Barely Legal: What You Can and Can’t Do in an IBJJF Competition

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If you thought getting good at BJJ wasn’t hard enough, figuring out the rules in an IBJJF competition can be bloody impossible. It’s not uncommon to be confused by the scoreboard during your match; scratching your head trying to figure out how the hell the points ended up that way.

However, as complicated as the rules may be, understanding the basics is usually enough to get you by.

Forget all about studying for that University degree in IBJJF rule-cology because, being the nice guy that I am, I’ve broken down the IBJJF rule book and listed the most important rules for you to know in the article below.

You can thank me later. 

Part 1: The Points System

Remembering specific point values for positions and techniques can be as painful as memorising your times tables in primary school.

And just like your times tables, mixing up values here and there can really stuff up your final result.

To get you on your way, I’ve created a simple little chart to help you:

  • Visualise the hierarchy of positions,
  • Allow you to better strategies your movements, and
  • Enable you to keep score in your head.

 

Points Awarded

Position or Technique

4

·      Mount, Controlled for 3 Seconds

·      Back with Both Hooks in, Uncrossed, Controlled for 3 Seconds

3

·      Guard Pass and Securing Position for 3 Seconds

2

·      Sweeps Securing Position for 3 Seconds

·      Knee on Belly Securing for 3 Seconds

       Takedowns Securing the Position for 3 Seconds

Advantage

·      Submission Attempts

·      Takedown Attempts Where You are Unable to Secure Position or You Force Opponent off The Mat While Standing

·      Sweep Attempts Where You are Unable to Secure Position or You Force Opponent off the Mat

·      Guard Pass But Unable to Secure the Position for 3 Seconds

·      Back Control with Body Triangle, Feet Crossed or Both of Your Opponent’s Arms Trapped Under Your legs

Note: Advantages are only awarded if your opponent was in real danger of being submitted, passed or swept. Advantages shouldn’t be awarded for half-assed attempts or pretending.

 

It is very important that you understand you can also incur penalties, that can end in points concessions or even disqualification. These are caused after an accumulation of the one or all of the following. 

 

·      Stalling or Lack of Combat

·      Serious Fouls

 

On the first incidence, you will be issued a warning

On the second, you will concede one advantage.

On the third, you will concede two points.

The fourth incidence will lead to disqualification. 

 

So How Do You Know if You’re Stalling or Committing a Serious Foul?

 

Stalling

  • Not seeking to advance the position
  • Not seeking to pass your opponent's guard
  • Holding your opponent in your guard without attempting to sweep or submit

Serious Foul

  • Kneeling or sitting down without establishing a grip on your opponent
  • Running off the mat to avoid being taken down
  • Pushing opponent off the mat, with no attempt at takedown
  • Rolling or sliding off the mat to avoid submission or sweep
  • Standing up to escape opponent’s move, and not resuming combat on the ground i.e. disengaging and stepping away from the action
  • Removing your belt intentionally
  • Placing fingers inside opponents sleeve of the jacket or pant leg
  • Communicating with the referee verbally or with hand gestures (you can only do this if there is a medical issue or problem with the gi)
  • Disobeying referee’s order
  • Leaving the mat before referee has officially given the result of the match
  • Intentionally putting your foot or hand in opponent’s face
  • Putting your foot inside your opponent’s belt
  • Intentionally putting your foot inside opponent’s lapel without a hand also gripping the lapel
  • Using your belt to assist in a choke
  • Taking longer than 20 seconds to tie your belt when instructed to by the referee
  • Unintentionally reacting in a way that places your opponent in an illegal position, e.g. pulling their leg so that they are now reaping your knee
  • Jumping guard as a white belt

 

Part 2 - Illegal Moves

Ok, so here are the moves that will get you DQ’d immediately and you 100% need to know exactly what they are, as there is no leniency for playing dumb.

The IBJJF rule book has a pretty comprehensive chart outlining which moves are illegal for each age and belt level, and rather than reinvent the wheel, I have included this chart for you below.

For more detailed information on the rules, processes and appropriate conduct you can find and download the complete IBJJF rule book by clicking on this link.

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Comment


  • There are no such thing as “negative points”. They are penalties. Advantages only affect the result if (only positive) points are tied, penalties only apply if both points and advantages are tied.

    Stalling does not apply in mount, back mount or back control. These positions are regarded as the top of the positional heirarchy and there is nowhere further to advance to.

    Andrew Nerlich on

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