How to Score Points in Jiu Jitsu? (The Ultimate Guide)

Nothing beats the excitement and challenge of Brazilian jiu jitsu competitions. It is a terrific opportunity for maximum excitement while improving your skills. However, it is critical to comprehend the BJJ point scoring system and competition rules to play well and achieve your goals.

So, you’re probably wondering how to score points in jiu-jitsu competitions?

Competitors can score points in Jiu-jitsu by achieving specific positions and techniques, such as taking the back, passing the guard, performing takedowns, etc.

Besides, you must accumulate more points than your opponent while not being submitted to win a BJJ match.

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This ultimate guide will cover the fundamentals of scoring points in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, whether you’re a white belt competitor or a blue belt competitor, etc. In addition, we’ll go over the most common ways to score points in BJJ matches. Stay tuned!

What Is the BJJ Scoring Points System? 

bjj scoring points

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu scoring points system determines the winner of each match in competitions when there is no submission.

If not, it will assist competitors in concentrating on the most dominant positions so that they can prepare for competitions more effectively.

A competitor can score points in various ways in a Brazilian jiu-jitsu match, like leading his opponent to certain positions and maneuvers.

Here is the scoring points system by order of importance in Brazilian jiu-jitsu gi and no-gi according to the IBJJF and SJJIF and other federations.

  • BJJ Points System IBJJF and SJJIF

Understanding how the BJJ point system works is critical when competing in Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments.

The four main ways to score points in IBJJF and SJJIF tournaments are takedowns, sweeps, guard passing, mount position, back mount, etc.

Here is the jiu-jitsu points system according to the IBJJF and SJJIF federations:

Dominant Position or Techniques Scored Points
Back mount / Back control 4
Full Mount 4
Guard Passing 3
Knee-on-Belly 2
Sweep 2
Takedown 2

N.B: Points will be awarded only if the position has been held for 3 seconds or more.

  • ADCC Points Scoring System 

The Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) is one of the best grappling competitions organized every two years.

It is a tough and challenging grappling contest that gathers the best grapplers in the world.

The ADCC emphasizes submissions grappling over scoring points. Therefore, an ADCC competitor does not earn positive points until the end of the first half of the match. After that, he earns both positive and negative points.

Here is the ADCC scoring points system:

Dominant Position or Techniques Scored Points
Passing the guard 3
Knee on stomach 2
Mount position 2
Back mount with hooks 3
Takedown ending in a half guard 2
Sweep ending in a half guard 2
Back mount with hooks 3
Clean sweep ending with guard passing 4
Clean takedown ending with a guard pass 4

N.B: Points will be awarded only if the position has been held for 3 seconds or more.

  • NAGA BJJ Scoring System

The North American Grappling Association (NAGA) is a grappling competition organization that organizes gi and no-gi tournaments worldwide.

The NAGA points system for gi competitions is similar to the IBJJF points system. Here are the NAGA (Gi) scoring points by dominant positions and techniques:

  • 2 points for a successful takedown.
  • 2 points for a successful sweep
  • 3 points for the guard passing
  • 4 points for getting the mount position
  • 4 points for getting the back grab, back control position, and body triangle from the back.
  • 2 points for knee on stomach

Although, the NAGA scoring points system in no-gi is different from the IBJJF points system. Here is the NAGA (No-Gi) jiu-jitsu point scoring system:

Dominant Position or Techniques Awarded Points
Submission attempts 1-2
Takedowns 1-2
Sweeps 2
Side control 2
Mount position 2
back mount / Back grab 2
Knee on belly 2

In addition, to score points in NAGA gi and no-gi tournaments, you must have dominant control over your opponent for 3 seconds or more.

Aside from that, in the different grappling tournaments, competitors may accumulate advantages or penalties during the fight alongside the BJJ scoring points above.

For example, when an athlete comes close to scoring points or submitting their opponent, advantage points are usually awarded.

However, penalties are imposed when the competitor commits a severe foul or lacks combativeness.

How to Score Points in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a grappling-based martial art that emphasizes takedowns and ground grappling submissions.

Therefore, A practitioner can use takedowns to take his opponent to the ground and then control or submit him using various techniques such as chokeholds and joint locks.

Whether competing in gi or no-gi jiu-jitsu competitions, you can score points by reaching dominant positions and performing specific techniques like takedowns, sweeps, etc. Here are some legit ways to score points in a jiu-jitsu fight:

  • Obtaining a Successful Takedown

Getting a successful Takedown is one of the most common scoring points in jiu-jitsu. A takedown is achieved by taking a standing opponent to the ground using a single leg, double leg, arm-drag, and other techniques. In that case, you’ll get 2 points.

  • Passing the Guard

Passing your opponent’s guard is another way to score points in BJJ. Toreando, knee slice, double under, single under, and over under are just a few techniques you can use to pass the guard. So, if you successfully perform a guard passing maneuver and hold the opponent for 3 seconds, you will receive 3 points.

  • Completing a Successful Sweep

Sweeps are another popular method of scoring points in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. A sweep can be obtained by unbalancing a top opponent and moving him to a bottom position. If you successfully perform a sweeping maneuver and maintain the new position for 3 seconds, you will receive 2 points.

  • Taking the Opponent’s Back

The back control is considered the most dominant position in BJJ. It is a difficult position to obtain, but it grants you complete dominance over your opponent through various effective techniques and submissions. Otherwise, achieving and maintaining the back mount position for 3 seconds will help you score 4 points.

  • Mounting Your Opponent

The full mount is another dominant position in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. It provides access to a variety of practical fighting techniques and submissions. Otherwise, reaching full mount position and holding it for 3 seconds will help you score 4 points.

  • Getting a Knee-on-Belly

The knee on belly is a jiu-jitsu position that puts a lot of pressure on the opponent’s stomach. It can be reached from the side control after passing the guard. Otherwise, achieving and maintaining the knee on belly position for 3 seconds will help you score 2 points.

Strategies to Score Points in BJJ Tournaments

A BJJ competitor’s goal is to tap out the opponent rather than win points. Therefore, although the point system is still a vital part of the game, you must understand how to use it!

Aside from that, the total scoring points possible depends on your game plan. So, as a wise competitor, you prioritize working on takedowns, sweeps, full mount, back control, and so on when preparing for a tournament to score maximum points.

Otherwise, competitors, from white to black belts, don’t neglect submissions and prefer working from the top than on the bottom. Therefore, they will prioritize takedowns, guard passing, knee on belly, getting the mount position, etc.

Source: Stephan Kesting

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Rules and Regulations

BJJ tournament rules vary from one organization to another (IBJJF, ADCC, NAGA, etc.); here are a few examples:

  1.  No unsportsmanlike behavior will be tolerated. Illegal behavior may lead to disqualification.
  2. There will be no striking, biting, eye gouging (chin to the eye), head butting, minor joint manipulation (finger or toe locks), hair pulling, grabbing the windpipe, or ear pulling.
  3. No Slamming is permitted; for example, slamming your opponent to escape submissions is illegal. Slamming will result in an automatic disqualification.
  4. There will be no infectious skin diseases (such as ringworm, staph, and MRSA) or open wounds. There will be no lubricants, oils, or lotions allowed on any part of the body or clothing.
  5. Competitors may continue grappling anywhere on the matted area if they do not interfere with another match. If not, they will be restarted from the same position unless the referee cannot duplicate the position for any reason. If the referee cannot replicate the position, the competitors will restart from a standing position.

The video below highlights some crucial rules in Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments through various scenarios.

Source: Ninh Ly

So, if you’re going to compete, make sure to read the tournament rules.

Conclusion

The BJJ scoring system educates competitors on the points granted for specific positions and movements in tournaments. For example, competitors earn points when getting takedowns, guard pass, sweep, full mount, back control, etc.

Otherwise, to win a jiu-jitsu match, you must either submit your opponent or accumulate more points than he does.

So, concentrate on these scoring situations while preparing for contests and developing your jiu-jitsu game.

Speak up; do you like scoring points or submissions in BJJ competitions?

Related article: World IBJJF Jiu-Jitsu Championship 2022 (Results)

Frequently Asked Questions

How Many Points Is a Sweep in BJJ?

A sweep in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a move that moves your opponent from a top position to a bottom one.

Sweeps are one of the most common ways to score points in jiu-jitsu. You will receive 2 points if you can sweep your opponent and maintain a new position for three seconds.

How Many Points Is Closed Guard?

The closed guard is a position in which the fighter wraps their legs around their opponent’s waist and locks their ankles together.

This position allows the bottom player to keep their opponent under control and prevent him from attacking.

As a result, closed guard is considered an offensive and defensive position. However, there are no points awarded for achieving the closed guard position.

Yet, getting into a closed guard after talking your opponent down gives you 2 points for the takedown.

How Many Points Is a Knee on Your Stomach?

A knee to the stomach is usually worth two points in jiu-jitsu. Otherwise, you can use this move to establish dominance and set up submissions that may help you end the fight.

How Does the Point System in BJJ Work?

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu scoring points system is utilized to inform competitors of the points awarded for specific positions and moves to facilitate the organization of competitions.

It tells competitors of the points awarded for particular positions and moves, including takedowns, passing the guard, sweeps, and back control.

Do You Get Points for Side Control BJJ?

Side control is one of the fundamental positions in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. You will receive three points if you pass the guard, reach the top side or north-south, and hold the position for three seconds.

How Many Points Do I Get for Submission in Jiu Jitsu?

Points are awarded for obtaining specific positions and moves to determine the winner of a BJJ fight where there is no submission.

However, the referee will stop the bout when a submission happens, and the scored points will be meaningless.

How Do You Win a BJJ Match?

In Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions, a competitor can win the match by submitting his opponent. If the submission does not occur, the competitor may win the game by scoring more points over his opponent.

Otherwise, if there is a draw, the competitor should gain more advantages and fewer penalties than his opponent.

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