Several days ago we uncovered and shared the news of ONE Championship’s Angela Lee receiving her black belt alongside her brother. What many might not have realized at the time is that while Lee is 21 – her brother is younger. At 19 he is one of the youngest practitioners to have received a black belt.
Thank you very much, Mike Fowler @thefowlereffect for this momentous promotion 🙏🏻 & thank you very much to my Dad for the 15+ years of helping me learn, drill, compete and improve.
Dedication, hard work and the will to constantly learn and improve will always be the ultimate goal!
Lee is also a fighter at ONE FC and his record stands at 8-1 having lost to Martin Nguyen.
At 19 is @ChristianLeeMMA the youngest person to ever earn a black belt in BJJ?
— James Goyder (@JamesGoyder) February 10, 2018
Rener Gracie and Ricky Lundell are the only other two that I can find that got their black belt at 19. That’s some great company.
— Jake Nichols (@JakeNicholsMMA) February 10, 2018
IBJJF guidelines states you need to be minimum of 19 to reach black belt. You are eligible for at 3 year intervals. 4th and 5th degrees are eligible at 5 year intervals.
Gunnar Nelson was promoted to black belt by Renzo Gracie and became the youngest European to have received a BJJ Black Belt (21 years old, together with Marcin Held and Mads Burnell) and after only 4 years of training.
Vitor ‘Shaolin’ Ribeiro (4 years)
Former MMA and BJJ world champion Vitor Ribeiro started training BJJ at Nova Uniao at 14 years of age. He won everything at the lower belts and was promoted to black belt by Andre Pederneiras at just 18 years old.
There’s also the case of Vitor Belfort who Carlson Gracie promoted to black belt at 17!