A Complete Breakdown of the White Belt Stripes in BJJ

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a form of martial art that focuses on ground combat and grappling. It is a journey that allows you to explore yourself, be disciplined, and never stop learning. Achieving each milestone along this journey is marked by the BJJ belt system, which starts with the white belt and its stripes.

A BJJ white belt has four stripes. They show how much the practitioner has improved and progressed in the sport. It can take from three to six months to get each stripe, depending on the person’s abilities.

This article will explore the importance of stripes on a white belt in BJJ, the process for achieving them, and what every stripe stands for. Keep reading to find out more!

White Belt In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

The white belt begins a journey in BJJ. It is where learners are exposed to the fundamentals of martial art, from the basics of technique to the fundamentals of power and domination.

However, the white belt is more than just one rank in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It is divided into various levels, which are indicated by stripes.

These stripes signal a student’s development before moving on to the next belt level.

Related: This article delves into the Brazilian jiu-jitsu belt ranking system. It emphasizes the meaning of the belts and the progression timeline to help you have the best training experience possible. Learn More Right Now!

What Do BJJ White Belt Stripes Mean?

White belts with stripes in BJJ are a sign of growth and achievement. They are a way of honoring the learner’s commitment, mastery of techniques, and appreciation of the discipline.

Every stripe on the belt is like a benchmark on the individual’s journey to the higher belt level, acting as a source of inspiration and a measure of advancement.

How Many Stripes on a BJJ White Belt?

A white belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can have up to four stripes. Gaining each stripe calls for dedication to practice, skill level, and fulfilling the instructor’s criteria.

White Belt BJJ Stripes Requirements

White belts can earn stripes on their belts to signify progress and acknowledge their development. But, there are several requirements for earning those rank levels.

1st White Belt Stripe

Achieving the first stripe on a white belt is a major accomplishment, signifying the student’s dedication to practice and developing their technical skills. Typically, a new student should understand core Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu concepts and techniques.

Here are a few tactics to focus on for the first stage of your BJJ white belt journey.

  • Basic Positions: Start gasping for knowledge about some basic positions in BJJ, such as the closed guard and half guard.
  • Basic Jiu-jitsu move: improving your execution of fundamental Brazilian jiu-jitsu moves such as hip-escape, bridge, shoulder rolls, etc.
  • Submissions: Gather information about some of the most important submissions to learn as a BJJ white belt, which are the armbar, the rear naked choke, the triangle choke, the kimura, and the Americana.
  • Escapes: Gather information on escaping the basic BJJ positions, such as escaping the mount, side control, back mount, etc.
  • Sweeps: Knowing some basic sweeps from closed guard: The scissor sweep, flower sweep, or pendulum sweep.
  • Guard Passes: Know some basic guard passes: Toreando pass, knee-slide pass, double-under pass, tripod pass from half guard.

Although the instructor’s demands may differ, they typically look for an adequate level of knowledge and expertise in the fundamentals.

2nd White Belt Stripe

To progress to the second stripe, it is necessary to maintain regular training and to develop more excellent technical skills. By this time, the student should be able to perform basic moves smoothly and begin to learn more intricate techniques.

Here are a few tactics to focus on for the second stage of your BJJ white belt journey.

  • Basic Positions and Movements: You must be familiar with the fundamental positions in BJJ, including the guard, side control, and mount. Additionally, it would be best to be skilled in basic movements like shrimping, bridging, and rolling.
  • Sweeps and Submissions: At this point, you should begin to try performing sweeps and submissions. You may not be able to pull them off flawlessly, but you should understand the principles and be capable of trying them during practice.
  • Escapes: It’s a good idea to have a few strategies in your repertoire for getting out of trouble. This includes escaping the mount, side control, and back mount.
  • Guard Passes: You should know some fundamental guard passing techniques, such as the stack pass, toreando pass, and knee cut.
  • Specific Techniques: At this stage, students commonly learn techniques such as the scissor sweep, hip bump sweep, armbar, triangle, and kimura.

Above all, the instructor’s criteria for awarding the second stripe usually include displaying a greater comprehension of BJJ and showing progress in sparring.

3rd White Belt Stripe

The third stripe proves the student’s dedication and evolution in BJJ. Regular practice is a must, and the technical skill needed is greater.

The 3rd stripe on your BJJ white belt is when you add new techniques to your repertoire. Here are some key strategies you should learn:

  • Positions: You should be familiar with postures like the closed guard, open guard, half-guard, side-control, mount, back-mount, knee-on-belly, and butterfly guard.
  • Sweeps: It would be advantageous to perfect your moves, such as the hip-bump, scissor, tripod, pendulum, lumberjack, and butterfly sweep.
  • Passes: You should be capable of performing passes such as the toreando, stack pass, leg drag, knee-cut, and step-through.
  • Escapes: You should be proficient in executing maneuvers such as bridging, shrimping, technical stand-up, knee-elbow, triangle defense, and back mount escape.
  • Submissions: You should perfect your submissions such as the armbar, triangle choke, kimura, omoplata, Americana, bow and arrow, rear-naked choke, collar choke, and arm-lock.

It is crucial to not only be familiar with these BJJ techniques but also to comprehend when and how to use them correctly. Repetition and training are essential to expertly executing these techniques and achieving your third stripe.

4th White Belt Stripe

The fourth and last stripe on the white belt demonstrates that the student is ready to move up to the following belt. It shows excellent progress in techniques and a strategic way of sparring.

For the fourth stripe on your BJJ white belt, continue to learn and use the basic techniques you’ve learned. Try these key techniques:

  • Positional Control: It is essential to know the various postures used in controlling positions, such as guard, side control, knee-on-belly, north-south, mount, and back mount.
  • Escapes: You should be competent in executing defensive maneuvers such as trap and roll, elbow/knee escapes, bridging, and shrimping.
  • Transitions: You should be able to move from one position to the next efficiently. For instance, advancing from side control to mount, attacking from the back, etc.
  • Submissions: You should perfect the Americana, armlock, armbar, kimura, rear naked choke, bow n’ arrow, loop choke, and triangle choke submissions.
  • Sweeps: You should be able to do multiple sweeps from different positions, like the elevator sweep, double ankle sweep, lumberjack sweep, and tripod.
  • Guard Pulling: You should feel confident in your ability to perform guard pulling.
  • Defense: It is essential to know neck and arm defense, framing, underhooks, and posture.

Remember, it’s not just about knowing these techniques but also about knowing when and how to use them. Consistent training and practice are required to earn your fourth stripe.

What Factors Lead to Earning Stripes on a BJJ White Belt?

Gaining stripes on a white belt BJJ isn’t only about the duration spent practicing on the mat. It includes being devoted, having technical skills, and demonstrating success in sparring.

  • Training Consistency: Maintaining a certain level of commitment to training in BJJ is essential. By training with regularity, students can become more adept with techniques, develop better conditioning, and build upon their skills in sparring.
  • Technical Knowledge: A student needs to have a firm grasp of the techniques and fundamentals of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This includes awareness of holds, movement between positions, holds for submission, and methods to defend oneself.
  • Understanding of BJJ Principles: BJJ is more than just techniques; it’s also a game of strategy and understanding principles. These principles include concepts like leverage, positioning, and timing. To earn stripes, you need to understand these principles well.
  • Sparring Performance: Sparing is an opportunity for students to display what they have learned practically. How one performs in these sessions can affect one’s chances of being given stripes, showcasing proficiency in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
  • Instructor’s Requirements: BJJ participants must be aware of and follow the criteria set forth by their instructor or school to gain stripes. These may include attendance, attitude, or achievement in specific events or competitions.

Related: A Jiu Jitsu Belt Display is a decorative item that serves as a visual representation of a practitioner’s progression and achievements. Click here to learn about the best jiu-jitsu belt display to show your progress!

BJJ Stripes White Belt: How Long?

It may take anywhere from three to six months for someone to achieve each stripe on a white belt, depending on their capacity to meet the expectations.

Related: Moving up to the next jiu-jitsu belt requires years of practice, dedication, and determination. Click here to learn more about the BJJ belt progression timeline.

Does Every BJJ School Use Stripes?

Many schools find the stripe system to be an effective motivator for students, and it also provides a way to track progress as one moves up the ranks.

However, some BJJ schools prefer to take a broader view and focus on the transition from one belt to the next.

Related: The quality of training and instruction provided by Brazilian jiu-jitsu schools varies from one gym to another. This article will help you find the best BJJ gyms to help you achieve your grappling goals.


Achieving the stripes on a white belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu requires steadfast commitment and stamina. Every stripe symbolizes a step forward in training and comprehension, reflecting the student’s devotion, aptitude, and mastery.

With each stripe, the practitioner’s understanding and skill in this intricate and gratifying martial art progresses.

The difficulty of the journey is outweighed by the result, which brings skill, discipline, and an improved sense of self-assurance.

Related: The white to blue belt path in Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be challenging! Achieving the blue belt requirements is a huge accomplishment since it allows you to become a formidable fighter who can relax, attack, and defend from various jiu-jitsu positions. Click here to find out more!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Significance of Stripes in BJJ?

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, stripes are a way to signify someone’s expertise, comprehension, and practice within their current belt level.

The color of the belt is indicative of a practitioner’s overall skill level, while the stripes offer a more thorough analysis of their development.

How Long Does It Take to Get Each Stripe White Belt BJJ?

It can take from three to six months to get each white belt stripe in BJJ. However, the time required to gain each stripe can differ significantly, based on such things as the time on the mat, how quickly someone grasps the technical aspect of jiu-jitsu, etc.

How Long Does It Take to Get the First Stripe White Belt BJJ?

The first white belt stripe is typically the easiest to achieve, as it signifies mastery of the fundamentals and methods of Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Through steady instruction, it is generally achievable within 3 to 6 months.

How Long Does It Take to Get the 2nd Stripe White Belt BJJ?

To fully grasp the second stripe, one must practice the techniques regularly for an extra 3 to 5 months. This will provide a confident and smoother execution of them.

How Long Does It Take to Get the 3rd Stripe White Belt BJJ?

To become proficient in BJJ, a student must have a thorough knowledge of the principles and be able to use them effectively in sparring. Usually, you can accomplish this milestone in 3 to 5 months of regular practice.

How Long Does It Take to Get the 4th Stripe White Belt BJJ?

The fourth stripe highlights readiness to advance to the next belt. You need to gain the necessary proficiency and tactical sparring skills, it will require consistent practice of 4-6 months.

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