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

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BJJ artist holding a purple belt in hands

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!

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