BJJ and Judo are two martial arts that people love to compare. It’s a question that novices are especially interested in – in terms of wanting to know which of the two is the better martial art all around. The main way in which progress is gauged in Judo and BJJ is the traditional belt system. There are belts of different colors in both BJJ and Judo.

The fact is that BJJ belts are notoriously difficult to get an upgrade on. It takes several years before a novice practitioner in BJJ can claim a blue belt. We’re not saying that the judo belt system is garbage (which is a case that can easily be made for many modern Karate schools and how easily they give belts to students). But the fact is that Judo belts tend to be slightly easier to upgrade as compared to BJJ belts. So, in a sense, we could say that a BJJ purple belt is the equivalent to a Judo black belt (and of course, there are exceptions to this).

Are BJJ and judo belts the same?

BJJ and Judo belts are very similar, in that they help gauge the progress that a student has made in learning the martial art. However, we must never think that the color of the belt is the most important part about the student. There are BJJ blue belts that can absolutely FLOOR even some BJJ “black belts”. What’s more important, essential even, is the pure level of skill that the student has – and this is much more nuanced than what the belt coloring system can describe. And pretty much the same can be said about Judo belts.

Belts in Judo also have stripes – which signal the level of skill between two belts, with up to four stripes on a color. Judo belts have “kyu” and “dan” progression systems. But the main thing about the belts that holds true for both martial arts is the fact that they are used to measure progress in skill.

Is a purple belt good in BJJ??

A purple belt in BJJ is good only if it offers a genuine assessment of the practitioner’s skill. Literally the same can be said about a Judo black belt. So, the main question that we have here is whether a purple belt in BJJ would fare better than a black belt in Judo.

Well, even though there are similarities between BJJ and Judo – such as various moves and positions – there are some major differences, as well. After all, these two are different martial arts. Judo is focused more on the standing part of the fight game, while BJJ is focused on the grappling part.

So, if it’s a street fight, then the Judoka would have an advantage over his opponent while standing up, as he is much more skilled in throwing his opponent to the ground (perhaps on the concrete) and ending the fight on the spot. But if things get to the ground and the BJJ purple belt survives the throw, then it’s BJJ territory from then on. Since BJJ purple belts are known to have practiced thousands of hours in the worst possible positions in the ground, they will have no problem battling the Judoka black belt. And since some moves that are completely legal in BJJ are forbidden in Judo, we feel that the BJJ purple belt would have enough skills to destroy the Judo black belt if the fight gets to the ground.

But of course, this is a generalized analysis and there ought to be some major differences and variables between different BJJ purple belts and Judo black belts. But the main thing to realize is that, on average, the Judokas are much more skilled in throwing and tripping people than their BJJ counterparts. And vice-versa – when the fight gets to the ground.