How Often You Should Train Martial Arts?

How Stripes Work In BJJ? (Time and Requirements)

How do stripes work in Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ)? Stripes are like additional checkpoints between different belts. Before you move from white belt to blue belt, for example, you go through the stripes.

How many stripes are there in BJJ? There are 4 stripes between each belt, meaning you will collect those first, then the “fifth” stripe is your belt promotion.

You can jump over stripes if you are qualified enough. This means you can get promoted from being 2 stripe white belt to a blue belt if you are skilled enough.

How to get the first stripe in BJJ white belt

Getting your 1st stripe on your white belt is a huge achievement. It’s the first step to improving at BJJ and getting something to show for it.

Some people might get their first stripe after their initial beginner class. If you were present in each one of the lessons, you learned the skills and showed that you can use those newly learned skills, you might get your first stripe after that initial training period for newcomers.

How long does it take to get your first stripe in BJJ?

Getting your first stripe might take somewhere between 4 to 9 months.

The first stripe on your white belt might give you a huge boost of motivation if belt colors and stripes are something you are interested in. Moving on from there, feeling that you can reach a blue, or even a black belt one day might seem like a more realistic goal and help you stay motivated.

BJJ white belt first stripe requirements

The first stripe requirements in video form below.

How to get the second stripe in BJJ white belt

Getting your second stripe to your white belt is a good goal to achieve as well. To achieve this, you have to be active as well as learn the techniques.

You don’t actively have to show off to the instructors what you have learned. They will see your performance, even if you don’t notice it.

Don’t be a douche either. They will notice if you give hard time to your fellow practitioners while trying to make yourself look better. Play fair, your skills will be noticed.

How long does it take to get your second stripe in BJJ?

Considering it takes around two years to get a blue belt, it might take somewhere between 9 months to 1,5 years to get your 2nd stripe in BJJ.

The speed at which you acquire your stripes varied a lot depending on your learning abilities as well as how actively you train.

There is a difference between training once a week and 5 times a week. More about how often you should train BJJ in this post.

BJJ white belt second stripe requirements

2nd stripe requirements in video form below.

How to get the third stripe in BJJ white belt

Getting your third stripe on your belt is like being over halfway to blue belt. Requirements tougher again, you will have to continue practicing regularly as well as show good manners at the gym, adapting the rules.

Moving forward towards the blue belt and achieving your 3rd stripe, you will more fluently do the basic techniques of BJJ, without having to think too much.

How long does it take to get your third stripe in BJJ?

Getting your third stripe might take somewhere between 1 year to 1,5 years.

The speed on how fast you will acquire the stripes varies a lot based on your training. Therefore, one might achieve the third stripe at the same time as the other gets their second, or even first stripe.

BJJ white belt third stripe requirements

3rd stripe requirements on the video below.

How to get the fourth stripe in BJJ white belt

The fourth stripe in your white belt is the last checkpoint before getting the blue belt. To get your fourth stripe, you have to be close to all the blue belt requirements, with the slight need for adjustment before you can be handed the long waited blue belt.

At the 4th stripe level, you might already qualify for the blue belt, but for some reason, your instructors still want to see your performance before they hand you the actual belt.

How long does it take to get your fourth stripe in BJJ?

Getting your 4th stripe might take somewhere between 1.5 years to 2 years.

Again, it depends on how often you train. More about how often to train BJJ in this post.

BJJ white belt fourth stripe requirements

4th stripe requirements on a video below.

Do all BJJ gyms use stripes?

Apparently, not all BJJ gyms use a stripe system. In this case, the promotion happens directly from white to blue belt, from blue to purple, and so on.

It might be harder and mentally more challenging to continue to see your progress without the stripes. Training for two years without any merit of success can be harder compared to having stripes in between.

With a stripe system, every student will see their progress more often than jumping directly from belt to belt.

What happens after the fourth stripe

After you get your fourth stripe on your BJJ white belt, you will eventually get promoted to blue belt if you continue to progress.

The fourth stripe is the last checkpoint before the blue belt. It takes on average 2 years to get the blue belt on BJJ with regular training. More about how long it takes to get each belt in BJJ in this post.

Final thoughts

The stripe system in my opinion is great for tracking progress between different belt colors. This can give that small extra boost of motivation for fresh white belts to continue their training.

As I mentioned a lot of times, (probably too many), the time to achieve each stripe and belt varies a lot on how often you train.

Going to the gym 5 times a week compared to training once a week, the difference in how long it might take to get each stripe might be 5 times.

Using frames and structures in your BJJ game can greatly improve your performance on the mat. More about frames, structures, and leverages in this post.

Hopefully this clarified how the stripe system works in BJJ and how you can get them. Have a nice day.


What is Brazilian jiu-jitsu?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a martial art that focuses on ground fighting. This means it focuses on taking the fight to the ground and finishing the fight with joint locks or chokeholds. Brazilian jiu-jitsu was developed around 1920’s, and was modified from judo. Nowadays, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is an essential martial art for MMA.

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