The BJJ coral belt is one of the most prestigious ranks in all of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. It takes years of hard work and dedication to reach this rank that only a handful of practitioners have achieved.
Here is everything you need to know about the BJJ coral belt. We’ll answer commonly asked questions about the BJJ coral belt and list some of the famous athletes that hold the rank.
- 1 What is the BJJ Coral Belt?
- 2 Are There Higher Ranks Than Coral Belt in BJJ?
- 3 List of Coral Belt Recipients
- 3.1 Royce Gracie
- 3.2 Crolin Gracie
- 3.3 Renzo Gracie
- 3.4 Royler Gracie
- 3.5 Rillion Gracie
- 3.6 Carlos Gracie Jr
- 3.7 Rolker Gracie
- 3.8 Marcio Stambowsky
- 3.9 Fabio Santos
- 3.10 Yvone Duarte
- 3.11 Sergio Penha
- 3.12 Mauricio Gomes
- 3.13 Murilo Bustamante
- 3.14 Carlos Machado
- 3.15 Jean Jacques Machado
- 3.16 Rigan Machado
- 3.17 Roger Machado
- 3.18 John Machado
- 3.19 Pedro Sauer
- 3.20 Sylvio Behring
- 3.21 Ricardo De La Riva
- 3.22 Fabio Gurgel
- 3.23 Romero Cavalcanti
- 3.24 Joe Moreira
- 3.25 Paulo Caruso
- 3.26 Carlos Rollyson
- 3.27 Cosmo Dias
- 3.28 Ricardo Calvacanti
- 3.29 Sergio “Malibu” Jardim
- 3.30 Marcio Dos Santos
What is the BJJ Coral Belt?
The BJJ coral belt is actually a group of belts that make up the 7th and 8th black belt ranks. They are some of the most prestigious ranks other than the 9th degree red belt.
It takes at least over thirty years of training as a black belt to achieve these ranks. Very few BJJ instructors have reached these ranks, which makes it an honor to achieve these prestigious belts.
7th Rank Coral Belt
The BJJ 7th rank Coral belt is the first of two coral belts that are in the martial art. This belt is a mix of black and white stripes that is similar to the color pattern of a coral snake. Hence, why the 7th degree rank is referred to as the coral belt.
As a black belt, you are considered an expert at most facets of Jiu Jitsu. But to reach the coral belt, you will have to demonstrate a lifetime dedication to Jiu Jitsu as a teacher.
The minimum requirement to become a 7th rank coral belt in BJJ is to be black belt for 31 years. Not only a black belt, but an instructor that has been teaching Jiu Jitsu for over three decades.
8th Rank Coral Belt
In 2013, the IBJJF would add a second coral belt after the 7th degree rank. The 8th degree BJJ coral belt is a white and red striped belt.
The minimum qualification for the 8th rank coral belt is to be a teacher of Jiu Jitsu for 38+ years. Seven more than the requirement for the 7th rank coral belt.
It is incredibly rare to see a BJJ practitioner reach the 8th rank coral belt rank. Combined with the years at the colored belts, you would have to be a BJJ practitioner for nearly 50 years.
This is why most of the Jiu Jitsu practitioners that have received the honor are well into their 50s or 60s. Most in BJJ will never achieve the coral belt ranks in their lifetime.
Are There Higher Ranks Than Coral Belt in BJJ?
After the coral belt, there is the ninth degree red belt that is the rarest rank to hold in all of Jiu Jitsu. Only a little over 50 practitioners have earned this rank in the history of Jiu Jitsu.
It is the highest rank that a BJJ practitioner can achieve. There is also the 10th rank BJJ red belt, but there’s are reserved for the creators and pioneers of Jiu Jitsu.
Only seven people have held the 10th degree master rank. Carlos Gracie Sr, Helio Gracie, Gastao Gracie, George Gracie, Oswaldo Gracie, and Luiz Franca Filho. Oswaldo Fadda was also awarded the 10th degree rank, but earned it posthumously.
List of Coral Belt Recipients
There have been less than a hundred coral belts that have been awarded in the history of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Here is a short list of some of the famous recipients of the coral belt and short bios on each one.
The MMA pioneer and first UFC champion and son of co-creator Helio Gracie. Royce is currently a 7th degree coral belt in BJJ and will likely reach the red belt in his lifetime.
Crolin Gracie, the son of Carlos Gracie was one of the best in the family right alongside Rickson Gracie. An illness would keep him from competing and becoming more known to the world. As of now, Crolin holds the 8th degree red and white coral belt in BJJ.
The MMA and BJJ legend Renzo Gracie is one of the most known and popular members of the Gracie family. Renzo currently holds the rank of 7th degree coral belt in BJJ.
Royler Gracie was one the all time best BJJ competitors in the history of the sport. As of now, Royler is a 8th degree coral belt in BJJ.
Rillion Gracie is the youngest son of Carlos Sr and a former BJJ champion. The BJJ coral belt is considered one of the best guard players within the Gracie family.
Carlos Gracie Jr
Carlos Gracie Jr is an 8th degree red and white coral belt in BJJ. He is most known for founding Gracie Barra, the IBJJF, and Jiu-Jitsu Magazine.
Rolker is the son of Helio Gracie who is currently an 8th degree red and white coral belt. He is most known as being one of the head members of the Gracie Humaita affiliation.
Marcio Stambowsky is one of the few grapplers in the world to be awarded a black belt from Rolls Gracie. Stambowsky currently holds the rank of 8th degree red and white coral belt in Jiu Jitsu.
Fabio Santos is another one of the few black belts under the legendary Rolls Gracie. Santos is currently an 8th degree coral belt.
Yvone Duarte is the very first female BJJ practitioner to ever earn the rank of BJJ coral belt. She was also one of the very first female BJJ black belts in the martial art under Osvaldo Alves.
Sergio Penha is another legendary figure in the history of BJJ who is a black belt under Osvaldo Alves. He is currently a 7th degree coral belt in BJJ, while also a black belt in Judo.
Maurcio Gomes is an 8th degree white and red coral belt that is a Rolls Gracie black belt. He is the father of Roger Gracie, who is considered one of the best grapplers of all time.
Murilo Bustamante is a former UFC champion and black belt under Carlson Gracie Sr. Bustamante currently holds the 7th degree BJJ coral belt.
Carlos Machado is one of the four legendary Machado brothers that helped grow BJJ in the US. He is a Carlos Gracie Jr black belt and a BJJ coral belt.
Jean Jacques Machado
Jean Jacques Machado is a multi time BJJ champion that is currently a 7th degree coral belt in BJJ. He has taught numerous famous students like Eddie Bravo and Joe Rogan.
Rigan Machado is an 8th degree red and white belt in BJJ. On top of helping grow BJJ with his brothers, Rigan is known for teaching numerous celebrities at his school in Hollywood.
Roger Machado is the second oldest of the four Machado brothers that’s currently a 7th degree coral belt in BJJ. Along with being a master in BJJ, Roger is also an expert in yoga.
John is the youngest of the Machado brothers and is currently a 7th degree coral belt in BJJ. He is also known for having a part-time career in acting like his brother Carlos.
Pedro Sauer is a black belt under the legend Rickson Gracie, who is also his friend and mentor. Sauer is currently an 8th degree coral belt in Jiu Jitsu with his own academy and affiliation.
Sylvio Behring is the son of 9th degree red belt Flavio Behring, who is himself an 8th degree coral belt. Behring is known as one of the top athletes of his era and helped spread BJJ across central Brazil.
Ricardo De La Riva
The legend Ricardo De La Riva is a BJJ coral belt and earned his black belt from Carlson Gracie Sr. He is, of course, known for creating the widely popular De La Riva guard that everyone now uses.
Fabio Gurgel is a 7th degree coral belt under 8th degree coral belt Romero Cavalcanti. Gurgel is most known for being one of the leader of the Alliance Jiu Jitsu affiliation
Romero Cavalcanti is the founder of Alliance Jiu Jitsu, who earned his black belt from Rolls Gracie. He is currently an 8th degree coral belt, who will likely become a red belt in the near future.
Joe Moreira was one of the first non Gracie BJJ black belts to move to the US and begin teaching. He is currently an 8th degree red and white coral belt.
Paulo Caruso is an Osvaldo Alves black belt that is a BJJ coral belt. He is also known for being a coach of numerous Olympians in Judo.
Carlos Rollyson is a coral belt that earned his black belt from Carlson Gracie Sr. He currently teaches at his own school in southern Florida.
Cosmo Dias is a black belt under Nonato Machado, who is also a coral belt. He is one of the senior instructors of the Nova Uniao affiliation.
Ricardo Calvacanti is a former BJJ champion and black belt under Carlson Gracie Sr, who is a 7th degree coral belt.
Sergio “Malibu” Jardim
Sergio “Malibu” as he is known is a Rickson Gracie black belt that was a BJJ champion during the 1980s and 1990s. He’s currently a 7th degree coral belt that helped grow the Alliance affiliation.
Marcio Dos Santos
Marcio Dos Santos is an Osvaldo Alves black belt that was one of the top competitors during the 1980s. Also one of the many students under Alves that have earned the coral belt rank.