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The Brazilian Nationals, the IBJJF World Championships, and the European Championships, amongst others, are prestigious Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments and events that we often hear about. These tournaments get the best in the world, region, or country, to compete against each other. Often times, there will be cash prizes for the top athletes competing at the highest level of that tournament or event. What these tournaments have in common are the fact that they are gi tournaments or events- the competitor must compete in the kimono or gi uniform.
No-Gi Jiu Jitsu events and tournaments do not require the gi uniform to compete. These events are gaining in popularity, and with the rise in popularity of the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), comes the rise in participants in the individual martial arts from which MMA is composed. As such, as more people begin to train in No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu, the popularity of tournaments and events catering to the No-Gi style of Jiu-Jitsu will continue to grow.
Let’s look at 5 No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu tournaments that every fan should be watching.
ADCC World Submission Fighting Championships
The ADCC tournament is the most prestigious No-Gi Grappling tournament, created by UAE Sheik Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the son of former UAE leader Sheik Zayed. The main event is held every 2 years, and participants are either invited or will have won the regional qualifiers for automatic placement. The regional qualifiers are located in North America, South America, Asia, and Europe.
Qualifying rounds are 10 minutes with 5 minute overtime matches. Finals rounds are 20 minutes in length with 10 minute overtime matches. The first half of the match is submission only, while the last half of the match can be won via points or submission. The ruleset is quite unique in that anything goes, almost. All leg locks are legal, neck cranks are legal, and slamming your competitor to escape a submission is, yes, legal!
World Jiu-Jitsu IBJJF No-Gi Championships
The No-Gi Worlds is another prestigious tournament that is held in California. The match durations for brown and black belt divisions are 8 minutes and 10 minutes, respectively. The tournament was created by the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, which was founded by Carlos Gracie, Jr., head of Gracie Barra, one of the largest Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu associations.
The rules for this tournament follow the IBJJF ruleset, which for black belts means no heel hooks, no reaping the knee, no neck cranks, and no slamming. When it comes to leg lock submissions, lower belts are only allowed to administer straight leg locks.
Eddie Bravo Invitational
The Eddie Bravo Invitational, or EBI, was created by Eddie Bravo, head of the 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu Association. It has gained popularity with the rise of submission only tournaments. Each EBI match is 10 minutes in length. The only way for a competitor to win during regulation is to submit their opponent. If no one gets submitted in regulation, the winner is decided in overtime.
There are 3 overtime rounds, and each opponent starts with either spider web control, threatening the armbar, or back control, threatening the neck. At the end of each round, if one competitor submits the other, he/she is declared the winner. If, however, each competitor escapes the position during each of the three overtimes, the competitor with the fastest combined escape times will be declared the winner.
Polaris is another submission only focused event on the rise. It was created by Scramble and Tatami in order to give the European scene a submission event of their own. The matches are 15 minutes in length. At the end of regulation, if no competitor submitted the other, then 3 judges will decide the winner based on score cards rating positively for 1) fighter aggression, 2) positional control and advancement, and 3) counter attacks and dynamic escapes. Negative scoring will be given to the competitor who stalls or is passive, as well as those who commit fouls or display poor sportsmanship.
Neck cranks, joint locks, and heel hooks are allowed for the Polaris No-Gi matches. Slamming to escape a submission is illegal.
After seeing the lack of quality events for No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, Chael Sonnen created a submission tournament of his own. What’s unique about Submission Underground is that many of the participants in the events are MMA fighters.
For Submission Underground, Sonnen has adapted the EBI ruleset, but each match is 8 minutes in length rather than 10, and the matches take place in an MMA cage, rather than on a stage.
We’ve looked at 5 No-Gi Jiu-Jitsu events and tournaments that you should be aware of. At these events and tournaments, you will see competitors from all over the globe representing their country, their gym, or their particular style of Jiu-Jitsu. Whether you are going to compete at these events, or are there as a spectator, you are in for many action-packed matches and are guaranteed not to be disappointed.