Many BJJ students dream of one day earning their black belt and becoming a master of the art. While a BJJ black belt is a good long term goal, earning a purple belt seems like a more reasonable medium term goal. But getting your purple belt is no easy feat.
How Fast Can You Get A BJJ Purple Belt?
You can get a BJJ purple belt in 3 years if you train consistently and are on the mats 12 + hours a week. The average BJJ athlete takes 6 years, training 4.5 hours per week. If you are a high-level Judoka or wrestler you could get it in 2 years.
Purple belts are upper intermediate and lower advanced BJJ practitioners. They have strong fundamentals, the ability to perform a wide range of techniques, and can easily defeat an untrained attacker of any size.
A solid purple belt should be able to push brown and black belts during sparring and occasionally hit some submissions. The skill level between purple belts and brown belts can often be very minor. The best purple belts in the world are often immediately competitive with world class brown belts following their promotion.
Achieving this level of BJJ prowess is not easy. It takes the average BJJ athlete 6 years to finally earn the right to wear a purple belt on the Jiu Jitsu mats. However, this time can be significantly shortened by ramping up your training volume.
While it may take the average BJJ athlete 6 years to get their purple belt you have to factor in that the average athlete is training 3 times a week with each session lasting 1.5 hours. This brings their training volume to a total of 1404 hours.
If you train BJJ for 3 years but you train 6 days a week with every session lasting 2 hours you will have spent 1872 hours on the mat. This is 33% more training time than it took the average BJJ practitioner to earn their purple belt. This is more than enough time to develop your skills to a level high enough to warrant a promotion to purple belt.
There is just no way if you stick to this rigorous training schedule for the next 3 years that you won’t develop purple belt level skills. Even if you aren’t a gifted athlete or possess previous grappling skills this sheer amount of training volume will lead to you earning your purple belt much faster than your less dedicated peers.
3 years may seem like a long time to earn a purple belt but if you happen to be an accomplished wrestler or Judoka you could cut this down to 2 years or less.
If you wrestled in college or are a Judo black belt and you commit to training BJJ 12 + hours a week you will be a purple belt after only 2 years of training. It is possible that you could get a purple belt in 6 months to 1 year if you are a world class grappler.
For example Travis Stevens an Olympic Judo silver medalist earned his purple belt after only training BJJ for 6 months and then received his black belt from John Danaher after just 1 year of Jiu Jitsu training.
While wrestling doesn’t translate to BJJ as well as Judo if you are a national or international level wrestler and started training Jiu Jitsu 6 days a week I would expect you to earn your purple belt in a year.
Being a freak athlete and possessing natural talent can also shave off years in your pursuit of your purple belt. If you are a high level athlete from a sport that requires lots of coordination and the movements translate to BJJ such as dancing or gymnastics you could earn your purple belt in 12 to 18 months of training 12 + hours a week.
The perfect example of this is the Martinez brothers who before starting BJJ were accomplished breakdancers. They were teaching breakdancing at a gym that also held BJJ classes. They saw the classes, became intrigued and decided to try it out.
They immediately became hooked and started training everyday. Within 1 year they earned their purple belt and in 2 years they got their black belts from Eddie Bravo of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu despite having no previous grappling experience.
Bravo talked about how athletic they were and how their dancing backgrounds made them so strong, explosive, and flexible. Their coordination was so good that they quickly picked up BJJ techniques and immediately implemented them into their game.
If you train 12 hours a week you can earn your purple belt in 3 years. If you have previous grappling experience or are a freak athlete this can be reduced to 1 to 2 years. The average BJJ student takes 6 years to get their purple training 4.5 hours per week.