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What is Combat Jiu Jitsu? (Full Guide Inside)

What is Combat Jiu Jitsu? (Full Guide Inside)

Combat Jiu Jitsu is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu but has been modified to include open palm strikes. BJJ does not normally include strikes of any kind, but in the Combat Jiu Jitsu (CJJ) ruleset open palm strikes are allowed.


What Is Combat Jiu Jitsu?

Combat Jiu Jitsu helps expose the flaws or limits in pure sport Brazilian jiu jitsu by introducing open palm strikes.

This was created by Eddie Bravo, the 10th Planet BJJ founder, in order to make jiu jitsu competitions more exciting, realistic, and entertaining for the audience as well as enhance the realistic use of jiu jitsu in a context where strikes are allowed.

Both competitors are allowed to throw these open palm strikes when one of the competitors is seated. There is no striking allowed when both competitors are standing.

In traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, strikes to the head are not permitted; however, Combat Jiu-Jitsu can employ strikes to the head and body in the form of open palm strikes.

The inclusion of striking into Combat Jiu Jitsu is meant to reflect more accurately the realities of self-defense and bjj’s part in it.

Traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Combat Jiu-Jitsu 

Both Traditional BJJ and CJJ may trace their origins back to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which. Despite their similarities in techniques, there are also significant distinctions between the two approaches:

Traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu vs Combat Jiu-Jitsu
  1. Strikes – the usage of strikes is the primary distinction between conventional BJJ and CJJ. Traditional BJJ uses grappling and submission techniques and does allow any striking.  In contrast,  CJJ allows practitioners to utilize palm strikes.
  2. Clothing – practitioners of Traditional BJJ use the traditional uniform, a BJJ Gi consisting of a jacket, pants, and a belt. Like  No-Gi BJJ, CJJ involves using a rashguard or spats and shorts.
  3. How to win – to win in Traditional BJJ, one must score points according to the BJJ scoring system or make their opponent submit. In CJJ, a knockout is a valid means of winning.

Combat Jiu Jitsu vs MMA

Although both CJJ and MMA incorporate striking and grappling, the regulations and amount of striking permitted vary significantly.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that features the use of a variety of martial arts systems. While Combat Jiu-Jitsu is a grappling and ground-based sport stemmed from BJJ.

In MMA, most strikes, including punches and kicks, may be executed while standing and on the ground. However, in Combat Jiu-Jitsu, you can only deliver open palm strikes and no more other than that. They should be from the ground position.

Is Combat Jiu Jitsu Effective?

Yes, Combat Jiu-Jitsu is very effective at raising the competitors’ awareness of strikes in Jiu-Jitsu.

Therefore, they may choose which position or technique they plan to use in competition accordingly if open palm strikes are allowed. 

Some positions expose you to strikes in BJJ, so these will likely be avoided or altered to include methods to protect you from strikes.

Who Started Combat Jiu Jitsu?

Eddie Bravo, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and MMA commentator, is credited with starting Combat Jiu-Jitsu (CJJ).

Eddie Bravo is well-known for his unconventional approach to the art of BJJ and for his advancement of the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu system. This particular style of Jiu-Jitsu emphasizes grappling, with clothing similar to no-gi. It also incorporates techniques from various other martial arts.

What is EBI? (Eddie Bravo Invitational)

As its name suggests, Eddie Bravo is the mind behind the submission-only BJJ tournament series known as the Eddie Bravo Invitational (EBI).

Submission-only fights, timeframe, and regulation characterize the EBI’s specific format for grappling and combat tournaments.

This organization has hosted many events that featured world-class competitors in MMA, Judo, Wrestling, BJJ, and many submission-based martial arts.

History of Combat Jiu Jitsu

Combat Jiu-Jitsu (CJJ) blends Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) with striking techniques from other styles of martial training.

Eddie Bravo created Combat Jiu-Jitsu out of a concern that the focus of BJJ needed to shift away from its original intention. Sport Jiu-Jitsu, in his opinion, had become overly focused on movements and techniques that serve less purpose in real-life situations. So, he came up with the idea and debuted it at the 2015 EBI 3 competition.

Fighters from many different martial arts styles have utilized it as a training method since it enables them to practice ground and striking techniques simultaneously.

Over the years, the style has been showcased in many EBI events and other martial art competitions worldwide.

Can You Slap in Combat Jiu Jitsu?

Can You Slap in Combat Jiu Jitsu?

Yes, open-handed slaps are permitted in Combat Jiu-Jitsu. 

However, it is only allowed when there is one or both participants is on the ground. When both competitors are standing, it is prohibited for them to exchange strikes.

Combat Jiu Jitsu Rules

The rules for Combat Jiu-Jitsu fight are similar to Traditional Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions except it allows for open palm strikes when one of the competitors is seated.

The following is a list of general regulations used during a CJJ competition:

  • In a fight, victory is declared when one of the competitors is knocked out, submits to the other, or by EBI overtime rules.
  • While grappling on the ground, both head and body strikes are allowed.
  • Any and all submissions are allowed.
  • The length of a match is capped at 10 minutes, with the possibility for overtime.
  • Standing grappling can only go on for up to one minute.
  • The purgatory position allows the practitioner to be on top of the opponent while controlling one arm and using the free hand to strike or protect.  Every match has a 30-second “purgatory” period, with any time spent there being carried over into the overtime session.

Combat Jiu Jitsu Overtime Rules

  • Competitors toss a coin to choose who will go first in a competition.
  • The toss winner makes a “spiderweb” stance to launch their attacks from the back. 
  • The fighters will take turns attacking from their respective positions.
  • If one contestant surrenders, the winner is the other one that did not yield.
  • If both fighters manage to get away, we go on to the next round of overtime (maximum of three overtime rounds)
  • After maximizing overtime rounds, if neither fighter has submitted, the winner is determined by who escaped the most quickly.

Striking Rules in Combat Jiu Jitsu

While Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu focuses on grappling, Combat Jiu-Jitsu also allows for striking. However, strikes in CJJ are subject to a set of regulations.

Combat Jiu-Jitsu has a few standard guidelines for striking:

  • Head strikes are allowed, but strikes to face are prohibited.
  • It is acceptable to use open-hand strikes, including palm strikes and slaps.
  • Only when on the ground are the fighters permitted to exchange strikes.
  • Any other type of strikes, such as those with a closed fist or leg are not allowed.

When was the first Combat Jiu Jitsu Event?

2017’s EBI 11 was the first year for the Combat Jiu-Jitsu event. 

On the undercard, there was a competition with four competitors to decide who would be the first CJJ 135-pound champion. JM Holland, Nick Honstein, and Sheridan Moran were some of the other competitors.

Who Are the Most Popular Competitors in Combat Jiu Jitsu

The following are some of the most well-known and highly respected competitors in Combat Jiu-Jitsu:

  1. Ethan Crelinsten
  2. AJ Agazarm
  3. Richie Martinez
  4. Denny Prokopos
  5. Tyson Griffin
  6. Vagner Rocha
  7. Nathan Orchard

Which One Should You Train – Combat Jiu Jitsu or Traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?

You should train in whichever type of Jiu-Jitsu you prefer. CJJ just helps you better understand the limits of pure bjj when strikes are involved.

Still, the one thing that Combat Jiu-Jitsu has brought to light is that when training in Sport Jiu-Jitsu, you should know if striking is involved. 

As in Combat Jiu-Jitsu or MMA, specific Jiu-Jitsu techniques leave you vulnerable to strikes.

If you train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for self-defense purposes, try to know which positions would suit and which positions may leave you vulnerable to strikes. 

What is Combat Jiu Jitsu? – Conclusion

Jiu Jitsu is an excellent way to build self-defense skills, confidence, and discipline.

Combat Jiu Jitsu is a hybrid martial art that combines elements of traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with striking techniques in the form of open palm strikes.

It is a combat sport that is focused on ground fighting and submission holds, but also allows for strikes to be used in order to disable an opponent or finish a fight. 

If you’re interested in learning more about combat jiu jitsu or other martial arts, we offer a free discovery call so you can learn more about what we offer and how we can help you reach your goals.

We hope this guide has been helpful in giving you a better understanding of what combat jiu jitsu is and why it’s such an effective form of self-defense.

Thanks for reading, and see you at the next one!

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