The debate over IBJJF reaping rule heats up! BJJ 4 Life asks your opinion.

There has been a lot of drama lately both on and off the mat due to some new rules set by the IBJJF. The understanding of the rules in BJJ has always been a riddle for me. After years of competing both in the US and in Brazil I never really understood them other than what Ralph Gracie told me in my first 3 tournaments at white belt. "If you tap the guy you win, if you don’t you don’t win." That was Ralph’s advice long ago. Just play your game he told me. Problem was that if you didn’t tap the guy you didn’t know if you won or not till the referee raised raised an arm.

If seem that the confusion hasn’t lessened a bit. MMA star Conner Huen posted up his post fight concerns in a video response to about his match. Feeling he as DQ’d unnecessarily and only because he didn’t understand the Brazilian referee’s commands in Portuguese.


This lead to a headed online debate between Hillary Williams an IBJJF employee and Huen on twitter, and youtube.  Hillary posted a video detailing the rules that Huen didn’t understand or know.


Huen later stated via twitter he in fact didn’t understand the rules and should have learned the proper commands in Portuguese  as the rules stated.  This however didn’t lessen the online drama and upset people online over the call. Many people felt Huen’s competitor broke the rules by fleeing the mat while a submission was being applied.

Now a new Facebook poll is has been created by a competitor questioning the leg reaping rule that has gone viral. It seems to be in response to the many many disqualifications at the IBJJF No Gi worlds last weekend.  Its seems many people were sent home upset and some angry due to a lack of clarity on the rule.

Back in November IBJJF posted this video outlining the rule.

Despite the thousands of people watching it, there was still quite a bit of controversy. Many found the rule to be still to be unclear. And, others felt the rule made sense in traditional gi competition but not in no gi since the gi offered more grips and the pants made leg escapes much more difficult. While no gi the game is much more slippery and escapes are easier.

BJJ 4 Life has now asked its Facebook followers to chime in and voice their opinions on the rule and the heal hook rule with this Facebook poll.

BJJ 4 Life Facebook Poll (You can vote your oppinion here.)

At this time the polls is clear showing that people are against the reaping rule by 90% margin. 

This is despite top competitors like Felipe Costa expressing a different opinion.

"I say no, cause I dont want to risk getting a serious knee injury that will stop me from teaching, training and compete."

Some like Foster Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu have brought up the potential injury factor this could cause.

"I may be a 2nd degree black belt and "know what I’m getting into", however that doesn’t mean much if I end up getting caught by someone who doesn’t stop when I tap or am out of bounds (anyone watch the Avalan match from ADCC). My livelihood means more to me then that. I could change my mind however if there was a $100,000 prize on the line to cover potential medical costs and paychecks for 6 months :)"

He sights the Avalon x Toquinho match where Toquinho applies a heel hook out of bounds and then again when they were restarted. This looked like a career ending injury to the spectators but Avalon later confirmed he was alright and would be back on the mat soon.

Despite the above concerns over the rules most people seem to think that this is BJJ a game of submissions and that the very effect leg submissions should be legal. These guys are brown and black belts right.  They are at the highest level of the game.  Shouldn’t the be versed in all submissions?

Kev Jitsu a sambo player agreed stating.

"Absolutely. The game progresses, and sambo players have been going across the midline of the leg n they seem to be fine…. Also it hampers clean competition to have a rule that allows a competitor to force his opponents leg into a so called raping position. That’s lame. Allow it. Hands down."

Followed by David-Sanuces Pitts another sambo player.

"BB (Black Belts) can handle this, I roll at the SEATOWN sombo club and we have no problem with heel hooks, reaping etc. the sambo guys can handle it. But the IBJJF is going to ban it, hell they dont like leglocks period.. oh well the sport must advance."

It will be interesting to see if or how the IBJJ follows up to this viral voicing of opinion.

BJJ 4 Life Facebook Poll (You can vote your oppinion here.)


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