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CORAL BELT BJJ
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CORAL BELT BJJ

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The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is an extremely difficult combat sport to master, as it takes decades to earn a promotion to the coral belt level. BJJ involves an infinite series of movements that a practitioner must master, in order to subdue their opponent. The objective is to control an opponent, then advance into an attacking position and then use leverage in order to submit an opponent with choke holds or joint locks. BJJ has an incredible capacity to give a student the inspiration to achieve anything. 

What This Article Covers:

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has an intricate grading system that includes a host of different coloured belts. The purpose of these belts are to keep track of a student's skill rank within their academy. An instructor will award four stripes on every coloured belt before the student can go up in level. Each stripe represents a progression of the skills accumulated by the student. The belt ranking system starts with kids Jiu Jitsu belts, as kids from an early age of five can work their way up the ranks of bjj belts. There are thirteen kids belts and eight adult belts that range from the white belt all the way through to the untouchable coral belt and red belt bjj levels. 

Learn from one of the most famous and revered Coral Belt teachers on the planet, Pedro Sauer! 

bjj coral belt

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WHERE WAS BRAZILIAN JIU JITSU BORN

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu dates back to the twentieth century, where the famous Japanese Judoka Kano Jigoro began spreading his knowledge of Judo worldwide. Kano developed an intricate coloured belt ranking system so he could grade the skills of his students. One of Kano Jigoro's most exceptional students named Mitsuyo Maeda travelled to Brazil with the intention of spreading the philosophies of his coach. Mitsuyo began teaching seminars, as he shared his knowledge in the extraordinary Martial Art.

Carlos Gracie first attended a Mitsuyo Maeda seminar in Brazil, where he saw the detailed intricacies of the Martial Art. After watching the demonstration Carlos approached Mitsuyo Maeda and asked if he could learn the extravagant Martial Art. Mitsuyo accepted the offer and began teaching Carlos Gracie his system of fighting, for the next five years Carlos would learn from Mitsuyo, mastering many of the technical aspects that he taught. Carlos went on to show his brothers Gastao, Jorge, Oswaldo and Helio Gracie the art. Together they all developed their own style of Martial Art that later became Gracie Jiu Jitsu. 

Helio developed his own style of fighting using the ground aspect of Judo, after he failed to be able to utilise Judo throws. Helio developed a self defensive fighting system used to work against heavier attackers. In the early 1920's the Gracie family created their own BJJ academy and started spreading their style of fighting all over the countryside of Brazil. In the early days Helio Gracie began his ranking system with only three different coloured belts, the dark blue belt was worn by Helio and it represented the Master of his academy. The other two belts were a light blue belt reserved for his instructors and a white belt that every other student wore.

As the years progressed, so did the evolution of the Martial Art and Helio adopted a more inclusive belt ranking system. Helio would struggle to keep track of his students' progression due to the popularity of his Gracie Jiu Jitsu. He decided to introduce a series of coloured belts that began with the white belt level, followed by the blue belt bjj and purple belt bjj levels. The final two belts are the brown belt level and the black belt bjj level that Helio wore himself as the Master of his academy.

As Gracie Jiu Jitsu became extremely popular, they were introduced to the United States of America. It was here that many of the Gracie's came to teach their style of fighting, and as Rorion, Rixon and Royce Gracie brought fame to their Martial Art through the Ultimate Fighting Championship platform, they discovered a significant rift between their family. Due to the outstanding calibre of Rixon Gracie and his international success, Rorion chose Royce to represent the Gracie clan in the cage. It was Rixon who decided to leave his older brother's stronghold and as he did, so did many other Gracie family members. Rorion would attempt to sue many of his family members, stopping them from using the Gracie Jiu Jitsu brand name. As many of the Gracie clan reconsidered their options, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was born.

WHAT IS A CORAL BELT 

The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coral belt is one of the most unattainable belt rankings to achieve in the Martial Arts world. The coral belt was designed and added to the ranking system as many students began to achieve the illustrious rank of black belt. Helio would create a series of belts that could only be obtained by a Gracie, or a practitioner that has spent a long time as a pioneer in the art of Jiu Jitsu. There are two coral belts, the first is a red and black coral belt that is awarded as the seventh degree on a practitioner's black belt. The second is the red and white coral belt which represents the eight degree on a black belt.

The coral belt is an extremely rare rank to earn in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Only the most dedicated and loyal Jiu Jitsu coaches will ever reach this high level of achievement. Earning a coral belt is a culmination of years of hard work within the BJJ community. The only rank that is higher than a coral belt is the red belt, which represents a ninth degree black belt and even more rare a tenth degree red belt. There have only been fifty five ninth degree red belts in the history of BJJ, and even more rare is the red belt that is only reserved for the pioneers of BJJ. There have only been five tenth degree red belts and sadly none of them are living today.

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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO EARN A CORAL BELT

Securing a promotion to a coral belt can take a seriously long time to earn. It takes anywhere from five to fifteen years to firstly earn a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Once a student has achieved the level of black belt, they must serve thirty one years before they can be promoted to the first coral belt. The second coral belt is a further seven years, making it thirty eight years. This is an incredible amount of time and makes sure that the recipient is more than worthy of the recognition.

A black belt must serve three years before they can earn their first degree on their belt. The second degree takes another three years and at this stage the practitioner is now allowed to hand out black belts to their students. The third degree is a pivotal one as it comes with the title of Professor, and takes another three years before they can receive the promotion. The fourth, fifth and sixth degree each takes five years per degree to achieve as a practitioner will become a sixth degree black belt after twenty four years in the belt rank. 

Once a practitioner earns their sixth degree on their black belt, the next stop is an illustrious coral belt. The practitioner must spend seven years as an active black belt on their sixth degree before a red and black coral belt with seven degrees is awarded. The practitioner will then spend a further seven years before they are promoted to an eighth degree red and white coral belt. If a practitioner makes it this far in their BJJ career then they have superseded any expectations from the outset. The only step up from here is the red belt, this accomplishment takes a further ten years as an eighth degree coral belt and if awarded then the practitioner will go into folklore. The tenth degree red belt is only available to the pioneers of the Gracie family.

HOW TO EARN THE CORAL BELT

It takes a lot of hard work and consistency on the mats to get close to a black belt promotion. The amount of hours put in to earn a coral belt is phenomenal and most practitioners will never get there. It will take some extreme dedication and perseverance if a student wants to walk amongst the upper echelon of legendary Jiu Jitsu practitioners. If a student begins their journey as a child in the kids divisions, then they will have a higher chance of reaching this nearly impossible level. Not only does a student need to acquire a considerable amount of knowledge, but they must become masterful at their techniques and contribute to the development and growth of BJJ in their region.

It is always a tough road beginning as an adult, as students must start reasonably young if they want to reach the top. As a white belt they must master Jiu Jitsu white belt moves like control positions and basic fundamental movements like positional escapes, submission defense, sweeps and submissions. Beginners must show a technical aptitude for Jiu Jitsu as they cannot spend long rising through the coloured belt ranks. It's a good idea to compete thoroughly and give themself the best chance of a quick promotion. 

As they join the blue belt ranks, students will need to up their game and master their technical proficiency. They need to rise quickly up to a purple belt level so they can springboard through their initial promotions. Blue belts will have to show incredible consistency and basically live at their academy. They should be competing hard and assisting with coaching duties, as they will need to fast track their teaching capabilities. It's a great idea to take hold of some of the kids' classes as teaching children is extremely tricky and will help them figure out how to identify different coaching strategies.

As they move from blue to purple belt bjj they must work considerably hard so they can once again rise quickly up the ladder. Purple belts are now looking to develop a deep level of critical thinking and decision making skills, so they can develop technical skills rapidly. Purple belts should be role midels and they have an obligation to the lower belts within their academy. Many students including the kids will aspire to reach this level, so students must be humble and integral but also lay down the law of the academy. Purple belts should be working tremendously hard on improving their all round skills. 

As a practitioner transitions from the purple to the brown belt Jiu Jitsu level, they should be showing no mercy and will be aiming to win world titles. They should be battle testing everything they know and refining any weaknesses they might have. Brown belts need to become pivotal leaders at their academy and showcase their ruthless competitive skills on the competition mats. Another important part of a promotion to the black belt level is mastering their teaching skills, becoming a coach is the most important aspect of earning that long awaited promotion.

After years of dedication, perseverance and commitment to their academy and the BJJ community, the student has earned the distinction of becoming a black belt. Most students will excel in their new belt rank as they will look to consolidate themself as a pillar within their region. Students must spend thirty one years as a black belt before they can be promoted to the coral belt. The key to reaching the coral belt is more than just becoming an outstanding practitioner, it involves going deeper into the development of the art. Students must help with the growth of the sport, by reinventing concepts, or growing the art exponentially within their region. It is not an easy feat, but nevertheless if a student persists and continues to persevere, then it is a possible achievement. 

Let Coral Belt Master Pedro Sauer unlock the secrets of the mount position for you!

coral belt jiu jitsu

The coral belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is one of the highest honours that a BJJ practitioner can be awarded. Only a small group of extremely respected and exceptional practitioners will ever reach this level of BJJ. But if a student begins young and never gives up then they can reach this extremely rare and illustrious level of highly experienced coral belt practitioners. 

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