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How Long Does It Take to Get a Black Belt in Judo? (Full FAQ Inside)

Typically, it takes roughly 6-10 years on average to earn a black belt judo as an adult. With consistent judo practice of two to three times a week it is realistic to achieve a black belt during this time span.

If a youngster begins training judo at the age of 5 or 6 it will likely take them a minimum of ten years to achieve their black belt.

Related: How long does it take to learn bjj and other martial arts including judo

It should also be noted that Judo differs significantly from Brazilian jiu jitsu in that:

  • A black belt in judo is considered gaining a basic competency much like graduating high school
  • Judo belts systems are very different country to country so it is hard to give an exact time estimate to reach black belt
  • Judo has an overall governing body and depending on your country they will likely have requirements for achieving higher ranks in judo
    • unlike BJJ where a belt or rank is often given by the gym’s head coach and totally up to their discretion

It is important to remember that there is no single path to becoming a master of martial art, so what may be considered “normal” or “average” for one person may not be the case for another.

Some people prefer to take longer to achieve mastery while others are able to make quicker progress. Ultimately, the amount of time it takes each individual to achieve their goals is up to them.

How Hard Is It to Get a Black Belt in Judo?

There is no one answer to this question as the level of difficulty for obtaining a black belt in judo will vary depending on the individual. However, common factors that can make the process harder or easier for an individual include practice habits, dedication to the sport, and genetics.

Each person’s progress towards becoming a black belt is unique and will be based on their own personal practice habits and dedication to the sport. Some people may require more time and effort than others to reach their goals, but with enough hard work, anyone can achieve their black belt.

What is the Judo Belt Progression?

If you are new to judo, it can be a little confusing trying to figure out the belt system.

As mentioned, different martial art practitioners have to go through a grading system in order to rank up and progress on specific belts.

When it comes to Judo, the three components of the grade are:

  • The “Tai” (the body) – the assessment of the individual by competition results
  • The “Ghi” (the work) – the individual’s technical knowledge
  • The “Shin” (the mind) – the most difficult to value, the individual’s engagement and example as a role model

Belt ranks are not standard globally. Different organizations or countries use different colors for different kyu grades.

But, to give you an idea, typically, the progression looks like this; white, yellow, orange, green, blue, brown, and black.

Fortunately, once you become a black belt, the system and ranking are somewhat universal. The Dan (Black Belt Progression) system follows the same pattern (as shown in the table below); Sho Dan, Ni Dan, San Dan, Yon Dan, Go Dan, Roku Dan, Shichi Dan, Hachi Dan, Ku Dan, and Ju Dan.

Kyu Grades and Dan Grades

Judo uses a ranking system divided into kyu and dan grades to indicate advancement and mastery of the discipline. Dan rankings are thought of as master ranks, whereas kyu ranks are thought of as student ranks.

Judo assigns a rank based on the level of proficiency. “Kyu” rankings are represented in descending hierarchy (the lower the rank number, the higher the skill level), and “Dan” rankings are represented in ascending hierarchy (the higher the rank number, the higher the skill level).

Kyu grades include the progress from white to brown belts. On the other hand, Dan grades are a system used to calculate the relative degree of black belt that a person has attained. 

What Techniques Should You Know to Get Your Yellow Belt in Judo?

The yellow belt is the first belt that a person gets awarded. When a person first begins training in judo they are a white belt even if they don’t have any previous training.

In the early 1800s, Jigoro Kano, the founder of Judo, organized all of the techniques into a curriculum for the first judo school.

His techniques are now taught at the Kodokan Judo Institute in Tokyo, Japan.

They currently contain a detailed description of all judo techniques and short videos on how to do them.

Generally, if you want to get a yellow belt in Judo, you have to demonstrate basic throwing and ground techniques as shown in the table below.

How Are Belts Given in Judo?

As you progress through the belt system, you will learn more complex techniques and be able to defend yourself against opponents with more experience.

In order to move up a belt level, you must first complete all of the required tasks at your current belt level. This may include competing in tournaments or grading sessions.

Once you have completed all the requirements, your school will then give you an award letter that shows your new belt level.

How Effective is Judo in a Street Fight When Compared to BJJ?

Judo is a sport that focuses on using throws and takedowns to defeat an opponent. BJJ, on the other hand, is a sport that focuses on joint locks and strangles to defeat an opponent. Judo has been shown to be less effective in a street fight when compared to BJJ.

For example, judo can only take down an opponent with a throw or take down. BJJ can also take down an opponent with a throw or take down, but it can also use joint locks and strangles to submission. Therefore, judo is less effective in a street fight when compared to BJJ when it comes to submissions.

How to Get Your Black Belt in Judo Fast?

Learn Judo When Not at the Gym (With Instructionals, Drilling with a Partner, Solo Drills)

When it comes to judo, progressing into a black belt is a great achievement. But, the work doesn’t stop at the gym. You can advance faster into the black belt if you put in the work outside of gym hours.

You can still learn judo at home with learning materials such as video instructionals. It’s also important to have a partner to drill with. Drilling with a partner will help you learn the techniques correctly and ensure that you are using them properly. However, solo drills will also help you improve your Judo skills on your own.

Compete as Frequently as Possible

Another thing to consider if you want to advance faster into being a black belt is consistency. By competing as frequently as possible, you can improve your physical and mental conditioning while also developing skills essential to the sport.

The benefits of competing often include improved cardiovascular conditioning, muscular strength, and endurance, agility and balance, reaction time and coordination, self-confidence, and self-motivation. When performed correctly, Judo can be an extremely physically taxing sport which can lead to long-term physical improvements in athletes of all levels.

Consider Taking Private Lessons

Some people feel that taking private lessons can be a more effective way to learn a skill than attending a class. In addition, by taking private lessons, you have the opportunity to ask questions and receive personalized instruction.

If you are looking for a more personalized learning experience, taking private lessons may be a good choice. Ultimately, the best way to learn a skill is to find a method that works for you and stick with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Black Belt in Judo?

To get a black belt in Judo, one must be at least 16 years old.

There are multiple levels of black belts that a Judoka can earn, and each incremental level of certification represents more than 10 years of dedicated training.

If you’re 16 or older and want to start training to earn your own black belt, be sure to check with your local judo association to see if they offer these classes.

Can You Get your Judo Black Belt in 1 Year?

If you are interested in earning a judo black belt, there are several things you need to do in order to progress. The most important part of the process is practice and training.

In order to make the most of your time and learn the skills necessary for black belt certification, it is important to find a reputable judo dojo that can provide you with the necessary instruction. 

You also need to be dedicated to your training and commit yourself to practicing every day. If you follow these guidelines, it is possible to earn your black belt within one year.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Black Belt in Karate?

There is no set time frame for achieving a black belt in Karate, as the journey to mastery can vary greatly depending on the individual and the standards of the issuing institution. However, typically it takes 5 years of dedication and hard work to earn a black belt.

In order to be competitive at the highest level, Black Belt candidates must possess excellent discipline and concentration, as well as solid strength, agility, and reflexes. Many clubs also require students to complete strict physical conditioning programs in order to maintain their impressive physiques.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Black Belt in Aikido?

A black belt in Aikido takes around 4-5 years to achieve. If a practitioner consistently trains several times a week, that should be a reasonable estimate.

There is a lot of practice and required dedication to achieve this rank. But, with the right mindset, aside from the technical skills, you can progress through the ranks less hard. It’s a very intensive and challenging process, but one that is well worth it in the end!

How Long Does It Take to Get a Black Belt in Taekwondo?

Generally speaking, the process of becoming a black belt in taekwondo involves completing several stages that are designed to build upon one another. These stages include learning the basics of taekwondo, mastering self-defense tactics, and developing physical strength and conditioning.

Tae Kwon Do black belts are earned in degrees, with the practitioner able to acquire the first-degree black belt in three to five years. Some schools require students to train for four to five years before earning a black belt, while others do not.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Black Belt in Kung Fu?

A black belt or black sash in Kung Fu usually takes 8 to 10 years to achieve. Of course, like any martial arts mentioned above, everyone’s path to the black belt will be different. It usually follows the same path of training and dedication. The more frequently you train, the better. The earlier you display your physical proficiency, the better chances you get of earning a black belt faster than the rest.

What Is the Easiest Black Belt to Get?

There is no easy answer when it comes to the easiest black belt to get. While some people may find a more traditional martial art such as karate or taekwondo the easiest, others may prefer something like judo or jiu-jitsu. It really depends on each individual’s level of training and interest in the respective discipline.

But, in terms of years to achieve, the easiest on average is Tae Kwon Do. You can earn a black belt in Tae Kwon Do as early as 3 years; relatively faster than any other form of martial art.