Find out everything you need to know about the rising phenomena that is combat Jiu Jitsu. We have broken it down for you right here, so you can get up to speed with the rules and find out weather we are on the verge of a revolution in grappling sport.
Combat Ju Jitsu is a combination of grappling and striking that has risen to prominence over the last few years following its showcasing at the Eddie Bravo Invitationals. It is intended to fill the space between pure grappling contests and mixed martial arts events. As is standard in the EBI format all the contests are No-Gi.
This type of combat Jiu Jitsu is not to be confused with traditional Japanese Ju Jitsu which also has branches that refer to themselves as Combat Ju Jitsu.
What are the rules?
The rules are straight forward in the formats seen to date, it is essentially submission grappling with open palm strikes. You are only permitted to strike a grounded opponent and strikes can be delivered to the face and the body. In the recent EBI 15 and the CJJ Words striking was allowed in the overtime period if no one managed to pull off a submission inside the regulation 10 minutes. It has been rumoured for a while that up kicks will be included shortly to keep fighters honest when an opponent is grounded.
Are the strikes a game changer
As you would expect the strikes have brought in another dimension as they provide openings to attack. But currently we haven’t seen striking aggressive enough to deter people from wanting to fight off there back. In fact, the EBI 15 Combat Jiu Jitsu champion Ben Eddy is known for his preference to attack from bottom. There have been a few people laying the slap down though.
— UFC FIGHT PASS (@UFCFightPass) November 13, 2017
How effective are the strikes?
There’s been a few big strikes landed in competition and Vagner Rocha secured the first ever lightweight title at the CJJ Worlds by finishing his opponent, Nathan Orchard by TKO from palm strikes.
The competition so far has appealed to former UFC fighters like Vagner Rocha and those who come from a purely grappling back ground. There has been success for both styles but only the future will tell if the format will develop enough to sustain CJJ specialists. The format certainly could be a good opportunity to help more grapplers make the transition into MMA.
Why not just do MMA?
Good question, I guess the reason for not just training MMA is that CJJ is still very much a grappling based ground fighting system. In MMA a fighter has the option to utilise striking from all positions at all times. The strikes in CJJ are much more limited and designed to make BJJ a little more like MMA on the ground only. CJJ could be a gateway for some to MMA but I think it will probably appeal more to those who have been training BJJ.
The format will still appeal more to those interested in submission grappling and the strikes probably won’t offer enough to pull in the casual MMA fan. From what’s been seen so far there is definitely scope for it to appeal to a broader audience but with the events currently behind a paywall it may struggle to gain traction.
Where can I watch it?
Eddie Bravo has been leading the charge in association with the UFC. Combat Jiu Jitsu was first seen in its current format at EBI 11 as an accompaniment to the usual submission only grappling tournament. Since then it has expanded as we saw the first CJJ Worlds in November 2017 showing the format has the pulling power to stand alone. It looks set to continue being part of the regular EBI’s as well as holding its own standalone events. You can catch up with the latest CJJ action by signing up to UFC Fight Pass.
What impact will this have on self-defense?
Adding a style of CJJ into your regular training is great from a self-defense perspective as it gets you thinking about defending from strikes. Lots of grapplers might come to realise some serious gaps between the sport style of grappling and the necessities of self-defence, if you haven’t drilled this how can you be confident it your responses.
There’s plenty of people who will be rolling their eyes right now as they have been training this way for years, but it has been a neglected training practice for those who have focused on the sporting element of grappling. In recent years we have seen a shift back towards the more self defence orientated elements of BJJ and CJJ will definitely give CJJ a boost.
With CJJ in its infancy it will be great to see this variant given the time to grow. Hopefully we will start to see the palm strikes better integrated with the grappling and maybe a few more Vagner Rocha style TKO’s. CJJ may have an influence on the way people train, moving them back towards a more self-defence focused style. As CJJ moves forward there will surely be more tweaks to the rules in an attempt to make it is entertaining as possible.
Overall if you haven’t come across CJJ I would recommend looking it up. You might want to start thinking about covering up next time your rolling as you never know who might be inspired to throw a slap or two in your direction!