How Long Does it Take to Learn Jiu Jitsu?

In this page, we'll go over how it takes to learn Jiu Jitsu, if you need a black belt in order to have sufficient skills to defend yourself, and how hard BJJ is for beginners.

how long to learn jiu jitsu

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How Long to Learn Jiu Jitsu?

Jiu Jitsu is a martial art that is famous for taking very long to achieve a black belt. In fact, the average time to get a black belt in BJJ is 10 years. Like any other rule, there are exceptions. BJ Penn for example was able to obtain his black belt in only a little over 3 years, on his way to a dominant BJJ career.

brazilian jiu jitsu

He would go on to place first in the World Jiu Jitsu Championship at 21 years of age, and implement those skills in the UFC where he would become one of the only fighters to ever win a title in multiple weight divisions.

You Don't Need to Be a Black Belt to Know Jiu Jitsu

black belt jiu jitsu

A Blue belt is widely considered a stage where the student is not yet a proficient grappler, but has enough of an understanding to use their skills in a real life scenario.

In fact, Ryan Young, a 3rd degree black belt went on to say:

Blue Belt – A BJJ blue belt typically demonstrates an understanding of the basic Jiu-Jitsu positions. They have put enough into training so that their instructor now sees them as a more serious practitioner who wants to learn more and get better. Ryan Young in the video above describes blue belts as “street ready,” meaning the student is not yet a proficient grappler, but has enough of an understanding to use their skills in a real life scenario. A blue belt is required to stay as a blue belt for at least 2 years, but many remain at this rank for as long as 3-5 years before being promoted.

For your reference, the typical time to get a BJJ blue belt is between 1-3 years. A year to a year and a half is the normal amount of time to get a blue belt.

Assuming that you are training around 3 times a week, every week for a year, and classes are 45 minutes.. You can expect to have put 117 hours on the mat for the year.

You can always put more hours in.

If we put this into a real-life context, you can expect to be over 100 hours of training ahead of anyone that may try to harm you. This will give you the confidence to be able to protect yourself, and more importantly the sufficient tools and skills.

grappling bjj

Is Jiu Jitsu Difficult to Learn?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the hardest martial arts to learn, and the average time to obtain a black belt (10 years) accurately reflects that. The world of grappling is completely different than anything else, and it can take quite some time to adjust.

Is Jiu Jitsu Hard For Beginners?

The high difficulty of BJJ is actually what attracts most of the students. Realizing that they won't be able to master this overnight, or even in a few years, keeps students focused on motivated on their end goal of obtaining a black belt.

Additionally, there are beginner classes, intermediate classes, and advanced classes that you can work your way up to. BJJ programs do a great job of allowing students to continually progress, and even allow them to train in tournaments to put their skills to the test.