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Best BJJ Tournaments For Beginners And How To Participate

Best BJJ Tournaments For Beginners And How To Participate

1. What is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?

The term "jiu jitsu" is derived from the Japanese words "Jutsu" which means "gentle" and "Jutsu" which means "art"; thus, jiu jitsu is interpreted as "gentle art."

A non-violent submission of one's opponent is the goal of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is primarily a ground-based martial art that employs the principles of leverage, angles, pressure, and time, as well as a thorough understanding of the human anatomy. In contrast to other martial arts that emphasize punches and/or kicks, jiu jitsu emphasizes close-contact "grappling" grips and techniques, as well as the use of chokes and joint manipulations on the opponent.

1.1. Why Choose Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu?


Jiu-jitsu is frequently referred to as “human chess” because it is more than simply a workout; it is also a game that challenges both the body and the intellect.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu has several well documented physical advantages. Because jiu-jitsu combines dynamic and explosive motions with pressure-based isometric pulling, pushing and holding.

  • It helps in the development of enhanced strength and cardiovascular endurance.
  • It helps you in weight loss and better muscular tone.
  • Because you are continuously reacting to the motions of your opponent, jiu-jitsu develops body awareness while also improving balance and reactive skills.
  • For starters,Jiu-jitsu is a fantastic cerebral workout. It presents the challenge of learning a new activity with an infinite number of variants in terms of motion, methods and submissions.
  • It also helps you to improve your reasoning abilities since you are constantly contemplating your next move, whether an advantageous or a defensive position.
  • It improves your ability to think fast and “on your feet” in reaction to your partner’s moves, as well as your ability to remain cool and controlled when you find yourself in a defensive position.
  • It also serves as a stress release of everyday life. You put everything aside for a time when you go onto the mat to improve your game, both your mind and body are fully immersed in the process.
  • Most significantly, Jiu-jitsu is unique in that it can be practiced by anybody, regardless of age or gender. Smaller and weaker people may defend themselves against, and in some cases even defeat a larger and stronger opponent via the development and use of jiu-jitsu techniques. No matter what age, size, gender or physical limitations are, anyone can benefit from the methods and ideals of jiu-jitsu and earn the rewards of regular practice.

1.2. Must-Knows before Entering Jiu-Jitsu Tournament


  • If this is your first ever competition, you should enter in a regional or national level competition.
  • You should be aware that any jiu-jitsu event in which you participate must be sanctioned by an appropriate regulating body. This type of fight is sometimes referred to as a "no-gi" fight since the combatants do not dress in traditional martial arts attire (a long-sleeved shirt).
  • It's common for fighters to dress in the same clothes they would wear for normal jiu-jitsu training when competing in jiu-jitsu tournaments.
  • Prior to participating in a competition, you should determine the weight class you belong to. Jiu-jitsu tournaments are separated into categories based on the number of weight classes available for each belt degree. Knowing how much you should weigh might be helpful when deciding which category to participate in.
  • Before you participate in any tournament,take a look at the location. See how far you will have to travel.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Ranking System


An important sign of knowledge, advancement, tradition, honesty and honor in BJJ is the belt system; it also serves as a practical means of holding up the Gi. A substantial amount of discipline, patience and hard effort are required in order to obtain the next belt rank.

There are a total of nine belt ranks:

  • White Belt.
  • Yellow Belt.
  • Orange Belt.
  • Green Belt.
  • Blue Belt.
  • Purple Belt.
  • Brown Belt.
  • Black Belt.
  • Red Belt (very few reach this rank level).

When a belt is upgraded, there are normally four degrees or stripes added to it to represent progress towards the next belt.
The rate of progression is established by a skilled instructor who evaluates the student's age, time and skill level.

2. Brazilian Jiu-jitsu Tournaments and Participation For Beginners

There are open-style tournaments that beginners can sign up for.

2.1. In-house Tournaments


Many affiliations and gyms have their own internal tournaments once or twice a year. This is a fantastic method to participate in BJJ for the first time since you will likely feel more comfortable fighting in your usual gym in front of people you already know, which is ideal for beginners.

2.2. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation(IBJJF)


The IBJJF hosts various events across the world each year. Because of how prevalent these tournaments are, they might be a nice initial option for a white belt to enter. They are single elimination competitions though, so they might not appeal to white belts wanting for several matchups.
The current leader of IBJJF is Marcus Buchecha Almeida with six open class and 7 weight class titles.

Where does it take place?


It takes place in Long Beach, California and is usually the last event of the BJJ in season.

Prize Money for Winners 2022


The prize money for the winner of each weight class in $4000 to $7000
The prize money for the open weight winners is $10,000

How to participate?


You must register in the tournament to compete in IBJJF. For that, you have to pay an annual membership.

Open the link to become a member today.

What are the Rules?


For Rules Webinar: Rules Webinar | IBJJF

IBJJF Gi Rules & Penalties | Elite Sports
IBJJF Mandatory No-Gi Uniform Requirements | Elite Sports

2.3. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation Europeans


IBJJF Europeans is the second biggest world competition for open-style Gi tournaments. A large number of people from the US travel to compete in IBJJF Europeans.

Where does it take place?


The tournament takes place in Lisbon, Portugal every year in January. It is well known for new talents participating every year in purple and brown belt divisions. As your first biggest test, you should consider IBJJF Europeans as your first.

Prize Money for Winners 2022


The prize money for the winner of each weight class in $4000 to $7000
The prize money for the open weight winners is $10,000

How to participate?


Athletes who finished first, second or third in their respective divisions are eligible to compete in the Open Class bracket.

White Belt - All Weight divisions :  These divisions will not have an Open Class.

Open the link for the registration: Master International Jiu-Jitsu Championship - Europe 2022 | IBJJF

What are the Rules?


For Rules Webinar: Rules Webinar | IBJJF

Year of Birth Age Division Belt
1992 and before Master 1 White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black
1986 and before Master 2 White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black
1981 and before Master 3 White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black
1976 and before Master 4 White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black
1971 and before Master 5 White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black
1966 and before Master 6 Blue, Purple, Brown, Black
1961 and before Master 7 Blue, Purple, Brown, Black

2.4. UAEJJF Abu Dhabi World Pro Jiu-jitsu Cup


The UAEJJF was founded in 2009 by Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who himself is a jiu-jitsu practitioner. In this event, the prize medal or money is for every rank, from beginner to a complete professional.  Not only the first winner gets paid but also the second and third fighters.

Where does it take place?


UAEJJF events take place in April every year in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

Prize Money for Winners 2022

Men’s/Women’s Brown Belt Divisions  Prize Money
1st Position $6,000
2nd Position $3,000
3rd Position $1,500
Men’s/Women’s Purple Belt Divisions  Prize Money
1st Position $4,000
2nd Position $2,000
3rd Position $1,000
Men’s/Women’s Blue Belt Divisions  Prize Money
1st Position $2,000
2nd Position $1,000
3rd Position $500

 

How to Participate?


Open the link for membership terms and conditions

After reading the terms and conditions, click on the link to become a member

Click on the link to find your nearest UAEJJF academy

What are the Rules?


The UAEJJF divisions are divided and defined by:

  • Girls and Boys under 18 years old.
  • Women and Men over 18 years old.

Age Divisions


  • Belt Levels.

Weight Division


  • Boys and Girls.
  • Men and Women.

2.5. The North American Grappling Association(NAGA)


The NAGA is an organization that was founded in 1995. Iis an open tournament for Submission Grappling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. These are the single elimination tournaments like the IBJJF.

Where does it take place?


The tournaments take place all around North America, Massachusetts, New Jersey, every year.
Open link to know about the upcoming events of NAGA organization.

How to Participate


  • Adults/Masters/Directors/Executives
  • Novice: 6 months total grappling experience.
  • Beginner: 6 months to 2 years total grappling experience.
  • Intermediate: 2 years to 5 years total grappling experience.
    • BJJ blue belts are Intermediate.

  • Expert: 5 years + total grappling experience.
  • BJJ purple, brown, black belts are expert.

  • ADULT GI SKILL LEVELS (18 years and older)
  • White.
  • Blue.
  • Purple.
  • Brown.
  • Black.

Prize Money for Winners


Non-Expert Division Medals

Children/ Teen No-gi and Gi


  • Children (junior belt rank) will be given a sword(one every event).
  • An additional gold medal will be awarded for further division wins.

Adult Non-Expert Awards


Position Medal
1st Gold Medal
2nd Silver Medal
3rd Bronzer Medal

 

What are the Rules?


  • Blue belts must compete in at least Intermediate No-Gi.
  • Purple, brown and black bets are required to participate in Expert No-Gi.
  • A championship belt is given to purple, brown and black belt winners.
  • If a pure, brown or back belt contender eins numerous divisions, only one belt will be awarded.
  • Competitors are limited to one skill level and one weight class each event.

To know more about the rules, click on the link for NAGA rules handout

2.6. Grappling Industries


Grappling industries has a round robin format which means that fighters will be more likely to have more than one match even if they lost their first match(almost 4). The industries organize multiple events weekly around the world.

Where does it take place?


The headquarter of the Grappling Industries is in Carson City, Nevada. Grappling Industries run their own tournaments in many cities all around the world.
The upcoming events 2022 are going to take place in Wayne, Dublin, Berlin, Portland etc.

Prize Money for Winners


The first winner gets a gold medal(100 points), the second winner gets a silver medal(50 points) and the third winner gets a bronze medal(20 points).

How to participate?


If you want to participate in the upcoming events, Contact - Grappling Industries

What are the Rules?


To know about the rule obligations, competition guidelines, format and allowable techniques click on the given link.

Kids


  • GI - White – Gray – Yellow/Green – Green/Blue.
  • NOGI - Beginner (White) – Intermediate (Gray) – Advanced. (Yellow/Orange) – Expert (Green/Blue).

 

AGE DIVISIONS  WEIGHT DIVISIONS
4 – 5 year olds  -45 lbs (-20 kg)
6 – 7 years olds -55 lbs (-25 kg)
8 – 9 year olds  -65 lbs (-29 kg)
10 – 11 year olds  -75 lbs (-34 kg)
12 – 13 year olds -85 lbs (-39 kg)
14 – 15 year olds (Boys & Girls split) -95 lbs (-43 kg)
16 – 17 year olds (Boys & Girls split) -105 lbs (-48 kg)
  -115 lbs (-52 kg)
  -125 lbs (-57 kg)
  -135 lbs (-61 kg)
  -145 lbs (-66 kg)
  -155 lbs (-70 kg)
  -170 lbs (-77 kg)
  -185 lbs (-84 kg)
  -210 lbs (-95 kg)
  +210 lbs (+95 kg)

 

WOMEN


  • GI - White – Blue – Purple – Brown – Black.
  • NOGI - Beginner – Intermediate – Advanced.

 

AGE DIVISIONS  WEIGHT DIVISIONS
Adults 18 +      -105 lbs (-48 kg)
Master 30 +  -120 lbs (-54 kg)
  -135 lbs (-61 kg)
  -150 lbs (-68 kg)
  -165 lbs (-75 kg)
  Over 165 lbs (over 75 kg)

 

MEN


  • GI - White – Blue – Purple – Brown – Black.
  • NOGI - Beginner – Intermediate – Advanced.

 

AGE DIVISIONS WEIGHT DIVISIONS
Adults 18 +    -135 lbs (-61 kg)
Master 30 +  -145 lbs (-66 kg)
Senior 40 +  -155 lbs (-70 kg)
  -170 lbs (-77 kg)
  -185 lbs (-84 kg)
  -210 lbs (-95 kg)
  -230 lbs (-104 kg)
  Over 230 lbs (over 104 kg)

 

ABSOLUTES GI
MALE FEMALE
Weight Combined Combined
Age Adult (18+), Masters (30+) Adult (18+), Masters (30+)
Belt  White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black White, Blue, Purple, Brown, Black
ABSOLUTE NOGI
MALE FEMALE
Weight Combined Combined
Age Adult (18+), Masters (30+) Adult (18+), Masters (30+)
Rank Combined Combined

 

NOGI
Beginner Less than 1 year of BJJ or Grappling experience
Intermediate 1 to 3 years of BJJ or Grappling experience
Advanced More than 3 years of BJJ or Grappling experience

2.7. The Abu Dhabi Combat Club(ADCC)


ADCC is a No-Gi only event with a specific rule set. The ADCC event takes place every two years.
It is also,without a doubt, the most difficult competition to compete in. There are no significant distinctions between belts with merely a novice and an advanced division.

Moreover, most of the contenders for the main event brackets of 16 are invited.

Only six of the seats are up for grabs and you need to win a National ADCC qualifying to acquire one of the positions.

The three qualifiers or trials are held all over the world during the intermission between two ADCCs. The event is made for the best of the best competitors.

Where does it take place?


The competition rotates between countries on a regular basis.

Prize Money for Winners


A cash prize of $10,000 for each winner.

How to participate?


Become a member of the ADCC today, click on the link

What are the Rules?


ADCC Rules for Beginners & Intermediate

ADCC Rules & Regulations

2.8. The Brazilian National Pro Jiu-Jitsu Gi Championship


Known as the Abu Dhabi World Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship, it is open to all levels of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners worldwide. The UAE Jiu-Jitsu Federation has been organizing the event since 2012 and has drawn athletes from 60 countries across all belt levels to compete.

Where does it take place?


The competition takes place every year in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Prize Money for Winners 2022


The prize money varies from weight division to the rank of the belt which is around $8000 to $10,000.

How to participate?


For Brazilian Nationals Jiu-jitsu Gi, click on BRAZIL NATIONAL PRO JIU-JITSU PRO CHAMPIONSHIP - GI 

Register and become a member today, visit the attached link

What are the Rules?


Click on the link to find out the tournament rules and regulations

2.9. UAEJJF - Abu Dhabi Grand Slam(ADGS)


UAEJJF - Abu Dhabi Grand Slam was founded in 2015, it is the official authority for Brazilian jiu-jitsu federation in the UAE. The association has developed and implemented policies - the sport of Brazilian jiu-jitsu in accommodation with several educational organizations and government entities.

Where does it take place?


Rather than being centered entirely in Abu Dhabi, the Grand Slam tours around the world that include Tokyo,Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro and London.

Three new locations were added during the UAEJJF ADGS 2021-2022, that include Sidney, Beijing and Miami. The event hosts a total of 78 international events in each season.

Here, athletes from all over the world compete in a series of high-level competitions in the categories of juniors, professionals and masters.

Prize Money for Winners


During the UAEJJF ADGS 2021-2022, a total of $1,575,000 prize money was announced for the course of the season.
For season 2022-2023 is yet to be announced.

How to participate?


2.10. Fight 2 Win Promotions


Fight 2 Win, also known as “The biggest party in grappling” fights are held in a super-fight format, with the finest grapplers from the local area competing in them, creating a live experience comparable to Mixed Martial Arts events.

Where does it take place?


The fights take place all across the United States. It is widely acknowledged that Fit 2 Win events feature one of the greatest  BJJ productions in the country, with high-quality visuals and audio, as well as an elevated mat to enhance the viewing experience for the audience.

Prize Money for Winners


Due to COVID 19, Fight 2 Win was nearly bankrupt and the event was shut down multiple times. In 2020, Fighting 2 Win managed to payout $565,770 in prizes to their competing fighters having a total of 960 matches and 1920 athlete participation. Thus, the average athlete payoff per battle came out to $294.67. It may not sound much but it is also imperative to note that these matches range from blue belt to black belt, as well as kids and teen matches.

How to participate?


If Fight 2 Win is conducting an event in your area, you can submit an application on their website.

What are the Rules?


Rules
Kids and Teens White Belt Thru Green Belt 4 min
Stalling minus 1 point
Take Down must hold for 1 second 2 points
Sweep must hold position for 3 seconds 2 points
Guard Pass must hold position for 3 seconds 3 points
Mount must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
Both Hooks in from Back must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
What is Legal?  
All Chokes and Armbars are Legal  
No attacks below the waist  
Teen Blue Belts 4 min
Stalling minus 1 point
Take Down must hold for 1 second 2 points
Sweep  must hold position for 3 seconds 2 points
Guard Pass must hold position for 3 seconds 3 points
Mount must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
Both Hooks in from Back must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
What is Legal?  
All Chokes and Armbars are Legal  
Straight Ankle Locks are legal  
No Other attacks below the waist  
Adult Rookie and White Belt 5 min
Stalling minus 1 point
Take Down must hold for 1 second 2 points
Sweep  must hold position for 3 seconds 2 points
Guard Pass must hold position for 3 seconds 3 points
Mount must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
Both Hooks in from Back must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
What is Legal?  
All Chokes and Armbars are Legal  
Straight Ankle Locks are legal  
No Other attacks below the waist  
Adult Blue Belt and Intermediate 5 min
Stalling Minus 1 point
Take Down must hold for 1 second 2 points
Sweep  must hold position for 3 seconds 2 points
Guard Pass must hold position for 3 seconds 3 points
Mount must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
Both Hooks in from Back must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
What is Legal?  
All Chokes and Armbars are Legal  
Straight Ankle Locks are legal  
Knee Bars are Legal  
No other attacks below the waist  
Purple Brown & Black Belt GI 5 min
Stalling minus 1 point
Take Down must hold for 1 second 2 points
Sweep  must hold position for 3 seconds 2 points
Guard Pass must hold position for 3 seconds 3 points
Mount must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
Both Hooks in from Back must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
What is Legal?  
All Techniques except Reaping and Heel Hooks are legal  
Advanced NOGI 5 min
Stalling minus 1 point
Take Down must hold for 1 second 2 points
Sweep  must hold position for 3 seconds 2 points
Guard Pass must hold position for 3 seconds 3 points
Mount must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
Both Hooks in from Back must hold for 3 seconds 4 points
What is Legal?  
All Techniques are legal including reaping and heel hook  

 

3. Takeaways

All of the contests mentioned in this article are run by well-established BJJ organizations that have a strong reputation in the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu community. It is a great way to improve as a fighter and enhance your skills. Before entering a competition, you should always take into consideration aspects such as your degree of experience, the location, and the entrance fees. Now you are good to go, best of luck!

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