The winds of change are blowing at Easton! While in the past each academy has followed their own system for belts in the Little Tigers classes, we will soon be switching all of our Little Tigers students over to the belt system sanctioned by the International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF). This belt system is internationally recognized and will provide standardization throughout our academy locations.
The IBJJF system has 5 belt colors for children: white, gray, yellow, orange, and green. Let’s take a quick tour of the belts!
Children begin their BJJ journey as white belts. A child who trains regularly (at least twice per week) will typically spend about 6 months at white belt. As a white belt, a student’s main objective is to learn to defend themselves against the more advanced players, and their training will thus have a strong focus on escaping from bad positions while working with more experienced students.
During this time, the student will receive grades or “stripes” on their white belt, indicated with a piece of tape wrapped around the tail of the belt. If a child attends class regularly, they will typically earn a stripe every month. After earning 5 stripes on the white belt, the student can be promoted to the gray-and-white belt, which is the first of the colored belts.
Colored Belt Groups
After graduating from white belt, students enter the colored belts. Each belt color consists of a group of three belts: a belt with a with a white stripe down the middle, a solid color belt, and a belt with a black stripe down the middle.
Gray Belt Group
The gray belt group indicates that a child has reached an intermediate level, and training will now begin to focus more on playing offense. Like the white belt, the gray-and-white belt is typically worn for about 6 months, during which time the child will earn 5 stripes on the belt if they attend class at least twice per week.
Once a child graduates to a solid gray belt, the belts are now worn for a longer period of time. Each belt from solid gray up will have 11 stripes, earned one per month to reward regular class attendance. The first 4 stripes are indicated by white tape wrapped on the belt end, followed by 4 stripes of red tape, and finally 3 stripes that are the same color as the next belt.
Yellow Belt Group
By the time a child earns the first belt in the yellow group (the yellow-and-white belt), they will have been training for at least 3 years. The child now has a large number of tools in the grappling toolbox, and during yellow belt they will focus on putting all the pieces together and flowing from one move to the next while rolling. They will also begin to develop strategy, thinking several moves ahead while rolling rather than just focusing on their current position.
Orange Belt Group
The orange belt is an advanced belt for children. During orange belt the student will have already achieved a very broad knowledge of jiu-jitsu, and now they will focus on developing their own particular style or “game”. Orange belt is the time to figure out what moves work best for the student and what positions they like to play from, and to develop their overall strategy.
Green Belt Group
The green belt group is the last belt color for children, with the green-and-black belt being the highest rank one can earn as a child. Green belt students have very advanced knowledge, and the focus in training is on polishing their game and refining their skills.
It will take more than 10 years to earn a green-and-black belt, so this belt is typically only reached by students who start training as a very young child. This is because once a student reaches the calendar year of their 16th birthday, they are transferred into the adult belt system.
Transitioning to Adult Belts
If a student has the requisite skills and experience, they will be awarded a blue belt in the year they turn 16 years old. The blue belt is the second belt level in the adult belt system. Students with less experience will be transferred to a white belt in the adult belt system.
We hope this article helped you understand the IBJJF belt system for kids. In addition, if you would like to learn about the belt system for adults, you can read more here.
See you on the mats!