How Long Does It Take to Get Promoted to Blue Belt in Jiu-Jitsu?

If you’re new to jiu-jitsu, you might be wondering how long it takes to get promoted to a blue belt. The truth is that there is no set timeline for promotions, as every student progresses at their own pace.


US Navy Seal and BJJ black belt Jock Willink shared his personal experience of getting promoted to a blue belt in jiu-jitsu.

He mentioned that it took him about nine or ten months of training all the time while he was at SEAL Team One.

He would even attend lunchtime classes at Fabio Santos’ gym and then return for beginner and advanced classes later in the day. This shows that consistent training and dedication can help you progress quickly in jiu-jitsu.

Moving Around

Sometimes, life circumstances can affect your jiu-jitsu journey. Willink moved from California to Virginia Beach when he was close to getting his purple belt. He started training with Gustavo Machado but was gone a lot due to traveling for work. By the time he returned to San Diego, he had been a blue belt for five years and had to prove himself again. This shows that taking a break from training or moving to a new location can affect your progress in jiu-jitsu.

Jiu-Jitsu Skill Assessment

In jiu-jitsu, promotions are based on skill level, not on how long you’ve been training. The instructor needs to assess your improvement over time since there is no level playing field for every person in jiu-jitsu. It’s not about how good you are against other people; it’s about how good you are against yourself. Your instructor will evaluate your technique, attitude, and dedication before deciding whether you are ready to be promoted.

The Importance of Belt Ranking

In martial arts, belt ranking is an essential aspect that reflects your progress and skill level. It also serves as a motivation for students to keep training and improving.

Belt Ranking and Potential

The longer it takes to get a belt, the better an instructor thinks you will be. This means that the time it takes to get promoted is not always an indicator of your progress. Some people believe that if a lower-ranked belt can beat a higher-ranked belt, they should be promoted. However, this is not always true. An instructor’s evaluation of a student’s potential determines their rank.

Influences on Belt Promotion

Instructors may give belts based on sales or competition results. However, this is not the best approach as it does not accurately reflect a student’s skill level. Sandbagging occurs when competitors intentionally compete at lower levels to win more easily. This practice can be detrimental to the student’s progress in the long run.

Skill Evaluation

A student’s skill level is evaluated by their instructor, regardless of how well they perform against higher-ranked students. Even if a student dominates elsewhere, they may not be promoted if their instructor does not evaluate them as ready. This emphasizes the importance of consistent training and dedication to improve your jiu-jitsu skills.