For most Jiu-Jitsu students, progressing through each of the different levels or belts is an exhilarating experience. At the very start, you are learning exciting new skills and perfecting your form in preparation to advance to the next level. As you close in on the final levels, the brown belt in BJJ, followed by the black belt, you will begin to bring everything you have learned so far into sharper focus. Best of all, you will finally fully understand the theory behind the practice.
By the time you have earned your purple belt, you will be familiar with the form and practice of Jiu-Jitsu, but there is still quite a lot to understand before you can advance to a full brown belt in BJJ. This post will explore the concepts and techniques required to earn that coveted Jiu-Jitsu brown belt.
Jiu Jitsu Belt Ranks: Transitioning From Purple To Brown Belt In BJJ
As a general rule of thumb, practitioners will spend a minimum of 5 years honing their skills and building their understanding of the principles of Jiu-Jitsu before earning their brown belt in BJJ.
This is not a hard and fast rule. Your own ability to master new skills and develop a deep understanding of the theories and strategies involved in the practice of Jiu-Jitsu will determine the timeframe in which you will earn your brown belt in BJJ.
Your coach will consider your personal work ethic, determination, and willingness to help better the sport when recommending you for promotion.
You will have mastered the basic moves, techniques, combinations, and strategies on your way to earning your purple belt. You can expect to spend approximately two years or more honing your techniques and expanding your knowledge as a purple belt before being eligible to transition to a brown belt in BJJ.
The Skills You Will Develop As A Purple Belt In BJJ
Transitioning from a purple belt to a brown belt in BJJ requires the practitioner to bring together all of the techniques and knowledge that they have mastered thus far and demonstrate that they have developed a depth of understanding that allows them to combine all that they know into a complex system of defense and counter-offense that is highly advanced and difficult for an opponent to predict or overcome.
As a purple belt, you will spend a great deal of time revisiting techniques and concepts you have mastered individually and exploring each concept in-depth to understand how to build combinations of techniques to craft complex systems of defense and counter-offense.
During these years, the student will eventually become a teacher of students with lower belt rankings. This is an essential part of the transition process. There is an expectation that brown belts will act as mentors and contribute to building and strengthening the BJJ community as a whole.
It is also a time of experimentation. During your time as a purple belt, rather than focusing on learning specific movements, techniques, or positions, you will develop a deep understanding of why each concept is effective. You will begin to experiment with combining techniques to form combinations, build impactful strategies that anticipate your opponent’s moves, and provide a reliable counter.
The purple belt phase will be a time of massive shifts in perspective. Up to this point, you have been mastering motions and building strength and agility. Now, you will focus on building your mental game and shifting your mindset to understand the why behind the how of BJJ.
The Skills Required To Earn A Brown Belt In BJJ
We have discussed the general scope of your expected progress from a purple belt to a brown belt. Now, let’s look at the specific skills you will need to master to earn a coveted brown belt in BJJ.
First, there are the hard and fast rules established by the IBJJ. These rules dictate that all brown belts must be at least 18 years old and have been a practicing purple belt for a minimum of 18 months. Of course, these are merely the fundamental rules. As we discussed earlier, you will likely have already dedicated at least five years to the sport by the time you obtain your purple belt. You will likely spend another two years or more before being fully prepared to transition to a brown belt in BJJ.
During that time, you will need to shift your focus from learning new skills to honing your techniques and exploring the theory behind BJJ. You will still need to spend time working on your physical performance. You will want to pay close attention to closing any gaps in your current physical skillset and aim to pull off any move or technique in perfect or near-perfect form every time.
To transition from a purple belt to a brown belt in BJJ, you will need to increase your focus beyond your physical ability to hone your mental strength and understanding of the philosophy behind the sport.
Essentially, you will need to understand how each component comes together to create the overarching strategy. You will begin experimenting with combining complex movements and techniques to best any opponent below your ranking. To obtain your brown belt, you must competently submit any lower-ranked opponent on the mat. You will generally build and show this ability through participation in regular competitions.
The ability to act as a mentor and strengthen and support the BJJ community is an expectation of those holding the rank of a brown belt in BJJ. You will need to show your willingness to advise, teach, and guide those with lower belt rankings in support of helping them to better their own skills and progress within the sport.
What Comes Next?
Once you have reached the brown belt rank, you will realize that there is always more to learn. You will continue striving to perfect your physical skill and expand your understanding as you work towards the final belt rank, the black belt in BJJ.
Are you looking for a top-tier gym to help you hone your skills and advance your progression toward obtaining your brown belt in BJJ? Feel free to visit us at Granite Bay Jiu-Jitsu any time.