BJJ becoming....

like Judo???
It seems like more and more techniques are being banned from competition, most recently, knee-bars in major comps like the pam-ams. Although I recognize that in practice, judo comps have become the way they are to promote fast-paced action suitable for olympic TV broadcasts, it is also true that techniques such as lower-extremity attacks were initially removed to prevent injuries,...these seem to be the same reasons being used now to justify removing those same techniques from bjj compititions.

I, for one believe that lower belts shouldn't be allowed to use lower-body attacks (they require a degree of control to execute safely) but I would hate to lose what is essentially half of our art because some people with big egos don't want to tap...
any thoughts?

I was once talking to a brazilian black belt who was studying english in canada and training with us. He said he had broken a few peoples ankles with the toehold in competition. He said something to the effect a competition there is no time to tap.

I doubt we will ever lose leglocks completely. There will always be a place for them in the bjj schools that focus on mma and submission grappling. But personally I could do without heelhooks in amature competition. Just too much of a risk.

I agree with heel hooks. Far too easy for guys that can't really grapple that well to just sit out for one and damage shit.

MMA is different.

I think they should make different classes. Like an amature and a pro-class. Am= safer Pro= anything goes to prove you are the best

Im afraid of leg locks, Ive had my shit popped and popped other peoples ankles. But the scariest thing about them is their effectiveness.

They must stay!!!!!!!

Trained hard with heel hooks forever, barely ever hurt anyone.

The problem is that people don't know how to tap.

mfah, I agree but there are already classes (beginner, intermediate, advanced, white, blue, purple, etc.) that can be used and are already used to segregate dangerous techniques. But you're right, they must stay in to preserve the integrity of the style. Kai hit it on the head...people sometimes let their egos get them hurt and that's no one's fault but their the time someone is a purple, they should have a good sense of when to tap to lower-leg attacks. The one exception is outward twisting of the knees...that really does happen too fast to tap sometimes.

Nijuro: I still don't agree entirely... It's kinda like if I snapped someone's arm in a tourney, you can control the pressure with all the of the leg locks.

Just too often, I'll have someone in something, and they think they can get out, and they can't so they tough something out they shouldn't.

good point. I don't want these techniques barred, but I do feel that only pro divisions should include the most dangerous techniques like spine attacks and knee twisting...I guess my original point was directed towards gi matches, which are already tightly regulated as far as dangerous techniques go. I just don't want to see it go any further (and even back a step or two).

Nijuro: Exactly..

They should be allowed for Purple Belt and up.

Having certain techs/subs legal for above a certain level makes sense but at the same time, BJJ is still a sport (its not MMA) and as a whole, it has to look out for the overall well being of the sport and all practitioners.

With Judo, it was never meant to be the Ultimate Fighting Art or anything, it was meant to be a sport and sports have rules. BJJ has rules too...but i guess its what the rules are that are deserving of good debate.

I still say they should be allowed in blue and up... But maybe that's because I'm a blue.

Having screwed my knee already, and knowing some higher ups (ie purples) who have done the same I would enjoy something ala amateur and pro, so higher belts could compete without worrying about twisting ankle/knee/spine locks.

While I think they are great, effective techniques, I'd rather not have someone get all excited about landing one and then cranking the **** out of it before I have a chance to tap. Even in practice I would tap to these rather quickly, and have still had people crank them a little too quickly.


If we remove the "dangerous" moves then sub-wrestling will become watered down and impractical = TMA

BUT a family man should be able to compete at some level without fear of being cripled. Just remove them from the top level where they are trying to prove they are the #1 sub grappler in the world.

K2: Then you've trained with some real fucking retards... There's no excuse for it. At Metro, we had 5 guys all real good at leglocks and no one got hurt in training from them.

I think one of the problems is that some schools train with them all the time, while others do not. In the schools that do, everyone learns real quick how to control themselves, and when to tap. In the schools that don't, people are more vulnerable because their awareness to it is lower, and they aren't as proficient at countering it - then try to tough it out too long.

But what really makes it bad is when someone goes to a school that does NOT use them regularly, then pickes them up from a video instructional, a buddy, or a seminar. Then they go into a tournament, and having not used them on a daily basis in training under their instructor's supervision, they tend to apply them way too fast and way too hard - thus hurting people, even those who train with them regularly, and especially hurting those who don't train with them regularly.

I like NAGA's rules in the last couple tourneys I went to, for the BJJ (gi) divisions:

white belts = no leg submissions (should be focusing on positional control, anyway)
blue belts = straight ankle locks only
purple and above = straight ankle and straight knee bars (no twisting submissions on the legs)
Then you can add in the PRO-level superfights, all submission allowed.

I think it should be carried over into the no-gi divisions as well:

Novice/Beginner = no leg attacks
Intermediate = straight ankle locks only
Advanced = add knee bars
PRO fights = anything goes

I'm a high blue with a strong no-gi background from another style (not wrestling). I've had ACL surgery, and have had other minor injuries to both knees and both ankles over the years both in and out of martial arts training. Heel hooks and toe holds - even when done with control and me tapping early - cause me great pain for days afterwards. I'm 35 years old and never gonna be a pro, but still feel like I should have the capacity to compete.

Leave anything that "twists" to the pros, in my opinion. If you aren't pro, you don't need to be exposing yourself to that much risk; the Pros who are working at becoming the absolute best they can be however, NEED to be able to pull out all the stops and use 100% of their arsenal.


Adam makes some good points.

But, at what point does it begin to become watered down if you start throwing certain things out? BJJ isn't, in itself, a brutal art. It can be, if you've got a guy all gun-ho looking to snap some shit, but are any of you that eager to let a few bad apples spoil the barrel?

A guy could be just as eager to apply his first armbar in competition and snap my elbow....just as he would a toe hold.

I agree with the NAGA rule stipulations.

To bar them because one school focuses on them more than the other? I disagree. That's the instructor's fault, and his responsibility. Do you ban uppercuts in boxing because some fighters train at them alot and are proficcient at throwing them? Do you ban hitting a guy with your shoulder in football, as opposed to just tackling them, because one coach doesn't spend as much time doing hitting drills?

Whenever I got caught in something, whether it did damage or not, I was always more mad at myself for getting caught than I was at the guy for catching me. Adrenaline's a bitch, even in training, so if he torques it a little hard, it's somewhat understandable, and certainly forgivable. It always just made me train harder so as not to get caught.

Then again, I've been out of the game now for about 6 years, so what do I know.......

ttt for some great points...

They allow knee bars and toe holds in brown belt and up.

No heel hooks, though.

Breakit: That's still too high, I think that by basic Blue Belt you should be able to do all Leglocks except heel hooks and by 2 stripes in, you should be able to do Heel hooks...

It's just simple neglect to not know leg locks by the time you get to blue belt, just like it's neglect that a lot of blue belts can't do a takedown to save their lives.

It's exclusion for absolutely no reason.