Kids Jiu Jitsu Belts

Kids Jiu Jitsu Belts – Youth BJJ Belt System Explained

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an excellent competitive martial art for kids. Like anything with children, it requires structure and discipline in order to garner best results. Just as adult BJJ has a belt promotion system, so does kids Jiu Jitsu – though the progression of kids Jiu Jitsu belts is different.

In this article we will cover kids BJJ belts, what they mean, how often your child will be promoted and more.

Kids Jiu Jitsu Belt Colors

The way a student’s proficiency in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is represented is with belt colors as well as bands and stripes. Keep in mind that the colors in the kids IBJJF belt system are standardized where the stripes are not.

Your child will always begin kids Jiu Jitsu classes with a white belt – then graduate to a belt with a horizontal white stripe, on to the solid color with no white stripe and eventually to the solid black bar on the end of the belt. 

However, depending on the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu gym your child is enrolled in, they may or may not add the additional two lateral white stripes on top of the black portion as promotions. They are essentially just pieces of white tape that the instructor puts on the belt if they choose.

These two stripes aren’t technically recognized by IBJJF, so they are basically ornamental in nature. However, strangely enough, they do recommend their use for motivation. It can be a bit confusing, so a lot of gyms do not use the two extra stripes.

Another thing about Kids BJJ belts is that there is no black belt. The black belt can only be achieved as an adult.

White Belt

As far as kids BJJ belts, the same as adults, the first belt that every student will receive is the white belt. Usually the BJJ gym that you enroll your child in will either provide this belt with a Gi or you will purchase a Gi that comes with the white belt.

The white belt is essentially just so the student can properly wear the Gi to participate in practice. This belt will be mostly a functional piece of the Gi.

Grey Belt

The gray belt with a white stripe will be the first of the kids BJJ belts given to your child when they show progress in their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practice. Gaining the next belt is a big moment for both children and adults. The minimum age recommended in the IBJJF belt system is four years old.

The gray belt with a white stripe is only the first step, it shows that your child has been dedicated and studious in the art of Jiu Jitsu. As they continue in their practice, they will graduate through three levels with their gray belt.

Obtaining the gray belt with a white stripe in kids Jiu Jitsu belt system usually takes around six months, depending on the level of dedication, sessions during that period and the BJJ gym your child is attending.

Kids Jiu Jitsu belts will stay with them for quite a while. In the case of the gray belt with a white stripe, the first graduation will be to a solid gray belt with no stripe. This graduation will typically occur around six months after receiving their first promotion – so the solid gray belt will take around a year for your child to obtain.

The next graduation in the kids IBJJF belt system is the gray belt with a solid black bar, followed by a single white stripe and eventually a second white stripe. This is the last of the promotions within the gray belt period of your child’s training. 

Yellow Belt

A very exciting day indeed, considering it takes two to the three years of dedication and practice for your child to achieve this promotion. The first yellow belt will come with a horizontal white stripe.

Kids need regular rewards for their efforts in order to stay interested in just about anything. So in the IBJJF belt system it is recommended that kids get some form of promotion every six months to one year.

Like the gray belt, there will be several promotions starting with the solid yellow belt. It will usually take your child around twelve months to gain the solid yellow belt. There will be a lot of knowledge absorbed during this period.

The next step up will be obtaining the black bar. Another twelve months of dedication and focus. At this point your child will be fairly proficient in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in their age group and well on their way to stepping it up and gaining their first orange belt – the gateway to youth Jiu Jitsu belts.

The next leg of the journey will be precarious and filled with challenges that will push your child in the right direction – the path to being a disciplined, focused and successful adult.

Orange Belt

At this point in your child’s Jiu Jitsu journey they will likely be showing increased self confidence, focus and overall improvement both inside and outside of the gym. Martial arts learned early in life tend to stick with a person for the rest of it. If they have gotten this far, it’s safe to say they are enjoying their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training.

Your child will likely be around the age of ten when they receive their orange belt with a horizontal white stripe. This means your child has already had between six and seven years of serious training!

As such, the orange belt period is where your child essentially goes from earning kids BJJ belts to youth Jiu Jitsu belts.

At this point they will be learning offensive tactics with a heavier focus. As long as they remain diligent, they should graduate through the orange belts within three to four years.

Green Belt

This is a truly momentous occasion. Now your child has not only grown into a being a young adult, they have obtained the final belt color in the youth Jiu Jitsu belt system. This belt is essentially the ‘black belt’ of youth Jiu Jitsu and takes an incredible amount of dedication to achieve.

As with the colored belts before it, your youth will receive a green belt with a horizontal white stripe to start. At this point they will have been practicing Brazilian Jiu Jitsu for around ten years!

As your youth progresses through the green belts they will most certainly have become a formidable opponent on the mat – even for adults.

So What Happens Next in the IBJJF Belt System

Under the IBJJF belt system your youth will be automatically awarded a blue belt in the adult belts at sixteen years old, unless they were exceptional and achieved their final green belt early and have held it for two years – in the case they will be given their purple belt.

They will not be required to start again from the bottom and climb through every rank in the adult system because they are so far advanced in their practice that it would be a waste of everyone’s time.

They will be ready at that point to challenge adults in their belt range and not only put up a significant fight, but probably be successful on a consistent basis. Mastering a martial art to that level by the time a child is sixteen will certainly give them an advantage on many levels both on and off the mat.

Wrap Up and Review

That is the basic breakdown of kids Jiu Jitsu belts, how long it takes to obtain each promotion and what they all mean.

If your child consistently attends kids Jiu Jitsu classes, enjoys the sport and applies themselves, they will undoubtedly be successful in other areas of their life. Showing the level of discipline, focus and dedication it takes to obtain the green belt with a black bar is no small endeavor.

If you are interested in enrolling your child in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, then talking with the Kids Jiu Jitsu Instructors at your local BJJ gym is the best way to start. They will let you know how their program works so you can decide if it is the right choice for your child.



How long does it take to get a BJJ Green Belt?

This will depend on a number of factors including the amount of time dedicated, focus during training and discipline among others. In the IBJJF belt system it typically takes around 10 years to obtain a green belt with a white stripe in kids Jiu Jitsu classes.

Can kids get a black belt in BJJ?

No. The highest of the kids BJJ belts in the IBJJF belt system is the solid green belt with a black bar on the tip of one end of the belt. Once a child turns 16, if they have obtained that belt, it will be automatically switched out for a blue belt – unless they have held the belt for more than 2 years, in that case it will be switched to a purple belt in the adult system.

When can my child start Jiu Jitsu?

Typically it is recommended that children can begin training as young as four years old in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, though for some kids it may be recommended to start later. The best way to tell is to consult an instructor. If you don’t know a gym to consult, then doing an online search for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu near me and choosing a gym to talk with is probably your best bet.