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IBJJF Rules: Everything You Need to Know

IBJJF Rules: Everything You Need to Know

When you join jiu jitsu community, you must come across the IBJJF rules and regulations. Even your Brazilian jiu jitsu coach may suggest you compete in the tournaments. International Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) conduct the world’s biggest and most competitive tournaments. Most of its rules are eventually adopted by other contests, and many gyms employ the IBJJF requirements for belt promotion.  

An IBJJF competition is the ideal setting to evaluate your abilities. You might be surprised to learn that some BJJ illegal moves (and gis!) can disqualify you. You may learn everything you need to know to prepare for the upcoming IBJJF tournament. 

IBJJF Scoring System (Winning Strategies) 

In an IBJJF competition, “winning” can be accomplished in three ways. First, you can win by outscoring your opponent before the clock runs out. If there is a draw in points, the next option is to win with a single advantage point. Compelling your opponent to tap is the third and best method. According to IBJJF rules books, ties-in points and advantage points let the referee decide who wins the match. 


According to IBJJF regulations, engaging your opponent is encouraged, while disengaging is forbidden. You receive an advantage point when you fail to take a position for the entire three seconds. As an illustration, imagine you mounted your opponent, but they escaped before the three-second point. You would nevertheless receive one benefit for almost finishing the mount. 

Additionally, attempts at submissions are rewarded with advantages. The referee may provide you with an advantage point if they determine that you are on the verge of completing a submission. 

After a game, you can also get the bonus points (But before the announcement of the results.) The referee may award an advantage point to break a tie between two athletes. 

When two competitors are tied on points, advantage points solely determine the winner of the match.

IBJJF Rules For Submissions

Submission is the quickest and most thrilling way to victory in an IBJJF match. The IBJJF regulations in this area are fairly straightforward. The match ends if you tap with your hand or foot or by saying “tap.” Additionally, the referee can halt the game if he believes one of the athletes is in imminent danger. IBJJF regulations state that a scream qualifies as a tap. The referee can terminate the match if an athlete yells in agony or distress. 

Don’t be hesitant to tap during a match. Never forget that a hospital bill is more expensive than a medal at the end of the day. A severe injury might keep you out of the gym for months, making any future training you perform more challenging. Jiu Jitsu gi contests are only a sport and not worth your health, even though it’s fantastic to be competitive! 

Fouls in IBJJF 

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is thought to have more lax regulations than other martial arts events. You may expect to encounter some of the most ferocious and tough competitors in the IBJJF. The IBJJF, on the other hand, has a reputation for incredible rigors with the few IBJJF ruleset. These ibjjf rules frequently disqualify someone so rapidly that they may not even know what they did until after the match. 

IBJJF Ruleset For Penalties

Different levels of fouls carry other punishments, according to the IBJJF. The many IBJJF fouls include: 

Disciplinary Foul 

This can include using vulgar words, making offensive gestures, or generally acting in an unsportsmanlike manner. Even if the game hasn’t begun or ended, the referee has the authority to expel a player “at the moment of violation.” Since there is a strong BJJ community, this rarely becomes an issue. 

Serious Penalties

These are the dramatic equivalents of technical fouls, like if someone leaves the fighting area to force a rematch. The IBJJF recently announced that opponents will receive two points if they stand up or disengage to prevent a sweep or submit.

The four significant penalties directly lead to disqualification. In the event of a tie in points and advantages, the lesser penalties make you a winner.

High Penalties

These punishments include unlawful BJJ moves like the suplex or a spinal lock (similar to the big brother choke). One of these maneuvers results in immediate disqualification as the punishment. However, higher levels may allow these bjj moves. For instance, the heel hook is now acceptable in bjj no gi tournaments at the brown belt level.

Technical Penalties

The IBJJF penalizes people for not engaging their opponents, as mentioned earlier. An illustration of a technical penalty would be this. Stalling is a classic example of this (where someone is ahead in points and decides to stay in a passive position to let the clock run out instead of engaging). 


One of the most heartbreaking things to witness in an IBJJF match is disqualification. Especially if the person being dismissed has more points than the other opponent. In IBJJF competitions, disqualifications occur relatively quickly and frequently due to the athlete not understanding the rules. Slamming is arguably the most frequent reason for being eliminated at the white belt level. 

It is forbidden to lift your opponent’s back off the ground and dump them back when they are in a guard position. IBJJF also prohibits Takedowns like a suplex, which requires your opponent to fall on their head or neck. 

Referees stop the BJJ competition and hold up their arms as an “X” to indicate the player’s disqualification. Unless prompted, they frequently won’t even state their reason for making the decision. The referee is the match’s highest authority and can take final decisions according to the IBJJF ruleset. 

IBJJF Uniform Standards

You may be shocked that a referee will also inspect your gi while you weigh in. Some gis is difficult to grip because they are constructed of high GSM (grams per square meter) textiles or because of the way they are knitted. IBJJF forbids these jiu-jitsu gi. The IBJJF differs from other contests in this regard because of its strict uniform requirements. 

You might find it odd that wearing cups or other protection violates the uniform rule. The reason for forbidding it is that it can make an armbar more dangerous and could harm the opponent while engaging or fighting. 

Rules for IBJJF Hygiene

Athletes must practice cleanliness according to IBJJF rules, and for good cause. For instance, a staph infection disqualifies a competitor! Additionally, you shouldn’t roll with someone with long toenails or fingernails. As one of the IBJJF’s more stringent requirements, long hair must be tied back for competitors. Also, you cannot roll on with temporary hair color that can smear over someone’s BJJ gi or BJJ mat.

Guidelines for Kimono 

The IBJJF’s first and foremost rule allows gis in white, royal blue, or black. The use of colors other than blue is prohibited. Additionally, there is no color-matching concept, such as wearing a white kimono with black pants. It is also prohibited for you to wear a gi with several fabric colors, such as one with a contrast-colored lapel.

The length of your gi is another one of their most important requirements. If someone is wearing a too tiny gi, it is unfair to the other athletes. They will check your sleeve at the weigh-in to ensure it hangs 5 cm below your wrist. They use a measurement device to look at your sleeves. 

The IBJJF also has rigorous guidelines for patches. This explains why you may have noticed folks wearing gis with patches in unexpected places. 

Belt Guidelines

According to the IBJJF rules, athletes should wear a belt four to five centimeters broad and double-tied around the waist. The way you tie your belt is acceptable if you can do it effectively during class. The referee might stand you up and give you extra time to retie your belt if it comes undone during the fight. 

One participant will be handed a multicolored belt to tie around you if you an your opponent are wearing the same color gi so the referee can distinguish between the two of you. Simply tie this over your regular belt if this ever occurs to you. 


The IBJJF conducts competitions that are timely and professional. This indicates that they are notorious for not tolerating their standards and are pretty tough. The finest and worst aspects of them are essentially the same. Since IBJJF is the biggest organization that hosts contests, many gyms also adopt their belt rank requirements, making issues even more challenging.  

You may know the most recent controversies surrounding Mica Galvao and Robert Degle. Both practitioners have a reputation for excelling in IBJJF events, defeating several black belts. They are, however, prohibited from competing at the black belt level by IBJJF rules. 

Some IBJJF’s other debates concentrate on prohibited techniques like reaping when a person in a leg entanglement position crosses their outside foot over their opponent’s midline. As per IBJJF regulations, this places strain on the knee and is deemed prohibited. Many people have expressed outrage about this law, claiming it is not very risky. In response to complaints about reaping, the IBJJF no longer disqualifies competitors who unintentionally reap their opponents.


It’s crucial to enter an IBJJF competition with complete information and understanding. Nothing is more discouraging than getting ready for a big tournament and then finding out at the door that your gi is incorrect. The IBJJF rules may appear complicated, but they are for your safety. Enjoying your jiu jitsu journey while following IBJJF rules and regulations is crucial.