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What Percentage of People Actually Make It to Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

On average, only ~13% of bjj students will make it to purple belt.

Shown below are a dozen pictures taken during the beginner’s classes at my gym, 10th Planet San Diego, in 2019. I have marked all the students who have made it to purple belt then added them up to come to an average of only ~13% of all total students achieving their purple belt.


For reference, the belt order in BJJ is: White > Blue > Purple > Brown > Black.

Here is a breakdown of the avarge cumulative time it takes to get each belt in jiu jitsu:

How Long Does It Take to Get a Purple Belt?

The average time it takes to get a purple belt in bjj is around 3 to 5 years. Some may get their purple belt faster than others due to training consistency, prior grappling experience, or even athleticism.

What Does It Take to Get a Purple Belt?

Aside from the obvious like consistent training, to get your purple belt you should take your training into your own hands.

This means being acutely aware of your own weaknesses, create daily, weekly, monthly goals, and even learning on your own from bjj instructionals or other resources.

How Hard Is It to Get a Purple Belt?

A purple belt is actually quite hard to get in jiu jitsu. Whereas receiving your blue belt is mainly a measure of time, being awarded your purple belt by your coach is a measure of your skill.


Why Do So Many People Quit Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian jiu jitsu is hard and many people end up quitting. We polled almost a dozen forum posts (from Reddit and Quora) and came up with the above pie chart.

We’ve found that the reason most people will quit jiu jitsu is due to injury. Some other reasons that many peolpe quit related to work or school interferring, cost of training, and some just found it too dificult.


How Dangerous Is a Purple Belt?

In terms of, how dangerous is a purple belt in brazilian jiu jitsu vs untrained individual, they should pretty easily be able to defend, control, and submit nearly any untrained opponent regardless of their size.

A purple belt would very easily beat any white belt or anyone inexperienced with jiu jitsu.

What’s the Difference Between a Blue Belt and Purple Belt?

A blue belt thinks he knows jiu jitsu, a purple knows he doesn’t.

  1. Skill Proficiency and Understanding: A purple belt has a deeper understanding of BJJ concepts and does not require basic explanations of techniques.
  2. Autonomy in Learning: Purple belts are expected to take a more active role in their learning process, connecting the dots between different techniques and strategies on their own.
  3. Strategic Application: At the purple belt level, instruction focuses more on strategy and applying jiu-jitsu against different styles or physical traits of opponents. Blue belts may still be learning the broader application of techniques and may not yet be focused on strategic nuances.
  4. Advanced Belt Expectations: As the first advanced belt, purple belts are considered proficient enough to be challenging for many practitioners, including those at higher belt levels.
  5. Specialization: Purple belts often have certain positions or techniques in which they excel, sometimes giving higher belts trouble in those areas.
  6. Competency and Effectiveness: Purple belts are generally more effective and efficient in their execution of techniques across a wider range of positions and situations. Blue belts may know many of the same techniques but typically lack the same level of execution and effectiveness.
  7. Experience: The experience level of a purple belt is significantly higher, with some comparing the amount of training a purple belt has to that of a black belt in judo.

How Long to Earn a Black Belt in BJJ?

On average, it takes 8-12 years of consistent training to get a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu.

What Percentage of People Who Start BJJ Get a Black Belt?

In the world of BJJ, the percentage of practitioners who eventually earn a black belt is relatively low. Data suggests that only about 1-3% of those who start BJJ make it to black belt status.

This includes not only those who diligently train but also factors in the high attrition rates at lower belt levels.

For example, it was reported that approximately 88% of white belts never reach blue belt, which is just the first step in the long progression to black belt.

    About the Author:

    Zack Nicholas

    Zack Nicholas:

    Zack is an avid jiu jitsu practitioner and weight lifting nerd. When not on the mats or in the gym, he can be found going for walks with his wife, attempting (and often failing) to train his dog, and frequently obsessing over a specific hobby only to forget about it a week later. He can be reached over his LinkedIn or at info@heavybjj.com