BJJ Gradings



ISOHEALTH BJJ/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Lineage

Before explaining the details of our BJJ/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu gradings at ISOHEALTH we would like to pay respect to our lineage at ISOHEALTH. That lineage is:

Carlos Gracie Senior > Crolin Gracie > Tiago Ferreira > Matt Jones > You!

We feel both privileged and honoured to be so close to the origins of BJJ/Gracie Jiu-Jitsu and are humbled to be a part of this great lineage, we hope you will be too!


BJJ Belts & Rankings

Our ranking system follows the traditional BJJ system of belt + 4 stripes. In BJJ it will usually take a person 1.5 – 3.0 years to progress from belt to belt and an average of approximately 10 – 12 years of solid training to attain ones black belt.
beltsGrading criteria can vary between BJJ schools and organisations, some may base their grading on a person’s proficiency in self defence while others may base their grading criteria on a person’s performance in BJJ competition. Other schools will even award belts on nothing more than “time served” or a person’s knowledge of techniques without giving consideration to their ability to perform against a resisting opponent (thankfully it’s rare in BJJ to find someone given a rank without having proven themselves in sparring/rolling).
It is understandable for each school/organisation to have their own unique set of criteria for awarding rank BUT at ISOHEALTH we believe the true hallmark of the BJJ grading system is to be able to perform well against a resistant opponent. With that in mind we must emphasise that at ISOHEALTH:

  • You will not be given a belt based on how much money you have put in to your training
  • You will not be given a belt just because you’ve been around a long time
  • You won’t even be given a belt just because you did great in a competition!


How does ISOHEALTH award stripes & belts?

To be awarded a stripe or belt at ISOHEALTH you will need to be able to satisfy ALL of the following criteria:

  • Ability to perform to a given standard in BJJ sparring against a resistant opponent
  • Ability to demonstrate and apply BJJ technical knowledge & concepts relevant to your level
  • Ability to perform to a high standard in self defence oriented situations
  • A good attitude!


Sparring Performance:

This is the most commonly used tool of assessment in BJJ throughout the world. BJJ is a performance based martial art where the grades are indicative that a person has a good level of performance against a fully resistant opponent of similar size, age, gender and rank. Generally speaking if you can beat approximately 90% of people in your current age, weight and belt division in a full resistance BJJ sparring session then you are well on your way to earning your next stripe or belt.
Special considerations may be given to individuals who have had previous grappling experience (e.g. wrestling or judo), however a minimum level of performance must be achieved and from that point on consideration is given to size, athletic background, injury history, etc.

Technical Knowledge/Understanding:

To progress through the ranks at ISOHEALTH you must possess knowledge of certain techniques, concepts and principles appropriate to the level you are grading for. This is important because technical knowledge and detail is what makes BJJ the art that it is. Someone can be a very effective grappler due their size and strength or years of experience in Freestyle Wrestling as opposed to their knowledge of BJJ. This is why at ISOHEALTH we look at both sparring performance as well as technical knowledge in the grading process.
This also means that your sparring effectiveness in criteria number one must show you using proper BJJ technique in the process of you performing well in sparring as opposed to relying on size, weight, strength and or speed to ‘patch up’ holes in your BJJ technique.


Having a good attitude to training means that you can maximise your training experience. A great attitude means:

  • Respecting other people – both at and outside of training
  • Having no ego – there is no place for ego in the sport of BJJ, every BJJ practitioner will get caught at one time or another but we all learn from our mistakes. Being a sore loser will not make you a better fighter
  • Being a great training partner – everyone trains with each other at ISOHEALTH and everyone has something you can learn from whether they are a day-one beginner or a black belt. People always want to train with great training partners as they help others to progress their skills, they can train safely and know they will have a fun time
  • Training for the right reasons – if your aim is to become a better bully or a troublemaker, ISOHEALTH is not the place for you!


Self Defence Proficiency:

Self defence proficiency is very important in the early levels of your BJJ rank, particularly for the first few stripes on your white belt. As you advance through the ranks the emphasis shifts from being self defence focused to being more focused on the art of fighting another BJJ practitioner in a BJJ setting (i.e. under the rules of/training parameters of sport BJJ). Although the early emphasis in the early ranks is on self defence this doesn’t mean you can’t do well in sports BJJ in your early days. A number of our team members have performed extremely well in sports BJJ competition within their first few months of training by using their fundamental, self defence based BJJ skills.
You will actually find that these days it is very common for people to progress through the ranks of BJJ without having to possess any self defence skills, instead only being skilled in the sports version of BJJ. This is a personal choice, however at ISOHEALTH we believe that having sound self defence skills is an integral part of the art of BJJ.


Does ISOHEALTH have set grading days or assessments?

At ISOHEALTH we DO NOT have set grading days or assessments. Instead your instructor will be paying close attention to your progress at all times and when you reach a level where you consistently meet the criteria for a given rank you will be awarded that rank. Your rank will be awarded to you in class where the rest of the ISOHEALTH can celebrate your achievement in your BJJ training!


Does ISOHEALTH charge for gradings?

No, at ISOHEALTH we do not charge for gradings. Stripe/s and belts are also awarded free of charge.


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