Given that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is arguably the hardest martial art to master, it’s not hard to see why a black belt in the sport is so coveted. But obtaining this belt does not come easily and practicing this sport is not for the fainthearted.
You will have to give everything that you’ve got, all your time, all your effort, and anything less simply will not do. In fact, it can take as long as a decade to evolve your skills to the point that you are awarded such an honour.
Throughout this article, we will delve deeper into the process of obtaining a black belt in BJJ, including how long it takes to achieve the belt, why it takes so long, and how you can try to fasttrack the time it takes you to achieve it.
How Long Does It Take To Earn Your Black Belt?
According to the Brazilian/International Jiu-Jitsu Federation, it will take a minimum of 5 and a half years for you to achieve your black belt.
There are many factors that will influence the time it takes you to earn your belt, such as your level of progress, ability to adapt, the speed in which you pick up techniques, class attendance, and results in competitions.
There certainly are people that can acquire a black belt in just under six years, however these types of people tend to be somewhat naturally gifted, or have extensive previous athletic training or abilities.
Those that can achieve their black belt in approximately six years show immense potential.
So don’t be disheartened if it takes you a little while longer to achieve yours. On average, it usually takes an individual around ten years to achieve their black belt in BJJ. Sometimes it can be even longer than this, after all there is an extensive amount to learn.
But overall, how long it takes will really depend on how quickly you are picking up techniques and how often you are practicing.
The only way to improve in BJJ is to train through time, the more time you set aside for training, the quicker you’ll pick up techniques and skills.
Why Does It Take So Long To Achieve A Black Belt?
If black belts were easy to get, they wouldn’t be such an honour to wear. The black belt is a symbol of the hard work and dedication that the individual has undergone in order to master the martial art.
To get a black belt, you’ll need to know an abundance of techniques as well as having participated in a heavy amount of training. The learning process is extremely challenging.
Your coach will heavily influence your development and the evolution of your skills.
You need to ensure that your coach has the extensive knowledge needed to teach you the art or you’ll begin on a rocky foundation. Learning on a good foundation is absolutely essential and will help you to achieve your belt faster.
It takes so long to get your black belt, as that is how long it genuinely takes to learn how to correctly execute all the many techniques and skills that you learn.
The fact that it is a long process that is going to take decades of work to fully master is the most important lesson you can learn about BJJ.
Many beginners will drop out as they become frustrated with not picking up the skill instantaneously, but that will never be the case regardless of your starting skill or previous athletic ability.
BJJ is definitely an art of patience too.
You Can Earn A Black Belt Quicker Now
It’s hard to find something that hasn’t felt the impact of newer technology and yes, it even affects how quickly you can earn your black belt now.
Cast your mind back a couple of decades, and seeing a jiu-jitsu fighter with a black belt was extremely rare, and even other colored belts weren’t seen all that often.
There weren’t many competitions around at that time either. However, as the sport has become more popular, competitions and classes have grown and have become much more readily available.
And of course, thanks to technology there is so much more information out there. You can find articles and books online that help you with many aspects of the art that you may be struggling with.
Websites such as Youtube mean that you can have visual aids to help you train from home too. All of this makes practice and training easier and means that you can improve at a much faster rate now than you ever could before.
Some people can be put off from Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu since it is clear that the road ahead is long, it will take strength, determination, and perseverance to achieve any belt in the sport, let alone the black belt. But obtaining the belt is possible.
Sure the training is difficult, and it can be quite repetitive and exhausting, but it can also be thrilling and addictive once you really throw yourself into training.
And the sheer amount of students that practice the sport across the globe can surely attestify to that.
And the feeling when you do finally get that black belt, when the hard work pays off and you are given that honour, nothing compares to it. The art itself is also a beautiful practice that unites all those that practice it together.
On the mat there is no discrimination, everyone is equal. For a short while issues such as sex, social class, and race can be left at the door.
It’s just you and your opponent. You shake hands and then you try your best. Sometimes you will win, and sometimes you will lose. But every time, you will get back up and you will try again.