BJJ Purple Belt | What It Means To Be A Purple Belt?
In contrast to the excessive number of articles discussing what it means to be a white belt or blue belt, I wanted to discuss something no one really talks about, what it means to be a purple belt.
When this topic came to mind, I was thinking about why this isn’t a commonly discussed theme in the Jiu Jitsu community. If you read a lot about Jiu Jitsu, you have probably seen dozens, if not hundreds of articles defining the role of being a white belt, blue belt, and black belt.
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Purple belts and brown belts tend to be the least discussed of the bunch, so here we go.
When I was a white and blue belt, I always looked at purple belts as more than just someone one rank or two ranks greater than me. There was always something more.
Purple belts seemed like amateur black belts in the sense that they were executing high level techniques and sequences, just without the same level of mastery as a blackbelt.
The first element of being a purple belt, or at least a good one, is being able to connect techniques. A great grappler knows when to abandon a failing technique while a new student keeps trying to force it. Mastery of this skill is vital for becoming a great jiujitero.
By the time someone becomes a purple belt, they should have developed their own personal style. White belts and blue belts for the most part are just amalgamations of all the techniques they’ve seen and all the people that influenced them. As a purple belt, you develop your own Jiu Jitsu personality.
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Being a purple belt is also the level at which one starts creating and modifying techniques to better fit them. Hence, purple belt is usually where grapplers start getting creative, which only adds to the theme of developing your personal style.
Finally, I think the last element that gets introduced to purple belts which is arguably also the most important is learning how to teach.
Although purple belts are by no means the best instructors, they can provide great insight for many students and can be capable of leading their own classes. I’ve seen purple belts teach better than black belts as teaching requires communication skills more so than content skills.
Check out Gordon’s “Systematically Attacking the Guard”, and while you are at it, you should probably pick up “Getting Swole As A Grappler” his complete meal plan and workout strategy that allowed him to pack on insane amounts of muscle and functional strength. Besides, does anyone not want to be shredded? Yeah…. Didn’t think so.
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