Can White Belts Get Stripes In BJJ? (Beginner’s Guide)

Have you recently started learning BJJ and want to know if white belts can get stripes? Perhaps you have considered starting BJJ and want to know more about how the belts and stripes work?

Can White Belts Get Stripes In BJJ

Or are you curious and want to know more? No matter the question you have, we have the answer for you!

The world of BJJ can be confusing to a beginner. There are lots of different rules, levels, and rankings that can leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed, unsure where to turn or who to trust.

You are left wondering if you ever will find out if white belts can get stripes in BJJ or not.

Well, no more! Today, we are here with the answers that you need. Just keep reading to find out if white belts can get stripes in BJJ and everything that you need to know!

What Are Stripes In BJJ?

Before we dive into today’s article, let’s have a quick recap for those in the room that need it! Stripes in BJJ, or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, are stripes that are placed on a student’s belt.

To earn these stripes, students must show an improvement in technique, win fights, attend class, and other things their instructor thinks is worthy of a stripe.

Each stripe a student receives indicates them moving up a level within their rank. Once a student has four stripes, they can move up a ranking.

Rankings in BJJ are identified by the color of a student’s belt with white as the lowest ranking and black as the highest.

Each school decides how they award stripes, so be sure to ask your instructor how stripes are awarded. Not every school will award stripes either.

Some will award stripes for the lower rankings, then stop at a certain rank. Then the focus will be on moving up rankings rather than increasing levels in each rank.

Almost all schools will offer stripes at some point, whether it is to lower rankings or all rankings. Your instructor will be able to tell you this information, or you can contact local BJJ classes and ask them before signing up so you know what to expect.

Now that we have established what stripes are, let’s move on to find out if white belts can get them or not!

Can White Belts Get Stripes In BJJ?

Can White Belts Get Stripes In BJJ

Yes, white belts can get stripes in BJJ! At the lowest rank in BJJ, it is a big step for a beginner to get their first stripe in BJJ and this happens when you have a white belt.

White belts in BJJ can get a maximum of 4 stripes on their belt as they master the basics and learn some new techniques.

Once they have four stripes on their white belt, they can work towards moving up the ranks. By taking and passing an exam, white belts can progress to a blue belt.

The stripes do not transfer from belt to belt, you will have to continue working and improving on your technique to have stripes added to your new belt.

It usually takes around two years for a white belt beginner to progress to a blue belt. Earning stripes is a good way to break up this time and keep boosting your confidence. It also gives beginners smaller achievements to work towards.

Stripes are a recognition of your hard work and the improvements you are making in your BJJ training, and it’s always nice to have some recognition, isn’t it?

How Long Does It Take To Get Your First Stripe In BJJ?

Now that you know you can get stripes on a white belt in BJJ, it’s natural to wonder how long it will take you to get your first stripe.

Well, it can take between six and twelve months for you to earn your first stripe! We know that can sound a while, but as you are new to BJJ, it will take a while for you to master the basics, so don’t be disheartened.

Everyone and their BJJ journeys are different, for some people they might get to grips with the techniques and progress faster than the suggested timeline we have given.

However, for those with no experience, or who can’t attend training regularly, then it might take you a little longer.

If it does take you a little longer, don’t worry! We all learn at different paces, and as every school awards stripes differently, it’s impossible to compare yourself to others and their journeys.

Instead, it is better to focus on yourself and how your BJJ practice is developing.

If you think it’s time for a stripe, or you want to know what you can do to progress, we recommend speaking to your instructor.

They can tell you how you are progressing and if there is anything you can do to refine your technique or fights you can partake in for your progress to be assessed.

Remember, your instructor’s role is to help you. They have been observing you and can offer you tailored advice to you and your practice.

It might be that you need to increase the number of times you train a week to improve, or to practice certain moves more.

Everyone can’t train regularly or several times a week, so don’t worry if it takes you a little longer to get your first stripe or move up a ranking. We all get there at our own pace!

Final Thoughts

And there you have it! White belts can get stripes in BJJ! Typically, it will take between 6 months and 1 year to get the first stripe on your white belt.

Once you have your first stripe on your belt, you can work on getting your next stripe, and another, and another until it is time to move up a belt!

Remember not to compare yourself to others in your BJJ class and take earning stripes and move up rankings at your own pace!

Christopher Anderson
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