Do You Make Sure You Understand The Rules Before You Compete?

The rules determine the game.  You wouldn’t show up to a poker game and then get infuriated that it’s not go-fish, would you?  You wouldn’t show up to an American football game and get upset that it’s not soccer, right?  So why do so many people get their panties knotted up over IBJJF rules?

Rule sets dictate what submissions are or are not allowed. They dictate how much leeway and time competitors get and how they are allowed to initiate positions and contact. There are dozens of possible factors that each rule set can change to make itself unique.

If you don’t like IBJJF rules, or want to see them change, compete at tournaments that are more your preference.  If you are unhappy about the rules of a specific tournament circuit but then forego the opportunity to compete at another circuit whose rules are more favorable to your game, you have absolutely no room to complain.

The market speaks.  Or rather it should.  There are at this point about a dozen circuits throughout the USA, all of whom are itching to grow, but often wind up with small upper belt divisions. Then IBJJF gets packed chock full of competitors who are unhappy about the rule set.  I just don’t get it.

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There will always be refereeing discrepancies, of course.  An argument can be made that Brazilians get preferential treatment at International BRAZILIAN Jiu Jitsu Federation competitions, and yet there were tons of non-Brazilians on top of the podium at No-Gi Worlds over the weekend, so it can’t be that big of a discrepancy.

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Very often issues with rules have less to do with the rules or the referee and more to do with the practitioner not fully understanding them.  In order to be truly prepared for a competition, especially an IBJJF competition, one must attain a deep understanding of how to use the rules.  There are, of course, tons of subtleties to these rules. The IBJJF rule book is long and extensive.

I’ve even seen people complain about EBI or ADCC rules.  Just recently Kevin Casey challenged Gordon Ryan to a Combat Jiu Jitsu match and then backed out once he read up on the rules.  What the heck is going on here???

Good jiu-jitsu wins matches, but good jiu-jitsu without an understanding of the rules is more fallible than it should be.

For those of you who have complained about your results or lack thereof, who blame it on the rules, why do you keep showing up for events that have rule sets that don’t favor what you like to do on the mat?  What’s the point?

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Emil Fischer is an active brown belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio (www.strongstyle.com) and teaching at Ground Up BJJ (http://mpcle.com/class/ground-up-bjj/.) For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj/. Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (www.Meerkatsu.com, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, Cleveland Cryo (www.clevelandcryo.net discount code EmilCryo,) NottaRookie, The Terphouse (www.TheTerphouse.com, used discount code COOKIES), Trap And Roll Soap Company (www.trapandrollsoap.com discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards (www.impactmouthguards.com discount code EMILIMPACT), North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear, as well as a brand ambassador for Ludwig Van (www.ludwigvantheman.com discount code FAMILY) and Vanguard Kimono.
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