I hear a lot of people asking why kids seem to have different belts than adults do (specifically 16 and up). The adult belts go white, blue, purple, brown, and black. The kids belt go white, grey, yellow, orange, green. Each of the kids belts (besides white) usually have a white stripe variation and a black stripe variation. Why do kids get different belts? What is the thinking, especially because people often get confused when it comes to conversion?

3 Answers 3


Judo also has a different system for kids. I think it's because kids lose interest if they aren't getting promotions frequently.

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    – tye649
    Commented Feb 21, 2020 at 1:04

There are actually a few reasons that kids get different belts. Here are a few:

  1. You are supposed to have the body of an adult before you are able to get your blue belt or anything higher.
  2. Kids classes are often shorter, and since BJJ promotes based on time, there needs to be a way to make up for the extra time that they would have to put in if they were an adult
  3. Kids classes often have more "messing around" than adult classes, so less technique is sometimes learned.
  4. It gives an easy chance for kids to show their exact skill level by the time they turn 16.
  5. Kids are often more likely to lose interest in the martial art if they are not frequently receiving promotions, that's why the first two belts (white and grey-white) take less that 6 months each, and then they start to take about a year each.

To ad to what the previous answers have said, having separate belts for kids increases the "value" of adult belts. A blue belt in BJJ is a great grappler (in most schools). Meanwhile the average blue belt in some other martial arts is a 12 year-old kid who's never had a sparring/rolling session.

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