Many find BJJ matches boring to watch. I get it, it’s not the most exciting, especially if you don’t know what’s going on. That’s why we dive into the rules of Combat Jiu-Jitsu today.

As a big fan of Combat Jiu-Jitsu competitions, I can tell you it’s fun to watch. It adds a twist to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ), making it feel more realistic. 

But things can get confusing with all the rules in traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the adapted rules for CJJ. My goal with this blog post is to shine some light on the Combat Jiu-Jitsu rules, making it easier to understand what’s happening when you watch. Or maybe you want to compete? 

What Are the Combat Jiu-Jitsu Rules?

  1. No-Gi Required: You won’t need a gi for this one. It’s all no-gi action.
  2. How to Win: You have three ways to take the win: submission, TKO, or by EBI overtime rules. There is no point system here unless nobody is able to submit their opponent during EBI overtime. Then the point system comes into place.
  3. Anything Goes for Submissions: All BJJ submission techniques are legal.
  4. Time Limit: Matches run for 10 minutes. If no one wins in that time, you go into EBI overtime rules.
  5. Slaps/ Open-Palm Strikes: Here’s where things get fun. You can only slap your competitor when one of you is on the ground. No slaps are allowed when you’re both standing.
  6. Upkicks: Upkicks are allowed from the ground. So if you are on the ground and the other one is standing, you can use your kicks.
  7. The Grounding Rule: If you both stand for over a minute, the referee jumps in. A coin toss decides who gets to pick the starting position, usually the butterfly guard.
  8. Special Rules: Two unique rules spice things up even more: purgatory positions and EBI overtime rules.

I love this rule set. It prevents stalling, it makes Jiu-Jitsu fun to watch, and we finally find out which BJJ techniques would also work on the streets! To my surprise, many BJJ techniques are not as much used in CJJ anymore.

Closed Guard is not a favorable position for the bottom player anymore. Unless you have crazy triangles like Paul Craig. So it’s a great way to find out what part of Jiu-Jitsu works in a street fight and which ones do not.

What Are The Striking Rules in Combat Jiu-Jitsu?

Allowed Strikes

  • Slaps/ Open-Palm Strikes

You can slap your opponent during a CJJ Fight. But you can’t just slap people whenever you want. In combat jiu-jitsu, strikes and slaps are allowed only when one competitor is on the ground. Both people can’t be standing and start smacking each other.

  • Upkicks

You can also use upkicks from the ground. This way, the person standing has now more things to worry about. They are threatening – I have seen people getting knocked out by upkicks. It adds another layer of realism to the fight.

Prohibited Strikes

  • Closed fist punches
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Leg kicks
  • Headbutts
  • Strikes to the groin, throat, and spine

So you see, the point isn’t to knock the other person out with strikes. It’s about forcing the other person to use the BJJ techniques that also work on the streets. 

It makes it more like a real-life fight situation. Adding strikes means you’ve got to think about both offense and defense at the same time. It’s a test of how well-rounded you are as a competitor.

What Is the Get Down Rule In CJJ?

Let’s say both competitors are on their feet, and no one’s going down. If you guys stand for over a minute, the referee steps in. This is where the “get down rule” kicks in. The winner of the coin flip can pick where they start next: at the top or bottom of the butterfly guard position.

The “get down rule” stops people from stalling. No one wants to watch two people stand around for the match. This rule makes sure the action keeps going. Winning that coin flip could give you a real edge. It lets you pick a starting point that plays to your strengths.

I like that rule a lot because, in regular BJJ competitions, we see a lot of stalling and people trying to win on points. It’s just not enjoyable for the fans.

What Are EBI Overtime Rules?

What happens when a match ends in a tie? That’s where EBI overtime rules come into play. The EBI overtime rules kick in if the 10-minute round ends with no submission or TKO.

Each competitor takes turns starting in either the back mount or the “spider web” position. They try to get a submission. If they do, they win. Easy as that.

You got up to three overtime rounds to get a submission. If no one gets it, the match goes to the person who had control for the most time. So even if you don’t get a submission, holding your opponent in a tough spot counts for something.

The EBI ruleset has become popular in recent years. It’s also emphasized in practice in some BJJ Gyms I’ve been to. I like it cause it wants to get a winner at all costs. It’s rare that somebody will win on points.

What is the Purgatory Position in CJJ Rules?

In combat jiu-jitsu, you come across a unique rule known as the “purgatory position.” This rule kicks in when one fighter stands and the other is on the mat, but no guard or leg wrap-up is happening. So what’s the big deal?

The fighter standing only has 30 seconds to do something or that time gets put on to the EBI overtime round. The rule’s designed so folks don’t just stand around, avoiding action. As soon as the one standing puts a knee down, the purgatory clock stops.

There’s no purgatory clock if you’re standing, but the other guy has you in full guard or is tangled up with your legs. If you break free, you only have 10 seconds before that purgatory timer starts ticking again.

This rule is about keeping the action going and making sure everyone’s actually fighting, not just playing the clock. It pushes the competitor on top to work for a better position or go for a submission. If you’re on the bottom, you’ve got the pressure to keep the action going, too.

Can You Slam in Combat Jiu-Jitsu?

You’re allowed to pick up and slam your opponent to get them down to the mat. It’s part of the game. So, if you have the strength and skill to lift someone up and bring them down, go for it. Takedowns, like slams, are totally legit.

While slams are okay, you can’t stand and start throwing strikes, slaps, or kicks. That would turn it too much into MMA. In combat jiu-jitsu, the goal is to keep the action focused on grappling and submissions.

The rules are there to keep things fair and safe. Slams can be powerful moves, but they’ve got to be done the right way. That means no dropping someone on their head or anything dangerous like that.

Final Words

So you see that the combat jiu-jitsu rules are unique. This sport has its own twist, from the basic rules to the EBI overtime rules and the purgatory position.

If you’re a competitor or just a fan, knowing these rules makes the matches more fun to watch and play. It’s a mix of BJJ and MMA elements that create a whole new level of excitement.

Even some MMA fighters like Brandon Moreno have competed in CJJ and were successful! I believe CJJ will become more and more popular in the next years.

So, if you have yet to watch a combat jiu-jitsu match, what are you waiting for? Check it out and see the action for yourself!

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