The IBJJF has just made a major change to the mandatory minimum times that athletes are required to spend at each coloured belt before promotion. While the time-limits will remain the same for the vast majority of athletes on the planet, they will now be making an exception for all adult world champions at their respective belt-levels. This has dramatically reduced the amount of time that it would theoretically take a competitor to reach black belt, but of course this would only be if they are quite literally one of the best grapplers on the planet at each stage as they progress.
Given that there has never been a time requirement for athletes to be promoted to blue belt, this also means that an incredibly talented grappler can now reach purple belt inside of a matter of months. This would only be because they’ve become a world champion at the blue belt level first, so it would be impossible to argue against the promotion anyway really. The news comes just a matter of months after the IBJJF also decided to institute new rules to put an end to closeouts in the finals of divisions as well.
These are the only two major rules changed by the IBJJF in 2022 but they did also make an even bigger amendment in 2021, when they made heelhooks and reaping the knee legal in all adult brown and black belt divisions. Each one of these changes have been a step in the right direction and overall, the willingness to adapt to what competitors and fans want is something that is encouraging to see from the IBJJF at last.
The IBJJF announced the news that they were removing the mandatory minimum belt times for adult coloured belt world champions in a statement posted to their official website:
“In accordance with section 3.1.3, the IBJJF has updated the minimum graduation periods for adult blue, purple, and brown belt athletes. If a blue, purple, or brown belt is an adult World Champion, he or she will no longer have a minimum period at that belt. This change applies only to adult athletes age 18 and up. Please note that the graduation periods for white and black belts remain unchanged.”