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BJJ Purple Belt Requirements and What to Focus On

original Image on the left by Kyu Li from Fight 2 Win event

Purple Belt Explained

The purple belt is the third rank in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.

A purple belt in bjj has a strong grasp of the fundamentals learned during the previous belts (white and blue) and is very close to reaching the advanced ranks of jiu jitsu (brown and black belt).

Many bjj instructors will not award a student a purple belt unelss they have the confidence that the student can one day make it to black belt.

Therefore, a purple belt in bjj is can be considered the hardest belt to achive in brazilian jiu jitsu – even though it is only the 3rd of 5 total belts:

White > Blue > Purple > Brown > Black

In a self defense or streeth fight scenario, a bjj purple belt should be able to take down, control, and submit any opponent regardless of their size.

In the bjj gym they are also actually quite dangerous to anyone across the bjj belt ranks.

They should be able to:

  • easily submit a white belt multiple times in a sparring round
  • control and submit a blue belt
  • survive against a brown belt and on occasion catch a lucky submission
  • on a very rare occasional reach a dominant position against a black belt

Someone who has reached a purple belt in bjj has truly made quite an accomplishment. They have learned the fundamentals about the sport and overcame the so-called blue belt blues. 

Hence, these dedicated individuals have most likely been training BJJ for around 3-5 years already.

Since they have spent over a hundred of hours on the mats already, they have mastered different application techniques.

In addition, their mind and body are highly capable of reacting and stringing different techniques already. Moreover, they are able to control and submit different BJJ ranks and untrained individuals in a dangerous situation. 

What is a Purple Belt and What Should They Know?

A purple belt is to know more advanced techniques compared to white and blue belts. This means they are:

  • Able to to late stage escapes from bad positions. – These are part of the fundamentals they have to learn when they are just starting BJJ. 
  • Knows how to late escape a submission. – Like previously mentioned, escapes are part of the fundamentals of BJJ. This means, one should master before even levelling up and reaching the level of these purple belts. 
  • Chaining different attacks to submit their opponent. – This means, if their first attack did not work out, they are able to find another open that they can do to win.
  • Counter to common reactions of the other combatant. – Their body and mind’s accustomed to reacting to different attacks. Hence, they are equipped with movements to counter these. 
  • Purple belts have vast knowledge of different variation of techniques. Mainly, of their favorite submissions like the following: 

More importantly they are dedicated!

They have allotted the time and effort to reach this level. They know what their strengths and weaknesses are. As a result, they continue to learn and develop these to improve. 

Purple Belt Goals  – What to Focus on at Purple Belt?

If you are a purple belt, or about to become one, know that there are different things that you should focus on at this rank.

Mainly, it’s important to put in the effort to fill in the gaps or weaknesses in how you play your game. 

Check out this list of possible things that a purple belt should focus on and achieve at this rank: 

  • Master being good at top and bottom game 
  • Practice wrestling more.
    • If you do not have any wrestling background at all, now is the time to learn about it. 
  • Must have a solid grasp of leg attack and leg defense fundamentals.
    • Purple belt transitions to brown and black belt, several leg attack or submissions are allowed in competitions. Therefore, leg attacks are very evident in high level or advanced BJJ. 
  • Develop their game around their favorite positions and submissions.
    • Every BJJ player will have a certain or go to position as they go along their BJJ journey. What’s vital is to become a master at this, so that it will become a natural reaction of the body.
  • Proper submission set up.
    • Know that in BJJ, your submission will not work if you are not able to position properly. 
  • Have a combination of attacks and submissions.
    • Meaning, these purple belts should be able to learn how to chain different techniques to achieve victory. 

How Dangerous Is a BJJ Purple Belt?

Zack (left), HeavyBJJ founder and creator with his coach Richie “Boogeyman” Martinez (right)

So how dangerous is a bjj purple belt? If you find yourself rolling with a purple belt, know that they are the middle man of advance and beginners. Hence, they are already considered highly skilled. 

Do know that, these purple belts have already grasped the fundamentals of BJJ. They have a wide understanding of the essentials in order to survive in the mats or in a real street fight scenario. 

Recommended – for our full post on exactly how dangerous is a bjj purple take a look here

Do know that, these purple belts have already grasped the fundamentals of BJJ. They have a wide understanding of the essentials in order to survive in the mats or in a real street fight scenario.

These purple belts are able to identify their errors. Why? There might still be room to improve and they can be submitted by other ranks. They can recap the match and find areas where they lacked or missed. Hence, after identifying these things, they will most definitely actively work to improve. 

Moreover, these purple belts have spent hundreds of hours on the mats already. You can sense that they are comfortable and confident even if they are put in a tight submission. Therefore, if that is the case, they are still able to fight and defend themselves until the last moments of the match. 

Lastly, if found in a dangerous street fight scenario vs a weaponless untrained attacker, these purple belts can easily defend, control and submit their opponent. 

Trust me when I say, you do not want to mess with a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu purple belt.

Check out this full post talking about how dangerous a BJJ purple belt truly is.

In a self defense scenario or street fight

If a purple belt finds themselves in a situation where they have to protect themselves, know that they are highly capable. Moreover, they have a high advantage of victory over their opponent if they are untrained in martial arts and weaponless. 

Additionally, these purple belts are able to take on a street fight with any striking at all. This means that they will be controlling their opponent by finding different positions and adding pressure until help arrives. 

Check out this breakdown video of a BJJ purple belt vs Bike Thief.

In the bjj training room

Like I always say, BJJ purple belts are the middle men. That means that they have an edge and are highly capable of rolling with all the ranks.

So, if a white belt or blue belt rolls with a purple belt. Know that there will be difficulty for the lower ranks. Why? It is because purple belts have mastered the fundamentals already and have spent hours on the mats training. 

Now, if a purple belt rolls with brown and blackbelts, know that there is still a high chance of success. 

It is not entirely uncommon for them to be able to find dominant positions or perhaps be able to submit these advanced belts. 

Again, you will never know what is going to happen in the mats, so just keep showing up and training. 

What’s it like to roll with a BJJ purple belt?

What is great about rolling with a purple belt in BJJ if you are a lower rank, know that they can give you openings. Meaning, since they are knowledgeable and have a lot of experience already. Hence, they can give you different openings to practice your techniques and attacks to improve your skill set. 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What Does It Take to Get a Purple Belt in BJJ?

It takes guts and hard work to earn a purple belt in BJJ. This would require dedication and love for the sport in order to reach this stage. 

It takes guts and hard work to earn a purple belt in BJJ. This would require dedication and love for the sport in order to reach this stage. 


These purple belts have a deep understanding of what BJJ is all about. They have vast knowledge about the principles and the foundations of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

In addition to that, know that they are equipped with techniques and different counters to attacks. 

Lastly, they are more than capable of stringing along different techniques, without having to over think. These skills are already embedded in their system.

How Long Does It Take to Get  a Purple Belt in BJJ?

The average years in training to get a purple belt in BJJ is around 4 to 5 years. This though, will depend on your progress and how much time you spend training. 

Some people can achieve it faster than others, because they religiously train and improve their skills. Some might take longer because they have different life priorities at the moment and are not able to train as much. 

Is a Purple Belt in BJJ Good?

Definitely! A purple belt in BJJ is good. Aside from the commitment they have in the sport and overcoming the blue belt blues they truly have skills. 

These purple belts are very knowledgeable with the fundamentals of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu already. Moreover, they are equipped with a wide range of techniques. Hence, they are more than capable of overcoming different scenarios on and off the mats. 

How many bjj purple belts are there in the world?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the faster growing sports in the world today. It has been gaining popularity because of its effectiveness. Hence, there is a huge number of practitioners right now. 

A rough estimate that I can give as per how many purple belts in the world are right, I can say that would be around 90,000 to 110,000 thousand. 

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