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How Dangerous is a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

brown belt in bjj

How Dangerous is a BJJ Brown Belt?

In terms of how dangerous is a bjj brown belt, they would likely dominate any untrained individual in a self defense scenario regardless of their size and weight. 

A brown belt in bjj is the fourth belt in jiu jitsu and is just before black belt. 

In the Brazilian jiu jitsu training room, they should be able to control and submit every lower belt (which are white, blue, and purple). Also it’s not uncommon for a brown belt to submit a black belt.

Since a brown belt and a black belt are very close in rank, a brown belt will likely be a competitive roll for a black belt.

How Dangerous Is a BJJ Brown Belt – Key Takeaways

  • Self Defense: A brown belt in bjj should be able to dominate any untrainned individual regarless of their size in a self defense scenario
  • Vs Purple Belt: A purple belt in jiu jitsu may have some of the same skills as a brown belt, but likely needs more time perefecting them as well as working on their weakness (which are usually wrestling, leg attacks/defenses, and control)
  • Vs Black Belt: It is not uncommon for a brown belt to submit a black belt in bjj (this doesn’t mean they are better than them, it just means they caught them in a submission)
  • BJJ Belt Timeline: With consistent practice, on average it usually takes 6-8 years to achieve a brown belt in bjj
Table of Contents

    What It Means to Be a Brown Belt in BJJ?

    What does it truly mean to be a brown belt in bjj? Well, a brown belt in bjj are those who have spent countless hours on the mats already. These are individuals who have shown dedication and perseverance in order to achieve their current rank. 

    What Separates Brown Belts from other Jiu Jitsu Belts?:

    • They can actually see or know what will happen next from a certain position during a match or sparring session.
      • This just shows that they are confident in their skills and can move instinctually because they have a plan for the next reaction or position of their opponent. 
    • Brown belts are skilled in setting traps against their opponent.
      • They are able to set the tempo against lower belts in order to bring them toward their favored position or sequence.
    • A brown belt in bjj knows and acknowledges what they are good and bad at.
      • They know what needs to be worked on and improved.
    • Brown belts have a strong effect on the gym culture.
      • Other bjj students will look up to brown belts for how to act so they should always try to be a good role model for all.
    • Although some brown belts in bjj deal with impostor syndrome. There would be those thinking that they may think that they are not worthy for their rank or they may be struggling with lower belts submitting them.
      • However, even though some brown belts do not feel like they are ready for their rank like many other bjj belt promotions, they will grow into their new rank as time goes by.  
    • Therefore, to feel more confident as a brown belt in bjj, they should focus on why and how positions, techniques, and submissions work by analyzing every detail.
    • Finally, at brown belt bjj practitioners have gone through countless ups and downs in their training but one thing remains constant – they keep showing up. 

    Is Brown Belt Advanced?

    Yes, a brown belt in bjj is already considered an advanced level. A brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu have mastered the fundamentals of the sport and have a deep understanding of its principles. 

    Moreover, these brown belts in bjj have no weaknesses. They are well rounded and effective in every major position of BJJ. To add to that, these brown belt in bjj already have a high skill level compared to the lower ranks, wherein they are capable of setting traps and finding openings even in difficult scenarios. 

    BJJ belt system

    The Brazillian jiu jitsu is a grappling martial art that aims to take their opponent to the ground, be able to control and submit them. Now, just like any other martial art, there is a rank or belt system that signifies the current skill and knowledge level of the practitioner. Hence, in BJJ, there are 5 ranks, namely: 

    • White – A white belt in BJJ is the first rank to go through. This will be the true test of one’s ego and perseverance. More likely than not, a BJJ white belt will be submitted by a more trained individual despite being smaller. Therefore, at this rank, the main focus is to find comfort in adversity. This means, becoming comfortable in difficult positions and finding ways to escape them. 

    • Blue– A blue belt in BJJ means that they already are comfortable on the mats. They have vast knowledge of what the fundamentals are and basic principles of the sport. These individuals are now working on finding their favorite attacks and different variations of certain positions and submissions and gradually mastering them. Another thing to overcome at this rank is the so called “blue belt blues.”

    • PurpleA purple belt in BJJ are the middlemen of the sport. These individuals are neither beginners nor advanced. These BJJ practitioners are more technical, efficient and dangerous on the mats compared to lower ranks. To that, they are those who are slowly fine tuning their skills, building up their weak areas and working on different chains of attacks. 

    • BlackA black belt in BJJ is the epitome of what the sport is all about. They are the living example of what it means to be a BJJ practitioner on and off the mats. These are individuals who have spent numerous hours mastering the sport. At this rank, their main focus is improving their skills and being able to complete a structure of their own learning to pass on to their students. 

    Difference Between Purple and Brown Belt BJJ 

    When compared to a purple belt, a brown belt in bjj simply has:

    • more control
    • more technique
    • and overall more knowlegde and experience

    While a purple belt may have several techniques or positions that display hints of greatness in their jiu jitsu, they just need more time perfecting their preferred techniques, positions, and submissions and more time improving on their weaknesses.

    Whereas a purple belt may do extremely well in certain positions – they still likely have large holes in their bjj game. For many purple belts, they often need to work on wrestling, leg attakcs/defenses, positional control, and pinning techniques.

    How Long Does It Take to Get a Brown Belt in BJJ

    For a BJJ practitioner who trains 3 times a week, they are very likely to earn their brown belt in BJJ within 6-8 years.

    Granted that they are consistent in training, there are still several different factors being looked at in order to get promoted to become a BJJ brown belt. 

    Some people can stay shorter or longer at a certain rank compared to others. This just means that they still have to meet their school and professor’s standard in order to level up.

    Also, there would be some levelling up faster compared to others because of their background or experience in other grappling sport or martial art.

    Why Do Purple Belts Stagnate in Jiu Jitsu?

    Purple belts in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are considered to be the level between a student and an instructor.

    While it is not easy to reach this level, many purple belts find themselves stuck in their progress for a variety of reasons.

    • One common reason for stagnating is lack of experience. Even though a purple belt has put in countless hours on the mat, they may still lack some crucial knowledge or understanding that could take their game to the next level.
    • Another reason is fear; fear of challenging oneself with more difficult techniques or sparring with higher-level opponents can lead to stagnation.
    • Finally, some purple belts might simply lose motivation over time if they fail to make progress and become complacent in their development. Stagnation can be avoided by setting goals and pushing yourself outside your comfort zone

    A quick tip for any purple belt who finds themself not improving or losing motivation is to stagger your training days between beginner classes and advanced classes

    By having light days of bjj training where you are taking a “beginner” or “all-levels” class you can work on perfecting your control and submissions.

    Alternatively, when you take the advanced classes (on your more intense days), you can work on your defenses as well as working on submitting those at your rank or above your belt level.

    By choosing to do both days, you will have days when you leave the bjj gym feeling good about yourself and your bjj knowledge and days when you leave and still realize you have quite a bit to learn.

    What Is Expected of a Brown Belt in BJJ

    Achieving a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is no small accomplishment.

    It takes discipline, dedication, and countless hours of hard work to achieve this level of expertise.

    With it comes great responsibility and expectations; once you have earned your brown belt you become an ambassador for your academy and must lead by example.

    You are expected to be a role model for younger students as well as possess a deep understanding of the fundamentals of BJJ, as well as master many basic techniques.

    Brown belts should also be proficient with their technical abilities, so they can teach other members in their club.

    Lastly, brown belts are expected to think on their feet and answer any questions that others may have about Jiu Jitsu.

    Achieving a Brown Belt

    Earning a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is no easy feat. It takes patience, dedication and hours upon hours of hard work to reach this level of expertise.

    • A brown belt has a deep understanding of BJJ fundamentals and has mastered many of the basic techniques associated with this martial art.
    • They also have a good grasp on strategy and know how to turn a defensive position into an offensive one in order to gain an advantage over their opponent. This makes them a formidable force on the mats and someone who should be taken seriously by any opponent they face.
    • In addition to the technical knowledge that comes with earning your brown belt, developing strong mental toughness is equally as important. It’s during this stage of your journey that you learn how to push yourself past your limits and stay focused even when things are going wrong.

    If you’re able to develop this type of mental fortitude then you’ll be well on your way towards mastering BJJ at its highest level.

    The Goal for a BJJ Brown Belt Is to Be Well Rounded

    A brown belt in BJJ should be a well-rounded martial artist with an array of knowledge and skills.

    They will have the technical ability to execute various takedowns, sweeps, submissions, and defensive techniques.

    Brown belts should also be able to recognize with confidence when they are at risk of being put in dangerous positions and how to counter them effectively.

    Additionally, their experience gives them the ability to think ahead and plan for more complex scenarios.

    They should understand the theory behind Jiu Jitsu more deeply than lower belts and can anticipate potential strategies from opponents more accurately.

    FInally, they should acknowlege and actively work on any weaknesses in their jiu jitsu.

    Some questions to help this are:

    • What submissions am I getting most frequently caught with?
    • If I was to try to beat myself at jiu jitsu what position, submission, or technique would I use?

    Brown Belts May Need to Work on Their Leg Locks

    Some brown belts may have bad leg locks, as they may not have had the opportunity to train with leg locks as often as other subsmissions.

    This is often due to many BJJ gyms (and particularly those that follow the IBJJF rule set) don’t allow leg locks until purple belt. This means that brown belts who are only training in these gyms won’t have had much experience with these techniques and could be at a disadvantage when it comes to self-defense scenarios.

    However, this doesn’t mean that all brown belts will be lacking in skills when it comes to leg locks; some may still have trained extensively at lower betls or may took a liking toward leg locks anddeveloped strong skills in this area.

    It’s important for any practitioner to make sure the are always actively chiping away at their weaknesses.

     How Long Does It Take to Reach Black Belt from Brown in BJJ?

    On average, a brown belt in BJJ will spend at least 2-5 years of training before earning their black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Although, this can take longer or shorter, depending on many different factors like: 

    • Dynamics of skills – The goal in mind to become a black belt in BJJ is to become a master of all the skills and be able to apply on the mats.
    • Capability of teaching and helping lower ranks – BJJ is a sport that will live on for many more centuries. As a brown belt, one thing being looked at is your ability to pass on the knowledge to those who are lower in rank.
    • Consistency in learning – Before a teacher, one is always a student. One attitude being looked at in order to get promoted is being able to master a certain skill, but still open to more learning and knowledge.
    • Attitude on and off the mats – A martial artist is someone who is discipline and respectful. As a brown belt, your professors should see that you are a walking representation of what the sport is all about. You are a role model on and off the mats.
    • Leadership – No one is born a leader. But as you learn about the sport and the way of life that goes with it you will become a leader. You will be able to lead by example those who look up to you.
    • Competitive skills – Joining competitions to test your skills is something that will always be recognized by your school and professors. As a brown belt, compete in competitions to see where you currently stand. This will allow you to test your capability and know what you still have to improve on.
    • Others 

    Here is a video of Mikey Musumeci talking about What To Learn In Jiu Jitsu When You Are A BJJ Brown Belt.

    Can a brown belt beat a black belt? (Bjj brown belt vs black belt)

    A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu brown belt is already considered highly dangerous on and off the mats.

    It is not entirely uncommon for a brown belt in BJJ to actually beat and submit a black belt when sparing.

    Although rare, you can expect that there will be some instances that even a BJJ black belt can succumb to a lower rank such as a brown belt or on even more rare occasions, a purple belt.

    However, this doesn’t mean that the brown belt is better than the black belt or that the brown belt knows more than the black belt – it just means that the brown belt caught the black belt in a submission.

    How Long Does It Take to Get a Black Belt in Jiu Jitsu

    How long it takes to get your black belt in BJJ will depend on one’s dedication to the sport. Now, the average years spent to earn your black belt in BJJ can take around 10-12 years. 

    However, there will be some who earn their black belt in jiu jitsu faster compared to others & to name some of them: 

    • Travis Stephens (18months)
    • Caoi Terra (3 years) 
    • Geo Martinez (3 years) 
    • BJ Penn (3 years) 
    • Others 

    Related: How Long Does It Take To Earn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt (BJJ Timeline)

    How Dangerous Is a BJJ Blue Belt

    How dangerous is a BJJ blue belt? Well, if faced with a lower rank or untrained weaponless individual, then they can dominate the situation. This is because they have more grappling experience compared to the newer ones.

    These dangerous blue belts are skilled and knowledgeable of the foundations of bjj. Therefore, they are confident in difficult positions and able to work on their breathing and cardio. To add to that, they are capable of paying around with different positions in order to gain advantage against their opponent. 

    Related: How Dangerous Is a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jiu JItsu.

    At what belt do most people quit BJJ?

    A white belt in BJJ is more likely to quit the sport compared to the other ranks. Personally, I have seen people train for a month, then end up not showing after that. Or those who pay 6 months of training on the spot, but never show up to train again. 

    But people have their own reasons why they stop playing the sport. Here are some of the most common ones are: 

    • Realized that BJJ is not for them – Some may try the sport and after several training sessions, they just come to realize that sport is not for them. And yes, that is totally fine.
    • Injury – This is one of the main reasons why people quit. As white belts, one thing that you have to learn early is when to tap out. Injuries are part of the sport. However, for some, after experiencing an injury, they opt not to continue with the training. This can be due to long term recovery that can alter their everyday lives, or they realized some thing else.
    • Schedule and location conflict – Although BJJ is one of the world’s faster growing sports, not all areas have a gym close by. Therefore, some people quit because the distance of their gym or their schedule have conflicts.
    • Expenses – Some people may find the sport quite expensive. From membership fee, to monthly classes and gears. Therefore, some may love the sport but opt to quit early because they have other financial priorities at the moment.

    Related: BJJ White Belt Tips (Over 40 Tips for Beginners)

    Hope this has been a good read!

    Catch you next time!

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