BJJ Coral Belt (What It Means & How To Get It)

Many people believe the black belt is the final rank in Brazilian jiu-jiu and martial arts using a belt ranking system in general. Not only do black belts have degrees, but at a certain point, the colors change into what is known as the coral belt. So, what does it signify?

The BJJ coral belt is the 7th and 8th degree of the black belt. The 7th-degree colors are black and red, while the 8th-degree is white and red. It is a highly prestigious rank only a few masters with exceptional achievements and contributions to art can achieve.

Such a high degree is out of reach for most practitioners, even dedicated ones, but I will explain what the coral belt means, how long it takes to become one, and list some of the more distinguished coral belts even amongst this elite company.

What Is The BJJ Coral Belt

BJJ is known to have a tough belt ranking system with years in between promotions, and the coral belt is another proof of that. The first BJJ coral belt is a 7th-degree black belt awarded to Jiu-Jitsu masters who have been active black belts for over 30 years. It is also known as the master’s belt.

The coral belt is among the highest ranks in BJJ, surpassed only by the 8th-degree red-and-black belt and the ninth and ten-degree red belt. Let me repeat the timeline- to obtain a coral belt, you need to spend 30 years as a black belt, meaning you are looking at 40 to 45 years of overall BJJ training.

There are two degrees of coral belts. The 7th-degree coral belt is black and red, and a red and white striped belt depicts the 8-th degree coral belt.

The red color represents the blood and passion of the master, while the white color represents his purity and wisdom. The red and white coral belt was introduced in 2013, and the time requirement is 38 years as a black belt.

The coral belt is not a rank you can apply for or test for. It is a rank bestowed upon by other coral or red belts, who recognize your achievements and contributions to the martial art.

The sheer amount of time required to reach the belt makes it a legendary achievement, but just training is not enough.

You must also be an active competitor, instructor, referee, or leader in the BJJ community. You must share your knowledge and skills with others, promote the art, and uphold its values and principles.

You must be in good enough shape to still spar and demonstrate techniques well into your 50s and 60s. In short, you must be a BJJ legend to wear the coral belt.

List Of Coral Belt Recipients

how many coral belts are there in bjj

Here is a list of all the current coral belt holders. With time the list will grow given the ever-rising popularity of BJJ worldwide, but as of 2023, there are 51 7th-degree and 24 8th-degree coral belts, and I am sure there are more that are not under the IBJJF banner.

Here is a list of some of the more popular names wearing the black and red and the white and red belt.

List of 7th-degree coral belts

  1. Royce Gracie
  2. Rolker Gracie
  3. Royler Gracie
  4. Carlos “Caique” Elias
  5. Sergio “Malibu” Jardim
  6. Jean Jacques Machado
  7. Fábio Santos
  8.  Luiz Fux
  9. Aloisio Silva
  10. Fabricio Martins Costa
  11. Carlos Valente: 
  12. Charles Gracie
  13. Ricardo De La Riva
  14. Murilo Bustamante:
  15. Nelson Monteiro
  16. Carlos “Bagana” Lima
  17. Renzo Gracie
  18. Arthur Virgílio Neto
  19. Carlos Gracie, Jr
  20. Carlos Machado:
  21. Derval Luciano Rêgo 
  22. Joe Moreira
  23. Marcus Soares
  24. Romero “Jacare” Cavalcanti
  25. Mauricio Motta Gomes
  26. Luiz Palhares
  27. Pedro Sauer
  28. Márcio Stambowsky
  29. Rigan Machado
  30. Sylvio Behring
  31. Moises Muradi:
  32. Rilion Gracie
  33. Sérgio Penha
  34. Renzo Gracie

How Long Does It Take To Become A Coral Belt?

how long does it take to get a coral belt in bjj

A coral belt takes a lifetime to achieve, but let’s try to calculate a more precise number. A black belt is achieved between 8 and 12 years for most people. Some prodigies make it faster, for example, Demian Maia, who got him in under 5 years, but these people are the exception. In addition, the earliest age you can become a black belt is 19.

To get a 1st degree, a black belt must serve three years as a black belt. The second degree takes another three years, as does the third. The promotion to fourth, fifth- and sixth-degree black belts is another 5 years each.

And finally, the coveted 7th-degree coral belt needs 30 years as a black belt, meaning around 40 years of hard, diligent, and dedicated practice, competition, and coaching in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. So next time you see someone wearing a coral belt (even if just in a photo), recognize the lifetime of dedication it took to earn this highest of honors.

Are There Higher Ranks Than Coral Belt in BJJ?

As much as the coral belt is a huge honor, there are two more ranks in the BJJ hierarchy: the 9th and 10th-degree red belts.

Just like in other martial arts, the highest possible rank is reserved only for the pioneers and creators of the martial art, meaning no one will ever be awarded a 10th degree from now on. The only people at this rank are the pioneering Gracie brothers- Carlos, Helio, Gastao, Jorge, and Oswaldo, none of whom is alive today.

The 9th rank, red, is the highest rank awarded to any current living BJJ practitioner. Despite that, more people still achieved it than you might think, and the number is around 50 (but only 22 are certified by the IBJJF).

The IBJJF requires a practitioner to spend 10 years as a coral belt before being promoted to a red belt. BJJ red belts are known and addressed as grandmasters.


A BJJ coral belt is a rank only a few masters can attain. It is a rank that signifies decades of dedication, hard work, and contribution to the art. It is a rank representing the blood and passion, purity and wisdom, the history and legacy of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The 40 years it takes to reach it and the promotion system in BJJ guarantees only those truly worthy of it will wear a coral belt.