BJJ is the acronym for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which is a form of martial arts that is developed to overcome other martial artists. This is quite an extensive discipline of martial arts that will help you overcome your opponent.
This form of martial arts will keep you quite fit even if you are not interested in becoming a competing martial artist. Here, we are interested in finding out how many black belts there are in the world of martial arts. If you are interested too, just keep reading to find out how many Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belts there are around the world.
So, How Many BJJ Black Belts Are There?
It is not easy to say how many BJJ black belts there are, but an estimation shows that there could be more than 100,000. However, not all black belts are registered with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, so it is quite difficult to accurately say.
In the US alone, there are about 3,000 BJJ schools that are training active students, and many of them have black belt leaders. The problem lies with the fact that it is not known how many black belts each school in the US has.
Some black belts may even quit their training after attaining the rank of black belt, so they are not even active anymore. It takes an average of about 10 years to get to the rank of black belt. Of course, some may go faster, and others may go slower.
To determine the number of black belts in the US alone, you would have to go to every school and find out how many are active. That is not even practical to do in the US, but then you have to consider that there are thousands of BJJ schools around the world who also have their own number of black belts.
Unfortunately, it is not that easy to determine the number of BJJ black belts because not every black belt registers it when they achieve it. Those registered with the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation only amount to about 4,000 from around the world, which is only a small percentage of active black belts.
While the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation tries to function as a single governing body, many schools are not registered. It is believed that the majority of schools, some of them being Gracie schools, are not certified at all.
Some of those nearly 3,000 BJJ schools in the US alone are also not certified and are also part of the Gracie academies. To determine the number of black belts, you can only try to estimate the number of schools and the number of black belts in every school.
How Do They Count?
There are many organizations around the world, and the International Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Federation is just one of many. This causes quite a problem when you try to estimate the number of black belts that are still active around the world.
Some of these organizations are not even known to the rest of the BJJ population, and that makes it even more difficult. In the meantime, the number of BJJ schools is growing every year, and each of them will eventually train and develop black belts.
As you can see, the dilemma of counting BJJ black belts around the world is becoming more difficult every year. Getting a black belt in BJJ is seen as an achievement, but many may not even register the graduation of a black belt candidate.
The belt itself is proof of the achievement, so there are no certificates issued by the academies to their students. Therefore, the student is then not registered with any of the organizations and not recorded by any of them.
Estimated Total Black Belts
Take into consideration that there are about 4,000 black belts registered with the International Brazilain Jiu-Jitsu Federation and only 1 in 10 people around the world is registered. This will bring us to a total of around 40,000 black belts with the IBJJF only, and that does not even count those from other disciplines.
One example of other schools is the Gracie Academy, which may also have some registered and unregistered black belts. In reality, you can probably double the amount we just mentioned to estimate how many BJJ black belts there are.
This is still an unrealistic figure, though, and this number could possibly be tripled or even quadrupled. If we assume that there are three different organizations like the IBJJF around the world, there could be more than 120,000 BJJ black belts around the world.
As you can see, it is not easy to give an exact total of BJJ black belts around the world. We can only speculate. There are some organizations that are trying to keep a record, but that will take some time to get sorted out. But either way, it is safe to say that there are way more than what we initially thought, showing just how awesome this sport really is.