belt, with strengthened stitching running the length of the belt. It’s even made of gold-weave stock, which ensures it’ll last you at least a lifetime. It’s remarkably lightweight for a belt of so much reinforcement and toughness.
Athllete Gis are among the best you can buy, particularly if you compete frequently. This belt is sleek and comfortable as it comes out of the package, with no rigidity.
It has six rows of stitching, making it a rather long-lasting choice. Scramble belts are dense, soft, and comfortable right out of the package. They’re easy to put in the washing machine and won’t shrink except marginally. They come in a variety of colours and are approved by the IBJJF. Athllete belts are normally a little more expensive than the norm unless you take advantage of the best Vulkan BJJ belt offers!
Another excellent entry into the martial arts market is the Elite Sports Company. The brand is well-known in BJJ and other martial arts for its high-quality equipment and inclusive commitment to designing equipment for as many people as possible.
This product’s costs can vary greatly, from the very low to the very high end of the continuum. That has much to do with girls’ different belt sizes and the belts’ undeniably high quality. With that in mind, let’s examine the belt more closely and see what we’re working with.
First, the colours on the belt are numerous, but they are a bit on the dull side in terms of design. The belt’s double stitching is designed to be tight and long-lasting, ensuring that the holder doesn’t wind up with a tangled mess of frayed ends. The belts are made of 100 percent high-quality cotton, ensuring they’ll last a long time and won’t shrink when washed.
Many of the major belt colours are represented: white, blue, purple, brown, and black. As previously said, the colours aren’t really noteworthy, but the organization does a decent job by including alternative colours for children and other disciplines.
We considered the Elite Sports belt to be decent in terms of stiffness. It’s not difficult to deal with, so it won’t fold over itself and transform into a tangle after a few uses. Another factor to consider when purchasing a belt is its width. It’s an IBJJF-approved belt, which means it’s very bulky in terms of tournament gear, so it won’t fall loose on your waist very quickly.
The Ronin BJJ belts are the most attractive of this belt collection, at least in colour. The stitching on these belts is normally a varying colour than the belt itself, giving them a distinct look. This belt is both sturdy and lightweight, making it ideal for both preparation and competition use.
Ronin belts are not as inexpensive as some others here, but they are well worth the money. These BJJ belts are not only fashionable, but they can even withstand a pounding. On top of that, they produce one of the strongest BJJ belt knots I’ve ever seen. It’s worth a look, and it’s a good tool to use for the tournament before switching to the Revgear for your routine BJJ training.
The History of the BJJ Belt
There is a lot of mystery linked to the beginnings of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system. The oldest story with any martial arts belt is that students would start practicing as a white belt and then over time their white belt would dirty and eventually become black. This is also where the myth of not washing your belt comes from, however, this has been scientifically proven as unsanitary. The black belt in any martial arts is meant to represent mastery, hard work, and dedication to the art.
However, the truth is, the founder of Judo, Jigoro Kano, introduced the original black belt system in 1882 at the original Kodokan martial arts school. Kano apparently got the idea from Japanese high school swimmers, who wore black ribbons around their waists to signify their advanced status. At the Kodokan, white belt students were deemed as beginners, and black belts were awarded to students who had mastered the fundamental Judo techniques. There were still two belts however and intermediate colors were introduced throughout the life of the martial art.
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the different colours for Adult BJJ belts are ranked as such:
- White belt
- Blue belt
- Purple belt
- Brown belt
- Black belt
Belts in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
After meeting with Kano’s student Maeda, in 1952, grandmasters Heilo and Carlos Gracie brought in the belt system for Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. This was based on instructorship, rather than actual martial arts skills. Even accomplished students at the academies wore white belts, due to the fact they did not take the instructor’s course. Students who did decide to proceed to become instructors were given light blue belts and after they became a professor, they earned a dark blue belt. Black belts did not exist in this period of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
In 1967 black belts were first introduced into Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu along with the grading bar system that separated themselves from other martial arts. There are two black belts available for Jiu-Jitsu fighters, the first is the traditional black belt with the red bar, this signifies that the black belt is a teacher and will often instruct classes, there is also a variation on this where a red bar is adjoined with red and white stripes at the ends, this signifies the professor and the head instructor of the gym.
The second black belt is a belt with a white bar, while this is more commonly seen in competition, this signifies that the black belt does not teach but is a competitor.
The modern Jiu-Jitsu belt system goes from White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black. There are also coral belts and black belts for after your black belt but people are less focused on these as they require years of dedication, sometimes more than is what is available in a lifetime.
How To Tie Your BJJ Belt
When you first start a martial art you wonder how people have their belts so nicely arranged in a nice bow when your’s is a complete birds nest. Tying your belt is probably one of the first things you should learn in BJJ, just so you don’t look like a complete amateur. There are several ways you can tie a jiu-jitsu belt surprisingly and this video below can help you with that.
How to Choose the Best BJJ Belt
Let’s look at one more element of variety before discovering what the right BJJ belts are and where you can buy them.
- Your professional training is the first thing to keep in mind.
- If you’re a novice, you can either seek advice from a teacher or, better still, obey the advice we’re about to provide. Ensure you realize what you’re searching for in a belt if you’re a more mature student.
- Comfort, duration, possible tournament usage, cloth, thickness, and other factors are all important. The kind of belt you prefer is often heavily influenced by your grappling style.
- If you choose to strike on your own lapels, for example, a belt that allows you to release your Gi quickly is a good choice.
- Also, if you want to keep others from quickly getting into your Gi, you’ll need a tighter fit.
- If you’re a competitor, make sure you obey the IBJJF guidelines to avoid purchasing a new belt on the spot.
- Consider, finally, the suggestion of two belts. One can be used for routine exercise, and it can also be the most relaxed belt for you. The other one should be for more “official,” competitions, workshops, etc.
- Trust me; it’s extremely frustrating to leave practicing at short intervals to retie your belt.
An explanation of each BJJ belt color
Below we go into detail on what you can expect and what you could and should focus on at each belt level, this has been collated through a number of articles and books and extrapolated to help students and instructors look at what is needed at each belt level. Keep in mind that these are just guidelines and shouldn’t be taken as the word of Helio, but no matter what, remember to simply enjoy your training, try not to focus too much on your next belt level or competitions, as Rickson would say “Flow with the go”.
White Belt – The clean slate
As a white belt, you are a beginner and you should always keep that in mind. Your goal is to be a sponge and create a frame of reference for future learning. Imagine jiu-jitsu as a giant jigsaw and you’ve just tipped it out onto the table and have no idea where to start. You start with the frame of the jigsaw collecting the relevant pieces, understanding that these individual pieces with form the border of the eventual picture. The same is with jiu-jitsu at the start you’ve been shown a number of techniques that you have no idea what to do with and over time you’re shown other techniques that you can look to start building a framework with. Studying flow diagrams and finding basic fundamental curriculum papers can help you focus in on what needs to be a priority.
Breathe and Relax
Learning to breathe and relax is a fundamental skill in jiu-jitsu and the sooner you learn this the better. I can’t remember how many times I’ve rolled with white belts only to have them grip onto my lapels for dear life because they don’t know what to do.
A good way to learn to relax is to learn to let go of your ego, if you’re happy to understand that you will be submitted a lot and are willing to learn from it then you will A) eventually relax into sparring, B) learn more from the roll. Remember, nothing is expected of you at this stage, you won’t win every sparring encounter, so instead of winning try to learn.
Focus on fundamentals
YouTube can be a white belt’s enemy, often in a flurry of enthusiasm, a white belt will want to learn all the techniques under the sun. It is much better for you to get a deeper understanding of a small number of techniques than focusing on how to get from rubber guard into crack head control.
Fitness is key
Conditioning is good for any BJJ fighter, so the more you focus on that at the beginning the more you will benefit from at later belt levels.
- Look at fundamental positions in jiu-jitsu and learn their names, and learn the difference between mount and closed guard and a triangle from an armbar.
- Let go of your ego, that will allow you to learn more from rolls and help you relax when you’re sparring.
- Prepare for a long road ahead, if you have the bug then you know that it will be a long road ahead, learn to feel how jiu-jitsu works and understand the mechanics of it.
Blue Belt – Armor-plated defense
A solid defense
Roger Gracie, one of the greatest fighters in history said “I built my game off a solid defense. I first made it almost impossible for anybody to tap me out.”
Knowing that should give you a good idea of where you need to go from at blue belt, the later stages of being a white belt and the beginnings of a blue belt should be a place to solely focus on your submission defense. Often an instructor will need to see a really solid base level of defense before any consideration of a purple belt.
All about that base
As a blue belt, you should be fairly familiar with the concept of movement and balance in jiu-jitsu. Going back to defense you should also look at improving your position awareness, knowing where each individual limb in, in order not to get caught out by a sweep or a submission.
Passing the guard
Towards the latter stages of the blue belt, once a solid defense has been built, it’s now time to start sharpening your weapons. Before looking for a submission you should look at passing guard and obtaining a position.
Passing the guard is considered by many, one of the toughest aspects of BJJ, and at every belt level that idea of passing the guard before more complicated when more advanced techniques are thrown into the mix. You will spend a lot of time in an opponent’s guard, so knowing how to break grips, maintain and look to pass is a fundamental that all blue belts should know. A blue belt should know how to pass fundamental guards and know how to maintain posture in more advanced guards.
- Have two solid escapes from all main positions: Mount, Back Mount & Side Control.
- Master three ways of passing fundamental guards such as closed guard, half guard and maintain position in various forms of open guard
- Fight in at least one competition, just so you can judge your skill levels with others at your belt level in other gyms.
Purple belt – The rolling belt
Known as the rolling belt, when someone gets a purple belt it’s pretty understood that they are in this sport for the long haul. Jiu-Jitsu is in their blood now and they won’t be away from the mats for a very long time unless they are seriously injured
Movement and misdirection
At purple belt, you should now feel like you are able to put parts of the jigsaw together, through your years of training you should now be developing a sense of timing and sensitivity. Here you should be able to make lower-level belts fall into traps you set and generate momentum to change the course of a fight. A wasted movement will become less and less and you should now be able to roll quite lazily with lower belts without much worry about them dominating you.
Even though sparring is a huge part of BJJ, at purple belt you really need to clock up some hours. Spend your time rolling with various grades, if you’re rolling with lower belts, look to improve holes in your game, practice those fundamental movements and get them feeling crisp.
Patch up those holes
As a white and blue belt, you tend to spar mainly with your A-game. Now as a purple belt, it’s time to go back and revisit moves that you may not have a lot of knowledge and skill in. If you’re unsure of this ask your coach and set out on a focused plan on how to turn those weaknesses into strengths. You need to be a well-rounded fighter by the time you hit brown.
A competent purple belt should be able to attack from any position. As well as knowing fundamental guard positions, they should be developing and experimenting with various forms of open guard. A practitioner should start learning to attack using a combination of techniques – an initial submission attempt and then a counter to a standard defense.
- Know and be able to execute at least three attacks from guard
- Know and execute three submissions from top position
- Become adept at passing various forms of open guard
Brown Belt – A style forged in fire
Sharpening your weapons
The brown belt is a point in your jiu-jitsu life where you should make that transition from defense to all-out attack. With a Roger Gracie air-tight defense you laid the groundwork of your earlier days of training you should now have a solid base to which you can develop your attacks.
Stay on top
A brown belt should be a threat from every position, especially the top. As a BJJ brown belt, you should understand your own body weight and should be able to surf a body below you. This will allow you to react to any defensive attempts from the bottom.
A deep depth of knowledge
Even though you should have fleshed out a style for your jiu-jitsu, it is worth knowing the game from a very deep and technical position. Roger Gracie may not use Berimbolo’s to take the back but you damn well knows how to defend it. Having a technical depth of knowledge also means you can develop your chess game, you should start to think at least two steps ahead of your opponents, maybe more, depending on their belt level.
You will also have several signature techniques by now that you can look to sharpen, look at executing these moves from different positions, and learning counters to counters in order to keep your game flowing
Begin to teach regularly
As a purple belt, you may have found yourself teaching a class every now and again, but as a brown belt, you should be looking at teaching regularly, at least once a week. Becoming a teacher will allow you to look at your own technique objectively and help you fill in any holes in your game in order to help your students improve theirs.
- Try to teach at least one class a week
- Perfect your weight distribution and your surfing
- Have at least two 3-phase attacks from all common positions
Black belt – Instinct and beginnings
Going beyond technique
As a black belt, you’re always learning and you now know that there are no absolutes in jiu-jitsu. You can now look to take those fundamental techniques that you learned and ingrain them into your psyche. Techniques should be transcended and you should be able to easily flow without any problems. Your deep, intuitive understanding of jiu-jitsu means that you should be able to feel your way through most matches, even when confronted with a technique you’re unaware of.
A new black belt is like a white belt in the black belt world and so you should look at everything with a fresh pair of eyes. You thought the pool was deep before? Think again. You are now able to take fundamental techniques and see tiny nuances that you can add to help improve it and make it better. You may have practiced this move a thousand times but a thousand and one may be the one.
A quality human
The path to black belt is built in strength and humility as a black belt you have been the hammer and the nail constantly so you know the highs and lows of competitive life.
By this stage you will know your body better than most people know their, your mind and spirit have completely morphed from what it once was at the white belt to what it is now. You have an acute understanding of your ability and limitations.
A black belt should be humble, friendly, and respectful of others. Although you are highly efficient in a dangerous martial art, you never look to seek confrontation and look to resolve any conflict through the power of words and self-confidence, not through choking someone out.
- Understand that the journey is not over, it has only just begun
- Look into another martial art to supplement your game. Such as wrestling, Judo, or MMA
- Look into yoga, in order to keep your body supple and flexible. As a black belt, your body has been through some wars, so it’s time to stop the process of aging.
Red Belt – Godlike
Don’t worry about it. Very few people will reach this level.
Frequently asked questions
When it comes to grading, how long does it take?
This is contingent on a variety of factors. We take great pleasure in practicing the Jiu-Jitsu way of life. The work you bring in both on and off the mats determines your grade.
How long would the black belt take to achieve?
The path to a black belt in BJJ is far more difficult than in most other martial arts. While everybody is different, it usually takes 8-15 years to achieve a BJJ black belt. From white to blue belt takes 9–18 months, and then 2–5 years with any subsequent belt up to black takes 2–5 years.
What is the method of belt promotion?
One of BJJ and other martial arts’ biggest distinctions is how difficult it is to advance in the sport. It will require dedication, and we are dedicated to delivering capable students. We do have a program that we follow to assist you, and if you demonstrate competency with the skills you’ve learned, you will be eligible for a promotion.
How much time would it take to obtain a blue belt?
A blue belt usually requires a year to reach while practicing daily. Again, how dedicated you are to training and how much you practice will determine this.
Will it be okay if I wash my belt?
This is undoubtedly the greatest concern in BJJ. Wars were waged over this and will continue for some time to be fought.
Some people claim you still can wash your belt; others never. At the end of the day, though, it makes sense, given that your belt will collect a certain quantity of bacteria through training (not as many as your Gi, but still large enough) to wash it to prevent contamination or bad smells.
The review above is a comprehensive list of the best BJJ belts available today on the market. You do not think purchasing a belt is essential before it breaks halfway to the next advancement stage.
The belt is an essential aspect of BJJ, and any belt you carry will be with you for a long time. Given this, it is recommended that you purchase a belt that will last and perform well.
A high-quality belt equates to high-quality Gi preparation. On the other hand, a bad belt can look bad, come untied, and make you feel bad on the mats.
From casual grapplers to competitors, our Best Belts guide has something for everybody! Pick your favorite, and you’ll never have to think about belt problems again!