At what age can kids get a black belt in BJJ?

Can children get black belts in BJJ at all? This is our topic for today for the parents and for all those BJJ fans who are on their martial arts way.

Let’s dive in and explain at what age can kids get a black belt in jiu jitsu and can they at all?

At what age can kids get a black belt in BJJ?

Kids don’t get black belts in Brazilian jiu jitsu. There is a BJJ belt progression timeline for kids which is not represented with a black belt color. Only adults can be promoted to black belt in BJJ.

The holder of a BJJ black belt cannot be younger than 19 years old according to the IBJJF belt system. But IBJJF is not a final instance and exceptions may happen in black belt promotions.

These BJJ belt system doesn’t apply to all martial arts. Each martial art discipline has its own belt order system and requirements. For instance, in taekwondo, there is a poom (junior) black belt degree for students under 15 years old.

But the BJJ belt ranking system looks different.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu ranking system

bjj belt order
BJJ belt order: BJJ youth belt system and BJJ belt system adults

Youngest BJJ black belt

19 years old is not a strict rule to get a black belt in jiu jitsu. Because as we know, life doesn’t follow the rules.

There are many cases in the big BJJ community when a black belt was awarded to younger practitioners because their time came.

Here are the names of the youngest BJJ black belts from the recent time:

Mica GalvaoEarned his black belt at 17 in 2021 under his father – Melqui Galvao.
youngest bjj black belt
Diogo ReisEarned his black belt at 18 in 2020 under Melqui Galvao, 7 months after he was promoted to brown belt.
youngest bjj black belt
Twins brothers Kade and Tye RuotoloEarned their black belts at 18 in 2022 under Andre Galvao.
youngest bjj black belt

How does BJJ belt system work?

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is the origin institution where the BJJ belt system – IBJJF belt system – comes from.

There are the kids and youth jiu-jitsu belt ranking system and adults BJJ belts.

Upon reaching 16 years the kid’s belt is replaced according to the adult system in accordance with the circumstances. The white belt remains white. Gray, yellow, and orange turn into blue.

Jiu jitsu green belt turns into blue or purple by the decision of the head coach. BJJ green belt is the last one in the BJJ belt progression timeline youth ranks.

The very first belt for both – kids and adults – is the white belt.

How long do jiu-jitsu belts take?

The BJJ belt progression timeline is different for kids and adults. For adults, it takes on average 2 years between belt ranks and about a half year for each stripe in the current belt.

A BJJ blue belt can be obtained by reaching 16 years old or even purple under certain circumstances. Brazilian jiu jitsu brown belt can be achieved from 18 years old.

The holder of a BJJ black belt cannot be younger than 19 years old.

Official IBJJF belt system timeline

ibjjf belt system

How does the BJJ belt system work for kids?

And how often do kids get promoted in BJJ?

On the recommendation of IBJJF, promotion for stripes and belts takes place every three months. Depending on the rules of a particular federation or academy, the conditions of promotion may differ.

What is the second belt in jiu-jitsu for kids?

Grey belt is the next achievement for kids in Brazilian jiu jitsu. It splits into three grey ranks which go into the next progression:

  • grey and white
  • grey
  • grey and black

What comes after grey belt in jiu-jitsu?

The next rank for kids is the jiu jitsu yellow belt which splits in the same way into three more ranks:

  • yellow and white
  • yellow
  • yellow and black

Then orange and green belts.

What are green and yellow belts in BJJ?

BJJ yellow and green belt is a belt used in tournaments to differentiate the competitors from one another during the fight. It doesn’t belong to the BJJ ranking system.

bjj yellow and green belt
BJJ yellow and green belt; Google image caption

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