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How long does it take to learn Muay Thai?

Those that are interested in learning Muay Thai often ask how long does it take to learn? It’s a question that is simple enough, but has a complicated answer.

Let’s go ahead and answer the question of how long it takes to learn Muay Thai? Going through everything that goes into learning Muay Thai and how long it’ll take to get down.

How long does it take to learn Muay Thai? This is a complicated question, because the time frame to learn Muay Thai is not the same for everyone. But on average it will take someone 3-6 months to learn the basics of Muay Thai.

What will you learn in this time frame?

In a 3-6 month time frame, you will know how to perform basic Movements within Muay Thai. You probably won’t be good, but this is a learning process that takes time.

In this time frame, you will learn:

  • Basic Stance
  • Basic Punches
  • Basic Clinch
  • Basic Kicks
  • Basic Knees
  • Basic Elbows 
  • Basic Combos
  • Basic Defense 

Basic Stance

The first thing you will learn in Muay Thai is how to properly stand in a Muay Thai stance. Your stance is everything in this striking art and without it, you’ll never properly learn Muay Thai.

Remember in a traditional Muay Thai stance that your feet are shoulder width apart and your front foot slightly forward. Also be sure not to be flat footed, so you can throw your strikes quicker.

Basic Punches 

Boxing is a large part of the sport of Muay Thai(Thai boxing). In the first, 3-6 months of your training, you’re going to spend nearly everyday going over details on proper punching technique.

A proper punch is not just your arm, but your entire body moving in unison to create energy behind the strike. This is called the kinetic chain and it’s activated when your entire body moves as one along with your arm.

For whichever type of punch you throw, remember to turn your hand and always hit with your index and middle knuckle.

Basic Clinch 

The clinch is a very important part of the art of Muay Thai. It is an incredibly complex facet of Muay Thai that takes years to master.

There are numerous variations of the clinch, but starting out, you will mostly just work with the basic Thai plum. This is the common Thai clinch, where you grab behind an opponent’s head with both hands and pull their head down.

To perform a basic clinch, cup one hand behind your opponent’s head and bring your other hand on top of it. Then  close your elbows and curl your arms down to break your opponent’s posture.

Basic Kicks

Along with basic punches, you will constantly be working on your kicking technique during the beginning of your Muay Thai training. Mainly two types of kicks, which are the roundhouse and front kick(teep).

The roundhouse is the signature kick of Muay Thai and maybe the most powerful kick in the martial art. A good roundhouse starts with a slight turn of your front foot.(Or a switch if you’re throwing a front leg roundhouse.)

After the slight turn of your foot, your hips and torso also turn in unison as you lift your knee up. As your body turns together with your knee up this creates an incredible amount of force.

The low part of your shin then connects with a shin or bag and makes a satisfying smacking sound. When this sound is loud, you know that you just landed a good kick.

Then with front kicks or teeps as they’re called in Thai boxing, it’s all about lifting your knee up. Once your knee is lifted, your foot shoots up and the bottom of your foot hits the target.

Basic Elbows 

The last type of strike that you will learn are elbow strikes. There are numerous types of elbows and it is just as complex to learn as boxing.

At the beginning of your Muay Thai training, you will probably just learn how to throw basic horizontal and slashing elbows. 

Horizontal elbows are the smashing type of elbow strike that are delivered to concuss an opponent. Then slashing elbows are designed to cut an opponent open.

You throw these elbows in a similar way as punches, where you slightly turn your body into the elbow strike.

Basic Combos

Once you learn all of the basic strikes, you will then put them together in short basic combos. Nothing too complicated as you’re just trying to put a few moves together into powerful bursts.

These basic combos will include basic punch combos and mixing together punches and kicks. Just enough to create muscle memory while improving your conditioning.

Basic Defense

Then of course, you will also learn proper defense in your first few months of Muay Thai training. This facet of the martial art is even more important than learning the striking in the martial art.

You will learn how to keep your hands up to block/parry punches, along with learning how to block and check kicks. Without learning these basic defenses, your striking will be worthless.

How many classes will you need to attend?

To learn basic Muay Thai in a 3-6 month time frame, you will have to attend classes regularly. Attending at least 3 classes a week will give you a good basic knowledge of Muay Thai starting out.

Is there a belt system in Muay Thai?

For years, there were no ranking or belt systems in Muay Thai. But within western countries, a ranking system for Muay Thai has started to be implemented with colored arm bands.

Here is the ranking system created by the World Thai Boxing Association:

  • White
  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Green
  • Blue
  • Purple
  • Red 
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Black & White
  • Black & Red
  • Black & Silver
  • Black & Gold

In your first few months of Muay Thai training, you could graduate to a yellow or orange band. Pending if you’re dedicated to your training.

How to get good at Muay Thai?

The sections above will help you learn Muay Thai, but how do you get good at Muay Thai? You can learn basic Muay Thai in a short timeframe, but how do you get good at it? Here is what you have to do in order to become a good student of Muay Thai.

Dedication

You have to be dedicated to learn Muay Thai and even more so to get good at Muay Thai. You will have to make your training one of the most important things in your life. Dedicating most of your free time to developing your skills to become the best you can at the martial art.

Conditioning

Those that want to get good at Muay Thai must also go a step further and really work on your conditioning. This is a vital part of Muay Thai that all of the best Thai boxers religiously take part in.

To go along with your technical training, you will have to start doing conditioning, which includes: running, calisthenics, abdominals, and body conditioning.

Once you start doing conditioning, your skills will not only improve, but you may even get better at Muay Thai.

Study

One of the best things you can do to get good at Muay Thai is to take the time to study the martial art. Meticulously watching Thai boxing matches and technique breakdowns to really understand the mechanics of the techniques being used. Really becoming a student of Muay Thai will no doubt help you become skilled at the martial art.

Are you ready to learn Muay Thai?

Muay Thai is a great martial art that is not only effective, but really fun to learn. Once you start your training, you will get down the basics of the martial art in no time. You might even get pretty good at it one day.

How Long Does It Take To Earn A Black Belt In Judo?

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It is an incredible honor to be able to earn a black belt in the martial art of Judo. Being able to earn  Judo black belt takes incredible commitment, but how long does it take to earn one?

Here is our breakdown of exactly how long it takes to earn a black belt in Judo? We’ll go through the time it’ll take at each belt and what you’ll learn at each one. Also going over the belt tests and that you’ll have to do to earn a Judo black belt.

How long does it take to earn a black belt in Judo? The average time to earn a black belt in Judo is around 4-6 years. Earning a Judo black belt in this time requires dedication and consistent training.

How many belts are there in Judo? 

In the martial art of Judo, there are 6 colored belts within the system. They include:

  • White Belt(Rokyu/6th Kyu)
  • Yellow Belt(Gokyu/5th Kyu)
  • Orange Belt(Yonkyu/4th Kyu)
  • Green Belt(Sankyu/3rd Kyu)
  • Blue Belt(Nikyu/2nd Kyu)
  • Brown Belt(Ikkyu/1st Kyu)
  • Black Belt(Dan)

There are also of course higher degrees of black belt for those that train longer in the martial art. Those black belt degrees take decades of dedication to earn.

Timeframe for each belt in Judo 

You’re looking at around 6 months to a year at each belt to earn a Judo black belt. This will put you at around the 5-6 years mark to earn a black belt in Judo.

If you train multiple times a day and compete, it’s possible to earn a Judo black belt in around 4 years. Not everyone earns their belt in the same time frame, so your commitment will depend on when you earn the belt.

Are there Judo belt tests? 

Yes, there are required belt tests that you have to pass at each rank in Judo to earn them. Here is a layout of how each test may look like.

White Belt to Yellow Belt Test

Attendance Requirements: Minimum 15 weeks attended with at least 120 minutes of classes attended per week.

Knowledge: History of Judo and who the founder is.

Physical Requirements: 20 strict push ups, 20 strict sit-ups, and 20 squats

Basic Movements

  • Breakfall(Back)
  • Breakfall(Front)
  • Side Breakfall
  • Forward Roll
  • Backward Roll

Nage-waza

  • Osoto-otoshi
  • Osoto-gari
  • Uki-goshi
  • Ippon seoi-nage
  • Deashi-barai
  • Tai-otoshi
  • Ouchi-gari
  • Kouchi-Gari
  • Kosoto-gake

Ukemi

  • Zenpo-ukemi
  • Koho-ukemi
  • Zenpo-kaiten

Ne-waza

  • Kesa-gatame
  • Yoko-shiho-gatame
  • Escapes from kesa-gatame
  • Escapes from yoko-shiho-gatame
  • Basic Attack and defenses

Other Skills

  • Shizen Hontai: Migi/Hidari Shizentai
  • Jigo Hontai: Migi/Hidari Jigotai
  • Tai-sabaki: Tsugi-ashi
  • Kumi-Kata
  • Kuzushi
  • Tsukuri
  • Kake

Yellow Belt To Orange Belt Test 

Attendance Requirements: A minimum of 40 classes must be attended in order to take the orange belt test.

Physical Requirement: 30 strict push ups, 30 sit-ups, and 30 squats

Nage-waza

  • Morote-seoi nage
  • O-goshi or Uki-goshi
  • Tsuri-goshi
  • Koshi-guruma
  • Sode-tsuri-kome-goshi/Tsuri-kome-goshi
  • Sasae-tsuri-komi-ashi
  • Tsubame-gaeshi
  • Okuri-ashi-barai
  • Kosoto-gake/Kosoto-gari
  • Kouchi-gari/Kouchi-gake

Ukemi 

  • Zenpo-ukemi
  • Koho-ukemi
  • Yoko-ukemi
  • Zenpo-kaiten

Ne-waza

  • Kami-shiho-gatame/Kuzure and escapes from both positions
  • Tate-shiho-gatame and escapes from the position
  • Nami-juji-jime
  • Gyaku-juji-jime
  • Juji-gatame

Other Skills

  • More Ne-waza: Attacking through legs
  • Rollover with uke in prone position

Orange Belt to Green Belt Test

Attendance Requirements: A minimum of 40 classes attended in order to take the green belt test.

Physical Requirements: 40 push ups, 40 sit-ups, and 40-squats

Nage-waza

  • Harai-goshi
  • Kata-guruma
  • Uki-otoshi
  • Tani-otoshi
  • Tsuri-kimi-goshi/Sode-tsuri-kome-goshi
  • Hiza-guruma
  • Sukui-nage
  • Tomoe-nage
  • Uki-waza
  • Osoto-guruma

Ne-waza

  • Kata-gatame
  • Ushiro-kesa gatame
  • Hadaka-jime
  • Kata-ha-jime
  • Okuri-eri-jime
  • Sode-guruma-jime
  • Ude-garami
  • Ude-hishigi-/Ude-gatame
  • Waki-gatame

Other Skills

  • Nage-no-kata/Koshi-waza Tori and Uke
  • Harai-goshi as a counter to Osoto-gari
  • Tani-otoshi as a counter
  • Renraku-waza: Uchi-gari/Seoi-Nage
  • Seoi-Nage/Kesa-gatame

Green Belt to Blue Belt Test 

Attendance Requirements: A minimum of 72 classes must be attended in order to test for a blue belt.

Physical Requirements: 50 push ups, 50-sit-ups, and 50 squats

Nage-waza

  • Uchi-mata
  • Hane-goshi
  • Ushiro-goshi
  • Ashi-guruma
  • Harai-tsurikomi-ashi
  • Morote-gari
  • Hikkomi-gaeshi
  • Sumi-gaeshi
  • Kuchiki-taoshi
  • Kibisu-gaeshi
  • Ouchi-gaeshi

Ne-waza

  • Ryote-jime
  • Tsukkomi-jime
  • Hiza-gatame
  • Sankaku-jime

Other Skills

  • Nage-no-kata-/Te-waza Tori and Uke
  • Nage-no-kata/Koshi-waza Tori and Uke

Blue Belt to Brown Belt Test

Attendance Requirements: A total of 90 classes must be attended in order to test for a brown belt.

Physical Requirements: 75 push ups, 75 sit-ups, 75 crunches

Nage-waza

  • Sumi-otoshi
  • O-guruma
  • Yoko-wakare
  • Yoko-gake
  • Yoko-otoshi
  • Yoko-guruma
  • Uchi-mata-sukashi
  • Harai-makikomi
  • Osoto-makikomi
  • Uchi-makikomi
  • Soto-makikomi

Ne-waza

  • Koshi-jime
  • Hara-gatame

Other Skills

  • Nage-no-kata/Te-waza Tori and Uke
  • Nage-no-kata/Koshi-Waza Tori and Uke
  • Nage-no-kata/Ashi-waza Tori and Uke

Brown Belt to Black Test

Attendance Requirements: Between 100 and 120 classes are the minimum requirement in order to test for a black belt in judo.

Physical Requirements: 100 push ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats

Nage-waza

  • Utsuri-goshi
  • Ura-nage
  • Tawara-gaeshi
  • Daki-age
  • Obi-otoshi
  • Yama-arashi
  • Daki-wakare
  • Hane-makikomi
  • Uchi-mata-makikomi
  • Uchi-mata-gaeshi
  • Hane-goshi-gaeshi
  • Harai-goshi-gaeshi
  • Kouchi-gaeshi

Other Skills

  • Nage-no-kata/Te-waza Tori and Uke
  • Nage-no-kata/Koshi-waza Tori and Uke
  • Nage-no-kata/Ashi-waza Tori and Uke
  • Ju-no-kata- First set
  • Kani-basami
  • Kawazu-gake

How do you earn a Judo black belt in 4-6 years?

To earn a black belt in 4-6 years, there are different methods you can implement  to achieve this goal. Each method that will help you earn your Judo black belt is described below.

Train Consistently 

Working towards any goal in your life requires consistency and to get a Judo black belt that means consistent training. You’ll have to make Judo training a priority in your life and dedicate several hours a day to your training.

To earn a Judo black belt in 6 years, you will need to train an average of 3-4 times a week. It isn’t a crazy average to keep up, but you have to be consistent with training this much per week.

But if your goal is to get a Judo black belt as quickly as possible, it’s going to take more work. You’ll basically have to eat, sleep, and breathe Judo, training multiple times per day nearly everyday.

Compete

Actively competing in Judo shows that you are serious about the martial art and looking to test your skills. Not only will competing actively test your skills, but they will also improve them. Your Judo skills will be battle tested and sharper.

Many Judo schools may also make competing a certain amount of times a requirement. Be sure to read the curriculum of your Judo school and see competing is a requirement in order to test.

Conditioning

Conditioning is a big part of the martial art and something all of the top Judo athletes do. They do everything from drills, specific weightlifting, calisthenics, and running to improve their games. 

If you are serious about earning a Judo black belt, you must consider doing conditioning training. Taking up one or more of these styles of conditioning will definitely improve your Judo ability.

Study

It isn’t just what you do physically to prepare, but also what you do to prepare mentally. Being a student of the game of Judo and studying is something that isn’t done enough by Judo students.

In your free time, you need to sit down and watch matches and technique breakdowns. Also keep a training log and write down what you went over in each class and how you did.

By doing these two methods of studying, you will see your skills advance rapidly.

Are you ready to go earn your Judo black belt?

Judo is an incredible martial art that is extremely effective. The journey to black belt is a special one and well worth the time. If you train hard and dedicate 4-6 years of your life to Judo, you will earn your Judo black belt.

What is a Karate uniform called?

For those of us who have never practiced Karate, we probably assume that the Karate uniform is also called a Gi. That would actually be incorrect, because the Karate Gi has a completely different name than a Judo/BJJ Gi.

Complete with names for each piece of the Karate Gi that have different meanings. Let’s dive and answer what a Karate uniform is called.

Going over how a Karate uniform was developed, what it symbolizes, and how it’s different from other training uniforms.  

What is a Karate uniform called? The Karate uniform is called a “karategi” of “dogi” for short. It was based off of the original Gi created by Judo founder Jigoro Kano and then adopted by Gichin Funakoshi. The karategi/dogi then became the official uniform of Karate.

How were Gis developed?

Before we get into how the Karate uniform was created, we have to go back a little further. Detailing how a Gi was first developed and why?

The original training uniform was called a “keikogi” and it was created by Judo founder Jigoro Kano. Martial arts historians speculate that Kano created the keikogi based off of heavy hemp jackets worn by Japanese firemen.

Kano saw that these heavy hemp jackets were perfect for Judo and training and developing a variation for Judo. After Kano created the Gi, other martial artists would be inspired to make their own versions for their martial art.

How was the Karate uniform developed?

After Jigoro Kano created the original k it would inspire his friend and training partner Gichin Funakoshi. The founder of Shotokan Karate and considered by many as one of the founding fathers of modern Karate.

Funakoshi saw that his friend Kano’s training uniform would be perfect to use for the martial art he was developing. The keikogi or dogi as it would be called within Karate would become the official training uniform of the martial art.

Grandmaster Funakoshi would even keep wearing the traditional Judoka keikogi after the Karate k was created.

Why did Funakoshi adopt keikogi into Karate?

Gichin Funakoshi adopted the Gi uniform into Karate for two different reasons. The obvious reason is for the durability and functionality of the clothing, but there was another important reason.

Before Karate adopted the Gi into its martial art, Karate would be practiced in normal street clothes in Okinawa. During this time, there was heavy social tension between Okinawans and those from mainland Japan.

Mainlanders saw Karate as uncivilized and akin to samurai culture. To make Karate more marketable, Funakoshi saw that an official uniform needed to be established for the martial art.

By adding an official training uniform, Karate would look more formal and become more marketable to introduce to mainland Japan.

Karate makes alterations to the keikogi

While the original keikogi was perfect for the art of Judo, it wasn’t the best choice for use with Karate. The original keikogi was specifically designed for grappling within Judo and was really heavy and range of motion was limited.  

This posed a problem for Karate practitioners as they needed a uniform that didn’t restrict their movement. That is how the alterations began to be made to create the Karate uniform as we know it today.

Less material began to be used to make the jacket and pants to make them lighter for Karate practitioners. The sleeves were also cut a bit shorter past the elbow to allow full range for practicing hand strikes.

After making alterations, the “karategi” was created and has been the official uniform for Karate for the last century.

What does a Karate uniform consist of?

The Karate uniform or karategi consists of 3 separate pieces of clothing. Their are:

  • Uwagi: The upper robe/kimono part of the karategi.
  • Shitabaki/Zubon: The Karate pants.
  • Obi: The Karate belt used to close the Uwagi.

The deeper meaning behind the Karate uniform

In Japanese, the word keikogi is actually two different words combined. Keiko translates to practice and Gi directly translates to clothes or clothing.

Also the do in Karate-Do translates to the way. That means that you can call a Karate uniform either the cloth of the way or the cloth of practice. 

Types of Karate Uniforms

Since there are different styles of Karate practiced, that also means that there are different types of Karate uniforms worn. Here are some of the types of Karate uniforms worn by karatekas.

The Japanese Cut

The Japanese cut style of Karate uniform is the more traditional of the three types of uniforms worn. This style of Karate uniform is the one most recognizable with its short sleeves and pants sleeves. It also gives less restriction to the practitioner along with a longer lapel that won’t ride up over the obi(belt).

The European Cut

The European cut of Karate uniform is one worn more for an aesthetic appeal rather than a practical one. It has longer sleeves and pant sleeves with a shorter lapel than  the Japanese style Karate uniform.

The Kata Cut

The Kata cut Karate uniform is the type of uniform that is worn less often than the other types of uniforms. Like the European cut it is worn for aesthetic appeal and has even shorter sleeves than the Japanese cut. You will only see top level Kata performers wearing a Kata cut style of Karate uniform. 

What material is used for modern Karate uniforms? 

Most modern Karate uniforms are generally made from two types of material, but are made of various types. Here are some of the types of materials used to make Karate uniforms.

Cotton & Cotton/Poly Blend.

For the longest time, most all types of Karate uniforms were made of 100% cotton. Now that cheaper and more durable materials are being made, cotton blended materials are being used to make Karate uniforms.

These types of uniforms made of cotton and polyester are a cheaper option, while still being fairly durable. This is why the majority of Karate schools use this type of materials

Canvas

Types of light canvas are another material that is commonly used to make Karate uniforms. The positive of this type of material is that it is durable, while allowing for good ventilation for the wearer.

Hemp

Hemp was actually one of the first materials used to make Karate uniforms along with Judo uniforms. Although Karate uniforms generally are not made from hemp anymore. The only time you really see hemp material used in martial arts uniforms anymore are  with some BJJ Gis.

What colors do Karate uniforms come in?

Initially, Karate uniforms only came in white or a yellowish white that Okinawan Karate practitioners were known for wearing. Later on black uniforms were introduced, but they were generally for upper belts and then blue uniforms. Today, Karate uniforms come in a variety of different colors. 

What other martial arts use Gis

Aside from Karate, there are various other martial arts that use various versions of a training Gi. Here are some of them and the name they use for their style of Gi.

  • Judo: The uniform used in Judo is called a Judogi 
  • BJJ: In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the uniform worn is called a BJJ GI or kimono.
  • Aikido: Like in Judo, Aikido just mixes the word Aikido together with GI for their uniform name. 
  • Sambo. In Sambo, they call their  Gi jacket a Sambovka or Sambo Kurtka.
  • Taekwondo: The Taekwondo uniform is called a dobok. 
  • Kendo: A Kendo uniform is referred to as a Kendogi

Wrap up

The Karate uniform, karateki, dogi, or whatever you want to call it is more than just Karate training clothes. This uniform is a representative of the martial art and anyone that puts on the dogi must wear it with pride. Just like with BJJ or any other martial art that you may participate in.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Black Belt In Karate?

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To earn a black belt in Karate, you need to be dedicated to putting the time in to earn this rank. But how long does it take to get a black belt in Karate?

It’s a commonly asked question that we’re going to answer for you now. Read below as we explain how long it takes to get a black belt in Karate.

We’ll go through everything that goes into earning a Karate black belt and what you learn at each rank.

How long does it take to get a black belt in Karate? On average it takes around 5 years to earn a black belt in Karate. You go through 8 belt ranks and learn various techniques and katas to earn a Karate black belt.

How many Karate belts do you go through? 

In order to earn your black belt in Karate, you must graduate through 8 lower belts. Those lower belts include:

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Blue Belt 
  • Purple Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Red Belt

These lower ranks in Karate are referred to as Kyu(lower) ranks. You start as a mudansha(new student) and work your way up through each rank. Learning new skills and katas through your journey.

How long is the duration at each Karate belt?

In Karate, you get promoted every three months within the lower belts. Then as you get to the higher belts, the time it takes to get promoted doubles and triples.

To get a Karate black belt in 5 years, the time frame at each belt will look a lot like this:

  • Yellow Belt: 3 Months
  • Orange Belt: 3 Months
  • Green Belt: 6 Months
  • Blue Belt: 6 Months
  • Purple Belt: 9 Months
  • Brown Belt: 9 Months
  • Red Belt: 12
  • Black Belt: 12

Total: 5 Years

Karate Techniques

In order to earn your Karate black belt, you must know how to execute a wide variety of techniques. Various punches, kicks, and combos of all of them put together. Here is a list of nearly all of the techniques that you must know.

Karate Kicks

There are over 30 kicks you must know how to perform in order to earn your Karate black belt. Here is a list of some of these kicking techniques.

  • Foot Sweep: Ashai Barai
  • Stomp: Fumikomi
  • Low Roundhouse Kick: Gedan Mawashi Geri
  • Knee Strike: Hiza Geri
  • Axe Kick: Kakato Otoshi Geri
  • Joint Kick: Kansetu Geri
  • Groin Kick: Kin Geri
  • Front Kick: Mae Geri
  • Front Snap Kick: Mae Geri Keage
  • Front Thrust Kick: Mae Geri Kekomi
  • Jumping Front Kick: Mae Tobi Geri
  • Roundhouse: Mawashi Geri
  • Crescent Kick: Mikazuki Geri
  • Inside Crescent Kick: Uchi Mikazuki Geri
  • Jumping Double Front Kick: Nidan Geri
  • Downward Roundhouse Kick(Question Mark Kick): Otoshi Mawashi Geri
  • Tornado Kick: Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku
  • Jumping Kick: Tobi Geri
  • Jumping Knee Strike: Tobi Hiza Geri
  • Jumping Roundhouse: Tobi Mawashi Geri
  • Jumping Side Kick: Tobi Yoku Geri
  • Toe Kick: Tsumaski Geri
  • Twist Kick: Uchi Haisoku Geri
  • Hook Kick: Ura Mawashi Geri
  • Spinning Reverse Roundhouse/Wheel Kick: Ura Ushiro Mawashi Geri
  • Back Kick: Ushiro Geri
  • Back Snap Kick: Ushiro Geri Keage
  • Back Thrust Kick: Ushiro Geri Kekomi
  • Side Snap Kick: Yoko Geri Keage
  • Side Thrust Kick: Yoko Geri Kekomi
  • Flying Side Kick: Yoko Tobi Geri

Karate Hand Strikes

Karate is thought of as a kicking dominant martial art, but actually over 70% punches are thrown in competitions. Here is a list of some of the hand strikes practiced within Karate.

  • Straight: Choku-Zuki
  • Lunge Punch: Oi-Zuki
  • Reverse Punch: Gyaku-Zuki
  • Jab: Kisami-Zuki
  • Inverted Punch: Ura-Zuki
  • Rising Punch: Age-Zuki
  • Hook: Kage-Zuki 
  • Roundhouse Punch: Mawashi-Zuki
  • Vertical Punch: Tate-Zuki
  • Blocking Punch: Uke-Zuki
  • Double-Hand Punch: Morote-Zuki
  • Mountain Punch: Yama-Zuki
  • Bow-Punch: Yumi-Zuki
  • U-Punch: Awase-Zuki
  • Parallel Punch: Heiko-Zuki
  • One-Knuckle Fist: Ippon-Ken
  • Middle Knuckle Punch: Nakada-Ippon-Ken
  • Flat Fist: Hira-Ken
  • One-Finger-Spear-Hand: Ippon-Nukite
  • Two-Finger-Spear-Hand: Nihon-Nukite
  • Vertical Spear-Hand: Shihon-Nukite
  • Flat-Spear-Hand: Hira-Nukite

Karate Stances

Not all forms of Karate do the same stances, but most do practice the stances listed below.

  • Front Stance: Zenkutsu Dachi
  • Back Stance: Kokutsu Dachi
  • Horse Stance: Kiba Dachi
  • Parallel Stance: Heiko Dachi
  • Ready Stance: Hachinoji Dachi
  • Muwatte: The turning motion using your feet to change stances

Karate Katas

Within each style of Karate, there are Katas you must learn in order to earn a black belt. Here are some examples of Katas for Shotokan Karate.

Yellow Belt

Taikyoku Shodan

Taikyoku Nidan

Taikyoku Sandan

Heian Shodan

Orange Belt

Heian Nidan

Green Belt

Heinan Sadan

Blue Belt 

Heinan Yondan

Purple Belt

Heinan Godan

Brown Belt

Tekki Shodan

Bassai-Dai

Red Belt

Jion

Kanku-Dai

Black Belt

Hangetsu

Empi

Tekki-Nidan

The Karate Black Belt Test

The testing for a Karate Black belt is a hard test both physically and mentally. It is an all day affair where you go through numerous phases of the test. If you succeed, you end the day by being awarded your black belt in Karate. Here is an example of a black belt test detailed below.

Strength & Conditioning

A Karate black belt test usually starts off with a series of strength and conditioning exercises in the early morning. Started off with a run and then followed by a series of calisthenic exercises, where you do hundreds of reps.

Katas

Once you complete the strength and conditioning aspect of the test, students move on to the kata portion of the test. You have to perform whichever Katas the instructor had listed for you to know and practice.

Kumite(Sparring)

The last portion of the test is the kumite or sparring test. You are forced to spar in numerous rounds starting off with one opponent and then multiple towards the end.

Black Belt Ceremony

After completing these three stages, a ceremony is held and you are awarded your black belt. Your journey through the colored belts in Karate is now complete.

How to earn a black belt in 5 years?

To earn a Karate black belt within 5 years takes discipline and commitment. Here are the steps you need to take in order to earn a Karate black belt in 5 years or less.

Train Consistently

Of course, the most important thing you must do to earn a black belt in 5 years is to train consistently. To even be up for a belt test, you must attend a certain amount of classes in most Karate schools. 

To earn Karate belts on time or quicker, you must attend an average of 3-5 classes per week. Three for a normal average and five if you are really committed to getting your black belt.

If you train consistently and keep your weekly class attendance around this range, you’ll be a black belt in no time.

Strength & Conditioning 

Not only is your training with class important, but also what you do to improve your skills outside of class. Strength and conditioning is something that the most dedicated Karate students take part in.

Anything from running, calisthenics, weightlifting, or circuit training to improve your performance in Karate class.

Study

Being knowledgeable about the techniques are just as important as performing them. Taking the time to really understand the techniques and movements are what separates average students from exceptional students. 

Practicing the habit of studying techniques will no doubt keep you on track to earn your Karate black belt.

Are you serious about wanting to earn a Karate black belt?

So as you can see it takes around 5 years to earn a Karate black belt from a legitimate school. To earn your Karate black belt within this time, you will need to be a dedicated student to the martial art

Remember to stay focused and train hard if you want to earn the right to be called a Karate black belt.

 

What do wrestlers wear under their singlets?

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When you watch a wrestling competition have you ever wondered, what do wrestlers wear under their singlets? Or better yet, can wrestlers wear something under their singlets?

If you ever wondered, this we’re going to answer the question of what wrestlers wear under their singlets. Going over if they can wear something under their singlets and if so, what do they wear under them?

We’ll also give you the history of wrestling singlets and why wrestlers started wearing them.

So, what do wrestlers wear under their singlets? Wrestlers have the option of wearing a variety of clothing or protection under their wrestling singlets. From t-shirts, rash guards, sports bras, cups, or even nothing if they want.

What is worn under a wrestling singlet and why?

Now that you know that wrestlers have the option of wearing something under their singlets, we’ll detail why they wear them. Here are all of the pieces of clothing that are worn under wrestling singlets and why they’re used.

Rash guards/T-shirts 

T-shirts or rash guards are an option that some high school wrestlers choose to wear under their singlets. Although rash guards are now more readily available, they are worn more often than regular t-shirts.

The reason that some wrestlers choose to wear these types of shirts are for sweat absorption. Too much of their sweat or their opponents can obstruct their ability to hold and control their opponents.

Sports Bras

For female wrestlers, just wearing a singlet can pose some problems for them during their matches. You’re not allowed to grab clothes in wrestling, but accidents do happen and they could get their chest exposed.

That is why nearly all female wrestlers choose to wear sports bras under their singlets whether practicing or competing. Wearing one will ensure they don’t get their chest exposed to the crowd watching their match and be embarrassed.

Cups

Some of the boys that wrestle choose to wear cups under their singlets. It isn’t a rule enforced, but they do have the option of wearing one for protection.

Nothing

On the other side of the spectrum, many wrestlers prefer to wear nothing under their wrestling singlets. Not shirts or any type of groin protector.

Many top level wrestlers feel that wearing anything under their singlets affects their speed and movement. That is why they choose to wear nothing under their wrestling singlets.

The history of the wrestling singlet

We’ve pretty much covered what wrestlers wear under their wrestling singlets. So, let’s go a little bit into the history of wrestling singlets. Going from when wrestlers started wearing singlets and what they wore before the invention of wrestling singlets.

Have wrestlers always worn wrestling singlets?

While some believe that singlets have always been part of wrestling, they actually haven’t been used for that long. Wrestling singlets were first invented and used during the early 1960s

What did wrestlers wear before using wrestling singlets?

Wrestlers have worn a variety of different types of clothes to wrestle in depending on the era.

Nothing: If you have seen old Greek sculptures of ancient wrestlers, they aren’t wearing any clothes. That’s because ancient wrestlers did not wear any clothing during their competitions. They’re line of thinking was that opponents would grab onto clothes, so it was better not to wear any.

Wrestling Trunks: As time went on, wrestlers began wearing clothes when they wrestled. One of the first types of clothing they would wear were wrestling trunks or speedos. Tight cloth or spandex material that you see pro wrestlers wear on television.

Pants & Shoes: During the late 1800s, wrestlers began to compete in pants and shows. An early version of spandex pants and wrestling shoes. Early wrestlers would often wear versions of these when they grappled with one another.

Black Toms: Black Toms were a type of wrestling uniform that was used during the 1920s and 1930s. They consisted of full body tights with a black crotch protector worn on the outside of the tights. Which is how this uniform got the name Black Toms.

Wrestling Trunks(again): During the late 1930s and 1940s, some collegiate wrestling started wearing just trunks again with wrestling shoes. They were used right up until World War 2 started when the practice of wrestling had been halted.

Trunks & Tights: When wrestling practice resumed after World War 2, wrestlers that practiced began wearing new uniforms. These uniforms would consist of tights, with trunks worn over them, and no shirts. This would be the normal wrestling uniform until the start of the 1960s.

Trunks, Tights, Shirts & Shoes: In the 1960s, the NCAA had banned shirtless wrestling in their competitions. The acquired uniform to compete in collegiate wrestling consisted of trunks, tights, shirts, and shoes with no exceptions.

One Piece Singlets: Originally one piece wrestling singlets were banned by the NCAA in the early 1960s. As time went on, they started to allow wrestlers to wear singlets and they became the official uniform for many universities.

Two Piece Singlets: During the beginning of the 2000s, the NCAA would change their rule on the wrestling uniform allowed in competition. In 2005, the began allowing wrestling two compete in a two piece singlet with a compression shirt under their top. Many wrestlers liked the addition of compression shirts as they would get less friction burns on their stomachs from riding positions.

What are some good brands of wrestling singlets?

Now that you know the history of wrestling singlets and what wrestlers wear under them, here are different singlets available on Amazon. Below are three different brands of wrestling singlets with descriptions and links of each provided.

Adidas aS101s Lycra Solid Wrestling Singlet

  • Youth Small- Extra/Extra Large
  • Lycra Material
  • Comfortable
  • 5 Color Options
  • Used By Many Wrestling Teams

Adidas has been one of the go to brands for wrestling singlets for years. They have produced countless singlets for different wrestling teams across the world.

Their standard singlet is made of durable, yet comfortable lycra material. This wrestling singlet is built to last and affordable. You can get the Adidas wrestling singlet in 5 colors and size options from youth small to adult extra/extra large.

Elite Sports Men’s Wrestling Singlet

  • Polyester/Lycra Blend
  • Flatlock Stitching
  • Comfortable/Breathable
  • 5 Size Options
  • 5 Color Options

The most affordable wrestling singlet available on Amazon is the Elite Sports Men’s wrestling singlet. This is everything you want in a wrestling singlet without breaking the bank.

It is made of a blend of polyester and lycra that is both comfortable and durable. Complete with flat lock stitching and designed for optimal sweat absorption. If you’re looking for a quality, yet affordable wrestling singlet, this one is available in 5 colors and sizes.

Cliff Keen Racerback Women’s Wrestling Singlet

  • Best Rated On Amazon
  • Lyra Material
  • Soft Knit Rib, Neck, & Arm Trim
  • Enhanced Sewn-In Elastic Leg Bottoms

Cliff Keen makes some of the best one piece and two piece wrestling singlets on the market. Their Racerback Women’s Wrestling Singlet is the highest rated women’s singlet on Amazon.

It is complete with top of the line lycra material that is designed to perfectly fit the female form. They included  soft knitting around the trims of the ribs, neck, and arms along with enhanced sewn-in elastic leg bottoms. If you’re a female wrestler, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better wrestling singlet on Amazon.

Last Thoughts on wrestling singlets

If you’ve ever wondered what wrestlers wear under their singlets, this article has clearly answered that for you. You’ve even learned a little bit of the history of wrestling singlets.

Now if you’re looking to get into wrestling training, please check the links above to but some great wrestling singlets.

What is the difference between Karate and Taekwondo? 

When people discuss Karate or Taekwondo, many seem to always lump the two martial arts together. Not knowing that they are two completely different martial arts.

We’re going to cover this mischaracterization and tell you the difference between Karate and Taekwondo. Covering the many differences between these two martial arts.

We’ll also cover how Karate and Taekwondo were developed and list some of their similarities.

What is the difference between Karate and Taekwondo? The main difference between Karate and Taekwondo is where the two martial arts were developed. Karate was developed in Japan, while Taekwondo was developed in Korea.(Now just South Korea)

How was Karate developed? 

Karate is actually only a little over a hundred years old. The martial art was developed within the Ryukyu Islands of Japan and predominantly within Okinawa, which is within them.

Centuries before Karate was developed, the people of Okinawa developed their own martial art. It blended together parts of other martial arts like styles of Kung Fu from fishermen that would travel to the island.

This early form of Karate really began to be developed in the 1800s when Japan took over Okinawa. The new Japanese rulers implemented harsh laws on the Okinawans, which included a ban on the ownership of weapons.

Since Okinawans could not carry weapons, this forced many Okinawans to learn how to defend themselves.

Itoso Anko

Grandmaster Itoso Anko is considered to be the grandfather of Karate. Anko was taught an early form of Karate by his Master Matsumura Sokon.

In 1905, Anko was the person responsible for introducing Karate into physical education programs within Okinawa. He modified the early forms of Karate and made them more simplistic for school children to learn.

Anko’s students

Grandmaster Anko would teach three students that would go on to develop what we know as modern Karate. Masters Gichin Funakoshi, Kenwa Mabuni, and Motobu Choki.

Gichin Funakoshi: Master Gichin Funakoshi is considered the father of modern Karate by many karatekas. Funakoshi would create the Shotokan style of Karate.

Kenwa Mabuni: Master Kenwa Mabuni was responsible for bringing Karate to mainland Japan. Credited for creating the Shito-ryu style of Karate.

Motobu Choki: Master Motobu Choki was an Okinawan Karate master that was famous for his match against a foreign boxer. This match sparked a lot of interest in Karate, which helped propel its popularity.

Karate’s explosion in popularity

Karate really started to gain popularity after the end of World War 2. The US had established military bases in Okinawa and soldiers saw the natives practicing Karate on the islands. 

Many of the soldiers were permitted to learn Karate while they were stationed in Okinawa. When their deployments ended,  the soldiers would continue training and begin teaching what they learned in the US.

Japanese Karate practitioners would also begin traveling across the world and teach the martial art. Before anyone knew it, Karate was practiced in nearly every part of the world.

It also began being practiced by celebrities and being depicted within TV and movies. This led to Karate becoming one of the most practiced martial arts in the world.

How was Taekwondo developed? 

Taekwondo is actually a little younger than Karate and had a similar meteoric rise in popularity. The origins of Taekwondo actually go back 1000s of years before the martial art was developed.

Archaeologists have discovered artifacts that depict ancient soldiers performing Taekwondo like techniques dating back to the Korean three kingdoms.

Japanese colonization

The main reason that Taekwondo is rather young is due to the Japanese colonization of Korea in 1910. Japan overthrew the Yi Dynasty and took control over the island and were ruthless rulers.

These Japanese overlords tried to erase Korean culture and implement Japanese culture within Korea. Outlawing the practice of anything Korean, which included martial arts.

Taekwondo begins to form

After World War 2, the Japanese colonization of Korea ended and the Korean people started to regain their identity. During this process, Korean martial arts practitioners that practiced in secret during the colonization began openly teaching again.

Numerous Korean martial arts masters began getting together for the next few years to discuss developing a national martial art. After decades of discussion, the art of Taekwondo begins to be formed.

The development of Taekwondo was possible thanks to masters like General Choi Hong-hi and Dr. Un Yong Kim.

General Choi Hong-hi: General Choi Hong-hi was considered one of the founding fathers of Taekwondo and actually came up with the martial art’s name. He was highly respected until he was excommunicated for spreading Taekwondo to North Korea.

Dr. Un Yong Kim: Dr. Un Yong Kim was the founder of the World Taekwondo Foundation(now World Taekwondo. Dr. Kim was also responsible for making Taekwondo an Olympic sport and was vice president of the Olympic committee until 2017.

Taekwondo’s explosion in popularity

A short time after Taekwondo was formed it exploded in popularity. It became the official martial art in Taekwondo soon after it was formed and the first world championship was held in 1973.

Then during the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Taekwondo was highlighted as a demonstrative event. It would go through the approval process and Taekwondo would become an official Olympic sport in 2000.

Today, Taekwondo is practiced by millions across the world in nearly every country.

The differences between Karate and Taekwondo 

There are a lot of vast differences between Karate and Taekwondo. Here are some of the most obvious differences between the two martial arts.

Places of origin

The most obvious difference between Karate and Taekwondo is where each martial art originated. Karate was developed in Japan and Taekwondo was developed in Korea. Two different countries that are separated by the Sea of Japan(East Sea) and Tsushima Strait.

Belt Systems

Both Karate and Taekwondo both have belt systems, but they’re a little different from one another. Karate has a 7 colored belt system and Taekwondo can have 10-12 depending on the Taekwondo federation.

Karate Belt System

  • White Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Blue Belt 
  • Yellow Belt
  • Green Belt 
  • Brown Belt
  • Black Belt

Taekwondo Belt System(World Taekwondo)

  • White Belt
  • Yellow Belt
  • Orange Belt
  • Green Belt
  • Purple Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Blue Sr Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Brown Sr Belt
  • Jr Black Belt(If student is under the age of 16)
  • Black Belt

Fighting Techniques 

Karate and Taekwondo have numerous differences within the techniques between each one. We’ll limit the differences to the two biggest ones.

In Taekwondo, there are numerous techniques that either involve jumping or spinning to increase the force on a kick. This isn’t really done in Karate as within most styles of Karate, you’re taught to never leave the ground.

Punch & Kick Ratios

If you see the data of the punches and kicks thrown in Taekwondo and Karate, their ratios differ a bit. Taekwondo athletes usually throw 80% kicks and 20% punches, while Karate athletes throw 70% punches and 30% kicks.

Fight Ranges 

Karate and Taekwondo fight at different ranges. In Taekwondo, fighters stay at kicking range and keep their opponent at this distance to land kicks. Karate practitioners fight at both kicking and punching range usually starting at kicking range and working their way in.

Stances

If you stand a Karate and Taekwondo practitioner in their stances next to each other, you’ll see obvious differences. A Taekwondo stance is a bit wider and sideways and they bounce back and forth.

In most Karate stances, your feet and a little past your shoulder width. They’re also more flat footed and based to the ground than in Taekwondo.

Types of Karate

A common misinterpretation when comparing Taekwondo and Karate assumes there’s only one type of each martial art. There are actually numerous types of Karate and only one type of Taekwondo.

Some of the most known types of Karate include:

  • Kyokushin Karate
  • Shotokan Karate
  • Okinawan Karate
  • Kenpo Karate
  • Shito-ryu
  • American Karate 

The similarities between Karate and Taekwondo 

Both are striking martial arts

Both Karate and Taekwondo share the similarity that both are striking martial arts

The techniques taught in both are a bit different, but both consist of punching and kicking techniques.

Both are linear martial arts 

Both Karate and Taekwondo are both linear martial arts. Meaning that both martial arts are designed to attack an opponent in a straight line. You fight an opponent straight on in both martial arts.

Both are forms of unarmed combat

The other most obvious similarity between Karate and Taekwondo is that both are forms of unarmed combat. Weapons training isn’t taught in either martial art with both styles relying on attacking with hands and feet.

Both are Olympic Sports

For the longest time Taekwondo held one thing over Karate and that it was an official Olympic sport. But Karate made its debut as an official Olympic sport at the Olympic Games in Tokyo. The Karate competitions got great reviews and looks like it’ll be a permanent Olympic event like Taekwondo.

Both have a belt system

The last similarity between the two martial arts that will cover is that both have their own belt Systems. The belt systems are a bit different, but both use belt systems to grade the progress of their students.

Which martial art is superior? 

That is a really complicated question, because both martial arts have good qualities within each one. A fight between a Karate fighter and a Taekwondo fighter would have variable results depending on the skills of the fighters.

The Taekwondo fighter would have to keep the Karate fighter at kicking distance and avoid their power. Then a Karate fighter would have to cut the distance and get in punching range, where they have the advantage.

You can’t really definitively say that Taekwondo or Karate are superior over one or the other.

Is it good to cross train between Karate and Taekwondo?

It is definitely beneficial to train both Taekwondo and Karate and especially if you compete in kickboxing or MMA. The techniques in both mesh well with one another and answer flaws that each have on the feet.

If you’re a Taekwondo based fighter, you can learn a lot from training Karate. It’ll help you learn more hand striking techniques and learn to create more power on your strikes without jumping or spinning.

Then a Karate fighter can learn Taekwondo to be lighter on their feet. They can learn to switch things up and keep opponents at kicking range. 

If you’re serious about developing a good striking game, learning techniques from these disciplines along with Muay Thai would be ideal.

The flaws of Karate & Taekwondo

While both Karate and Taekwond are both great striking martial arts, they both have some major flaws within each system. Here are some of the most obvious flaws within Karate and Taekwondo.

The Flaws of Karate

Movement: Like we discussed in a previous section, Karate is a linear martial art. Meaning that all of the striking attacks within the martial art are performed in a straight line.

This means that a lot of the technique needs the Karate fighter’s opponent to be standing right in front of them. If a Karate fighter’s opponent is constantly moving this will make it harder for the Karate fighter to land their strikes.

Leg Kicks: Karate practitioners tend to stand more flat footed and right in front of their opponents. This can lead to big problems if they are fighting an opponent that knows how to perform leg kicks. You see this happen a lot in kickboxing matches when a Karate fighter faces a Muay Thai fighter.

Flaws of Taekwondo

Must Stay In Kicking Range: Most of the techniques within Taekwondo are only effective if the Taekwondo fighter can keep their kicking range. If they face an opponent that is constantly jamming them, they can’t create the space they need to throw their kicks.

Punching: To go along with keeping the kicking range, a Taekwondo practitioner faces problems when they are forced into punching range. Punching is taught in Taekwondo, but the martial art relies heavily on landing kicks. A Taekwondo fighter will have a hard night if they get forced to stay within their opponent’s punching range.

The flaw of both Karate and Taekwondo

Karate and Taekwondo share the same major flaw that both of the martial arts have. That is that both martial arts only work from standing.

Neither Karate or Taekwondo has an answer if the fight goes to the ground. You can’t do the techniques of either martial are if your back is on the ground.

Notable Karate and Taekwondo practitioners in MMA 

There are some really good to great MMA fighters that have bases in either Karate or Taekwondo. Here are some of the most notable ones.

Karate fighters in MMA 

Lyoto Machida: Probably the most know Karate fighter in MMA is Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. Lyoto used his Karate abilities to capture the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. He currently fights for Bellator MMA in bother the light heavyweight and middleweight division.

Stephen Thompson: The current UFC fighter most known for his Karate background is Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. Wonderboy has used his Karate abilities to stay with the top 10 of the UFC welterweight division for the last decade. Even fighting for the title on two occasions.

Robert Whittaker: The former UFC Middleweight Champion, Robert Whittaker is a black belt in Goju-ryu Karate. He has put his Karate striking skills on display in numerous fights and they helped him win the title.

Georges St Pierre: 

Chuck Liddell

Bas Rutten

Taekwondo fighters in MMA

Anderson Silva: The MMA legend Anderson Silva is the longest reigning middleweight champion in UFC history. Silva has a background in Taekwondo and is actually a 5th Dan black belt. He actually wanted to represent Brazil in the Olympic games, but couldn’t due to not being an amateur athlete.

Anthony & Sergio Pettis: The brothers, Anthony and Sergio Pettis grew up competing in Taekwondo before they got into MMA. Anthony even won the Wisconsin state Taekwondo championship one year. Both the Pettis brothers have become champions in MMA and wouldn’t be there without first training in Taekwondo.

Valentina Schevchenko: Valentina Schevchenko is arguably one of the greatest women MMA fighters of all time. Before she dominated the UFC women’s flyweight division and kickboxing, she started out in Taekwondo. Winning numerous major titles in the martial art before jumping to kickboxing and then MMA.

Edson Barboza: The longtime UFC vet, Edson Barboza. He holds a black belt in Taekwondo and has put those skills on display many times in the octagon. Including his spinning wheel kick KO against Terry Etim.

Raymond Daniels: Raymond Daniels not only had a background in Taekwondo, but has also trained in Kenpo. has been creating highlight reel KOs for a number of years. He is currently signed with Bellator MMA.

Are the arts of Karate and Taekwondo good martial arts?

Taekwondo and Karate are incredibly effective martial arts from standing. They have been proven effective and have millions of practitioners. Both of these martial arts will continue and grow well into the future.

UFC Weight Classes All Divisions in Lbs & Kgs

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Nobody would’ve guessed that the old no holds barred UFC tournaments would transform into a legitimate sport. The UFC has done a lot of work to make MMA one of the most popular sports in the world.

How many divisions are there in the UFC? Today, there are currently 12 different divisions in the UFC. Let’s explain how they got here and go through the history of the UFC weight classes. 

Going from when the UFC decided to make weight divisions and what they look like today. We’ll also explain the different bouts that are held within the UFC weight classes.

History of UFC Weight Classes

The early days of the UFC 

As you probably know, there were no weight classes in the early days of the UFC. It was an open weight one night fight tournament. Fighters of various sizes fought each other in this format that lasted a few years.

The UFC transitions to make MMA a sport 

As the UFC continued to run shows, they realized with the no holds barred format, they would stay relatively underground. The no holds barred gimmick could not sustain the company going into the future.

So, this would start the transition of the UFC turning MMA into a legitimate sport. They would need to add rules for the sport and of course bright classes.

The first UFC classes

The UFC would first start implementing weight classes in 1997 at the UFC 12 event. They would first introduce two different divisions for the fight tournaments of the event.

Those were the heavyweight division and the lightweight division. Not the same heavyweight and lightweight divisions as we know them now.

Their early heavyweight division was placed at 200lbs(91kgs) and below that was the lightweight at 199lbs(90kgs) and below.

Once the UFC introduced these weight classes, they saw immediate improvements to the product. Fights were more fair at the same weights and the fights were better.

Lightweight renamed to middleweight

The UFC would rename the lightweight division to the middleweight division shortly after it was introduced. This was because they had plans to introduce more weight classes that were below that weight class.

The UFC Lightweight division

The new lightweight division would be introduced at UFC 16, which was set at 170lbs and below.  It would then be rebranded as the welterweight division as the UFC added the 155lb lightweight division at UFC 30. (2001)

This division would be discontinued for a while, but brought back in 2006.

 The UFC/WEC Merger 

It would be 4 years until the UFC added more weight divisions. Zuffa would merge the WEC into the UFC and with it came more weight divisions in 2010. Adding  the UFC featherweight and bantamweight divisions.

UFC weight classes for women are introduced

When Zuffa bought Strikeforce in 2012, they inherited their first women’s division, which was the bantamweight division. The success of the first women’s division would lead to the addition of more women’s divisions over the next few years.

First was the strawweight division, then the women’s featherweight division, and the last being the women’s flyweight division.

The UFC Flyweight division is introduced

The men’s flyweight division would be introduced in September of 2012. Right before the introduction of the women’s bantamweight division.

The UFC weight classes

UFC men’s divisions

  • Heavyweight: 265lbs(120kgs)
  • Light Heavyweight: 205lb(102kgs)
  • Middleweight: 185lbs(84kgs)
  • Welterweight: 170lbs(77kgs)
  • Lightweight: 155lbs(70kgs)
  • Featherweight: 145lbs(66kgs)
  • Bantamweight: 135lbs(61kgs)
  • Flyweight: 125lbs(57kgs)

UFC Women’s divisions

  • Featherweight: 145lbs(66kgs)
  • Bantamweight: 135lbs(61kgs)
  • Flyweight: 125lbs(57kgs)
  • Strawweight: 115lbs(53kgs)

Timeline of the UFC men’s weight classes

The UFC Tournament winners 

  • UFC 1: Royce Gracie
  • UFC 2: Royce Gracie
  • UFC 3: Steve Jennum
  • UFC 4: Royce Gracie
  • UFC 5: Dan Severn
  • UFC 6: Oleg Tarktarov(Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock fought to a draw)
  • UFC 7: Marco Ruas
  • The Ultimate Ultimate: Dan Severn
  • UFC 8:  Don Frye
  • UFC 9: Non Tournament Event
  • UFC 10: Mark Coleman
  • UFC 11: Mark Coleman
  • The Ultimate Ultimate 2: Don Frye
  • UFC 12: Vitor Belfort & Jerry Bolhander(First event where weight classes were introduced)
  • UFC 13: Randy Couture & Guy Metzger
  • UFC 14: Mark Kerr & Kevin Jackson
  • UFC 15: Mark Kerr
  • Ultimate Japan 1: Kazushi Sakuraba(Randy Couture was stripped after a contract dispute)
  • UFC 16(UFC Brazil): Pat Miletich
  • UFC 17: Dan Henderson
  • UFC 23(Ultimate Japan 2): Kenichi Yamamoto

UFC Heavyweight division 

  • Mark Coleman: Mark Coleman was the very first fighter to win the inaugural championship by beating Dan Severn at UFC 12.
  • Maurice Smith: Maurice Smith won the second championship at UFC 14 by beating Tank Abbott.
  • Randy Couture: Randy Couture beat Maurice Smith at UFC Japan, but was stripped shortly after due to contract disputes.
  • Bas Rutten: Bas Rutten defeated Kevin Randleman at UFC 20, but vacated to move down in weight.
  • Kevin Randleman: Kevin Randleman defeated by Pete Williams for the title at UFC 23. He would defend it one time against Pedro Rizzo.
  • Randy Couture: Randy Couture would win his second title after returning to the promotion at UFC 28.
  • Josh Barnett: Josh Barnett defeated Randy Couture at UFC 36, but was stripped due to a failed drug test.
  • Ricco Rodriguez: Ricco Rodriguez defeated Randy Couture for the vacant heavyweight title at UFC 39
  • Tim Sylvia: Tim Sylvia won the title at UFC 41 and defended it once against Gan McGee. Later stripped due to a positive drug test.
  • Frank Mir: Frank Mir snapped Tim Sylvia’s arm at UFC 48 to win his first title.
  • Andrei Arlovski: Andrei Arlovski was the interim champion, but was promoted to undisputed champion due to Frank Mir’s motorcycle accident.
  • Tim Sylvia: Tim Sylvia won his second UFC title UFC 59 and would defend the belt twice.
  • Randy Couture: Randy Couture would come out of retirement at UFC 68 to win his 3rd heavyweight title. He would defend it one time against Gabriel Gonzaga.
  • Brock Lesnar: Brock Lesnar defeated Randy Couture at UFC 91 and defended the belt twice against Frank Mir and Shane Carwin.
  • Cain Velasquez: Cain Velasquez won his first title at UFC 121 defeating Brock Lesnar.
  • Junior dos Santos: Junior Dos Santos  UFC won the title at the very first UFC on Fox event and defended his title one time against Frank Mir.
  • Cain Velasquez: Cain Velasquez would regain his title in a rematch against JDS and defended it twice.
  • Fabricio Werdum: Fabricio Werdum defeated Cain Velasquez at UFC 188 in Mexico. 
  • Stipe Miocic: Stipe Miocic won his first UFC title at UFC 198 and defended it a record three times before losing it.
  • Daniel Cormier: Daniel Cormier would move up to heavyweight and win the heavyweight title at UFC 226 and defended it once against Derrick Lewis.
  • Stipe Miocic: Stipe Miocic would regain his title and beat Cormier one more time in their third meeting.

Current Champion: Francis Ngannou: Francis Ngannou is the current champion and has defended the belt one time against Cyril Gane.

Interim Champions

  • Andrei Arlovski: 
  • Antonio Minotauro Nogueira
  • Frank Mir
  • Shane Carwin
  • Fabricio Werdum
  • Cyril Gane

UFC Light Heavyweight division 

  • Frank Shamrock: The inaugural UFC Light Heavyweight Champion.
  • Tito Ortiz: Defeated Wanderlei Silva at UFC 25 and defended the title 5 times.
  • Randy Couture: Won the title at UFC 44.
  • Vitor Belfort: Won his second UFC title at UFC 46 due to a doctor stoppage.
  • Randy Couture: Regained the light heavyweight title at UFC 49.
  • Chuck Liddell: Won the light heavyweight title at UFC 52 and defended the belt 4 times.
  • Quinton Jackson: Won the title at UFC 71 and defended it one time.
  • Forrest Griffin: Defeated Rampage Jackson at UFC 86.
  • Rashad Evans: Beat Forrest Griffin at UFC 92
  • Lyoto Machida: Won the title at UFC 98 and defended it once against Shogun Rua.
  • Mauricio Rua: Beat Lyoto Machida in their rematch to win the title.
  • Jon Jones: Won his first title at UFC 128 and defended it 8 times. He was stripped of his first title due to the hit and run incident.
  • Daniel Cormier: Defeated Anthony Johnson at UFC 187 and defended the title 3 times.
  • Jon Jones: Regained the title at UFC 232 and defended it 3 times.
  • Jan Blachowicz: Defeated Dominick Reyes at UFC 253 and defended the belt once.
  • Glover Teixeira: Just recently won the title at UFC 267.

Interim Champions

  • Randy Couture
  • Jon Jones

UFC Middleweight division 

  • Dave Menne: Won the inaugural middleweight title at UFC 33.
  • Murilo Bustamante: Won the title at UFC 35 and defended the belt one time before leaving the promotion.
  • Evan Tanner: Evan Tanner beat David Terrel for the vacant title at UFC 51.
  • Rich Franklin: Won the title at UFC 53 and defended the title twice.
  • Anderson Silva: Won the title at UFC 64 and defended it a division record of 10 times.
  • Chris Weidman: Beat Anderson Silva at UFC 162 and defended the belt three times.
  • Georges St Pierre: Won his third UFC title at UFC 217 and vacated the belt after winning it.
  • Robert Whitaker: Promoted to world champion after GSP vacated.
  • Israel Adesanya: The incumbent champion that has defended his title 4 times.

Interim Champions

  • Robert Whitaker
  • Israel Adesanya

UFC Welterweight division

  • Pat Miletich: The first world champion, who won the title at UFC Brazil.
  • Carlos Newton: Won the title at UFC 31.
  • Matt Hughes: Beat Carlos Newton at UFC 34 and defended the title 5 times.
  • BJ Penn: Defeated Matt Hughes at UFC 46, but was stripped after leaving the promotion.
  • Matt Hughes: Won his second title at UFC 50 and defended it twice.
  • Georges St Pierre: Won his first welterweight title at UFC 65
  • Matt Serra: Upset GSP at UFC 69.
  • Georges St Pierre: Regained his title at UFC 83 and defended it 9 times.
  • Johny Hendricks: Defeated Robbie Lawler for the vacant title at UFC 171.
  • Robbie Lawler: Beat Johny Hendricks in a rematch at UFC 181 and defended the belt twice.
  • Tyron Woodley: Won the belt at UFC 201 and defended the belt 4 times.
  • Kamaru Usman: The current champion that has defended the title 5 times.

Interim Champions

  • Georges St Pierre
  • Carlos Condit
  • Colby Covington

UFC Lightweight division 

  • Jens Pulver: Won the inaugural lightweight title at UFC 30 and defended it twice
  • Sean Sherk: Won the second inaugural lightweight title at UFC 64, but was stripped due to a positive drug test.
  • BJ Penn: Beat Joe Stevenson for the vacant title at UFC 80 and defended the belt 3 times.
  • Frankie Edgar: Won the title at UFC 112 and defended it 3 times.
  • Benson Henderson: Beat Frankie Edgar at UFC 144 and defended the title 3 times.
  • Anthony Pettis: Won the title at UFC 164 and defended the title once.
  • Rafael dos Anjjos: Won the title at UFC 185 and defended the title once.
  • Eddie Alvarez: Won the title on a UFC on Fox event.
  • Conor McGregor: Beat Alvarez to win his second UFC title at UFC 205.
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov: Defeated Al Laquinta for the vacant title and defended the belt 3 times.
  • Charles Oliveira: The current champion that beat Michael Chandler for the vacant title and has defended the belt once.

Interim Champions

  • Tony Ferguson
  • Dustin Poirier
  • Justin Gaethje

UFC Featherweight division 

  • Jose Aldo: The first featherweight champion that defended the title a division record 7 times.
  • Conor McGregor: Defeated Aldo at UFC 194 and vacated the title.
  • Jose Aldo: Promoted to champion after Conor was stripped.
  • Max Holloway: Won the title at UFC 212 and defended the belt twice.
  • Alex Volkanovski: Beat Holloway at UFC 245 and has currently defended the belt twice.

Interim Champions

  • Conor McGregor
  • Jose Aldo
  • Max Holloway

UFC Bantamweight division 

  • Dominick Cruz: The inaugural UFC Bantamweight champion that defended the title twice.
  • Renan Barao: Promoted to undisputed champion after Cruz could not compete due to injury.
  • TJ Dillashaw: Won the title at UFC 173 and defended the belt twice.
  • Dominick Cruz: Beat Dillashaw at a fight night event and defended the title once.
  • Cody Garbrandt: Defeated Cruz at UFC 207.
  • TJ Dillashaw: Regained the title UFC 217, but failed a drug test and was stripped.
  • Henry Cejudo: Henry Cejudo moved up and defeated Marlon Moraes.
  • Petr Yan: Defeated Jose Aldo for the vacant title at UFC 251.
  • Aljamain Sterling: Became the champion at UFC 259 after an illegal knee by Yan.

Interim Champions

  • Renan Barao
  • Petr Yan

UFC Flyweight division

  • Demetrious Johnson: The first flyweight champion that defended the belt a record 11 times.
  • Henry Cejudo: Won the title at UFC 227 and defended the belt one time.
  • Deivison Figueiredo: Won the belt at fight night event and defended the belt twice.
  • Brandon Moreno: Won the title in his second match up with Figueiredo.
  • Deivison Figueiredo: Just won the third fight in his trilogy with Moreno.

No Flyweight Interim Champions

Timeline the women’s UFC weight classes 

UFC Women’s Bantamweight division 

  • Ronda Rousey: The very first UFC women’s champion that defended the belt 6 times.
  • Holly Holm: Beat Ronda Rousey at UFC 193.
  • Miesha Tate: Defeated Holly Holm at UFC 196.
  • Amanda Nunes: Won the title at UFC 200 and defended the belt 5 times.
  • Julianna Pena: Just recently defeated Amanda Nunes at UFC 269.

No Women’s Bantamweight Interim Champions

UFC Women’s Strawweight division 

  • Carla Esparza: The first strawweight champion that won the title at a TUF finale in 2014.
  • Joanna Jedrzejczyk: Became the champion at UFC 185 and defended the title 5 times.
  • Rose Namajunas: Won the title at UFC 217.
  • Jessica Andrade: Won the title at UFC 237.
  • Zhang Weili: Won the title at a UFC fight night event.
  • Rose Namajunas: Regained the title at UFC 261.

No Strawweight Interim Champions

UFC Women’s Flyweight division 

  • Nicco Montano: Won the first women’s flyweight title, but was stripped after missing weight at UFC 228.
  • Valentina Shevchenko: The reigning and defending champion with 6 title defenses.

No Women’s Flyweight Interim Champions

UFC Women’s Featherweight division

  • Germaine de Randamie: Won the inaugural title at UFC 208, but vacated the belt after winning it.
  • Cris Cyborg: Cris Cyborg would defeat Tonya Evinger UFC 214 and defended the belt twice.
  • Amanda Nunes: Defeated Cris Cyborg at UFC 218 and has defended the belt twice.

No Women’s Featherweight Interim Champions

The difference between title bouts and non title bouts 

When you watch a UFC event you’ll notice different types of bouts between each of the UFC weight classes. The matches are either non title bouts or title bouts.

Title bouts are at the top of the card, while the non title bouts make up the rest of the night of fights. Aside from title bouts being for a belt, there is one other specific difference between them. 

That is the one pound rule. In non title bouts, you don’t have to weigh in at exactly a certain weight of below it. 

If you’re fighting at middleweight, you can come into the fight at 186 with no problem. But if it were a title bout, you would have to weigh in at 185lbs or below.

Rules for missing weight and penalties

There is a certain protocol within the UFC weight classes if a fighter misses weight. Before any penalties are handed down, the fighter has one hour to cut the remaining weight.

If they fail to cut the remaining weight in the hour given, they will be penalized. They will be deducted a percentage of their purse if the other fighter agrees to still fight them. 

Missing weight for a title bout has even worse consequences. Failing to make weight for a title bout means that the bout will no longer be for a title.

Instead it’ll be just a 5 round main event bout, where no title match bonus will be given out.(At least to the fighter that missed weight.)

Possible new weight divisions

There are always rumors of possible new UFC weight classes that may get added into the future. Here are some of those possible new UFC weight classes and Joe Rogan’s weight class idea.

UFC Women’s Atomweight division

For a few years, the UFC has been floating the idea of making another women’s division. A atomweight that would be at 105lbs(47.6kg).

Quite a few fighters like Michelle Waterson have been vocal about the addition of this division. Feeling that many fighters that walk around at 130lbs+ that cut to strawweight gives them an unfair advantage.

Fighters that walk around between 115-120lbs would be on an even playing field. Nothing is concrete about this division being added in the future, but you never know.

UFC 165lb division

One UFC weight class that a lot of lightweight and welterweight fighters have been pitching for is a 165lb(75kg) division. There have been two specific reasons this weight has been constantly brought up.

The big one is that 165lb is a nice buffer zone between lightweight and welterweight. Great for fighters that are too small for welterweight, but have a hard time cutting to lightweight.

Many fighters that fight from both weight classes liked the idea, so they could fight against each other. Getting the opportunity to fight in more than one weight class would be profitable for them.

After the success of the Diaz vs Masvidal bout at 165lbs, many fighters and fans were vocal about adding it permanently. Unfortunately there are no plans to make a 165lb division as of now.

Joe Rogan’s idea

If you listen to the JRE podcast, then you’ve heard Joe Rogan talk about his idea for UFC weight divisions. Rogan doesn’t just want one more weight division added, but numerous divisions.

He wants the UFC weight classes to look more like boxing weight classes. In that format, there would be a weight division at every 10lbs.

Joe believes this would give more fighters the opportunity to fight and the chance to hold multiple titles. Of course, this is just Joe’s idea and probably nothing will come from it.

The future of UFC weight classes

As of now, there are currently 12 UFC weight classes within the promotion. The sport of MMA is always growing and evolving and there are more fighters than ever.

We will no doubt see new UFC weight classes get added in the future. It will be a win for the fighters and us fans, who will get to see more great fights.

How long does it take to get a purple belt in BJJ?

The journey to a purple belt in BJJ can be rather difficult. It is often more than double the time it takes to earn a BJJ blue belt.

Let’s answer the question of how long it takes to get a purple belt in BJJ? We’ll detail everything you must know to earn a BJJ purple belt and why so many blue belts quit Jiu Jitsu.

How long does it take to get a purple belt in BJJ? The average time frame for earning a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu(BJJ) purple belt is around 3-5 years. To earn your BJJ purple belt in this time frame, you must train regularly and be able to perform various techniques.

Time frame between blue belt & purple belt 

The usual time frame between a BJJ blue belt and purple belt is usually 2-3 years. Double the time it takes to earn a BJJ blue belt.

If you want to earn a BJJ purple belt in 2 years or less after you’ve obtained your blue belt, you’re going to have to be more committed to your training. Not just training more regularly, but also your approach to training.

On top of training at least three days a week, you’ll need to be more methodical about how you train. You need to really pay attention to the details of the techniques you drill in class.

This will improve your technique and show that you are at a purple belt level.

The blue belt blues 

Unfortunately, many BJJ practitioners don’t reach the purple belt level and end up quitting at blue belt. This is a phenomenon that some in Jiu Jitsu call “the blue belt blues.”

They go through various negative feelings about their training, which leads many blue belts to quit Jiu Jitsu. Here are some of the symptoms of the blue belt blues.

Deflated Ego

Many BJJ practitioners that reach the blue belt level sort of develop more confidence and even a bit of an ego. Those that have gone through the blue belt level know that any ego you may have is quickly deflated.

You realize that you’re not as good as you thought you were and that you’re still a beginner. This deflating of the ego leads many blue belts to quit before they get their purple belt.

Impatience

Impatience is a noticeable symptom of the blue belt blues that many BJJ practitioners go through. After getting their blue belt within a year, they may think they’ll get their purple belt within the same time.

A lot of blue belts aren’t mentally prepared for the wait before getting their purple belt. Many grow impatient during this wait and end of quitting Jiu Jitsu.

Feeling of inadequacy 

To go along with a deflated ego, many through a period of feeling of inadequacy. They thought that once they got their blue belt that they were going to be good and submit their teammates.

Usually the opposite happens and their more experienced teammates submit them even more. Many don’t take this as a learning experience and don’t see that they’re still developing.

They feel like they aren’t good enough and they’re wasting their time training and just give up. Many blue belts go through this feeling and unfortunately this leads to a lot of them to stop training.

Techniques a BJJ purple belt must know

To earn a BJJ purple belt, you’re going to have to know how to execute a variety of techniques. From basic techniques to more advanced techniques. Here are some of the techniques that you will probably have to know to get promoted.

Basic Submissions

A BJJ purple belt must be technically sound at the basic submissions listed below.

  • Armbar
  • RNC
  • Guillotine Choke
  • Kimura
  • Triangle Choke
  • Omoplata 

Escapes & Submission Defense

To earn your BJJ purple belt, you’ll have to show that you have sound defensive skills. Make sure you learn and drill these different escapes on the list.

  • Mount Escapes
  • Back Mount Escapes
  • Side Control Escapes
  • RNC Defense
  • Guillotine Defense
  • Armbar Defense
  • Triangle Defense
  • Kimura Defense
  • Omoplata Defense
  • Gi Submission Defenses

Guards(basic to advanced) 

You will need to know how to do techniques from different guards, as well as how to pass them. Drill these different guards listed below 

  • Closed Guard
  • Open Guard
  • Butterfly Guard
  • Spider Guard
  • Lasso Guard
  • De La Riva Guard
  • X Guard 
  • Single Leg X Guard
  • 50/50
  • Lapel Guard
  • Z Guard

Takedowns & Throws

BJJ purple belts must show that they can perform various takedowns and sweeps. If your instructor has a heavy background in wrestling or Judo, then you’ll definitely need to know these techniques.

  • Double Leg
  • Single Leg
  • O-Goshi
  • Ouchi Gari
  • Osoto Gari
  • Kouchi Gari 
  • Uchi-Mata
  • Tai Otoshi
  • Harai Goshi
  • Seoi Nage

Gi Submissions

A BJJ purple belt is also proficient at various submissions that involve the Gi. Here’s a list of Gi submissions that you should probably know.

  • Bow & Arrow
  • Brabo Choke 
  • Cross/X Choke
  • Ezekiel Choke
  • Loop Choke 
  • Paper Cutter Choke

What else will you need to earn your BJJ purple belt?

It isn’t just the amount of training and technique you learn. There are few other important lessons you will need to learn in order to earn your BJJ purple belt. 

Understand techniques

You not only have to learn more techniques, but also have a good understanding of why they’re done. It’s good to know how to do techniques, but you need to know why they’re done.

Take a more methodical approach to your training and really take the time to understand the techniques.

Connect positions and techniques

It isn’t enough to know how to do different techniques, but know how to connect them. When you see purple belts roll, their skill levels and movement are way more advanced than blue belts.

They not only know various techniques, but know how to connect them together into a flow. Once you know how to connect positions and techniques together into a flow, you’ll be purple belt ready.

Develop your game 

When you’re on the cusp of being a purple belt, you should know quite a few different techniques. At this point, you should start creating your own Jiu Jitsu game. Focusing on what you’re good at like a spider guard and work to make it the best it can possibly be.

Become a better teammate

As you’re transiting to a higher level belt, your instructor and other black belts are going to expect more from you. You not only have to focus on building your abilities, but also being a better teammate.

A purple belt is expected to help the lower belts out just like they were helped when they were a beginner. Once your instructor sees that you possess this quality, you’re one step closer to a purple belt.

Important thing to remember about the road to purple belt

The road to purple belt is your first big test in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It is a transitional period where you go from a beginner to a more advanced BJJ student.

It is arguably the most difficult period in the lower BJJ ranks. You’re not only going to be tested physically, but also mentally. 

But if you can weather the storm and stick it out, you will earn your BJJ purple belt. Just keep training!

How long does it take to get a black belt in BJJ?

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New BJJ students generally ask their instructors the same group of when they first begin training. One of the most asked is how long does it take to get a BJJ black belt?

It’s a very simple question that at the same time isn’t a very simple question. Check out our explanation below for how long it takes to get a BJJ black belt.

So how long does it take to get a BJJ black belt? The truth is that there is no specific time frame for earning a BJJ black belt. It could take anywhere from 5 years to 10 years or more depending on your dedication.

What is the average time frame to get a BJJ black belt?

The average time it takes to get a BJJ black belt is around ten years. This is the normal time for a hobbyist that is able to regularly train an average of a few times a week.

Those that actively compete and train everyday will earn their black belt in far less time than ten years. 

How to get a BJJ black belt faster?

If you want to attempt to get your BJJ black belt faster, there are some ways to get it faster. Here is each way that could help you get your black belt faster detailed below.

Train Regularly

The most obvious thing you can do to try and get your black belt faster is to train regularly. Not only just train regularly, but train at a high volume.

Those that have gotten their black belts in a quicker time train every day and multiple times each day. You’ll need to train at least 5 times a week or more to get your BJJ black belt faster.

Compete

Another way to get your BJJ black faster is to compete frequently at Jiu Jitsu tournaments. Those that have earned their black belts in a faster time frame usually compete nearly every chance they get.

Competing often helps you improve your skills and shows you what you need to work on. Aiming to compete at least every month to two months will help you get a black belt quicker.

Take Private Lessons

Getting private lessons is a great way to help get you a BJJ black belt faster. In these sessions, you get to pick the brain of someone that has more skill and experience than you.

You’ll not only get to drill techniques with someone more skilled, but get a better understanding of important details within them. Definitely consider getting regular private lessons if you want to try and get a BJJ black belt faster.

What can make getting your BJJ black belt take longer?

There are even more things that will make getting your BJJ black belt take longer. Here are some ways that will prolong the time it’ll take to get your BJJ black belt.

Training Passively

Some people like to train, but just aren’t that dedicated to their Jiu Jitsu training like their other teammates. Training passively will extend the time it’ll take to earn a black belt. 

If this is you, then just know that it’ll probably take over 10 years to earn your BJJ black belt.

Injuries 

Injuries happen in BJJ training and the more serious ones will take you off the mat. Unfortunately not only could you be forced to take time off, but they can also prolong the journey to black belt.

Be sure to train smart and take care of yourself, so you can keep training and work towards your black belt.

Training Incorrectly

Even if you train regularly, it can still take you longer to earn your BJJ black belt if you’re training incorrectly. That may sound odd, but there are certain training approaches that aren’t beneficial to developing your game.

An example of this could be that you just roll and don’t practice technique. This could slow your progress and it may make your instructor wait longer to promote you.

Life

Sometimes things in life will just get in the way of your Jiu Jitsu training. Whether it is your job, family, or an illness. 

It’s unfortunate, but these things happen and will prolong your journey to your BJJ black belt.

Average time at each belt rank

To get to black belt, you have to spend time training 4 lower belts to earn a black belt. Here is an average time at each of those ranks along with things you learn at those levels.

White Belt

The white belt is the beginning of the journey and arguably the most important lower belt of them all. This is where you develop basic skills and begin to understand the concept of Jiu Jitsu.

At white belt you’ll learn:

  • Basic Submissions
  • Basic Movements
  • Basic Defenses
  • Basic Sweeps

The average time at the white belt rank is about one year before being promoted to blue belt. You can achieve your blue belt in this time frame if you train around 2-4 times every week.

Blue Belt

The blue belt is your first promotion in Jiu Jitsu. You’re still considered a beginner, but you’re starting to develop your skills and maybe even develop your own game.

Most likely have a couple of go to sweeps and submissions that you’ll always go to 

At blue belt you will:

  • Continue Learning Basics
  • Learn More Complicated Techniques
  • Develop Your BJJ Game
  • Still Lose Often

The stay at blue belt is usually around two years before you earn your purple Belt. To get your purple in this time frame, you will need to train on average 3-5 times every week.

Purple Belt

The purple belt rank is the intermediate belt right in the middle of the 4 other BJJ ranks. When you get to this level, you have a pretty good grasp of martial art and have developed a decent game.

You’re just missing some key elements to get to that next level that you’ll need to work on.

At purple belt you will:

  • Improve Your BJJ Game
  • Add New Elements To Your Technique
  • Improve Your Technique
  • Have A Better Understanding Of Jiu Jitsu

The average time at the purple belt rank is about 3 years. It can be the longest wait in between promotions and you may go through a rough spot in your BJJ journey. But don’t worry as this is all part of the process and you will grow from it.

Brown Belt

At brown belt, you are near the top of the mountain and about to complete the lower belt ranks. You are basically a black belt that needs to refine some aspects of your BJJ game.

Just because you’re close to getting your black belt does not give the excuse to get lazy. This is the time for you to really work hard and work to achieve your goal of becoming a BJJ black belt.

At brown belt you will:

  • Refine Your Technique
  • Train Hard
  • Stay Focused

The stay at brown belt is usually around 2 years, but can be shorter if you actively compete. Remember to keep training hard and you will be a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt before you know it.

The most important thing to remember about the journey to black belt

When you’re working your way towards your black belt and wonder how long it’ll take, there’s something really important to remember. That is, you shouldn’t stress about how long it’ll take you to reach that rank.

There isn’t a specific time frame for when you’ll earn your BJJ black belt. The time it takes to get there is different for everyone.

What you should focus more on is the journey to get there. Just keep training hard and enjoy the process, then eventually you’ll earn your BJJ black belt.

BJJ vs Wrestling: Which is better?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling have been compared countless times since the rise of the sport of MMA and before. Each style of grappling has their positives and negatives, where one is superior to the other.

Here is our breakdown of the old BJJ vs wrestling debate. We’ll go through everything about each style of grappling from their histories and their principles. Then we’ll break down their similarities and differences and also why the mesh well together.

What are the similarities and differences between BJJ & wrestling? BJJ and wrestling are both ground based grappling martial arts with a wide variety of differences. But even though they have different methods and principles, they compliment each other very well when brought together.

The history of each martial art

The history of wrestling

Wrestling is possibly the oldest grappling art and sport in human history. It also was the very first Olympic sport that was added by the Greeks in 700 BC.

The history of wrestling goes thousands of years within numerous different cultures. On every continent in the world, there was a culture of people that practiced their own form of wrestling. 

There are numerous artifacts that show ancient wrestlers performing the very same techniques. Everything from sculptures, art, and even manuscripts on wrestling that have survived the test of time. Including the 2nd century Greek manuscript Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 466 that includes wrestling techniques.

Today, wrestling is still an extremely popular sport that is practiced in numerous countries. Competing every year at the world championships and every 4 years at the Olympic Games.

The history of BJJ

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was developed in the early 19th century by the Gracie brothers Carlos and Helio Gracie(Also Oswaldo Fadda, who is often overshadowed by the Gracie brothers.

Carlos was one of Master Maeda’s first Judo students after he immigrated to Brazil. Gracie would show his brother Helio the techniques he had learned, but they realized some techniques were difficult for smaller people.

They began developing their own style of grappling that was more ground based. Designed to help a smaller person fight off a bigger person using technique and leverage.

This was how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was born. The two brothers began spreading their martial art throughout Brazil and later the world.

Thanks to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, BJJ was exposed to the world and showed its effectiveness.

The principles of BJJ & wrestling

BJJ and wrestling are completely opposite when it comes to the principles each was founded on. Here are the principles of each detailed below.

The principles of wrestling

The key principles of wrestling are to get your opponent to the ground and use force to stay on top. Using a mix of technique and strength to maintain control of your opponent to get the pin or win by points.

The principles of BJJ

Jiu Jitsu differs greatly from wrestling in these aspects. In Jiu Jitsu, technique and leverage are favored over using raw strength.

BJJ also teaches techniques that involve their students learning to fight off their back in a guard. Something that goes against everything that wrestling was founded upon.

Different uniforms

One of the obvious differences you will notice between BJJ and wrestling are the uniforms worn in competition and training.

Traditional BJJ is performed in a Gi. Much like with its predecessors Judo and Japanese Jiu Jitsu. There is also another style of Jiu Jitsu called No-Gi that is done in a rashguard, shorts, and also spats.

The traditional uniform in wrestling consists of a spandex onesie called a singlet. Wrestlers also wear wrestling shoes, headgear, and optional elbow/knee pads.

Different styles of BJJ & wrestling

As mentioned above, there are two different styles of Jiu Jitsu practiced that are called Gi and No-Gi. Amateur wrestling also has three different styles of wrestling called freestyle, Greco-Roman, and folkstyle wrestling.

  • Freestyle wrestling: Freestyle wrestling is the most common style of amateur wrestling that most are familiar with. Focusing on exposure points as a competitor tries to control their opponent.
  • Greco-Roman: In Greco-Roman style wrestling, you are only allowed to take your opponent down from the waist up.
  • Folkstyle Wrestling: Folkstyle wrestling is very similar to freestyle wrestling, but a little different. In folkstyle, there is more of an emphasis on controlling your opponent than in freestyle wrestling.

Rules of each competition

BJJ and wrestling also have different rule sets for their competitions. Everything from how you win each competition along with the time and points are completely different.

The rules of BJJ

In a traditional IBJJF sanctioned Jiu Jitsu, the matches are one round of either 5-10 minutes depending on the competitor’s ranks. A BJJ competitor’s goal is to win their match by submission or points. If the match ends in a tie, the referee will decide who the winner is.

The points of a Jiu Jitsu match are:

  • Mount/Back Mount: 4 points
  • Guard Pass: 3 points
  • Sweep: 2 points
  • Knee On Belly: 2 points
  • Takedown/Judo Throw: 2 points

There are also lesser points in Jiu Jitsu that are scored call advantages. An advantage is when you either almost advance to a different position or almost get a submission.

The rules of wrestling

All styles of wrestling matches go by the same number of rounds in time. The number of rounds varies between high school, collegiate, and international competitions.

  • High School Wrestling: 3:2 minute rounds
  • College Wrestling: 1 3 minute round and 1 2 minute round
  • International/Olympic Wrestling: 2:3 minute rounds

Points in a wrestling match include:

  • Takedown: 2 points
  • Reversal: 2 points
  • Nearfall(2 seconds): 2 points
  • Nearfall(5 seconds): 3 point

The goal of a wrestling match is to pin your opponent’s shoulders to the mat for 1 second to win. Your next option is to rack up as many points as possible within the time limit of the match.

If the match ends in a tie, then it will go to a sudden victory round. In this sudden victory round, the first person to score wins the match.

Ranking Systems

A big difference between BJJ and wrestling are their ranking systems. Jiu Jitsu goes by a ranking system, while wrestling has more of a sports based ranking system.

The BJJ ranking system

Jiu Jitsu goes by a colored belt system to separate the skill levels of the students. The adult BJJ ranks consists of 5 different colored belts.

  • White Belt
  • Blue Belt
  • Purple Belt
  • Brown Belt
  • Black Belt

You start out a white belt and in usually 8-10 years of consistent training, you reach the black belt level.

The ranking system in wrestling

Wrestling obviously does not have a belt system and goes more by a traditional sports system. Those that are talented and successful at competitions will advance to the next level of competitions.

In wrestling there is:

  • High School Level
  • College Level
  • International/Olympic Level

Those that are the best athletes will make it to the college and international levels.

Wrestling is a school sport

One huge difference between BJJ and wrestling is that it is a school sport. In many schools across the US, wrestling is an extra curricular program that the school funds.

BJJ has no connection to any public or private schools. They are a standalone martial arts gym much like with Karate or boxing.

Wrestling is an Olympic sport

As we mentioned in the history of wrestling, it is the very first Olympic sport. BJJ on the other hand is not an Olympic sport. 

Jiu Jitsu has skyrocketed in popularity and has been considered for an Olympic sport, but as of now it still isn’t.

The strengths of BJJ & wrestling

No matter which style of grappling you train, both have obvious strengths that are beneficial to learn. Here are the strengths of BJJ and wrestling

The strengths of wrestling

  • Wrestling Makes You Strong: Wrestlers are among the strongest athletes on earth. They achieve their strength through going through grueling wrestling practices along with their strength and conditioning programs.
  • Mentally Tough: Not only does wrestling make you strong, but it makes you mentally tough. Those that compete in wrestling for years develop extreme mental toughness. No matter how hard or impossible something might be, they’ve been trained to dig down deep inside themselves to persevere.
  • Good Base For MMA: Wrestling is probably the best base you can have if your goal is to transition to MMA. In modern MMA, you must have strong wrestling skills if you want to succeed at the sport. All of the bester fighters ever from Daniel Cormier, Khabib, GSP, and Matt Hughes all had high level wrestling ability.

The strengths of BJJ

  • Submissions: The big factor that BJJ has over wrestling is that various submissions are taught within the martial art. Wrestling teaches you how to hold someone down, but BJJ teaches you how to neutralize an opponent using submissions. If you put your opponent to sleep with a choke, they can’t hurt you.
  • Learn To Fight Off Your Back: One of the most important things that was created within Jiu Jitsu was giving someone a way to fight off their back. The innovation of the guard was a great equalizer for small people against larger opponents. Using their legs to control the distance as they set up sweeps and submissions.

The weaknesses of BJJ & wrestling 

Even though wrestling and BJJ are effective, they both have glaring weaknesses. Here are the weaknesses of these grappling styles.

The weaknesses of wrestling

  • No Knowledge Of Submissions: While wrestling is good for controlling an opponent on the ground, there are no submissions practiced within it. Having zero awareness of submissions is dangerous and can leave you vulnerable on the ground.
  • No Striking: Wrestlers also have zero knowledge of striking. They may know takedowns, but if they have no idea of striking range in a fight, they can get hurt.

The weaknesses of BJJ

  • Sport Jiu Jitsu: Sport Jiu Jitsu may have been the worst thing to happen to the martial art from a self defense perspective. Many techniques done in sport Jiu Jitsu like pulling guard or berimbolo go against principles of self defense. They are great for the sport, but horrible for a self defense scenario.
  • No Striking: Just like with wrestling, there is no striking taught within Jiu Jitsu. Having no understanding of striking range can get you seriously hurt in a fight.

The similarities between BJJ & wrestling

While BJJ and wrestling may seem completely different, they actually have many similarities with one another. Here are some of the main similarities that the two systems have with one another.

Both are grappling arts

Both BJJ and wrestling are ground based grappling arts that are both done on the mat. This is why it is so easier for someone that practices one style to transition to the other. While the techniques taught are different, they are both done on the mat.

Great ways to get in shape

Learning either BJJ or wrestling is a great way to get in shape. The training in both are both high paced workouts that work every muscle in your body. Training consistently in either for an extended period will lead to a complete body transformation.

Build confidence

Wrestling and BJJ have this way of building confidence within those that practice them. Not only do they transform physically, but also mentally and physically. They turn into more confident and are ready to accomplish anything they want to do thanks to learning these arts.

Self defense

Even though both have different philosophies and principles, they are a great form of self defense. Most physical confrontations go to the ground and both systems teach their students how to control their opponents on the ground. By knowing either or both of these grappling styles, you’ll be better prepared for a physical confrontation.

Great for kids

Wrestling and BJJ have been scientifically proven to be great for kids. When kids are growing up, they need structure and positive influences as they grow into adults. BJJ and wrestling provide kids with places to learn life lessons from positive role models and make lots of friends.

Similar practice formats

The practice formats between BJJ and wrestling are actually very similar. Both generally last an hour or more and are broken up into 3 parts. The warm up, drilling techniques, and then practice sparring.

How one style can beat the other and vice versa

Both styles of grappling have the tools necessary to beat the other style. Here are the methods each can use to beat each other.

How a wrestler can beat BJJ grappler

  • Takedowns: No doubt a wrestler will be more skilled at takedowns than a BJJ practitioner. If a BJJ practitioner dares stand up against a wrestler, the wrestler can take them down at will and rack up points.
  • High Pace: Wrestlers grapple at an extremely high pace and can keep it up for around a round. If a BJJ grappler isn’t used to this space, they will probably gas out trying to keep up with the wrestler.
  • Stay On Top: The only way a wrestler will win a grappling match with a BJJ grappler is if they can stay on top. Also pass their opponent’s guard and keep a dominant position. If the wrestler can stay the whole match in a dominant position, they will win on points.
  • Pressure: This goes along with staying on top. A wrestler must keep nonstop pressure on their BJJ opponent. They cannot give the BJJ grappler an inch or they will get swept or submitted.

How a BJJ grappler can beat a wrestler

  • Choke Them Out: As mentioned in the weaknesses of wrestling section, wrestlers don’t train submission defense.(Especially chokes) That is why a BJJ grappler should aim to choke a wrestler out in their match. The wrestler will most likely leave their neck exposed going for a takedown or in the guard.
  • Get Them Tired: A BJJ grappler can actually use the wrestler’s advantage of keeping a high pace against them: If a BJJ grappler can weather the storm, the wrestler will most likely gas out. They will be too tired to defend sweeps or submission.
  • Get Them On Their Back: Wrestlers are like turtles when they’re on their back. Even though they’re good at holding opponent’s down, their sweep defense isn’t the best. So a BJJ grappler should try to get a wrestler to overextend themselves to sweep them to their back.
  • Slow them down: A BJJ grappler should never try to play a wrestler’s high pace game. Instead, they should slow the pace down and make them play their game. Keeping the wrestler controlled and where they want them.

How do BJJ and wrestling compliment each other?

Even though BJJ and wrestling are two very different grappling arts, they mesh together very well. Having both wrestling and Jiu Jitsu abilities can make you an extremely effective grappler.

Being able to work off your back or on top and be able to land takedowns whenever you need to. If you are serious about improving your abilities as a grappler and martial artist, you really should learn both arts.