UAEJJF BJJ Tournament Rules and Decisions

UAEJJF BJJ Tournament Rules and Decisions

Jiu-Jitsu is supported by the Federation in a big way, UAEJJF actively promotes Jiu-Jitsu and helps to develop the talented generation of athletes globally and hosts national and international competitions. For UAEJJF tournaments, the following rules will be applied.

1. Competition Area

The competition area must be divided into sections by mats of various colors. The "safety zone" is the region outside the "combat area." The term "match area" refers to both the "safety area" and the "combat area." Additional safety zones are not included in the "match area."

2. UAEJJF Rules for Coaches

  • Due to the nature of the tournament, each athlete is only permitted one coach in the match area. During the fight, the coach remains outside the contest area.
  • Because a coach serves as an example, his conduct must be consistent with the code of ethics and behavior in martial arts.
  • The coach must be suitably attired (in a tracksuit or a business suit). A specific dress code may be followed for some occasions.
  • The "mat referee" has the right to eject the coach from the area if he or she displays offensive behavior toward the referee, players, the audience, or anyone else.
  • If the offensive behavior of the coach persists, the match officials may opt to remove him from the tournament's official grounds.

3. Fighting Time and Age Categories of UAEJJF

Using the organization code as a guide, the categories are created. The length of the match is chosen based on the category.

A recovery period equivalent to one match duration must be provided between two matches. Athletes are allowed to request twice as much rest time before the finals.

Fighting time and age categories recognized by JJIF are listed below:

Age Fighting Time
8-9 1.5 Minute
10-11 3 Minutes
12-13 3 Minutes
14-15 3 Minutes
16-17 4 Minutes
18 5 Minutes
18+ 6 Minutes
35+ 5 Minutes

3.1. Techniques Prohibited According to Age, Belt, and Level Division

The table below will explain all the techniques that are prohibited for different age divisions.

Age Division U12 U16 X U18 18+ X
Level Division Novice Novice Adult All Kids Beginners Intermediate X Expert
Belt Divisions U12 U16 U18(All White Belts and All Belts Blue and Purple Belts 18+ Brown and Black Belts 18+ X
Sr # Techniques

1 Submission stretching the legs apart X          
2 Choke with spinal lock X X        
3 Straight foot lock X X        
4 Forearm choke using sleeve X X        
5 Frontal guillotine choke X X        
6 Omoplata X X        
7 Triangle X X        
8 Arm triangle X X        
9 Lock inside the closed guard with legs compressing kidneys or ribs X X X      
10 Wrist lock X X X      
11 Single leg takedown while attacking athlete has his head outside his opponent body X X X      
12 Biceps slicer X X X X    
13 Calf slicer X X X X    
14 Knee bar X X X X    
15 Toe hold X X X X    
16 Slam X X X X X X
17 Spinal lock X X X X X X
18 Heel hook X X X X X X
19 Locks twisting the knee X X X X X X
20 Knee ripping X X X X X  
21 Scissor takedown X X X X X X
22 In straight foot lock, turning in the direction of foot not under attack X X X X X X
23 In the toe hold, applying outward pressure on the foot X X X X X X
24 Bending fingers backward X X X X X X
25 Grab the opponent’s belt and throw him to the floor on his head X X X X X X
26 Suplex takedown technique, landing with the opponent's head or neck on the ground X X X X X  

4. Personal Requirements of UAEJJF and Competition Dress

The athlete must make sure to adhere to the rules on personal requirements and competition attire. Contestants won't be permitted to begin the match if they don't follow these guidelines.

A competitor will get a chance to go and amend his appearance within a set amount of time after being informed that it doesn't meet the standards.

Other important instructions to follow:

  • The participants' fingernails and toenails must be trimmed.
  • Anything that may harm someone or put them at risk is not permitted for the contestants to wear.
  • A soft hair band must be used to tie long hair. Hijabs (head coverings) are allowed.
  • The contestants must wear a decent Jiu Jitsu GI that is clean and in excellent condition. They must fit the athlete's size, and the GI material must permit a secure grip.
  • Participants are required to wear elastic underwear. It is required for female competitors to wear a one-piece (leotard) that embraces the body below the Gi. At any competition, the organizer may demand that male competitors wear an elastic one-piece.

5. UAEJJF Rules for Referees

  • Each match's outcome is solely determined by the referee.
  • The referee's subjective determinations regarding the awarding of points, or penalties are final and cannot be changed.
  • When required, the referee must step in and intervene during a game.
  • The referee's responsibility is to keep the fighters inside the fighting area's perimeter.
  • The results of a match can only be reversed under the following circumstances:
    • If the contender was unjustly eliminated for using a legal hold or submission. The battle will resume in the middle of the fighting area if the stoppage and disqualification happened before the assaulted competitor submitted, in which case the fighter who applied the submission or hold will get two points.
    • If the proclaimed victor used a potentially prohibited strategy that the referee failed to notice.
    • If the score is incorrectly interpreted.
  • For bouts in the under-12-year-old classes, the referee's responsibility is to safeguard the competitor's spine by remaining behind the one who has been raised off the mat in the situation of a closed guard or triangle choke.
  • If a semifinal or championship match is tied, the "Golden Score" technique will be used to decide the winner. The referee will resume the battle with both athletes standing in the middle of the mat. The game is decided and concluded based on the first score (advantage, point, or penalty). In Golden Score techniques, two minutes are given to players to evaluate results. If after two minutes either player scores, the game should be declared over, with the winner being determined by the referee.

6. Fight and Stop Instructions of UAEJJF

The match will get started by saying “Fight” by the mat referee.

The mat referee will say “Stop” to stop the fight completely or temporarily in the situations given below:

  • If both fighters exit the battle area, both competitors will be halted and brought back to the center of the mat with a restart match in the same position. The mat referee must say "fight" to begin a new round of combat.
  • The mat referee will temporarily suspend the fight by saying “Stop” if any of the contestants get injured.
  • Referee stops the fight in any submission case like taps, displays other signs of submission, yells, and if the fighter is unable to tap on his own while being strangled or locked.

7. Points Of UAEJJF

  • The "mat referee" in a contest would give points when an athlete maintains a position of points for three seconds or longer. Depending on which contestant has scored, the mat referee will make motions with his fingers by either his right or left hand to recognize and show the number of points gained by the respective competitor.
  • The mat referee will only give points when an athlete has entirely escaped a submission hold and has maintained the point-scoring position for a three-second count when the athlete is in a position to score points.
  • An athlete will not be given an advantage if he or she enters a point-scoring position and subsequently releases the hold without holding the position for three seconds.

Takedown 2 Points
Sweep 2 Points
Knee on Belly 2 Points
Pass the Guard 3 Points
Mount Back 4 Points
Mount 4 Points
Back Control 4 Points

8. Advantage

If a fighter attempts to execute any of the fundamental movements but fails, he will be given advantage points.

For instance, if an athlete successfully attempted to pass his opponent's guard but failed to maintain a three-second control position subsequently, the referee will provide him an advantage.

  • The fighter gains the upper hand and gets rewarded if he manages to knock his opponent off balance without throwing him on the ground.
  • When a fighter initiates an assault in an effort to acquire control of his opponent, the referee determines that the player seeking to control has passed the opponent's defense and rewards him with an advantage. A half-defense and anchor posture are two examples.
  • The fighter on the ground with his legs wrapped around his opponent's waist is given the advantage by the referee.

9. Submissions Situation of UAEJJF

  • When an athlete makes a verbal or physical indication that he is unable to withstand his opponent's use of an aggressive submission hold, the match is over immediately. The following circumstances will result in the stoppage:
    • When an athlete, who is being held in a submission makes noise in the pain to stop the match.
    • When an athlete's arms are pinned by an opponent and the athlete taps the ground at least two times.
    • When a competitor clearly and visibly taps at least twice with his hand on the ground, on the opponent, or on oneself.
    • When a competitor requests to pause the competition.
  • When an athlete attempts a submission hold on an opponent who is actually in danger of surrendering but manages to escape, the athlete will receive an advantage point.
  • The referee will not award two points when the combatant exit the battling space as a result of the athlete attacking the submission hold. According to the rules of advantages, the referee may grant an advantage based on the possible proximity of the submission.

10. Weight Division

The World Championships and events hosted under the UAEJJF for the various disciplines will use the following weight classifications.

10.1. Male (Over 18)

Weight Categories 50 y.o or Above 45-46 41-45 36-40 30-35 18-29
Rooster Weight            
Light Feather Weight -56kg -56kg -56kg -56kg -56kg -56kg
Feather Weight -62kg -62kg -62kg -62kg -62kg -62kg
Light Weight -69kg -69kg -69kg -69kg -69kg -69kg
Welter Weight -77kg -77kg -77kg -77kg -77kg -77kg
Middleweight -85kg -85kg -85kg -85kg -85kg -85kg
Light heavy Weight -94kg -94kg -94kg -94kg -94kg -94kg
Heavy Weight -120kg -120kg -120kg -120kg -120kg -120kg
Super HeavyWeight            

10.2. Male (Under 18)

Weight Categories 16-17 y.o. 14-15 y.o. 12-13 y.o. 10-11 y.o. 8-9 y.o. 6-7 y.o. 4-5 y.o.
Rooster Weight -46kg -38kg -34kg -24kg -21kg -18kg -16kg
Light Feather Weight -50kg -42kg -37kg -27kg -24kg -20kg -18kg
Feather Weight -55kg -46kg -41kg -30kg -27kg -23kg -21kg
Light Weight -60kg -50kg -45kg -34kg -30kg -26kg -24kg
Welterweight -66kg -56kg -50kg -38kg -34kg -30kg -28kg
Middleweight -73kg -62kg -55kg -42kg -38kg -34kg -32kg
Light Heavyweight -81kg -67kg -60kg -46kg -42kg -38kg -36kg
Heavyweight -94kg -72kg -66kg -50kg -50kg -46kg -44kg
Super Heavyweight   -84kg -78kg -62kg      

10.3. Female (Over 18)

Weight Division 36 y.o or Above 18-29 y.o
Rooster Weight -49kg -49kg
Light Feather Weight -55kg -55kg
Feather Weight    
Light Weight -62kg -62kg
Welter Weight    
Middle Weight -70kg -70kg
Light Heavy Weight    
Heavy Weight -90kg -90kg
Super Heavy Weight    

10.4. Female (Under 18)

Age Categories 16-17 y.o. 14-15 y.o. 12-13 y.o. 10-11 y.o. 8-9 y.o. 6-7 y.o. 4-5 y.o.
Rooster weight -40kg -36k -32kg -22kg -20kg -17kg -16kg
Light Feather weight -44kg -40kg -36kg -25kg -22kg -19kg -18kg
Featherweight -48kg -44kg -40kg -28kg -25kg -22kg -21kg
Light weight -52kg -48kg -44kg -32kg -28kg -25kg -24kg
Welterweight -57kg -52kg -48kg -36kg -32kg -29kg -28kg
Middleweight -63kg -57kg -52kg -40kg -36kg -33kg -32kg
Light Heavyweight -70kg -63kg -57kg -44kg -40kg -37kg -36kg
Heavyweight -82kg -68kg -63kg -48kg -48kg -44kg -36kg
Super Heavyweight   -80kg -75kg -60kg     -44kg

10.5. Cancellation of Openweight Division in UAEJJF

The open weight class has been removed from future events as a result of a series of rule modifications that the United Arab Emirates Jiu-Jitsu Federation (UAEJJF) has implemented. The UAEJJF has declared that the maximum weight for male participants would be 110 kg, while the maximum weight for female participants would be 90 kg.

Openweight Will Still Exist, Just Not In Grand Slam or World Pro Competition

According to Valerio,

"In the past, the UAEJJF promoted the Trials by providing trip packages just for open weight champions at each belt (purple, blue, brown, and black)." 

The explanation was straightforward, It would not be viable to provide travel packages for every weight category.

In light of this, the UAEJJF has promoted two open weight divisions over the past two years through the National Pro Series of competitions: lightweight open & heavyweight open. The purpose of doing this was to increase opportunities for other weight classes.

The Grand Slam and World Pro competitions will no longer include an open weight class, however, the two open weight divisions will still be available during the National Pro trials.

Open Weight Discussion

  • The technical committee came to the conclusion that adjustments were required to offer the equitable opportunity for all competitors in all weight classes after a series of internal discussions.
  • The UAEJJF considered that fans and the media paid less attention to lighter weight classes and concentrated more on the absolute divisions.
  • Additionally, the UAEJJF observed that most open-weight contestants weighed more than 90 kg (198lb). Especially in the lower belt divisions. When there were significant size disparities, it would cause concerns about the safety of the participants.
  • The UAEJJF realized that the open weight champion receives the majority of the attention at its competitions. The majority of lightweight fighters statistically have little chance against larger opponents.
  • The winners in the other weight classes, including 62 kg, 69 kg, and even 77 kg, were not receiving due attention from the audience or the media.
  • Most open-weight champions weigh over 90 kg. Players that are heavier have a greater possibility of improving their ranking points and their cash rewards doubled.
  • All champions in all weight categories are promoted at the same level by other significant martial arts organizations like UFC, Judo, and wrestling, therefore equalizing their possibilities.

Modified Weight Division

Black Belt Men’s Division
Featherweight -62kg
Lightweight -69kg
Welterweight -77kg
Middleweight -85kg
Light heavyweight -94kg
Heavyweight -110kg

Black Belt Women’s Division
Welterweight -55kg
Middleweight -62kg
Light Heavyweight -70kg
Heavyweight -90kg

10.6. Weight Division Comparison-IBJJF, ADCC, UAEJJF


Many people are confused about the IBJJF weight division. IBJJF has different weight classes for Gi and No-Gi competitions.

IBJJF Gi Weight Divisions
Weight Divisions Masters/Adults Gi (Male) Juvenile Gi (Male) Masters/Adults Gi (Female) Juvenile Gi (Female)
Rooster 57.5 kg 53.5 kg 48.5 kg 44.3 kg
Light Feather 64kg 58.5kg 53.5 kg 48.3 kg
Feather 70kg 64 kg 58.5 kg 52.5 kg
Light 76kg 69 kg 64 kg 56.5 kg
Middle 82.3 kg 74 kg 69 kg 60.5 kg
Medium Heavy 88.3 kg 79.3 kg 74 kg 65 kg
Heavy 94.3 kg 84.3 kg 79.3 kg 69 kg
Super Heavy 100.5 kg 89.3 kg No weight limit No weight limit
Ultra Heavy No weight limit No weight limit N/A N/A
Open Class Open to all weight divisions Depends on tournament rules Open to all weight divisions Depends on tournament rules

IBJJF No-Gi Weight Divisions
Weight Divisions Masters/Adults No-Gi (Male) Juvenile No-Gi (Male) Masters/Adults No-Gi (Female) Juvenile No-Gi (Female)
Rooster 55.5 kg 51.5 kg 46.5 kg 42.5 kg
Light or Super Feather 61.5 kg 56.5 kg 51.5 kg 46.5 kg
Feather 67.5 kg 61.5 kg 56.5 kg 50.5 kg
Light 73.5 kg 66.5 kg 61.5 kg 54.5 kg
Middle 79.5 kg 71.5 kg 66.5 kg 58.5 kg
Medium Heavy 85.5 kg 76.5 kg 71.5 kg 62.5 kg
Heavy 91.5 kg 81.5 kg 76.5 kg 66.5 kg
Super Heavy 97.5 kg 86.5 kg No weight limit No weight limit
Ultra Heavy No weight limit No weight limits N/A N/A
Open Class Open to all weight division Depends on tournament rules Open to all weight divisions Depends on tournament rules


National, Open and All Other ADCC Championship Weight Divisions
Masters/Adults (Male) Juvenile Male (15-18) Masters/Adults (Female) Juvenile Female (15-18)
60 kg 50 kg 50 kg 40 kg
65 kg 55 kg 55 kg 45 kg
70 kg 60 kg 60 kg 50 kg
76 kg 65 kg 65 kg 55 kg
83 kg 70 kg 70 kg 60 kg
91 kg 75 kg Above 70 kg Above 60 kg
100 kg 80 kg    
Above 100 kg Above 80 kg    

ADCC Team Competition Division
Weight Divisions Adult Male Adult Female
Lightweight Below 83 kg Below 60 kg
Heavyweight Above 83 kg ABOVE 60 KG

ADCC World Championship Weight Division
Weight Division Masters/Adults Male Master/Adults Female
Lightweight 66 kg Below 60 kg
Welterweight 77 kg  
Middleweight 88 kg  
Light Heavyweight 99 kg  
Heavyweight Above 99 kg Above 60 kg
Absolute No weight limit  


Weight Division Masters/Adults Male Juvenile Male Masters/Adults Juvenile Female
Rooster    46 kg 49 kg 40 kg
Light Featherweight 56 kg 50 kg 55 kg 44 kg
Featherweight 62 kg 55 kg   48 kg
Lightweight 69 kg 60 kg 62 kg 52 kg
Welterweight 77 kg 66 kg   57 kg
Middleweight 85 kg 73 kg 70 kg 63 kg
Light Heavyweight 94 kg 81 kg   70 kg
Heavyweight 120 kg 94 kg 95 kg 82 kg

11. UAEJJF Rules with Belt Division

  • If a beginner or white belt tries a flying submission while standing or attempts a close guard position  , the mat referee will immediately stop the match and the athlete will get a penalty. The match will then restart with both athletes standing in the center of the mat.
  • If an athlete has participated in MMA or freestyle wrestling, or is a black belt in judo, he will not be allowed to fight at the white belt level.

12. Accident, Injury, or Illness Cases in UAEJJF

  • If a fighter fails to control his basic body functions like vomiting and in case of bowl unconsciousness, he will be declared the loser of the competition.
  • When any of the fighters experience muscle cramps during the fight, the opponent will be declared the winner of the fight.

13. UAEJJF Uniforms Guidelines

13.1. Uniform for Gi Competitions

  • A Gi brand tag must be on the front lower part of the pants and the tag must be 36 cm2.
  • Patches should only be at the allowed area of Gi as demonstrated below. UAEJJF has patching regulations quite similar to IBJJF.

  • Use of any hard material that can cause injury like hair pins, foot gear, jewelry, or headgear is forbidden.
  • In the female division, a stretchy shirt under the Gi is mandatory while in the male division, it is optional.

13.2. Uniform for No-Gi Competitions


The shorts should not exceed 15 cm from the knee. The pockets on the shorts must be without buttons, metal, and plastic zippers.

Rash Guard:

Both male and female practitioners are required to wear tight shirts that reach the waist. These shirts must be mostly red or blue.

14. Penalties

The contestant may get a penalty by the mat referee in the following cases:

  • When one or both competitors put one or more fingers into the sleeves or in a different portion of the opponent's uniform or put their hands inside the opponent's belt.
  • If one of the competitors intentionally steps out of boundaries, tries to leave the mat to escape a fight, refuses to directly engage their opponent, or steps out of bounds to gain an advantage.
  • When one of the competitors voluntarily permits the other to remove his or her uniform with the goal of enabling themselves to relax or avoid combat.
  • When the referee detects a fighter is trying to prolong the battle, the referee will give the combatant 20 seconds to commence movement. If no movement is made, the opponent is given a penalty. The referee will interrupt the fight and give the opponent the penalty of two more points. If the contestant persists in stalling. The two competitors will then stand in the center of the mat and start to fight again. If a fighter repeatedly stalls, the referee has the right to award the match to the opponent.

15. UAEJJF’s Rules for Punishments

Athletes can get punishments if they violate the disciplinary rules of UAEJJF.

15.1. Disciplinary Violations

  • A fighter will get punishment when he/she removes a uniform or any part of the uniform within the competition area.
  • When athletes walk barefoot, do not wear shoes within the fight area or in any other area where shoes are necessary to wear.
  • When a fighter argues with the opponent, referee, crowd, or other staff members inside the competition area.
  • During fights, when the athlete shows undisciplined behavior towards the opponent or referee.
  • When an athlete intentionally breaks any UAEJJF equipment.

If a fighter disobeys any of the rules listed above would get punishment by UAEJJF.

16. Membership Requirements for UAEJJF

  • When filling out the registration form, applicants must provide accurate and authentic information.
  • All necessary papers must be uploaded by applicants in order to finish the registration procedure.
  • Furthermore, you acknowledge that it is your responsibility to keep your registration data correct, complete, and up to date. If any provided information is proven to be inaccurate, or incomplete, UAEJJF has the right to cancel your membership.
  • This rule only applied to those players who choose to represent any specific club or team. A crucial rule that demands the players to show and prove a "clear connection" to the team they want to represent. In most cases, players are not allowed to change their clubs or nations after a certain time.
  • UAEJJF permitted its contestants to represent any national flag.
  • The players' performance in athletic events and contests must be totally determined by the merits of the participants involved. Any type of dishonesty or suspicious activity that might jeopardize the integrity of the sporting spirit is punishable to the extent of harsh measures.
  • Members of the UAEJJF must maintain order, show respect for others, and adhere to staff directives. Any sort of misconduct, lack of respect, unruly behavior, and lack of cooperation is not acceptable. After two warnings for non-cooperative behavior can result in the cancellation of the UAEJJF membership.
  • The UAEJJF regulations are violated if a match appears to have been played to a predetermined outcome. If proven after the additional inquiry, disciplinary action will be taken according to the rules and regulations of UAEJJF.
  • If an athlete competing in UAEJJF events becomes injured or unwell before a competition and wants to withdraw, they must notify the competition manager.

16.1. The Responsibility of UAEJJF

UAEJJF will not be responsible for any kind of physical injury or material loss during the fight or training in gyms or in associations affiliated to UAEJJF.

16.2. The Benefits of UAEJJF Membership

  • The UAEJJF members will get special discounts on products.
  • The UAEJJF member can participate in all the competitions and events organized by the federation.

Photo credit: @uaejjf

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