Have you ever wondered about Combat Jiu-Jitsu? Combat Jiu-Jitsu, or CJJ, is a newly founded sport derived from traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
The sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is solely based on grappling and submissions. However, CJJ allows competitors to throw certain strikes at their opponents. This changed the dynamics of the sport and served as somewhat of a middle ground between BJJ and MMA.
Keep reading to discover more about Combat Jiu-Jitsu, including its origin, rules, and other relevant details.
Where Did Combat Jiu Jitsu Originate?
Technically speaking, Combat Jiu Jitsu has been around since the early 20th century. The legendary Gracie family, the pioneers in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, would frequently challenge fighters of other disciplines to Vale Tudo matches.
In these matches, they would use their Jiu-Jitsu skills to beat their opponents but also throw strikes like we see in competition today.
However, Eddie Bravo introduced Combat Jiu Jitsu to an official sporting organization to facilitate this new evolution of the art.
Eddie’s inspiration was to make the sport of Jiu-Jitsu more comparable to a real-life situation and bring it closer to the Gracie Family’s philosophy of using jiu-jitsu as a form of self-defense.
A fair criticism of modern Jiu-Jitsu is that while it has proven to be an effective form of martial arts and self-defense.
Many of the techniques we see competitors perform in sports matches today wouldn’t be practical outside of competition in a real-life/street fight scenario, where the danger of being hit with strikes must be considered. This is where Combat Jiu Jitsu changes the game.
Combat Jiu Jitsu vs MMA
MMA incorporates many martial arts forms into a fighter’s skill set. Various strikes, such as punches, kicks, knees, and elbows, are allowed.
In contrast, CJJ is still heavily grappling-based, focusing on Jiu-Jitsu and allowing competitors to throw open-handed palm strikes when their opponent is on the ground.
This completely changes the way athletes approach matches and perform techniques. Combat Jiu-Jitsu is an excellent bridge for athletes who may not necessarily want to cross over to MMA but still want to incorporate some striking aspect into their Jiu-Jitsu game.
CJJ is also great for MMA fighters who may want to compete in jiu-jitsu competitions, allowing them to use striking in their ground game as they would in an MMA contest.
An athlete who competes coming from MMA may struggle in BJJ competition against opponents who specialize solely in Jiu Jitsu; this is where the ability to throw strikes can help to level the playing field and encourage more MMA fighters to cross over.
A famous quote from Carlson Gracie illustrates this point well, ‘Punch a black belt in the face, now he’s a brown belt. Punch him again, purple’.
What Are the Rules in Combat Jiu-Jitsu?
The rules set for Combat Jiu Jitsu are as follows:
- All matches consist of one 10-minute round
- Strikes are only allowed to a downed/grounded opponent.
- Strikes must be with open palms only, no closed fist strikes.
- Strikes can be to the face and the body.
- A competitor is considered grounded when either their butt or both knees are touching the floor.
- All matches start standing; if both fighters are still standing after one minute of grappling, a horn will indicate that the match needs to go to the ground. The referee will then stop the match and enforce the ‘get down’ rule, where fighters flip a coin to decide the grounded position. The winner of the coin toss can choose to start with double underhooks in the butterfly guard or to start on the bottom.
- The ‘purgatory’ position is when one competitor is grounded, and the other is still standing but not engaging in a guard position or a leg entanglement. Competitors are allowed 30 seconds of purgatory for the match to incentivize fighters to advance position and discourage stalling.
- All submissions are legal.
- A match can be won by submission, EBI overtime rules, or KO.
- In EBI overtime, each fighter will be given two minutes in an attacking position. Fighters can choose between the spider web position and back control with a seatbelt grip with hooks in. If neither fighter scores a submission at the end of overtime, the fighter who escaped position the quickest will be the winner.
Where to find Combat Jiu-Jitsu?
If you’re a fan of BJJ and want to see Combat Jiu Jitsu in action, check out UFC Fight Pass for an extensive catalog of previous and upcoming live events.
If you’re thinking of picking up Jiu-Jitsu as a form of self-defense, BJJ schools such as the Gracie Academy offer a regular ‘Fight Simulation’ section to their classes, where students put on 7oz MMA sparring gloves and incorporate strikes into their regular sparring to train for real-life fight situations.
The Gracie Academy has schools worldwide, so a quick Google search should help you find one near you.
Most MMA gyms will also incorporate strikes into their Jiu-Jitsu Classes, so all there is to do is find a gym close to you and get started! First, you will need the right gear; click here for all the high-quality gear and equipment you need on your Jiu-Jitsu Journey.
Combat Jiu-Jitsu (CJJ) is a fighting discipline that combines traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) with elements of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). It includes selective striking techniques that complement BJJ’s focus on grappling and submission, making it a more comprehensive combat experience that aligns well with self-defense scenarios.
CJJ pays tribute to Jiu-Jitsu’s origins in early Vale Tudo matches while incorporating modern martial arts’s practical and competitive aspects.
For martial arts enthusiasts seeking to expand their knowledge and skills, whether from a BJJ or MMA background, CJJ offers a unique platform to test and enhance their abilities in a controlled yet realistic environment.