IBJJF Rules for Gi and No-Gi Competitors

ibjjf rules

The IBJJF is one of the most prestigious tournament organizations in the world of BJJ. As a result, it annually hosts some of the world’s top jiu-jitsu championships, such as the IBJJF Worlds. Furthermore, the IBJJF has several rules and regulations that competitors should know to have a fantastic competing experience.

This article outlines some rules and regulations to be aware of if you want to compete in various IBJJF competitions. It will cover the disabled move and techniques, point-scoring rules, competing gear requirements, etc. Have fun!

IBJJF Banned Techniques

jiu jitsu rules

Several movements and techniques are prohibited in IBJJF tournaments because they have the potential to harm or injure one of the competitors.

To avoid being punished or disqualified for performing an illegal move, please review the following IBJJF illicit movements.

  • Jumping Guard

Some Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors perform a jumping closed guard at the start of the IBJJF tournament match to avoid a takedown.

However, this explosive movement can cause severe injury to the opposing competitor, particularly for BJJ beginners.

As a result, the IBJJF has banned the jumping guard from their tournaments.

  • Slamming

Some competitors may get a kick out of picking someone up and flinging them back down to earth like a meteor. This is called slamming, a smashing maneuver not authorized in the IBJJF competitions.

For example, a slam maneuver may occur if a top becomes locked on an armbar while standing. Many fighters opt to smash their opponent to disrupt the submission attempt in this position.

To recap, smashing your opponent is uncool and can provoke severe injuries to the neck, head, back, etc. Thus, it is prohibited in the different jiu-jitsu contests.

  • Spinal Lock Without a Choke

Spinal locks are banned from all BJJ jiu-jitsu events, including IBJJF events.

A spinal lock is a multiple-joint lock applied to the spinal column. It is accomplished by pushing the spine beyond its natural mobility range which might cause a severe injury.

Therefore, the spinal lock maneuver may disqualify you from the IBJJF tournament.

  • Heel Hooks

The heel hook is a popular move in grappling tournaments such as the ADCC World Championship. Although, it banned technique in the IBJJF matches at beginner and intermediate levels (White to purple belts).

A heel hook is a type of leg lock that involves trapping the foot at a precise angle and twisting the knee joint. Thus, the heel hook may provoke severe heel injury for even professional BJJ athletes.

As a result, as an IBJJF competitor, you cannot utilize the heel hook techniques in Gi tournaments. But, in No-Gi IBJJF tournaments, brown or black belt competitors are permitted to use heel hocks.

  • Striking Techniques

Striking is not permitted in any IBJJF Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournament. As a result, punching or kicking your opponent is deemed a foul and will disqualify you from the IBJJF bout.

  • Scissor Takedown (Kani Basami)

Scissors takedown, known as Kani Basami, is an ancient grappling technique. It is utilized in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, which is executed by assailing with the legs. 

Thus, Scissors takedown can hurt opponents’ knees and may cause severe knee injury. Therefore, this move is banned in judo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu tournaments, including the IBJJF events.

  • Finger Grabbing

Grabbing the opponent’s fingers during an IBJJF competition is banned. Usually, a  competitor (mainly white belts) may hold his opponent’s finger while escaping a submission beginning white belts.

Gripping and twisting the opponent’s fingers are against IBJJF rules since it might result in a sprained or fractured finger.

  • Suplex Takedowns

The suplex is one of the unlawful techniques that can result in automatic disqualification in IBJJF Gi and No-Gi tournaments. A BJJ competitor cannot utilize any suplex that involves picking up your opponent and slamming them to the ground.

The suplex takedowns can can provoke some severe injuries to the opponent’s back that may cause paralysis.

Thus, the IBJJF and other BJJ entities have banned the suplex takedowns from their competitions.  As a result, if you don’t want to get disqualified, never use it in any of your BJJ contests.

IBJJF Mat Rules

Respect the following regulations after you go onto the mat in an IBJJF bout. In that situation, you will avoid penalties or being disqualified.

  • No Interacting with the Referee

There was a time when you could argue with a referee during a game, and they would change their mind and consider your point of view. However, this is no longer the case.

Even if you are correct, you will be penalized if you speak to the referee now in an IBJJF bout. So don’t begrudge the points. Instead, shake their hand at the start of the match and let your great jiu-jitsu speak for itself.

  • No More Than 20s to Tie Your Belt

When your belt comes off, you’ve got 20 seconds after the referee asks you to tie your belt. But you’ll get a penalty if you exceed 20 seconds while tying your belt.

  • Do Not Leave the Mat to Avoid a Submission

Another IBJJF tournament regulation is that you must not leave the mat to prevent a real-time submission. Yet, if you fall off the mat to escape a hold, your opponent gets 2 points.

IBJJF Points Rules

Winning an IBJJF bout by scoring more points than the opponent is one of the most effective strategies in competitions. In that case, understanding the IBJJF points scoring rules is critical for success in Gi and No-Gi BJJ tournaments.

If you’re a competitor who prefers scoring points to win a match, look at the following positions awarded points in IBJJF.

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

Otherwise, you should know the following rules to secure an IBJJF bout using points.

  • You should hold your opponent for at least 3 seconds to secure points.
  • Competitors can get penalties in various circumstances, such as:
  1. Putting four fingers inside the opponent’s gi sleeves or pants.
  2. Being passive in any jiu-jitsu position for more than 10 seconds.
  3. Delaying tactics and not engaging in the game, such as from a standing position.
  • Competitors can get advantages in various circumstances, such as Uncompleted guard passing, submission, or transition to a position of possible points scoring, like the mount, back control, etc.
  • No awarded points for the side control. 

IBJJF Gi Rules

The IBJJF and other tournament bodies have specific requirements for competing for Gis. The following are some of the Gi criteria.

  • Gi Material Criteria

Gis should only be made of cotton fabric which should not be so thick or hard that an opponent cannot grip it. A woven fabric GI is required for the juvenile, adult, master, and senior divisions, among other criteria. 

  • Gi Colors and Patches Criteria

Gis must be uniformly colored. Therefore, white, royal blue, and black Gis is permitted. However, wearing a gi jacket with a different color than its pants is not allowed.

Indeed, Gis with a collar with a different color than the top is also not allowed.

  • Gi Sizes

When the athlete’s arm is extended straight parallel to the ground, the Gi top should reach the thigh, and the sleeves should come no more than 5 cm from the athlete’s wrist. Indeed, GI pants should not extend higher than 5 cm above the ankle bone.

Furthermore, the Gi lapel thickness = 1.3 cm, Gi collar width = 5 cm, and sleeve opening at full extension = 7 cm. (See the following illustrative image)

IBJJF No-Gi Uniform Rules

best submission only bjj tournaments

The IBJJF and other no-gi jiu-jitsu tournament bodies need specific features for competitive uniforms. Some of the no-gi requirements are as follows.

  • Rash Guards Requirements

BJJ competitors of both genders must wear a rashguard shirt, which should be long enough to cover the torso to the waistband of the shorts.

Otherwise, this rashguard can be in black, white, or black and white, with at least 10% of the rank color belts to which the athlete belongs. 

  • Men Shorts Requirements

Competitors must wear black, white, black, and white board shorts and/or the color of the athlete’s rank.

Otherwise, the short uniform should not have any pockets, buttons, exposed drawstrings, zippers, or any plastic or metal that might endanger the opponent. It must be halfway down the leg and no longer than the knee.


  • Women’s Shorts and Compression

Women’s compression shorts and compression trousers must be black, white, black and white, or the color of the athlete’s belt rank.

Otherwise, the shorts must be free of pockets, buttons, zippers, or any plastic or metal that might endanger the opponent. It must be long enough to reach halfway down the thigh but no longer than the knee.


Many practitioners benefit from the IBJJF competitions in terms of progress and growth. They do, indeed, give an adrenaline rush as well as an excellent opportunity to have fun while developing your jiu-jitsu abilities and collecting amazing rewards.

Many inexperienced competitors ruin the excitement by violating the IBJJF tournament rules and regulations. As a result, they will be disqualified, and their months of planning and preparation will be for naught.

As a result, understanding and grasping the IBJJF regulations should be a part of your preparation in addition to the physical and technical training.

Speak out; did you find this article helpful in learning about the rules and regulations of IBJJF competitions?


This article does not go into detail on the rules and regulations that govern IBJJF competitions. This is because those may change a little from an IBJJF event to another event.

As a result, you must examine the rules of the IBJJF competition in which you will compete. In that case, you’ll get more updates about banned things and avoid getting disqualified from the event.