The belt system is one of the most heated debates in BJJ and it seems that there is no universal standard.
Here is what the great Saulo Ribeiro had to say about the belt progression in BJJ and why you shouldn’t make a big deal out of it:
“If you worry about the time and speed of your promotions, you lose yourself. Remember, before you are a blue, purple, or brown belt, you want to feel like one. You must feel that your skills are there. You cannot fool youself. Attaining a belt is just proof that your teacher is connected with you. You will know when you deserve it. My role as a instructor is to be there and say “Its time.” But you should already realize this on your own.
Jiu Jitsu Is not math, and promotion is not based on attendance or calendar dates. A regimented promotion schedule based on dates or attendance is the worst way to gauge development. Jiu Jitsu is more complex than this.
There is no sense in chasing a belt and getting it as fast as possible. Often, people do not see that black belt will be their longest belt. Remember, it doesn’t matter if you get it in four years or fifteen. Either way, you will have the rest of your life with a black belt around your waist. Building the belt is what matters”
Firas Zahabi, who is widely considered one of the best MMA coaches of our generation and trainer of ace fighters like George Saint Pierre, Rory Macdonald to name a few is also an elite Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner.
He shares his thoughts on belt progression system of BJJ and what every belt means: