There are many martial arts across the globe that use the belt ranking system. And there are many people each year who take the challenge and attain a new belt in their chosen art!
It’s a great honor to get any belt in a martial art, and something to be proud of. And getting to black belt takes a lot of time and effort!
However, there are some martial arts schools that promote people extremely young – which places these martial arts at the top of any list of arts with the youngest black belts! Who are the youngest blackbelts in the world?
There are some sports that are much easier to get black belts in than others, which can be a large reason why there are so many younger students that attain the rank of black belt.
One of these arts is karate, which has a long history of promoting extremely young people to the rank of black belt.
In fact, there are so many young holders of black belts in karate that it doesn’t seem possible that they can get very much younger!
The current youngest black belt holder in the world is a karate black belt called Manushree Saxena, who is only four years old! She’s been studying karate since she was two years old, and has already got a black belt.
Coming in just behind her is Varsha Vinod, the second youngest karate blackbelt in the world. Vinod started to train when she was just three years old, and got her blackbelt at the age of 5.
And, the third youngest black belt in the world is also a karate practitioner! Agnivesh Jyotiraditya, a 5 year old expert in SHotokai Karate, is only 5 years old.
Finally, there’s Kechelle deSouza Dalton, who has been training since the age of three. She got her black belt at the tender age of just six years old!
Of course, karate isn’t the only martial art that has a tendency to promote people to high rank extremely young.
Although taekwondo doesn’t quite get to the top spot in terms of its youngest practitioners when compared to karate, it’s undeniable that taekwondo also has some of the youngest experts in the world.
No matter what it is about some karate or taekwondo schools that might encourage the promotion of people so young to the highest ranks, it’s undeniable that between them, they dominate the list of youngest black belts in the world!
The current youngest holder of a black belt in taekwondo is Sidney DeLibero, who started to train in taekwondo when she was only 3 years old. DeLibero got her black belt at the age of only 6 years old!
Next up is Sabrina Yu, who like DeLibero started at the age of three. Yu also earned her black belt in taekwondo at just 6 years old!
Finally, the next youngest black belt in taekwondo is Amber Granzien, who started learning taekwondo when she was just 4 years old. At the age of seven, Granzien earned her black belt in taekwondo!
With so many young experts in karate and taekwondo alike, they can easily both claim to be the martial arts that have the youngest black belts in the world.
Another martial art that uses the belt ranking system extensively is judo. In fact, judo is responsible entirely for the belt ranking system in martial arts, as it was first introduced to the world by Jigoro Kano, the founder of judo.
Of course, judo is responsible for adding much to the world of martial arts!
As the originator of the belt ranking system, judo has far more rigorous rules for grading than many other martial arts. In fact, compared to taekwondo and karate, black belts attain their grading at a much later age.
This is because there is actually a minimum age requirement to attain a black belt in judo.
Under the rules of judo set out by the IJF (International Judo Federation), you can’t attain your first dan grade black belt rating until you’re 14 years old at a bare minimum.
Depending on how long and hard you’ve been training in judo, you might well have the skills to attain a judo black belt before this, but you won’t be able to actually get your black belt.
Also, as judo is a grappling art, it has to be performed against resisting opponents – which might well mean that it’s harder to get a black belt in judo in the first place.
Yet another martial art with extremely stringent regulations for attaining a black belt is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, also known as BJJ.
BJJ and judo are extremely closely related martial arts in many ways, and as such it’s no surprise that there are a lot of crossover areas with the ways that they do things.
In fact, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has adapted to be even more stringent in its requirements for attaining a blakc belt than even judo!
Just as with judo, you won’t find any extremely young people who hold a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation) rules.
This is because, just as the IJF does, the IBJJF imposes an age restriction on the attainment of a black belt rank. You’re not allowed to get your black belt until you’re 19 years old under current IBJJF rules.
However, there is at least one known person who has been awarded a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu before this age. Mica Galvao, an exceptional BJJ participant, attained his black belt at 17 years old.
In almost every other circumstance, however, the age of 19 is a hard limit for attaining a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Of course, this doesn’t stop some BJJ enthusiasts from being absolutely amazing players before that age – and many of them indeed go on to get their black belt not long after their 19th birthday!
Hopefully this article has helped you to learn about the youngest blackbelts in the world, and why some arts might get younger blackbelts than others!