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What do the belt colors and stripes mean?

So a lot of people who are interested in training at Scranton Mixed Martial Arts or who have just started training with us often ask us what all of the different stripes mean on the belts.  Today we will talk a bit about the different color belts and the stripes that are on the belt.

First lets talk about the adult ranking system in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.  The belt color is just one way to determine how long someone has been training, what level of understanding they have about the techniques, how effective they can teach the techniques and how effective they are at executing the techniques.  So right away the belt color can represent a lot of different factors when it comes to Gracie Jiu Jitsu and it is important to realize it is not just a sign of how long you have been training.

Gracie Jiu Jitsu really only has five belt colors and in order they are white belt, blue belt, purple belt and then the black belt.  Students who start training BJJ will start with a plain white belt, no stripes.  Each belt has room for four stripes on a black section at the bottom of the belt.  The stripes are stepping stones on the way towards the next belt.  Most often a student will receive their four stripes from our head instructor during classes, in house seminars or in house competitions.  Once they receive all four stripes they are getting close to receiving their next colored belt.  At Scranton MMA we are very fortunate to be able to have Royce Gracie come to our facility and due most of the belt promotions himself.  We have also had the honor of having Rodrigo Gracie promote our students as well.

Students will sometimes ask us how long does it take to get a stripe or how long does it take to get the next belt. Well the answer is very simple.  It takes as long as it takes.  Their are no set guidelines or rules.  We can say this though the more often you attend class, the more you pay attention in class and the harder you try during all the drills the quicker you will get promoted.    One little tip.  Do not ask to get promoted.  Just focus on improving, understanding the techniques better and better and becoming more efficient and effective at implementing the techniques.  If that is your main focus then the stripes will come and so will the next belt.