BJJ Weight Classes: Everything You Need to Know!

bjj weight classes

Weight classes are critical in competitive Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu matches. Knowing the various BJJ weight divisions and what they mean can give you an advantage in tournaments.

As a BJJ practitioner, you have access to numerous competitions. Competitors are categorized depending on their belt level, age, and weight category. Yet, there is also the absolute weight class, where everybody can participate under open weight rules. 

This jiu-jitsu article will describe the different kinds of BJJ weight classes in various tournaments. We’ll talk about the adult men and women IBJJF competitions weight classes and other tournament organizations. Stay tuned and get ready!

IBJJF Weight Classes

ibjjf weight classes

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is the most popular BJJ federation that hosts tournaments worldwide. These well-run tournaments provide an excellent opportunity to prove your jiu-jitsu skills.

The best thing about the IBJJF is that it has divisions for people of all ages and belt levels. So it is possible for anyone who wants to compete, from kids to adults (white belts, blue belts, purple belts to black belts) to find a division that suits their skill level.

Indeed, there are numerous prestigious IBJJF events such as the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship, Pan American Championship, European Championship, Asian Open Championship, Brazilian Nationals, etc.

You know, there’s a massive difference between no-gi and gi competitions. Plus, the weigh-ins usually take place on the same day, so it’s hard to rehydrate or weigh 7-8 kg less.

Masters and adults use the same BJJ weight classes, while there is a difference in juvenile divisions (which is normal, they are lighter and younger). 

All right, it’s time for some facts about IBJJF women’s weight divisions.

Women Gi IBJJF Weight Classes

There used to be only six weight classes for female competitors in the past, but the world is changing, we live in the 21st century.

Nowadays, there are 9 women BJJ weight classes plus open weight as a number ten.

Weight Division Weight Limits
Rooster (Galo) Under 48.5kg (under 107 lbs)
Light feather (Pluma) 48.5kg to 53.5 kg (107 – 118 lbs)
Feather (Pena) 53.5 kg to 58.5 kg (118 – 129 lbs)
Light (Leve) 58.5 kg to 64 kg (129 – 141.6 lbs)
Middle (Medio) 64 kg to 69 kg (141.6 – 152.6 lbs)
Medium-Heavy (Meio-Pesado) 69 to 74 kg (152.6 – 163.6 lbs)
Heavy (Pesado) 74 kg to 79.3 kg (163.6 – 175 lbs)
Super-Heavy (Super-Pesado) Over 79.3 kg (175 lbs)
Open class Open to all weight classes

Women No-Gi IBJJF Weight Classes

You’ve noticed that women’s no-gi classes are 1.8 – 2.7 kg lighter than gi BJJ weight classes. That’s because a high-quality gi usually weighs not less than 1.5 kg, plus bigger fighters can drain more pounds. Equal treatment matters. 

Weight Division Weight Limits
Rooster (Galo) Under 46.7kg (under 103 lbs)
Light feather (Pluma) 46.7kg to 51.7 kg (103 – 114 lbs)
Feather (Pena) 51.7 kg to 56.7 kg (114 – 125 lbs)
Light (Leve) 56.7 kg to 61.6 kg (125 – 136 lbs)
Middle (Medio) 61.6 kg to 66.7 kg (136 – 147 lbs)
Medium-Heavy (Meio-Pesado) 66.7 to 71.6 kg (147 – 158 lbs)
Heavy (Pesado) 71.6 kg to 76.6 kg (158 – 169 lbs)
Super-Heavy (Super-Pesado) Over 76.6 kg (169 lbs)
Open class Open to all weight classes

Men Gi IBJJF Weight Classes

Same thing here, no-gi classes are 1.9 – 3 kg lighter than gi BJJ weight classes. There are ten instead of nine divisions (super-heavyweight), plus open weight as number eleven. 

Weight Division Maximum Weight
Rooster (Galo) Under 57.5 kg (127 lbs)
Light feather (Pluma) 57.5 kg to 64 kg (127 – 141.6 lbs)
Feather (Pena) 64 kg to 70 kg (141.6 – 154.6 lbs)
Light (Leve) 70 kg to 76 kg (154.6 – 168 lbs)
Middle (Medio) 76 kg to 82.3 kg (168 – 181.6 lbs)
Medium-Heavy (Meio-Pesado) 82.3 kg to 88.3 kg (181.6 – 195 lbs)
Heavy (Pesado) 88.3 kg to 94.3 kg (195 – 208 lbs)
Super-Heavy (Super-Pesado) 94.3 kg to 100.5 kg (208 – 222 lbs)
Ultra heavy (Pesadissimo) 0ver 100.5 kg (222 lbs and up)
Open class Open to all weight classes

Men No-Gi IBJJF Weight Classes

Weight Division Maximum Weight
Rooster (Galo) Under 55.6 kg (under 122.6 lbs)
Light feather (Pluma) 55.6 kg and under 61.7 kg (122.6 – 136 lbs)
Feather (Pena) 61.7kg and under 67.5 kg (136 – 149 lbs)
Light (Leve) 67.5 kg and under 73.5 kg (149 – 162.6 lbs)
Middle (Medio) 73.5 kg and under 79.6 kg (162.6 – 175.6 lbs)
Medium-Heavy (Meio-Pesado) 79.6 kg and under 85.5 kg (175.6 – 188.6 lbs)
Heavy (Pesado) 85.5 kg and under 91.6 kg (188.6 – 202 lbs)
Super-Heavy (Super-Pesado) 91.6 kg and under 97.5 kg (202 – 215 lbs)
Ultra heavy (Pesadissimo) 97.5 kg, no upper limit (215 lbs and up)
Open class Open to all weight classes

Adults Vs Masters BJJ Divisions

no gi weight classes

Adults and masters are classified in the same BJJ weight classes as men and women, the only difference being age.

ADCC Weight Classes

adcc weight classes

ADCC is the greatest organization in the market, but it offers way fewer BJJ weight classes. Here is a detailed description.

ADCC Males Weight Divisions

Weight Divisions Weight Limits
Lightweight – 66 kg (145.5 lb)
Welterweight – 77 kg (169.8 lb)
Middleweight – 88 kg (194.0 lb)
Light Heavyweight – 99 kg (218.3 lb)
Heavyweight + 99 kg (218.3 lb)
Absolute No weight limits

ADCC Females Weight Divisions

Weight Divisions Weight Limits
Lightweight – 60 kg (132.3 lb)
Heavyweight + 60 kg (132.3 lb)

ADCC Team Competitions Divisions

ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) is the syntax for the most famous no-gi BJJ tournament in the world. 

Weight Category Adult Male Adult Female
Lightweight Below 83 kg (183.0 lb) Below 60 kg (132.3 lb)
Heavyweight Above 83 kg (183.0 lb) Above 60 kg (132.3 lb)

UAEJJF Weight Classes

UAEJJF weight classes

UAEJJF (United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation) is the largest organization in the world, here are their weight classes. No open weight BJJ class, as well as you see. 

UAEJJF Adults/Masters Male Weight Classes

UAEJJF Weight Divisions Weight Limits
Light Featherweight – 56 kg (123.5 lb)
Featherweight – 62 kg (136.7 lb)
Lightweight – 69 kg (152.1 lb)
Welterweight – 77 kg (169.8 lb)
Middleweight – 85 kg (187.4 lb)
Light Heavyweight – 94 kg (207.2 lb)
Heavyweight – 120 kg (264.6 lb)

UAEJJF Adults/Masters Female Weight Classes

UAEJJF Weight Divisions Weight Limits
Rooster weight – 49 kg (108.0 lb)
Light Featherweight – 55 kg (121.3 lb)
Lightweight – 62 kg (136.7 lb)
Middleweight – 70 kg (154.3 lb)
Heavyweight – 95 kg (209.4 lb)

Jiu-Jitsu Weigh-In Process

You will weigh on the day of the tournament, so you have a very limited time to rehydrate, so cutting 10 lbs of water on the day of the weigh-in might not be the smartest idea, because your body cannot recover electrolytes nor it can rehydrate.

Miss weight once and you will not get a second chance for weigh-in, you can’t change weight division or take part in the competition. There are no refunds for bad numbers on the scale!

  • Gi Tournaments Weigh-In

You are not allowed to take your gi off while weighing in. If you’re on the edge, double-weave gi might not sound like a great idea. 

  • No-Gi Tournaments Weigh-In

You must wear your competitive outfit at the weigh-ins. For example, when you fight in rash guards and spats, you must appear on the scale in the same pieces of clothes. Cheating is not allowed. 

Note: every part of the world uses its metric system. There might be discrepancies between imperial and metric units, so we kindly advise you to read the tournament invitation letter.

If they say -129 pounds, it doesn’t have to mean it’s going to be exactly -58.5 kilograms. Some tournaments might set the scale to 59 or 58, but it rarely happens. But you must consider whether you’ll be weighed in metric (kilograms) or imperial (pounds) units.

BJJ Age Divisions 

There are a total of 22 age divisions, ranging from the age of 4 to the age of 61. In youth, you are mostly not allowed to compete with older age (depending on the tournament rules).

However, older fighters can take part in bouts against younger athletes because the competition is better and the medal means more. 

Here is the list of BJJ age classes for the older population:

  • Adults: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 18;
  • Masters 1: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 30;
  • Masters 2: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 36;
  • Masters 3: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 41;
  • Masters 4: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 46;
  • Masters 5: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 51;
  • Masters 6: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 56;
  • Masters 7: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) ≥ 61.

When it comes to younger pop, there are way more differences. 

  • Mighty Mite I: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 4;
  • Mighty Mite II: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 5;
  • Mighty Mite III: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 6;
  • Pee Wee I: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 7;
  • Pee Wee II: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 8;
  • Pee Wee III: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 9;
  • Junior I: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 10;
  • Junior II: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 11;
  • Junior III: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 12;
  • Teen I: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 13;
  • Teen II: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 14;
  • Teen III: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 15;
  • Juvenile I: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 16;
  • Juvenile II: (Current Year) – (Birth Year) = 17.

The time of the match depends on the fighter’s age and belt. Matches last more for older belts/fighters.

For example, the mighty mite I match last for 2 minutes, while black belt adult bouts are 10 minutes long and many more submission attempts are allowed. 

Conclusion

BJJ weight classes differ between organizations and competitions. Rules too, sometimes officials don’t even let you step on the scale in your underwear. Here’s what we learned so far:

  • The greatest number of weight classes is seen in IBJJF tournaments.
  • ADCC competitions offer the smallest number of BJJ weight classes. 
  • Participating in a gi competition means you step on the scale in your gi. Yeah, weight classes are different because of a gi, but you must be cautious about that. 
  • There are a total of 22 age classes. BJJ weight classes are different for juveniles, so please read the tournament invitation letter carefully. 

I hope you don’t have many dilemmas on weight divisions anymore. But if you still do, please leave us a comment, we’re at your service! 

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Literature

  1. Wikipedia.org
  2. Jiujitsulegacy.com
  3. bjjsuccess.com