While Brazilian jiu-jitsu has existed since the 1920s, its mainstream explosion in the past decade can largely be attributed to its tournaments. Various BJJ organizations set up these tournaments, and from significant federations like IBJJF to less-popular ones like Grappling Industries, they are the backbone of BJJ’s success.
This article discusses the top 7 BJJ tournament organizations and some of their top competition events. Let’s get into it.
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What Are The Best BJJ Tournament Organizations?
There are several BJJ federations and organizations in the world. The following list highlights the most famous jiu-jitsu grappling competition organizations:
The International Brazilian jiu-jitsu Federation, or IBJJF, is the most prestigious Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament organization.
For various reasons, the IBJJF is widely regarded as a premier BJJ organization:
- IBJJF tournaments offer the best prize money.
- The IBJJF organizes Gi or No-Gi championships all around the globe for the different colored belt competitors (white to black belts).
Aside from that, the IBJJF was founded in 2002 by Carlson Garcie Jr., and in little time, it became the world’s biggest jiu-jitsu federation. The organization has an impeccable rule system, thanks to adopting the rule set used by the Confederação Brasileira de Jiu-Jitsu (CBJJ).
Despite its excellent rule set, IBJJF is known for being inconsistent and strict with its regulations. So, read through its jiu-jitsu rules meticulously if you’re looking to compete.
Some of the most famous Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments hosted by the IBJJF include:
- Jiu-Jitsu World Championship (remarkably called the ‘Worlds’).
- No-Gi World Championship (No-Gi Worlds).
- World Master IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship.
- Pan IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Gi and No-Gi Championships.
- European IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Gi and No-gi Championships.
Created in 2011, the Sport Jiu-jitsu International Federation is one of BJJ’s major international governing bodies. Two years later, it hosted its first international event, the SJJIF Worlds, in Long Beach, California, USA.
Unlike other organizations on this list, SJJIF is not profit-oriented; SJJIF was created to enable positive growth of the sport, organize it, and meet the IOC requirements with more straightforward rules.
This federation organizes some of the best competitions you can find out there. Having featured over 2500 competitors, it has fielded some of the biggest names in the sport.
Some of the best SJJIF jiu-jitsu tournaments include:
- SJJIF World Gi & No-Gi tournament
- Annual North American BJJ tournament
- All Americas Jiu-Jitsu Tournament
- Los Angeles International Jiu-Jitsu Open
Perhaps a top-two organization in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu circuit, UAEJJF tournaments are another place you’d find top athletes competing. While the federation doesn’t organize as many tournaments as IBJJF, its prize money is much better.
No surprise, the federation is supported by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The UAEJJF organizes some incredible competitions, and unlike the IBJJF, which ranks competitors by individual and team, it uses the approach of ranking as a country.
Some of the UAEJJF best tournaments are the Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu-Jitsu Cup and the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam.
Undoubtedly, Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) is the most prestigious organization in the No-Gi grappling scene. It was established in 1998 by Sheik Tahnoun Bin Zayed (the son of the former president of the United Arab Emirates).
Perhaps what sets it apart from other organizations on this list is that the ADCC is not restricted to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It submission grappling tournaments open to all grappling martial arts, including BJJ, Wrestling, judo, sambo, etc.
The famous ADCC tournament is the ADCC World Championship which attracts the best wrestlers in the world. It was a yearly event, but since 2001, it has been held every two years.
Also, The ADCC world ensures highly entertaining matches thanks to its less-strict rules, which have made it a favorite among fans and competitors.
This is because its prize money is the highest among all grappling organizations. For example, it awards $40,000 to the winner of the open weight division, compared to the $10,000 that IBJJF awards.
Related Article: Click here to learn about legendary ADCC World Champions.
One of the earliest on this list, the North American Grappling Association, was started in 1995. This organization is known for the vast amount of events hosted in every major city at least once a year.
With over 700,000 participants worldwide, NAGA is the largest submission grappling body in the world. Regardless of your weight class, belt level, or age, there’s always somewhere to belong in the all-inclusive NAGA tournaments.
But what’s so unique about this organization? You’d be awarded a championship belt as a higher-level division winner, while kids’ division winners are awarded Samurai swords. Cool right!
Indeed, Reality Fighting MMA is one of the best tournaments hosted by this organization. It features UFC veterans like Gabriel Gonzaga, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Frankie Edgar, Joe Lauzon, Tim Sylvia, etc.
Moreover, some of their tournaments include New England grappling & BJJ competition and California grappling & BJJ competition, among others.
I’d agree that Grappling industries might not be as popular as other organizations on this list. However, they have been around for a while and hold quality events.
Even better, by being relatively cheaper to enter, grappling industries offer a chance to participate and test your skills without having to dig too deep into your pockets.
Also, due to their Round Robin approach, you could compete in as many as eight matches giving you enough opportunity to display your jiu-jitsu.
The grappling industries have featured big names in BJJ and MMA, one of them being UFC star Sean O’Malley who placed third. Otherwise, this organization can provide jiu-jitsu scholarships for combat veterans.
Aside from that, some of the best grappling industries events, including in Kansas City, Minnesota, Vienna, etc.
Fight 2 Win
The Fight 2 Win organization is taking jiu-jitsu competition to another level. Adopting the UFC promotion model, it delivers quality events with professional-level sound and light systems.
Nicknamed “the biggest party in grappling”, this organization goes to every major city, and whether you’re an elite or a novice grappler, you’ve got an opportunity for participation.
Therefore, Fight 2 Win is quickly becoming one of the leading pro-grappling organizations in the world, perhaps due to the entertaining and high-paced matches it encourages.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu is a fantastic martial art to learn. Furthermore, it provides several benefits, including the opportunity to compete. As a result, many BJJ tournament organizations, such as the IBJJF, ADCC, NAGA, SJJIF, UAEJJF, and others, host top tournaments worldwide.
Competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have. I hope this article has helped you learn about the best jiu-jitsu organizations. Thank you for reading!