Artemis BJJ Belt Ranks

The grading system in BJJ is meritocratic: your belt is a reflection of your ability to apply technique on fully resisting opponents. This is judged by observing your performance in sparring against a broad range of training partners over an extended period.

Along with that primary criteria, secondary factors like how regularly you train and your behaviour in class are also taken into account. Although it is not essential, if you compete, that is likely to accelerate your progress. BJJ rank is a long journey: it will take roughly a decade to go from white belt to black belt (for more on belts, see here).

A belt should never be an end goal: it is a byproduct of your progression. Always focus on improving your technique rather than hunting for the next belt. With that in mind, as well as successfully applying technique against fully resisting opponents, these are the general elements we want to see in your training before we’ll promote you to blue belt:

  • Control: The number one mistake most beginners make is treating every spar as life or death, clinging on desperately trying not to ‘lose’. Your first priority is to mature beyond that stage, aiming to stay calm and technical when rolling.
  • Consideration:Your training partners are absolutely integral to your progress. You therefore need to treat them with respect, both on and off the mat. That includes stuff like sexist/homophobic/transphobic etc ‘jokes’. None of that foolishness, please. )
  • Also, apply any submissions slowly. If for whatever reason your partner does not tap, let go before it gets to a point where injury could occur. Your number one priority in sparring is your partner’s safety, not seeing how awesomely you can rip their leg off to hang on your wall. 😜
  • Complete: Although at this stage you’re not expected to have a high level of skill in all the many positions of BJJ, you should have some idea of what to do from the standard six positions (mount, back, side control, closed guard, half guard and open guard). Aim for at least two options (e.g., a couple of guard passes, side control escapes, submissions from the back, etc).
  • Consistency: If we only ever see you once every few months, then you are unlikely to progress. Try and make it at least once a week, ideally twice.



Can Sönmez (Roger Gracie & Kev Capel, March 2011)
Chris Jackson (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)


Milka Dimitrova (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Kirsty Harris (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Ruth McGowan (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Mathew Johnston (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Matt Houghton (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Sam Grayson (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Tristan Moss (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Steven Tonks (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Erick Soto (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Simon Shakespeare (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Oscar Sommer (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)
Mike Bull (Kev Capel & Can Sönmez, Jun 2017)



June 2017

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Bristol BJJ