Andre Galvao On What Changes Should Be Made To IBJJF Rules

Andre Galvao On What Changes Should Be Made To IBJJF Rules



Andre Galvao took second place at the worlds this year, losing to Felipe Preguica in the Heavyweight finals.

He recently posted on his Facebook the following statement on IBJJF rules. At teh worlds, Galvao’s student Keenan Cornelius was disqualified for a knee reap in his weight class. The decision brought a lot of controversy and Andre addressed the main issues within the IBJJF rules set:


“Hey guys ,
Here I would like to state my opinion on the rules of the IBJJF , which is the main federation of our sport .
My first World Jiujitsu Championship by IBJJF was in 2001. Since then I always competed the IBJJF events. Today i’m a teacher as well and my students have always competing those events . I’m inside the sport during all these years.
I would like to congratulate the IBJJF for the organization in those events. I‘ve seen it all being transformed. First of all I would like to offer my congratulations to all who work at the event as well. Congrats guys.

Now starting to matter. I’ve seen many changes in our sport rule. The rule in jiu- jitsu is getting more and more complex . Gestures with arms increased , and much. The score was fairly easy to understand this , but the rule still not exactly where this should be.

Our sport evolves every day, jiu- jitsu is a rather beautiful martial art . Has no end , the only thing that can put an end over the positions and the evolution of our sport are the rules .

I mean here I respect all referees and all who are part of the arbitration commission IBJJF . But I think that could be better reviewed . Of course we can not change the rules of jiu – jitsu radically , I understand that , but I think there are things that really can be analyzed and reviewed. I think the rule hinders many times , the way the referee to interpret certain situations of struggle.That’s all very delicate . Referees are there always well intentioned exerting their work . The result of a fight, often is not a bad intention of a referee ‘s fault but the rule.

DQ: Today I see athletes being DQ a lot. There are certain things that need not be radical . I see athletes being disqualified for mooring or do not move in the fight, when they don’t like to fight, that is a different case , I agree with that . If u do not want to fight , you get be home. I agree with that . But I think it should do not DQ the Athletes right way, lots of athletes come from a very far place and some get DQ in the first fight. I know could be their fault for not study the IBJJF’s rule. But I think it should be something better for it. When you see someone getting their knee reaping I think it is not that bad like the guy need a suregery That is pretty sad. The ref just should stop the fight, give penalty and reset it without the knee reaping situation. I have a student purple belt. He got DQ in the 5th fight for Straight foot lock the guy and rolled to the wrong side. I know today it is not legal in the rule, but it shouldn’t be a DQ right way…the ref should give a penalty for it and call the fighter attention. Some times the guy who is defending this type of foot lock is the one who turn to the wrong side I think it is to much in the rule. I don;t agree with that.

KNEE REAPING: I think this part of the federation is sinning a bit , this getting too heavy . Many, many times the twist knee caused by accident , nervousness , lack of attention , or may be intentionally used by two athletes , both as who is attacking who is defending . Depends of the case. I can give here the example of my student Keenan Cornelius (He is a very smart guy who always play using the rules) fight when the BTT athlete made a motion to intentionally. If you guys look at the video , you can tell it was intentionally very clear. I respect and Gamonal not think he’s wrong, he used the rule , but I think in this case should be only a severe punishment , and start our fight without the twist of the knee, if the ref really saw the knee reaping, If the athlete is doing guard and get it again, the ref should punish him again until you reach the punishment of disqualification. I think the athlete could not be disqualified without even having the opportunity of a new beginning. The jiu – jitsu as I said is a very complex fight and now you can see new positions, making our bjj even more complex. You can tell many attacks of guard borning in the last 4-5 years , many types of guard, jiu – jitsu athlete is practically a guy passing guard and another playing guard in most fights, the use of his legs is inevitable . When there is a disqualification because of it without the athlete having another chance , is very sad . We see a lot of hard training going down in seconds.
Another example would be the fight of Romulo Barral vs Guto Campos in the semi-finals Black Belt, guess who saw this fight can analyze and see who was forcing the knee, and in my opinion was the athlete that was on the top, in the case Barral . The leg of Guto was not crossed on the hip of the great champ Barral, but the leg was at the level of his chin, Guto was only holding the pants and Barral was trying to turn to the opposite side , in this case I think the judge should see whoever was twisting the knee. If really he thought the referee was going to twist a knee on the part of Guto Campos, he could stop the fight the way it was , call the attention of Guto giving him a punishment and start again soon after. I think it would be fairer , because in a new beginning could be better analyzed who was actually twisting the leg. I want to say here that I highly respect the athlete Romulo Barral , a great champion , but I’m using this example because I saw this fight , I was there watching at the time, nothing against Romulo , who did a great tournament. I just only want the improvement of our sport .
This part of automatic disqualification , I think , in my opinion , it’s very radical and most often , 97 % of the times I see , very unfair . Not agree!

DOUBLE GUARD PULL : I SAW a perfect 20 seconds of action , going up to someone or trying to sick the back against the double guard pull, we all could see great results in this area . we saw athletes which used to play guard fighting on top , trying to pass the guard . This is a very good step in the rule. And force athletes to developing the guard pass over those crazy guards today

STALLING IN THE OPEN GUARD: I think it’s a big step , but hears controversies in contests in which the athlete was winning and then there began to tie using the open guard . Is that possible tie using open guard ? Yes! How ? If u have good footprints in the sleeve or pants and get neutralize the TOP opponent, yes it is possible to tie . Example : using the double lasso guard holding the sleeves , WOULD BE A GREAT EXAMPLE . I do not know that there some sweep in that situation and think that is a hard think to do (sweep with double lasso) or even submit someone there. One arm lasso yes, but do the lasso in both arms would be very difficult . So I think it should rather be tied punishment in open guard , I agree with the IBJJF.

RESET: On the part of re-start the fight , I think it could be improved . Maybe the referee could take a picture of the position in some way , perhaps using the phone so he could start over the fight right. This would be a suggestion . For there are times when the referee is not bound in certain grips that make much difference at the time of restart . I think it would be good to everyone and would be fairer and the difference of a grip change the situation completely and could changes the fight result . The reset, can cost a world title . This should be looked better because we do not have a fight that end , jiu- jitsu is a fight that should only end when the time is up or when someone gives up. This is the Competitive jiu – jitsu. Example : the area of protection to the area of action. When the fight which often starts in the position and falls out, Most of the time , or when the judge wants it back the fight standing without grips , think it takes away the main objective of the struggle that the submission, totally . Then again people say that athletes struggle thinking of points etc etc , but I think this is a bit of the rules guilt . One example was my final against Pena , where early on exchanged takedowns and he gave me a counter sweep and landed on my side. The judge ordered him to play , but the movement was initiated from the inside out , I think this situation could come to the middle of the action area on the same position with Pena on top. Another example was the scramble of Rafael Mendes and Cobrinha when Rafa fell over mounting in the Great Champion Rubens ” Cobrinha ” it was a movement from the inside out . I think there were both were fighting still before the ref call:PAROU!!! Just like my situation with Pena. What I ‘m saying here is not to protect anyone but for the benefit of our sport . I’m talking with all respect and sincerity . I think if you want to see more action and submission, it should be different…the referee in this situation might say PAROU! Take a picture and return to THE MIDDLE OF THE ACTION AREA as the picture shows. I think it would be better to fight and for the benefit of the athletes looking to fight. There would be many more submissions in the tournanents , or more action .

CELEBRATION : I think the athlete should have the right to celebrate , of course respecting the opponent . I think rushing to jump on the crowd etc etc of course could mess with the schedule of fights and the event SCHEDULE. But the athlete could have the chance to have the right to celebrate for up to 20-30 seconds after winning the fight , especially in the finals. Why not? Every sport there is vibration , there is a celebration of the champion . Our sport has lost some of this.The athlete who is fighting can’t celebrate . I say this because I know, I’m a fighter and make it cool. Punishment for a respectful celebration is ridiculous, what we all saw with Ary Farias last year was something that never happened and never will happening in any sport , especially in the fight world. It would be like taking the world title from a fighter who just won the UFC belt because that fighter climbed the fence to celebrate . That does not make sense! I know the referee used the rule, but this part of the rule was too much.

ILLEGAL GRIPS: I agree with the grips of inside the pants and sleeve etc it is too strong. Put the foot inside tthe belt as well. I think this is good for the rules.

50/50 : I think the 50/50 already much more developed, nowadays u can see people coming out of this situation with more success than before . I think if the two athletes are stopped oh yes there should be a new beginning giving punishment to the athletes. But one thing I would suggest would be to punish to the athlete who set up the 50/50 ( who is usually below ) the referee should point to who put the guard opening 20 seconds of action . It should be , because there would force the athlete to get the fight down and untie the position or even make him to work on that. I think that would help a lot. You don’t see the guy on top searching for the 50/50. The 50/50 is used more for the guard players. 50/50 is a tyoe of guard and not a passing guard.

STALLING TIME: 50 seconds total ( 30 SECONDS regressive and 20 SECONDS progressive ) I think there should be a clock on the score table for each athlete . This clock would countdown from 30 seconds . This should be the maximum time that an athlete could tie a fight , before taking the first punishment . He COULD use this time during the fight , only 30 seconds in total. Example : The athlete passed the guard . It took 15 seconds and he did not do anything. The judge should call his attention like ACTION…OR ACAO (PORTUGUESE) this accumulative clock saying FIGHT BLUE ( In this case the athlete blue kimono ) . The countdown clock will start, and the athlete tied for 16 seconds , and then there began to move . As soon as he begins to move this clock should stop with the ref giving tombs up to the table , or even the referee could have a control in his hand to stop and start the clock whatever he wanted. The athlete knows that he has only 14 more seconds to hold the fight. Let’s say he was at some point in the fight and closed the guard and did not move again. 15 seconds went by and he did not touch anything . The judge would say : FIGHT BLUE and open the rest of the stopwatch that this would be the case with most 14 seconds for the athlete to use to hold the fight . I think with that the Athlete knew he could not stalling for so many times and he could have a notion of how to handle the situation, if he needs to move or not. I think the fight would be more dynamic. I have a conversation with my student Tim Sledd about that. It is just like in wrestling.
For what I see today is a watch on the wrist from the judge. Some ref’s watches are slowly then our watches , but it has other referees watches are pretty quick. No referee uses ROLEX . hahahaha I think it would be much more efficient and give the judge a position of “being fair ” The referee begin to give the negatives after the expiration of this time . if the athlete used the timeout 30 seconds regressive , he would take the first punishment for stalling the fight, and after the countdown time, the count would be progressive counting in the clock showing the time to the referee and everyone else, after each 10 seconds of stalling the ref will be giving more negative points. In this case example: I have expired my time of 30 sec. and took my first punishment and then I kept tying the score remains progressive and there will 0,1,2,3,4 … 10 sec tying I would take another punishment , and there kept tying and the timershows … 11,12,13,14 then I started to move, the clock stopped at 14 seconds . But the judge and athlete knows that if he get tying 20 seconds he is done. So more 6 seconds in this case, he would be disqualified because it would take 3 punishments for STALLING . The first 30 sec regressive ( punishment and advantage to the opponent ) , after that each 10 seconds will make the staller get negative points the first 10 seconds ( unishment and 2 points to the opponent ) and the last other 10 seconds. (punishment and DQ the stalling guy) . But always with the referee somehow warning the fighter who is stalling the fight and let him know he is stalling. Does not exist you punish someone without the person knowing , as if I go to prison / jail without knowing my crime…like why I’m going to prison .
I think it would be fairer , because it will show truly if the guy is moving or not. So after the 30 seconds pass the fighter will know he can’t stop. He always thinks that tying was not long and the referee there ends up being harmed because most of the time people think the referee made a bad call , but with this stop watch on the table , of course exposed and visible to all as the Scoreboard , would be an effective and efficient manner to the referee only shows everyone and especially the athlete.

I think that for now , these are my ideas and suggestions about the rules today . I think it would really help our jiu – jitsu competitions and Referees mostly.

Thanks guys! I hope you guys have understood my words. OOSSSS !”

Please feel free to comments . Thank you