Can A Purple Belt Promote Others In BJJ?

The purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an advanced rank that has a few different roles of authority in the world of Brazilian jiu jitsu. But can a purple belt promote others?

Can A Purple Belt Promote Others In BJJ?

In this article we’ll be answering this question, and giving some context as to what the rules are about promoting others in Brazilian martial arts. So without further ado let’s get started.

The Purple Belt

First off, let’s discuss what the purple belt actually is in BJJ.

(Brazilian JiuJitsu) Purple is the first of the advanced ranks, and as the middle of the pack, a purple belt should always have an appreciation for the fundamentals and how difficult it was to progress to this point.

As well as that there should be a large amount of aspiration to get to the next rank.

Whilst you’re clearly of a high standard, being a purple belt doesn’t immediately make you a competitive Jiu Jitsu student, but holding the rank should definitely prove to you that you can certainly have a future in jiu jitsu.

At this point, you’d usually find yourself creating your own take on jiu jitsu, whilst also being able to teach the fundamentals to ranks below you.

In short, a purple belt should know everything they need to know to be a black belt, it’s just the experience that stands in the way. 

Authority As A Purple Belt

With the purple belt comes authority, and that’s because you’ve essentially graduated from the first two levels of beginner and intermediate that come just before purple belt.

You’ve stuck with the process, and come through so with this comes a large amount of respect and responsibility. 

The first of these is independence. Once you’ve reached purple belt, you should know a large amount of different moves that you know as individuals.

A huge part of being a purple belt is being able to chain your individual moves together, into a moveset that looks as impressive as it is effective.

This can generally be done however you like, and discovering how you’d best like to chain your abilities together is something that adds an individual spin onto everyone’s form of BJJ. 

You’ll be doing this alone too. The independence you gain from getting your purple belt is a huge part of the belt, you’ll be expected to not ask for as much guidance from the black belt teacher as some of the lesser and inexperienced ranks would.

Can A Purple Belt Promote Others In BJJ?


So clearly purple belts are given a wide array of different responsibilities and independence from the rest of the inexperienced ranks.

This carries through with promotions too, and is a key part of the purple belt’s responsibilities.

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) approves that purple belts and above can promote one belt below themselves if there is no black belt around.

Whilst this is the case, generally there’s always an unwritten rule that applies to most places where black belts can give the ok for a non-black belt to promote their own students instead of them.

This is because black belts are really quite busy people, and might not always be available to promote students.

As well as this, purple and brown belts are almost like assistant teachers, and can help students wherever possible, so giving them these opportunities will give them the independence that they need to carry on even further in BJJ.

Ultimately purple and brown belts can ascend to become black belts themselves, so it’s important that they understand all of the responsibilities that a black belt can have before they get to that stage. 

Reality Of Purple And Brown Belts

Whilst it isn’t the case everywhere, purple and brown belts are both ranks that have the capabilities of running their own gyms where they teach BJJ.

Whilst there will be a black belt that is at the very least affiliated with the gym, the generic day to day teachings and demonstrations will be done by brown and purple belts, as it’s much more to their standard than a black belt, that has a large number of responsibilities to juggle all at once. 

Compared to other martial arts too, purple and brown belts are essentially the equivalent of earning a black belt in other martial arts.

Roughly it’ll take at least 4 years to earn a purple belt, and obviously longer for a brown.

In comparison, karate students can reach a black belt in as short as 3 or 2 years, with extensive training.

So comparing the two ranks of black belt is relatively difficult to do between martial arts, as ranks can be harder or easier to climb through.

Because of this, purple and brown belts are ranks that can quite happily teach a group of students that are white or even blue belt.

It allows them to gain experience teaching less experienced students, and practice their own movesets at the same time. Many purple and brown belts will make a living this way too. 

Final Thoughts

On surface value, purple belt may not seem like too huge of an accomplishment, but in reality purple belt is something that takes a huge amount of effort and dedication to BJJ in order to get, so there’s multiple different responsibilities you’ll receive once you get there.

Promoting other students is a regular occurrence for these purple and brown belts, in order to create valuable time for their black belt superiors.

So if you’ve got a purple belt, you should be proud! There’s a lot of work that goes into that, and there’s far more to come.

Christopher Anderson
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