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BJJ Competitions – Masters Divisions Explained

BJJ Masters Divisions Explained

So what are masters divisions in bjj?

If you’re over 30 years old and interested in signing up for a BJJ competition then you are considered qualified for the Masters division.

The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is largest organization that holds frequent Brazilian jiu jitsu competitions – these competitions and others held be different organizations have divisions separated by sex, belt rank, weight, and age.

The IBJJF masters division in bjj are divisions for those over the age 30 and are separated into the below categories. These are the categories for ibjjf age divisions 2023 (keep in mind the competition point system is still the same for masters divisions).


Competition hosts have created different weight and age brackets to ensure fairness in the sport.

For IBJJF, the Masters division has been subdivided into 6 categories:

  • Master 1 – 30-35 years.
  • Master 2 – 36 to 40 years
  • Master 3 – 41 to 45 years
  • Master 4 – 46 to 50 years
  • Master 5 – 51 to 55 years
  • Master 6 – 56 to 60 years

However, if your age bracket qualifies for the Masters division already but you opt to compete in the adult division (ages 18-29), then that is possible in most competition organizations.

Another scenario is if you are a Master 6, opting to compete in the Master 1 division, then that is allowed too.

Keep in mind that you can only always go to a lower age division.

However, if you are 23 (adult division) then you are not allowed to compete in Master 2 which is for BJJ practitioners aged 36 to 40.

What Are the Master Divisions in BJJ?

The Masters division in BJJ has been divided into 6 different groups, starting at the 30 years old. 

  • Master 1 – 30-35 years.
  • Master 2 – 36 to 40 years
  • Master 3 – 41 to 45 years
  • Master 4 – 46 to 50 years
  • Master 5 – 51 to 55 years
  • Master 6 – 56 to 60 years

What Age Group is Masters 3?

Masters 3 is for those who are age 41-45.

What Age Group is Masters 4?

Masters 4 is for those who are age 46-50.

What Age Group is Masters 5?

Masters 5 is for those who are age 51-55.

IBJJF Age Divisions 2023 For Men and Women

Now lets talk about IBJJF age divisions 2023 for men and women:

World famed International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation has created different age divisions for its male and female competitors.

This is because IBJJF regulates the sport to create a safe and competitive environment for its participants. 

To add to that, they want to give each competitor a fair match. They would divide competitors based on gender, weight, rank and age group.

IBJJF has age divisions for ages 4-60  years old. 

For 18 years old and above, it is composed of adults and masters division which is subcategorized further as you get older.


Meanwhile, the youngest age a child can participate in a BJJ competition is at 4 years old.

TEEN I≥ 13

Check out this compilation video of the Pan Kids 2021.

IBJJF Masters

IBJJF is one of the first and largest organizations hosting Brazillian Jiu jitsu competitions in the world.

Their champions are legends in BJJ and they continue to ensure  fairness in all participants of the sport to give each and everyone the opportunity to win by exercising proper brackets. 

So how old does one have to be to qualify for the IBJJF masters division? 

For you to become eligible in the masters division then you must be at least 30 years old on the day of the competition. This is for both men and women competitors. 

IBJJF Weight Classes

Let’s now break down the IBJJF weight classes:

IBJJF is continuously hosting different tournaments all over the seven continents of the world.

Some of the four of the biggest competitions they have where bjj athletes gather to test their skills:

  • World Jiu Jitsu Championship
  • World No Gi Championship
  • Pan Jiu Jitsu Championship
  • European JiuJitsu Championship 

Resource: Learn more about the different weight classes for BJJ competitions explaind by Heavy BJJ.

IBJJF Weight Classes Gi

  • Rooster – under 57.5 kg (under 127 lbs);
  • Light feather – above 57.5 kg and under 64 kg (127 – 141.6 lbs);
  • Feather – above 64kg and under 70 kg (141.6 – 154.6 lbs);
  • Light – above 70kg and under 76 kg (154.6 – 168 lbs);
  • Middle – above 76 kg and under 82.3 kg (168 – 181.6 lbs);
  • Medium heavy – above 82.3 kg and under 88.3 kg (181.6 – 195 lbs);
  • Heavy – above 88.3 kg and under 94.3 kg (195 – 208 lbs);
  • Super heavy – above 94.3 kg and under 100.5 kg (208 – 222 lbs);
  • Ultra heavy – above 100.5 kg, no upper limit (222 lbs and up);
  • Open class – open to all weight classes

IBJJF Weight Classes No Gi

  • Rooster – under 55.6 kg (under 122.6 lbs);
  • Light feather – above 55.6 kg and under 61.7 kg (122.6 – 136 lbs);
  • Feather – above 61.7kg and under 67.5 kg (136 – 149 lbs);
  • Light – above 67.5 kg and under 73.5 kg (149 – 162.6 lbs);
  • Middle – above 73.5 kg and under 79.6 kg (162.6 – 175.6 lbs);
  • Medium heavy – above 79.6 kg and under 85.5 kg (175.6 – 188.6 lbs);
  • Heavy – above 85.5 kg and under 91.6 kg (188.6 – 202 lbs);
  • Super heavy – above 91.6 kg and under 97.5 kg (202 – 215 lbs);
  • Ultra heavy – above 97.5 kg, no upper limit (215 lbs and up);
  • Open class – open to all weight classes

Belt Level Differences – Adult vs Masters Divisions

So does belt rank affect the age division? There is a slight difference in difficulty between masters divisions at white, blue, purple and brown compared to adult divisions. 

If you are competing in masters divisions at these lower belts, it is sometimes a bit easier since you will be facing older individuals instead of those between the ages of 18-29.

Although, it is not totally impossible to win at the adult division. Again, BJJ was created to win over opponents who may be stronger or bigger than you with your techniques.

In addition, if you are competing in the masters divisions, black belts then this can be very challenging. 

Why? You will be competing against practitioners who have been training BJJ for numerous already.

Moreover, there are some living legends still participating in these competitions to check and see how they are doing. To add to that, for the thrill and the love of the sport.

Competitive Peak for BJJ Athletes

Each and every BJJ athlete will start at a different point in their life. This is due to different reasons, some may:

  • changed sports
  • recently want to get fit
  • found out about the sport and wants to try
  • learn self defense

To add to that, the earliest that one can participate in a competition is at age four, for IBJJF Kids Championship. 

Although a lot of people who became world champions started training in their early teens, they slowly reap their efforts during their 20s and as they enter the masters division. 

Nonetheless, a number of BJJ competitors will peak in their competitive career at 33 years old.

During this age group, these are the most competitive years in BJJ. One’s body is also at its best during this age.

However, for those people who still want to compete and are over 30, then the Masters division is best.

This will give a challenge that is relative to your current life and training circumstances.

We do know that at some point, one may have a busier schedule and be unable to train and condition regularly but still want to participate in a competition, then joining the masters division can be ideal.

Why Compete in Masters Division

Why choose to compete in the masters division? A number of BJJ practitioners who compete in masters divisions are most likely those who started BJJ later in life and that is totally fine! 

Although BJJ relies on techniques, it will still be different competing with a younger opponent in the same rank and weight class whose body is currently at its peak.

High level competitive BJJ is in your 20s and most of the time until the age of 33.

These age groups probably have more time to train than you because you’ve been busy with life (this can be starting a family, building your business or career, etc.) 

BJJ is continuous learning. It doesn’t matter if you are getting older in the sport. There will always be something new to gain. It’s about those who stay despite hindrances and as you grow old in your beloved sport. 

If you’re looking for a sign to sign up for that competition, then this is probably it! Sign yourself up for a masters division competition.

Check out this match of 2 white belts masters at 180lbs division.

Do I have to compete in my Own Age Bracket?

No, some competitions will let you compete at the adult agent bracket even if you are in a masters division.  

Hence, it will be your choice if you would like to move to a lower age bracket. But this can only be applicable depending on the rules and regulation of the organization hosting the tournament.

Thanks for reading and hope this has been informative – see you in the next one!

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