Jiu Jitsu belts, to this day, remain a relevant indicator of progress and a link to the martial art’s history.
However, if you’re new to BJJ, you might be wondering: What does the BJJ purple belt mean?
In this article, I will cover all you need to know about the BJJ purple belt, including what it really means to gain a purple belt.
Let’s get into it.
What Does It Mean To Be A Purple Belt In BJJ?
The purple belt is the middle belt, and is indicative of when a Jiu Jitsu practitioner begins to form and shape their own identity within this martial art.
The rank of a purple belt often coincides with the person doing more coaching or gaining a more serious focus on the competition aspect of BJJ.
Despite the fact that purple belts aren’t instructors, they have the ability to offer great insight for many students and can be capable of leading their own classes.
How Long Does It Take To Get A BJJ Purple Belt?
Generally speaking, it will take the average Jiu Jitsu practitioner around four years to achieve the purple belt.
However, this can differ between Jiu Jitsu academies and the criteria that it looks for, as well as you as an individual. If you’re not dedicated to the martial art, then it might take you a lot longer to receive a purple belt.
While it’s possible to go from blue to purple belt in under two years, this is incredibly rare, and takes a lot of dedication.
By the time you’ve reached purple belt, you will likely have a couple of competitions and seminars under your belt. As a purple belt, you develop your own Jiu Jitsu personality.
Generally speaking, if an individual has put in the time and energy to obtain a purple belt, it can be assumed that they are deeply passionate about the martial art of BJJ.
Do All Practitioners Become A Purple Belt?
The answer to this question is no, not all practitioners of BJJ become a purple belt.
This comes down to the fact that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is incredibly difficult to learn.
To put it into perspective, generally speaking, less than 25% of practitioners make it to blue belt. Of the individuals that do make it to the blue belt, less than 10% make it to the purple belt in BJJ.
BJJ is a tough martial art. It takes a lot of time, patience, and dedication to work your way up the ranks, and the majority of people don’t stick around to see the purple belt.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a beginner is to train to win. If this is your only motivation, you’re already setting yourself up for failure.
Train to learn, and you’ll get much more out of the experience, and will be way more likely to see your training through all the way up to your purple belt.
If you receive your purple belt, who’s to say you won’t go all the way to black? Have patience, and recognize that receiving your purple belt is never going to happen over night.
Acting Like A Purple Belt
Once you’ve achieved your purple belt, it’s important to recognize that being a purple belt is an entirely different ball game.
Depending on your gym, when you become a purple belt, you might be regarded as a mentor or coach for other white and blue belts.
This is super helpful for a lot of gyms, as it takes the pressure off upper belts, as they no longer have to be responsible for every single class and student that attends.
After all, with great power, comes great responsibility.
During your time as a purple belt, you will change and evolve.
It will set the tone for the rest of your BJJ career, and will allow you to take everything that you’ve learned thus far and begin to connect it to your own personality in BJJ.
Regardless of why you’re training in Jiu Jitsu, the purple belt demands a higher level of commitment in your training.
Tips When Training For Your Purple Belt
There are various tips that you can bear in mind when training for your purple belt that will make the process less painful.
You cannot underestimate the time it takes to achieve a purple belt in BJJ.
If you think this is something you can tick off the bucket list in a matter of weeks, think again. You might as well give up on that idea before you’ve even started your training.
It takes an extraordinary amount of patience to achieve your purple belt in BJJ. If you know anything about the martial art, you’ve likely seen the memes of how long it takes to shake your blue belt.
This is all part of your training, and is just as important to go through as anything else.
While your training might be trying and will likely test your patience at times, this is to be expected and is all part of the process.
Nothing worthwhile comes easy, and training for your purple belt is no exception to this.
You need to give it the respect it deserves instead of becoming upset and frustrated that you’re not achieving your own goals as quickly as you would have liked to.
Have patience, keep dedicated, and you’ll get there. If you fail at the next hurdle because you’ve gotten impatient with the process, becoming a purple belt probably isn’t for you anyway.
Take An Interest In Teaching
If you’re going to become a purple belt, it’s good to take an interest in teaching. Depending on the dynamic in your gym, you might be required to take on a mentor role when you become a purple belt.
Lots of practitioners that reach purple belt are known for taking on leadership roles in their gyms. It’s a good idea to prepare for this eventuality sooner rather than later.
If you’re unapproachable, and don’t have the patience to become a teacher, then this is something that the people above you will likely notice.
As a purple belt you have to be willing to take on responsibilities, so it makes sense that you should present yourself in a way that shows you to be both capable and willing.
If you can’t see yourself teaching, you might want to reconsider your desire to become a purple belt.
Be Self Aware
You’re not going to get anywhere in BJJ if you’re not self aware. Learning is an essential part of the process, as you know nothing when you first begin training in this martial art.
If you have opinions, keep them to yourself.
There’s a reason why you’ve not yet reached the purple belt, and it is often seen as rude and unwelcome to offer an opinion to more experienced members in the gym regarding training if you don’t have the experience to back it up.
It’s a good idea to gain experience by asking upper belts to train or drill with you. However, if they decline your request, don’t be offended.
It could be that they’re focusing solely on a position that your skill level doesn’t yet accommodate, or it might not be a good time for you.
Dust yourself off and be self aware enough to know that it’s not personal.
While it can be frustrating to feel like you’re not getting anywhere with your training, this is likely in your head.
You’re constantly absorbing information when you’re going to your training sessions, and just turning up and remaining consistent is good enough on the days you feel like giving up.
The point is, that you didn’t give up even when you felt like doing so.
So, that’s all you need to know about the BJJ purple belt.
Hopefully this article has enlightened you and taught you what you wanted to know about the BJJ purple belt.
If you’re beginning to feel impatient, or aren’t sure what it takes to become a purple belt, I hope this article has given you some reassurance on what is expected from a purple belt.
With time and dedication, you too can get yourself a BJJ purple belt.
Good luck getting your next belt in BJJ!
About The Author: Ahmed Mir
Ahmed Mir is the founder of MMA Boxx. After a weightlifting injury redirected his athletic journey, Ahmed discovered a passion for mixed martial arts (MMA), immersing himself in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai.
Beyond the mat, Ahmed lives in Thailand and is a seasoned entrepreneur, earning recognition in notable publications such as Entrepreneur, Legal Zoom, and The Washington Post.
As the visionary behind MMA Boxx, he’s dedicated to fostering a community where enthusiasts can explore the world of MMA.