As with other martial arts, the progress of a student is marked with a series of colored belts. Unlike other martial arts where Black Belt marks a person’s proficiency in a style, in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu the rank of Black Belt is conferred to individuals who have mastered the art of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The belts in order are: White, Blue, Purple, Brown and Black. Often schools award four stripes for White through Brown belts. Black Belts are typically awarded one stripe every three years up to ten stripes. There are special classifications for Black Belts fighter and instructors. Instructors have Black Belts with Red bands and Black Belt fighters have White Bands. Typically, Black Belt instructors are not allowed to promote others up to Black Belt rank until they receive their first stripe. The ranks for children are different. Blue belt and higher ranks have age requirements so children have the following ranks beginning with White, Yellow, Orange and Green. Each belt has 4 stripes. These belts are utilized until age 16.