How Long Does It Take To Get A Red Belt In Judo?

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Judo has one of the most extensive belt progressions in martial arts. You might wonder, how long does it take to get a red belt in Judo?

3 to 10 years of dedicated Judo training is needed to be a red belt. You will need to pass 16 belt levels, 10 belt colors, and 6 level degrees during that period. To have a red belt, you’re required to master all Judo moves.

Are you planning to be the next Judo master in your area? Let’s get right into it. 

How long does it take to get a red belt?

It will take roughly 3 to 10 years of training to achieve a Judo red belt. 3 years if you’re dedicated to what you’re doing and are in the gym almost 24/7. But 10 years if you’ll take Judo as a hobby.

Judo has 16 belt ranks; the highest is the red belt. You’ll have to start at the lowest, which is the brown belt. 

You’ll have to master all Judo fundamentals and advanced techniques to be a Judo red belt. This includes all the throws, grabs, and joint locks. 

Each specific move will most likely take you a month of repetitions and drills to master it. 

Some more complex moves like the Kawazu Gake (the most painful Judo throw) will take you more than a month to polish. 

How do you qualify for a promotion?

Judoka standing in a line with different belt colors

There are a total of 68 Judo throw techniques you need to learn to become a red belt. Also, consider the joint locks that need to be associated with these throws.

Knowing these moves isn’t enough to be promoted. Your master must first see that you deserve to be promoted. 

In the process of being a red belt, you must exhibit a good presence of mind during sparring sessions. You must know how to adapt to a particular situation and use specific throws that fit. 

How hard is it to get a red belt?

A loosely tied Judo red belt

On a scale of 1 to 10, achieving a Judo red belt will have a solid score of 10. It’ll also most likely take 10 years of your life to achieve this height. 

Going to the gym and doing the bare minimum isn’t enough to be a red belt. You must work hard for it by training regularly and absorbing the knowledge your master teaches you. You must make Judo a part of your life. 

You can’t just go to a Judo gym, buy a red belt and wear it to flex on your friends on social media. You must earn it with blood, sweat, and tears. 

Mastering 68 Judo throws is not as easy as learning a jab straight and hook combo in Boxing. You’ll need over a hundred repetitions and drills to have a good grasp of the move.

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After these repetitions, you will still find flaws in your game that you will need to polish yourself. So you will also need a good level of self-understanding to be a red belt.

If you’re a person who’s hardly dedicated to anything, then being a Judo red belt is an impossible goal to achieve for you.

But if you want to achieve something, you will do anything, no matter what, just to achieve it.

What grade is red belt in Judo?

A red belt in Judo is the highest grade or level you can achieve as a Judo practitioner. It is a part of the 16 total belt levels you must surpass. 

10 of that 16 belt levels are separate color progression, and the remaining 6 are black belt degree and red belt combined. 

The unusually long rank progression makes it hard for an ordinary person to reach a red belt. It also makes Judo one of the martial arts with the most extensive rank systems.

Is red belt good in Judo?

Judoka wearing a white Gi and red belt

Being a Judo red belt means you’re very good at what you’re doing. Wearing a red belt means you’ve mastered all basic and advanced Judo moves.

Being a red belt also qualifies you to teach lower-ranked Judo specialists. This means you’re good enough to pass down the knowledge that you know to other martial artists.

A red belt is also expected to adapt to certain fight situations using all the throws and lock joints they know.

Can a red belt in Judo win a street fight?

A Judo red belt can easily win a street fight, especially against a guy who with no martial arts experience or lower Judo experience. 

But Judo relies on wearing a Gi, most of the time. There isn’t so many No-Gi options in Judo. So a red belt could be ineffective with less throwing options without a Gi to grab.

Judo is a great martial art for self-defense when you know what you’re doing. You can quickly immobilize any aggressive opponent with the right Judo throw and joint lock.

But if a Judo red belt fights a BJJ black belt, the red belt might lose. This is because Jiu-Jitsu has a more diverse move set, such as takedowns and more choke holds, so fighting them on the ground is not a practical thing to do. 

Is Judo effective in MMA?

Judo can be used effectively in MMA. Judo hip throws and joint locks have been used inside the cage. Famous UFC fighters also use Judo techniques, such as Ronda Rousey, Vitor Belfort, and Yoshihiro Akiyama.

MMA fighters use Judo throws mainly to transition the fight to the ground. From there, joint lock openings and ground and pound opportunities will be available. 

The most dominant UFC Lightweight, Khabib Nurmagomedov, uses Judo moves to dominate his opponents to the ground. 

Is red belt better than black?

The red belt is the highest rank you can achieve in Judo. It is one level above the black belt

A red belt knows more advanced moves than a black belt; it’s also expected that the red belt has a more polished style in executing various Judo moves. 

There are rare cases where there’s no red belt. This will happen if a gym decides to go on its own way of teaching Judo.

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