Belt System In BJJ & Muay Thai

GRADING!  (This is what we call the events where you level up in the belt system in BJJ & Muay Thai) – Here’s why it’s so important…


James Jarvie, TFC co-owner shares his perspective on the belt system in BJJ & Muay ThaiAs the co-owner of The Fight Centre (TFC) in Brisbane, I’ve seen firsthand how martial arts gradings can transform lives. Gradings are more than just a test of skill—they are a journey of self-discovery, discipline, and perseverance.

At TFC, we emphasize the significance of martial arts gradings in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) as vital milestones in a student’s progression.

In this article, I want to share my perspective on why gradings are important, how our system works, and how they help our students strive towards their goals in Logan City.

Understanding Martial Arts Gradings

Martial arts gradings are a traditional method of assessing a student’s progress and skill level. In many martial arts disciplines, such as Karate or Tae Kwon Do, the belt system serves as a visual representation of a practitioner’s journey. Similarly, in BJJ and Muay Thai at TFC, we use a structured belt and singlet system to symbolize our students’ dedication and achievements.

Belt System in BJJ & Muay Thai at TFC

In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the belt system is universally recognized, with ranks progressing from white to black belt. Each belt represents a significant step in mastering techniques and understanding the art. The journey to a black belt in BJJ is rigorous, demanding both time and effort.

In contrast, Muay Thai traditionally does not have a standardized grading system. However, at TFC, we have developed our own grading system to provide structure and goals for our students. Inspired by the BJJ belt system, our Muay Thai rankings progress through white, blue, purple, brown, and black singlets, with additional intermediate levels to mark progress more frequently.

How to Progress in Muay Thai and BJJ

Progressing in Muay Thai: To advance in our Muay Thai program, students must demonstrate proficiency in various techniques, including strikes, blocks, and combinations. Regular attendance and dedication are crucial. Our grading system is loosely based on the number of classes attended, but skill level, natural athleticism, and fight experience also play significant roles. For example:

  • White to Blue 1 Singlet: Approximately 40 classes
  • Blue 1 to Blue 2 Singlet: Approximately 80 classes
  • Blue 2 to Purple 1 Singlet: Approximately 160 classes
  • Purple 1 to Purple 2 Singlet: Approximately 280 classes
  • Purple 2 to Brown 1 Singlet: Approximately 440 classes
  • Brown 1 to Brown 2 Singlet: Approximately 620 classes
  • Brown 2 to Black Singlet: Approximately 800 classes, awarded at the coach’s discretion

BJJ Black Belt, pro MMA fighter, and TFC instructor - Diego Pereira, teaching an afternoon BJJ Gi class at TFC

Progressing in BJJ: The path to a black belt in BJJ is similarly structured but requires consistent effort and a deep understanding of the art. Students must master techniques, spar effectively, and show a comprehensive knowledge of BJJ principles. Each belt level signifies a higher level of proficiency and commitment.

How to Get to a Black Singlet or Black Belt

Earning a Black Singlet in Muay Thai: Achieving a black singlet in Muay Thai at TFC is a significant accomplishment. It requires years of training, consistent performance, and the ability to teach and inspire others. The journey is demanding but immensely rewarding. At TFC, it took Ben and myself over three years of intense training to receive our black singlets, often training more than four times a week.

Earning a Black Belt in BJJ: The black belt in BJJ is one of the most respected and challenging achievements in martial arts. It represents a deep mastery of techniques and a profound understanding of the art. The journey can take over a decade, but each step is a testament to the practitioner’s dedication and passion.

Why Gradings Matter

Setting Goals and Working Towards Them: Gradings provide clear, achievable goals for students. Knowing what is required to progress to the next level helps students stay focused and motivated.

Building Confidence and Self-Esteem: Successfully passing a grading boosts confidence and self-esteem. It is a recognition of hard work and perseverance, which can be incredibly empowering.

Motivating Students to Improve: The desire to progress to the next level motivates students to practice regularly and strive for continuous improvement. Gradings challenge students to push their limits and achieve their full potential.


How the belt system in BJJ & Muay Thai is done at TFC - A Muay Thai class at The Fight Centre

TFC’s Approach to Gradings

At TFC, we take a holistic approach to gradings. Our assessments include demonstrating proficiency in techniques, understanding martial arts principles, and physical fitness. Sparring is also a crucial component, allowing students to apply what they have learned in real-life scenarios.

Our next grading day is on July 20th. The Muay Thai grading will be from 8-10am, followed by the BJJ grading from 10:30-12:30. We are making it a community event with spectators welcome and a food truck on-site. This is an excellent opportunity for our students to showcase their skills and for the community to come together in support.


Gradings are an integral part of the martial arts journey at The Fight Centre. They symbolize growth, dedication, and achievement. Whether you’re progressing through the belt system in BJJ or advancing through the singlet levels in Muay Thai, each step is a milestone worth celebrating. As we continue to build and grow our community in Logan City, Brisbane, and beyond, we remain committed to providing our students with the support and guidance they need to succeed. Join us at TFC and embark on your journey towards mastery in martial arts.