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What is the Difference Between ADCC and IBJJF Weight Classes?

What is the Difference Between ADCC and IBJJF Weight Classes?

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a type of martial art that is watched and practiced worldwide. BJJ organizations arrange various tournaments in which fighters from all over the world participate and execute their grappling skills.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu allows a small-sized person to overcome a large-sized person. BJJ has a defense purpose in its origin. But during a competition between two fighters who are equally skilled, the weight category matters a lot.

Both the fighters who are competing must have their weight according to the weight categories. These weight categories also allow competitors to fight with their own-sized fighters and execute their maximum fighting abilities.

Well-known organizations that are working for the growth of BJJ are International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) and Abu Dhabi Combat Club ADCC. Both IBJJF and ADCC have different weight categories for BJJ competitions.

Before fights of every division, the weight of all competitors is checked. Some tournaments give relaxation of some lbs while some do not. IBJJF does not allow any overweight over the mentioned specific category.

1. Difference Between Weight Classes of IBJJF and ADCC

The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) divided its weight categories into nine classes (Rooster to Ultra Heavy) and one open-weight category. In Gi and No-Gi competitions, these nine weight categories are specified.

For male and female juveniles and male and female adults, these nine weight categories have specific weights. Juvenile, adult, and master. Their age divisions are also defined.   

On the other hand, Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) has five weight classes and one open weight class for adult males World Championships. While for the female world championship, they have only two weight categories.

ADCC does not name its weight categories as IBJJF rather these weight categories are mentioned just on the basis of weight. Other ADCC tournaments also have their specified weight categories which are different from ADCC World weight classes.

2. Weight Categories of International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF)

IBJJF has classified its weight categories into nine classes from Rooster weight to Ultra Heavyweight. IBJJF also has two different groups Gi and No-Gi. Let's have a detailed look at IBJJF weight classes.

2.1. Gi Weight Classes for Male Adults and Masters

Adult male and masters Gi championships also have specifically established age divisions and weight divisions. Adult males must be 18 years or more. While to compete in the Masters' championship, the age must be 30 years or more.

Weight Category Minimum Weight Maximum Weight
Rooster No Limits Under 57.5 kg (under 127 lbs)
Light-Feather 57.5 kg (127 lbs) 64 kg (141.6 lbs)
Feather 64kg (141.6 lbs) 70 kg (154.6 lbs)
Light 70kg (154.6 lbs) 76 kg (168 lbs)
Middle 76 kg (168 lbs) 82.3 kg (181.6 lbs)
Medium Heavy 82.3 kg (181.6 lbs) 88.3 kg (195 lbs)
Heavy 88.3 kg (195 lbs) 94.3 kg (208 lbs)
Super Heavy 94.3 kg (208 lbs) 100.5 kg (222 lbs)
Ultra Heavy 100.5 kg (222 lbs) No limits
Open Class Open to all weight classes Open to all Weight Classes

2.2. No-Gi Weight Classes for Adult Males and Masters

Weight Category Minimum Weight Maximum Weight
Rooster No Limits Under 55.6 kg (under 122.6 lbs)
Light Feather 55.6 kg 61.7 kg (122 – 136 lbs) 61.7 kg (136 lbs)
Feather 61.7 kg (136 lbs) 67.5 kg (149 lbs)
Light 67.5 kg (149 lbs) 73.5 kg (162.6 lbs)
Middle 73.5 kg (162.6 lbs) 79.6 kg (175.6 lbs)
Medium Heavy 79.6 kg (175.6 lbs) 85.5 kg (188.6 lbs)
Heavy 85.5 kg (188.6 lbs) 91.6kg (202 lbs)
Super Heavy 91.6 kg (202 lbs) 97.5 kg (215 lbs)
Ultra Heavy Above 97.5 kg (215 lbs) No Limits
Open Class Open to all weight classes Open to all Weight Classes

2.3. Gi Female Weight Class for Adults and Masters

Adult females must be 18 years or more. While to compete in the Master's championship, the age must be 30 years or more. 

Weight Category Minimum Weight Maximum Weight
Rooster No Limits Under 48.5kg (under 107 lbs)
Light-Feather 48.5kg (107 lbs) 53.5 kg (118 lbs)
Feather 53.5 (118 lbs) 58.5 kg (129 lbs)
Light 58.5 kg (129 lbs) 64 kg (141.6 lbs)
Middle 64kg (141.6 lbs) 69 kg (152.6 lbs)
Medium Heavy 69 kg (152.6 lbs) 74 kg (163.6 lbs)
Heavy 74 kg (163.6 lbs) 79.3 kg (175 lbs)
Super Heavy 79.3 (175 lbs) No limits
Open Class Open to all weight classes Open to all Weight Classes

2.4. Female No-Gi Weight Classes for Adults and Masters

Weight Category Minimum Weight Maximum Weight
Rooster No Limits 46.7 (103 lbs)
Light Feather 46.7 kg (103 lbs) 51.7 kg (114 lbs)
Feather 51.7 kg (114 lbs) 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Light 56.7 kg (125 lbs) 61.6 kg (136 lbs)
Middle 61.6 kg (136 lbs) 66.7 kg (147 lbs)
Medium Heavy 66.7 kg (147 lbs) 71.6 kg (158 lbs)
Heavy 71.6 kg (158 lbs) 76.6 kg (169 lbs)
Super Heavy 76.6 kg (169 lbs) No Limits
Open Class Open to all weight classes Open to all Weight Classes

2.5. Juvenile Male Gi Weight Classes

Weight Division Maximum Weight
Rooster 53.5 kg (118 lbs)
Light Feather 58.51 kg (129 lbs)
Feather 63.96 kg (141 lbs)
Light 69.22 kg (152.6 lbs)
Middle 74.21 kg (163.6 lbs)
Medium Heavy 79.38 kg (175 lbs)
Heavy 84.37 (186 lbs)
Super Heavy 89.36 kg (197 lbs)
Ultra Heavy Above 89.36 kg (above 197 lbs)
Open Class Open to all Weight Classes (Check the rules of the tournament)

2.6. Juvenile Male No-Gi Weight Classes

Male juvenile has two categories, Juvenile 1 and Juvenile 2. Both these categories depend on age. According to IBJJF rules, the male Juvenile 1 category starts from 16 years old and the male Juvenile 2 category starts from 17 years old. Weight categories for both male Juvenile 1 and Juvenile 2 in No-Gi are described below. 

Weight Division Maximum Weight Juvenile 1 Maximum Weight Juvenile 2
Rooster 46.72 kg (103 lbs) 51.71 kg (114 lbs)
Light-Feather 51.71 kg (114 lbs) 56.7 kg (125 lbs)
Feather 56.7 kg (125 lbs) 61.69 kg (136 lbs)
Light 61.69 kg (136 lbs) 66.68 kg (147 lbs)
Middle 66.68 kg (147 lbs) 71.67 kg (158 lbs)
Medium Heavy 71.67 kg (158 lbs) 76.66 kg (169 lbs)
Heavy 76.66 kg (169 lbs) 81.65 kg (180 lbs)
Super Heavy 81.65 kg (180 lbs) 86.64 kg (191 lbs)
Ultra Heavy Above 81.65 kg (above 180 lbs) Above 86.64 kg (above 191 lbs)
Open Class Open to all weight classes (Check the rules of the tournament) Open to all Weight Classes (Check the rules of the tournament)

2.7. Juvenile Female Gi and No-Gi Weight Classes

Weight Division Maximum Weight (Gi) Maximum Weight for Both Juvenile 1 and Juvenile 2 (No-Gi)
Rooster 44.45 kg (98 lbs) 42.64 kg (94 lbs)
Light-Feather 48.35 kg (106.6 lbs) 46.72 kg (103 lbs)
Feather 52.62 (116.0 lbs) 50.35 kg (111.6 lbs)
Light 56.7 kg (125.0 lbs) 54.7 kg (120.6 lbs)
Middle 60.6 kg (133.6 lbs) 58.51 kg (129 lbs)
Medium Heavy 65.14 (143.6 lbs) 62.6 kg (138 lbs)
Heavy 68.95 kg (152.0 lbs) 66.68 kg (147 lbs)
Super Heavy Above 68.95 kg (above 152 lbs) Above 66.68 kg (above 147 lbs)
Open Class Open to all Weight Classes (Check the rules of the tournament) Open to all Weight Classes (Check the rules of the tournament)

3. Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) Weight Categories

Abu Dhabi Combat Club has weight categories for adults and master championships. In ADCC, juvenile competitions are not organized. For ADCC Trials and World, Championship ADCC has separate categories. While all other ADCC tournaments have other weight categories. Let's have a detailed discussion on all ADCC categories.

3.1. Weight Divisions of ADCC Trials and World Championship

Weight Categories for Males Weight Categories for Females
+16 years +16 years
-65.9 kg (-145.2 lbs) -60.0 kg (-132.2 lbs)
-76.9 kg (-169.5 lbs) +60.0 kg (+132.2 lbs)
-87.9 kg (-193.7 lbs)  
-98.9 kg (-218.0 lbs)  
+99 kg (+220.5 lbs)  
Absolute (Open) Class  

3.2. Weight Divisions for ADCC Teams

Note: “Only people with over 16 years of age and up can compete in Teams. In the Teams Competition, every team can join with up to 5 competitors per class in the Male division and up to 3 competitors per class in the FEMALE division”.

Males Females
-83 kg (-183 lbs) -60 kg (-123.2 lbs)
+83 kg (+183 lbs) -60 kg (-132.2 lbs)

3.3. Weight Classes for All other ADCC Tournaments

In all other tournaments of ADCC, there are four categories in which competitors are divided. Besides categorizing competitors on the base of belts, these categories are according to the age and fighting experience of the competitors. These categories are further divided according to the age of competitors. Let's have a detailed view of categories (based on experience) and their weight divisions.

Categories for Males

Category Experience Age
Professional More than Five Years of Experience Boys (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)
Master 2 (+40 years)
Master 3 (+45 years) 
Advance More than 5 Years of Experience Boys (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)
Master 2 (+40 years)
Master 3 (+45 years)
Intermediate From 2 to 4 Years of Experience Boys (11 years -12 years)
Boys (13 years - 14 years)
Boys (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)
Master 2 (+40 years)
Master 3 (+45 years)
Beginner Less than 2 Years Experience in BJJ, Judo, Sambo, Wrestling.
(7-8 years old and 9-10 years old boys and girls can compete together)
Boys (7 years - 8 years)
Boys (9 years -10 years)
Boys (11 years -12 years)
Boys (13 years - 14 years)
Boys (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)
Master 2 (+40 years)
Master 3 (+45 years)

Categories for Females

Category Experience Age
Professional More than Five Years of Experience Girls (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)
Advance More than 5 Years of Experience Boys (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)
Intermediate From 2 to 4 Years of Experience Girls (11 years -12 years)
Girls (13 years - 14 years)
Boys (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)
Beginner Less than 2 Years of Experience in BJJ, Judo, Sambo, Wrestling.
(7-8 years old and 9-10 years old boys and girls can compete together)
Girls (7 years - 8 years)   Girls (9 years -10 years)
Girls (11 years -12 years)
Girls (13 years - 14 years)
Girls (15 years - 18 years)
Adults (+18 years)
Master 1 (+35 years)

Weight Divisions for Males

Boys
(7-8 Years)
Boys
(9-10 Years)
Boys
(11-12 Years)
Boys
(13-14 Years)
Boys
(15 Years - 18 Years)
Adults
(+18 Years)
Master 1
(+35 Years)
Master 2
(+40 Years)
Master 3
(+45 Years)
-21kg -24kg -32kg -36kg -45kg -60kg -60kg -60kg -60kg
-24kg -28kg -36kg -40kg -50kg -65kg -65kg -65kg -65kg
-28kg -32kg -40kg -45kg -55kg -70kg -70kg -70kg -70kg
-32kg -36kg -45kg -50kg -60kg -76kg -76kg -76kg -76kg
-36kg -40kg -50kg -55kg -65kg -83kg -83kg -83kg -83kg
-40kg -45kg -55kg -60kg -70kg -91kg -91kg -91kg -91kg
-45kg -50kg -60kg -65kg -75kg -100kg -100kg -100kg -100kg
+45kg +50kg +60kg +65kg -80kg +100kg +100kg +100kg +100kg

Weight Divisions for Females

Girls
(7-8 Years)
Girls
(9-10 Years)
Girls
(11-12 Years)
Girls
(13-14 Years)
Girls
(15 years - 18 Years)
Adults
(+18 Years)
Master 1
(+35 Years)
-21kg -24kg -28kg -32kg -36kg -50kg -50kg
-24kg -28kg -32kg -36kg -40kg -55kg -55kg
-28kg -32kg -36kg -40kg -45kg -60kg -60kg
-32kg -36kg -40kg -45kg -50kg -65kg -65kg
-36kg -40kg -45kg -50kg -55kg -70kg -70kg
-40kg -45kg -50kg -55kg -60kg +70kg +70kg
+40kg +45kg +50kg +55kg +60kg    

Note: In the boys and girls division, if there is a big number of competitors, the organization can create an upper custom division to accommodate all competitors. 

4. Takeaways

BJJ tournaments do not have any central body and one set of rules for weight categories. All the major organizations have their own rules and weight categories which can be different from the weight divisions of other organizations. IBJJF and ADCC are one of the most prominent and acknowledged BJJ organizations but still have different categories for weight division.

IBJJF has nine categories starting from Rooster to Ultra Heavyweight. While ADCC has five weight divisions for the World Championship and eight weight categories for other ADCC tournaments which are according to age and the level of tournament in which the competitor wants to partake.

Photo Credit: @adcombat & @ibjjf

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