What is Combat JiuJitsu?

Combat Jiujitsu is a form of submission grappling that allows certain striking techniques (i.e. open palm slaps) in an effort to be more reality based and encourage matches to end in submission. The term Combat Jiujitsu came to recent prominence in when Eddie Bravo featured combat jiu-jitsu matches at the Eddie Bravo International (EBI) grappling tournament a 16 person NO-Gi submission only tournament.  Since then, interest in combat Jiujitsu has grown and it has become a regular feature in the submission grappling world.

Combat JiuJitsu Rules

The basic combat jiu jitsu rules are as follows:

  1. Win by submissions only (no points)
  2. A single 10 minute round
  3. Open slaps permitted once a competitor is on the ground.
  4. As of 2017, up kicks are now allowed. 

When there is no winner at the end of the 10 minute round, the match goes into overtime.

EBI Combat JiuJitsu overtime rules

  1. Two minute rounds (as of the date of this article)
  2. Each round has two halves: the top of the round and a bottom of the round.
  3. A competitor is in either in the offensive or defensive position in each half. 
  4. Competitors flip a coin for first opportunity to be in the offensive position. 
  5. Winner of coin toss chooses to start from the back or the armbar (spiderweb) position
  6. The top (or bottom) of the round ends either on time, submission, escape, or when play is no longer live. 
  7. If there was a submission in the top of the round, the other competitor must submit their opponent with a faster time in the bottom of the round.
  8. If there was no submission in the top of the round, the offensive competitor in the bottom of the round will win if they secure a submission.
  9. When each competitor gets a submission in the overtime round, the fastest time wins.
  10. If there is no submission from either competitor, the next overtime round starts. 
  11. After three overtime rounds, the competitor with the fastest cumulative escape time wins. 

Source for EBI Rules. 

BJJ vs Combat JiuJitsu

The main difference between BJJ and Combat Jit-Jitsu is that Combat JiuJitsu permits limited striking whereas traditional Brazilian jiujitsu does not.  Combat jiu jitsu is also conducted without the gi (nogi) while BJJ can either be done in the go or nogi.  Also, male competitors are not required to where a rashguard.

Combat Jiujitsu has a slightly different philosophical difference from traditional BJJ rules.  The emphasis of combat jiujitsu is on securing submissions with dynamic play. Combat jiujitsu encourages moving the competitors to the ultimate measure of victory: a submission.  Traditional BJJ rule-sets, such as those set by the IBJJF, take a more holistic view of who won the match by factoring in advantage points based on positioning during the match.  

Drawbacks to Combat Jiu Jitsu

There are some criticisms of combat jiujitsu.  Some states that combat jiujitsu is an inferior form of MMA because the striking is not realistic. Other criticisms include the fact that stalling is still a major problem because the striking is limited. This is particularly in the case where one fighter is standing over the other. Without kicks the standing an opponent might be very comfortable standing over someone in open guard. However, EBI has made rule adjustments to discourage stalling, particularly with the introduction of upkicks. 

Of course, another drawback is the increased risk on injury due to the striking.  While jiujitsu has a certain amount of risk for injury, combat jiujitsu increases the risk because of the strikes. 

Should you train Combat Jiu Jitsu?

Combat jiujitsu is great if you want to make your grappling or jiujitsu more dynamic.  Because it adds a new level of attack, more traditional BJJ defense or offensive will need adjusting.  In this sense it will help fill holes in your game.

One of the major positive aspects of combat jiujistu is that it is pushing the evolution of jiujitsu in new directions.  New ways of thinking and approaching the game will raise the level of competition as a whole and for the individual practitioner. 

That said, if you are just starting out your grappling or jiujitsu training, it may make sense to master the fundamentals before you move to combat jiujitsu.  Also, if only want to compete in IBJJF tournaments, the ruleset for combat jiujitsu may not make much sense and could put you at a disadvantage. 

What do you think of Combat JiuJitsu?

Have you watched EBI/Combat Jitsu matches? What do you think? 

If you have trained combat jiujitsu, what has been your experience? Do you prefer it to regular BJJ?

Let us know in the comments!

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