This article is not meant to address the debate surrounding sport vs self-defense jiu-jitsu. It is merely to show what the rule-set may look like for Olympic Jiu-Jitsu. All photos come from the UWW Grappling Rule Book.
Instead, it will be called Olympic Grappling. United World Wrestling already has a grappling event. The closest Jiu-Jitsu used to be to an Olympic sport was actually more closely related to Catch Wrestling when the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles (FILA) was in charge of the events. We even covered when WMMA bantamweight, Colleen Schneider, won the world championship.
However, with corruption and bribes running much of what happened with FILA, the organization was disbanded and absorbed into the United World Wrestling organization. Team USA Wrestling even has a Grappling team that attends UWW’s Grappling competitions.
Now that UWW has taken over, the rule set has seen a drastic change. It more closely resembles Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu than Catch Wrestling. However, it is still not the BJJ that many of us are used to seeing. There are some major differences. Here are just a few:
1. Restart Positions
In BJJ, if the action moves out of bounds, referees often will attempt to reset competitors in the same position they were in before leaving the mat area. In Grappling, this is not the case.
Instead, there is essentially a modified guard position. This is much like
resetting to the referee’s position in wrestling. This position is used when guard action moves out of bounds.
There is also a side control restart position that looks like this:
A mount restart will look like this:
A back control restart position will look like this:
A restart position is something that many BJJ practitioners may not be ok with. However, in order to make rules more uniform, it is clear that these positions are valuable, though perhaps some modifications could be made.
Takedowns still score 2 points, but can score 3 if a grappler manages to lift their opponent above waist high while taking them down.
Reversals are worth 2 points. This would include sweeps, and even an Upa from the bottom of mount. However, if a dominant position is established off of a reversal, points for the reversal will be combined with the points for a dominant position.
Reaching Side Mount is worth 3 points. However, no extra points are awarded for knee-on-belly. Here are some examples of side mount:
Mount positions are awarded the same as in BJJ with little difference.
However, back mount position is only awarded when it looks like this:
Body-triangles or crossed feet will not award any back mount points.
Takedowns that do not establish control for 3 seconds are still awarded 1 point. Close submission attempts are also awarded 1 point. This does not mean that any submission attempt is awarded a point (in BJJ they are often awarded advantage points for simply attempting a submission). The submission must appear to be close to succeeding in order for a point to be awarded.
There are other differences between BJJ and UWW Grappling. You can find the new set of rules HERE. If it’s something you might be interested in, I suggest studying up.