Many grapplers talk about blue belt being the toughest rank in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Blue belt is supposedly the rank where many people feel like quitting because they feel they’re not getting any better. In fact, there is so much talk about the emotional ordeals of blue belts that the BJJ community came up with the term “blue belt blues” to describe just how depressing the first earned belt (for adults) in BJJ can be.
I’ve never supported the claim that blue belt is the hardest belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. In fact, I wrote an article about why the opposite is true.
And it appears I have someone on my side: Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt and IBJJF Champion Bernardo Faria.
According to Faria, purple belt — not blue belt— is the toughest belt in BJJ. Faria argues that purple belt is the belt where people feel they have hit a plateau. It’s also when they realize they’re only halfway to black belt.
The competition is also intense at purple belt. The brackets are bigger than they are at blue and white belt, and purple belt competitors are usually hungrier for the win.
You can listen to Bernardo Faria’s full explanation below:
Also, if you’re a purple belt who feels stuck, you can check out Professor Steven Grossi’s tips on how you can improve your jiu-jitsu journey.