As Brazilian Jiu Jitsu continues to evolve, new and up-to-date rules should also follow. The International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) considered and made the decision to implement some changes to its rules and systems. A few of these rules have been in existence for a very long time. Most people don’t like change, these changes however are essential for that controlled development of the activity and also the respect it warrants within the grappling sport arena.
The BJJ belt system for kids’ belt promotion might find some positive changes. No more will a young child need to wait years to be able to experience positive reward reinforcement with the tiresome belt ranking system. Unlike grown-ups, children need to see that their persistence, effort, and hard work are being compensated. This positive conditioning can lead to children attempting to train longer and get better in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
Different Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools have used various belt ranking systems for children. This inconsistency is visible at competitions from traditional stripes to the horizontal belt color combinations. This inconsistency is one thing the IBJJF will change to be able to display a more organized Brazilian Jiu Jitsu belt ranking for children.
On January 1, 2012, the brand new IBJJF belt system for kids goes into effect. Kids who start training at 4 years old are only marketed once they turn seven years of age.
To avoid demotivating other kids and also avoid technical differences between beginners and more knowledgeable kids, IBJJF’s new belt system stated a division be included to each already established BJJ belt color.
Belt color for kids will be split into three sub-colors
The gray belt will be extended to children from 4 to fifteen years old.
Using the new belt colors, instructors will have the ability to promote their students each year. For instance, the IBJJF suggests a youngster who begins training at four remain at white belt for six months before being upgraded to gray-white belt.
If the kid starts at the age of 4, IBJJF suggests 6 months as a white belt, then being graduated to the grey/white belt on the sixth month of training. As for the white/gray belt, it would take six more months until the next graduation – solid grey. After training one year in the solid grey rank, the practitioner would be graduated to gray/black, after a year of training and the by the age of 7 years old the kid is eligible for the next graduation group which is yellow.
After graduating to white/yellow, and 3 years as a yellow belt group, by the age of 10 years old the kid is eligible to enter the Orange belt group, after 3 years in the orange group, by the age of 13 years old the kid is eligible to enter the green belt graduation group. The cycle repeats itself until the students years of training under the kid belt system is done and they are ready to transition to the adult belt ranking system.
New Belt System For BJJ Children’s Competition
As for competitions, each color belt group will be joined in the same group, the whole grey group competes together, the whole yellow group competes together, and same for other belt groups.
The same rules apply and no changes will be made as for weight, age and gender, similar to the way used today.
For athletes 4 – 15 years old in competition, if there is not enough to find a match, merging two or more different color groups in a bracket will be the action taken.
Examples for belt divisions in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition:
Grey Group – White/Grey, Solid Grey and grey/Black are grouped together.
Yellow group – White/yellow, solid yellow and yellow/black compete together divided only by age, weight and gender.