Calgary Grappling Tournament Oct.2

Absolute Submission Challenge - October 2nd, 2004

BDB Martial Arts is proud to announce we will be hosting our first open submission grappling tournament at our new location. We now have three 20ft by 20ft competition training area's right in our gym and I am excited about being able to run tournaments on a regular basis here in Calgary.

I will be using a new set of rules for this tournament that were suggested to me by a Jiu-Jitsu friend in Dublin, Ireland. He had competed under these rules in a tournament in England and had found that they really encourage the fighters to try and finish their fights by submission which created very exciting matches. They also gave a competitor the chance to have a lot more guaranteed fights which gave everyone more valuable experience. I used these rules at our recent club tournament and they worked out great! All of the fighters at my event who have had previous competition experience told me that these rules were the best rules that they have ever competed under.

These matches will also be run in a round robin format which I am also excited about. We are going to make sure that every division has at least 4 competitors, so this will guarantee that every fighters has a minimum of 3 matches.

It has always been a concern of mine that most tournaments are run under a single elimination format. This means if a fighters loses their first match they are done for the day. I have seen fighters travel long distances, pay $30-$40 entrance fee, and then lose their first fight and be done for the day. The thing that bothers me about this is that most of the competitors in an event are just trying to get some competition experience. Of course they want to win but they are generally not going to win any money, or very much fame, so really the main reason they are there is to have a chance to test themselves and to gain some mat time in a competitive environment. I have personally driven to Vancouver from Calgary (about 11-12 hours each way) with students for a tournament. We paid for transportation, accommodation, food, and entrance fee for these trips and I have experienced the disappointment when one of my students gets eliminated early on in his division and ends up with very little mat time after a very long and expensive trip. I have also seen the other side of it were an advanced fighter ends up in a division with only one other fighter and wins his match quickly and is also done for the day with little mat time. I think that for me it would be nice to know that if am going to an event for either myself or my students that we are going to get at least 3 or more matches each. The chance to gain valuable competition experience is what I feel most people are attending a grappling tournament for so this is what I am going to try and give as much of as I can with this new format.

The fights will be 5 minutes long and there will be no points given in the match. The only way to win is by submission. You will be given points for your results. A submission is worth 3 point, a loss is worth 0, and a draw is 1 point for each fighter. After everyone has fought each fighter in their division once, your points are added up to determine first and second place. The most complaints I have seen at tournaments have been because of points, such as a fighter gaining a lead and then stalling, or a call by the referee that someone does not agree with. Under these rules this will not happen. Either there is a submission or it ends in a draw. Stalling will not help you win and the referee's do not have to make those tough calls for points. Trying to finish the match by submission is the best strategy!

Here are the rules and I hope to see you there.

Brian Bird


Here are the rules that will be use for the Absolute Submission Challenge on October 2nd, 2004. The weigh ins will be from 10am to 11am and fights start shortly after. This event will take place at the BDB Martial Arts in Calgary (#1, 3300-14Ave NE). This tournament will only be open to all competitors. It will be a No-Gi tournament.

The cost to enter will be $20.00 (Cash Only Please!) Once the fights start there are no refunds.

Contests take place on a 20ft by 20ft mat area. Matches start from standing. Fighters who move onto or outside the black border when standing can (at the discretion of the referee) be restarted in the centre of the mat. If fighters move outside the area while on the ground (both fighters have at least one knee down) then the action is frozen and they are moved back to the centre of the mat in their current position. Deliberately or repeatedly moving outside the area will be considered as stalling and penalised accordingly.

Ways to win:

Submission (physical and verbal), Referees Stoppage (medical or rule infringement), Corner stops fight.

Time limit:

1 x 5min round per bout


No: striking, biting, fish hooking, gouging (including chin in eye socket, thumb in armpit or between ribs etc), hair pulling, heel hooks (or other locks designed to apply twisting pressure to the knee), neck cranks or compressions, small joint manipulations (fingers, thumbs and toes), point of elbow pressure on head or throat, web of thumb pressure on throat, deliberately throwing or slamming an opponent onto their head, deliberately or repeatedly moving outside the designated mat area, stalling or refusing to engage with an opponent.

Committing 3 fouls in a match results in an automatic disqualification. However, the referee has discretion to disqualify immediately after a serious, dangerous or deliberate foul.


The referee can stop or restart a match at any time if he considers it necessary for safety reasons. The referee’s decision is final and non-negotiable.

Scoring system:

Fighters fight in a round robin within their section. 3 points for a win, 1 each for a draw (i.e. no decision or stoppage by end of time), 0 for a loss. At the end of the round robin the fighters with the highest scores receive 1st, and 2nd.

Weight categories (male):


Featherweight 140 LBS & Under
Lightweight 140LBS - 155LBS
Welterweight 155LBS - 170LBS
Middleweight 170LBS - 185LBS
Light Heavyweight 185LBS - 205LBS
Heavyweight 205LBS & Over

For Women: Divisions will be decided day of depending on the turn out.

If you have any questions you can call (403)220-1426 or e-mail

good rules, weight divs, and entrance cost... great job Brian. Great to hear it's no gi =)



Sorry for the hijack, but are there any BJJ classes for kids in Calgary? I know an 11 year old who's interested...

Sounds interesting. Will there be novice/advanced divs?

Thank for the kind words guys!


E-mail me at and I will send you info on our kids BJJ program.



There's a kids class at Canuckles. It's MMA, but Max is great with kids, so the 11 year old would have fun I'm sure.

There's also National BJJ (I think thats what its called) but I dont know much about it, or if theres a kids class

National BJJ is now BDB Martial Arts.


"Sounds interesting. Will there be novice/advanced divs?"

No there will not be. This is something that I was wondering about what to do but in the end it has been decided to just be divide by weight. In this way, because of the round robin format, the fighters will end up fighting all the same level guys that would have been in their divisions, but they will also get to test themselves against the more experienced fighters as well. Once again, I feel this gives all the competitors much more experience which I have always felt these tournaments are meant for.


I like it without an experience level difference to be honest. Since it's not single elimination, people will still get their moneys worth.


Hi Chad


I hold 3 classes/week for kids (tues, thurs & Sat) for kids at the BJJ Fight Club (3515 17th Ave SE) and have a great group of kids going right now (mostly girls for some odd reason...). Give me a call 701 0237 or e-mail for more info.


Sounds like a good format and very reasonable cost-wise. I'll see if I can get some guys down there for some competition experience.


bump, let's get a good turnout.



sounds like a cool format brian...maybe i'll see you there

frank colcher

I have been getting a lot of e-mails and phone calls expressing interest in this event. If these people show up I think the turn out will be very good!

At the club tournament I recently ran with these rules I really noticed a big difference in how many fights ended in submissions. In one divisions with 6 competitors, the round robin format meant there was a total of 30 matches. 29 of those matches were ended by submission!

The fights were also a lot more exciting to watch because people were not thinking about points but were concentrating on the finish, so I saw very little stalling. One of my students told me that before the event he had been sceptical of the rules because in previous events he had competed in he had not gotten very many submissions, so he thought he would not do well under these rules. He ended up winning about 80% of his matches this time by submission. He told me after that because he did not think about points he felt it was much easier to be more aggressive towards finishing.

Like I said earlier, I am excited to see how it goes in an open tournament.


I have had a few common question I thought I would post:

Q:Are spectators welcome and will it cost.

A: Yes they are and welcome and there is no cost. There will be only so many seats so you may have to sit on the floor if we run out.

Q: Can I video.

A: Yes, but I have only a couple of available plugs so bring batteries. I will probably be filming for myself but I do not want to make copies so plan to bring your own camera if you want your fights filmed.