Jiu Jitsu Rules and Regulations (All You Need to Know!)

Nothing beats the adrenaline rush and mental challenge of competing in BJJ tournaments. It is a fantastic opportunity to have fun while improving your jiu-jitsu skills. However, breaking one or more competition rules is never acceptable when competing in these extraordinary jiu-jitsu events.

This article outlines some of the rules and regulations that competitors should know. Therefore, they will gain valuable experience when competing in the most valuable events. Have fun!

Jiu-Jitsu Competition Rules and Regulations

Understanding tournament rules and regulations is as important as meeting your weight class category, being physically/technically prepared, etc.

In that case, you’ll reduce your chances of being punished or disqualified for doing something you didn’t know was illegal.

Otherwise, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is not standardized, so what is allowed in one competition may not be permitted in another. Nevertheless, here are some of the top competition rules you should know.

No Jumping Guard

Jumping closed guard is an easy solution for many Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitors at the start of a competitive fight. They believe they will be taken down and may lose the match if they don’t.

Unfortunately, jumping guard is no longer permitted in competitions. This severe, explosive movement has injured many competitors, particularly beginner white belts.

No Slamming

Some competitors may enjoy nothing more than lifting someone off the ground and hurling them back down to earth like a meteor. This slamming movement, however, is not permitted in tournaments.

A slam move, for example, may occur when a top becomes stuck on an armbar while standing. Many fighters prefer to slam their opponent in this situation to break the submission attempt.

To summarize, slamming your opponent is not cool, so it is forbidden in jiu-jitsu competitions.

No Striking

All Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions do not allow striking. As a result, punching or kicking your opponent is considered a foul that gets you disqualified from the competition.

No Interacting with the Referee

There was a time when you could dispute with a referee during a game, and they would alter their mind and see your side of the story. But that’s no longer the case.

You will be punished if you talk to the referee now, even if you’re right. So don’t complain about the points. Instead, shake their hand at the outset of the bout and let your tremendous jiu-jitsu speak for itself.

No Fingers Grabbing

Another thing you should not do in a tournament is grab your opponent’s fingers. This is done most likely by beginner white belts when escaping some submission holds. 

Otherwise, gripping and twisting your opponent’s fingers is against BJJ regulations since it can result in a sprained or fractured finger. 

No More Than 20s to Tie Your Belt

Keep battling even if your belt slips off. Don’t question the referee, and don’t stop until they tell you to. Even so, don’t anticipate a reprieve. You have 20 seconds. If you take too long, you may face a penalty.

Do Not Leave the Mat to Avoid a Submission

Another tournament rule is not to leave the mat to avoid a real-time submission. However, if you fall off the mat to escape a hold, your opponent will receive 2 points.

No Awarded Points for Side Control

Some Brazilian jiu-jitsu positions are worth more points than others, such as the back mount (4 points), full mount (4 points), and knee-on-belly (2 points).

The side control position, on the other hand, is pointless. However, you will most likely get there by passing the opponent’s guard, giving you three points.

There are many other competition rules and regulations that you should know, such as:

  • White belts are not allowed to do a closed guard compression lock, wrist locks, kneebars, heel hooks, etc.
  • Also, suplexes, spinal locks, and scissor takedowns may not be allowed.

The following video explains them with clear examples.

Source: Ninh Ly

What Are The  IBJJF Gi Requirements?

The IBJJF and other tournament organizations require several characteristics for the competing gi. Some of the Gi criteria are as follows.

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 are permitted. However, wearing a gi jacket that is a different color than its pants is prohibited.

Indeed, Gis with a collar with a different color than the top are 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)

What Are the No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu Uniform Requirements?

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.

What Are The BJJ Scoring Points Requirements?

When competing in a BJJ tournament, the competitors must get into one of the scoring positions. Then, you should maintain their hold on your opponent for at least three seconds to earn points.

Source: IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation)

If you like to learn more, you can read this in-depth article about scoring points in Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions.

What Is Not Allowed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions prohibit a few different things; the following are some of the things that can get you disqualified from a BJJ competition:

  1. Doing a jumping guard
  2. Slamming you opponent
  3. Twisting your opponent’s fingers
  4. Use striking
  5. Yelling at the Referee
  6. Do prohibited techniques, including the crucifix, suplexes, spinal Lock, scissor takedown, etc.


Brazilian jiu-jitsu contests provide many practitioners with excellent opportunities for advancement and growth. Indeed, they provide a rush of adrenaline and a fantastic opportunity to have fun while honing your jiu-jitsu skills.

Although many inexperienced competitors spoil the fun by breaking competition rules and regulations. It is unacceptable for people to be disqualified after months of planning and preparation.

Consequently, studying and comprehending the rules and physical and technical training should be part of your competition preparation. For more help, check the previous standards and regulations for further information or consult the official competition host’s website directly.


This article does not comprehensively describe the rules and regulations governing BJJ competitions. This is because Brazilian jiu-jitsu is not standardized, so what is approved in one grappling competition may not be authorized in another.

Therefore, if you want to avoid being disqualified from the event you are going to compete in, you must consult and understand the regulations of the competition beforehand.

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