Understanding The Rules Of Rickson Gracie’s New Federation (JJGF)

Understanding The Rules Of Rickson Gracie’s New Federation (JJGF)



The upcoming 2014 Vulkan California Open (held in California on August 2& 3) will be the first BJJ competition to showcase Rickson Gracie’s new federation (Jiu-Jitsu Global Federation) rules.

Much has been said in the past few days about how these rules will differ from the other federation rules (IBJJF, NAGA, FIVE, Grapplers Quest etc..) by focusing more on submission attempts and penalizing stalling.

Many people expected the JJGF rules to be similar to the Budo Challenge (which gave -1 for pulling guard and +3 for submission attempts) however The JJGF has taken a diffrent direction. The 2014 JJFG rulebook has 2 main formats for the sport. The JJGF has rules for competition with real points & submission are very similar to IBJJF except for a few changes (see below). Also the JJGF has the challenge match format that is submission only. The Elite division allows for much less rules and allows reaping.

The time limits and points are fairly similar to the IBJJF rules.

Here are the main points which differ from IBJJF.

  • No Advantages. There are penalty points though.


  • Regarding guard pulling:

“A minor penalty is declared when a competitor pulls guard from the standing position more than one time in a match without attempting a sweep, or submission within a 3 count. The match continues without interruption, and the top competitor must still engage the bottom competitor”

  • Regarding Stalling:

“Lack of combativeness (stalling) is a minor penalty. Stalling will be declared any time the competitor doesnot attempt to submit the opponent or progress in the match aft
er a 20 second count…Examples of not progressing in the match after the 20 count inc
lude, but are not limited to:1. Not engaging an opponent who is on the ground.
2. Sitting or kneeling without any grip on the opponent (e.g. butt scooting).”

  • The challenge matches (No Time Limit) will have following rules:

Every challenge match follows the standard format except as noted below…the two competitors may be of the same weight division, or they may be of different weight classes,as determined by the host….Challenge matches may have either twenty minute rounds or no time limit, as determined by the host…There are no points in challenge matches. Competitors may attempt to win by submission only…At the end of this [second] round if there is no submission victory, the referee will decide the winner based on
combativeness and number of penalty points”

  • Reaping the Knee:

Only competitors in elite divisions, or divisions where twisting leg locks are legal, may legally reap the


Let’s wait and see how the Vulkan Open applies these rules and if it delivers exciting matches.

Download the JJGF rule book HERE