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What is Combat Jiu-Jitsu? Everything You Need To Know

combat jiu jitsu

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Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu has experienced several modifications since its inception and has birthed new forms of the sport. In more recent years, a new form of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has been formed and later coined Combat Jiu Jitsu (CJJ). Combat Jiu-Jitsu uses mixed rules for BJJ and MMA and has grown massively in popularity.

combat jiu jitsu


Combat Jiu-Jitsu is a modified version of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in which open palm strikes are acceptable. This new ruleset creates a hybrid martial art between MMA and BJJ. CJJ uses core techniques from its counterpart in Brazilian jiu-jitsu but with the inclusion of open-palm striking to make it more realistic. In this article, we will go over CJJ’s popularity growth, history, and where it is headed!

The Basics of Combat Jiu-Jitsu

Combat Jiu-Jitsu is just Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with open-palm striking. Just like BJJ, Combat Jiu Jitsu uses submission holds such as chokes and joint locks to force the opponent into tapping out.

History of Combat Jiu-Jitsu

Combat Jiu-Jitsu was created by Eddie Bravo, who also was the man behind 10th Planet Jiu-jitsu. Eddie has been said to have developed Combat Jiu-jitsu because he felt as though that Brazilian Jiu-jitsu was losing its realism in the growth of the sport. Adding open hand strikes to the mix not only created a massively popular sub-version of BJJ but also made BJJ a more true form of self-defense.

Back in 2017, Eddie put CJJ to the test at a jiu-jitsu competition. In the four-person tournament hosted by competitors, the watches ended up being very entertaining and exciting for the crowd. This was the birth of the now-known and popular form of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu.

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combat jiu jitsu

What are the Rules for Combat Jiu-Jitsu?

The rules in CJJ are not as complex as those in BJJ, one of the main differences in the rule set is that Combat Jiu-jitsu is not on a scored point system. The only way to win a Combat jiu-jitsu match is to win by submission to by TKO (technical knock-out). Creating a submission-only style of play calls for more excitement in the sport, in CJJ guard pullers cannot butt-scoot their way to victory!

CJJ matches are single rounds that last 10 minutes. If a round ends without a submission or a TKO, the match will go into overtime where EBI rules will overtake. In CJJ you are only allowed one minute of stand-up grappling before the referee flips a coin and asks you to start on the ground. The winner of the flip gets to choose whether they will start in a top position, butterfly guard, or bottom with double under hooks.

It is important to note that open palm slaps are only permitted if the opponent is on the floor. There is no stand-up striking allowed in Combat Jiu-jitsu. Closed fist punches are prohibited in CJJ and will result in disqualification if done so.

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The Purgatory Position in Combat Jiu-Jitsu Rules

The purgatory position in Combat Jiu-jitsu is when one person stands and the other is on the ground. You are allowed to stay in this position for 30 seconds and anytime spent in this position over this time limit will be added to the overtime round.

This rule was added to prevent stalling. Standing in an opponent’s guard is not considered a purgatory position. It is when the two athletes are completely disconnected from one another. Standing strikes are prohibited. CJJ only permits open-hand slaps when one or both competitors are on the floor.

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Overtime Rules in Combat Jiu Jitsu

Overtime rules of Combat Jiu Jitsu are the same as EBI Overtime ruleset

This is the official ruleset from EBI so to familiarize yourself with the way overtime rounds are scored and/or won, be sure to check out this page. 

combat jiu jitsu


The only key differences that can be observed between CJJ and BJJ are striking, overtime rules, and the point system. Other than these three components, Combat Jiu Jitsu is very similar to traditional Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

Combat Jiu-Jitsu has exploded in popularity amongst the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu community. The sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu was already on a meteoric rise in the United States and it is surprising to see a whole new form of the sport blossom within the community. The Combat Jiu-Jitsu World League and the competitive scene around the new form of jiu-jitsu are in their infant stages but the growth should not go unnoticed. Matches can now be watched on replay using the UFC Fight Pass!

Combat Jiu-Jitsu vs BJJ

CJJ combines the best things about BJJ and adds in striking to mix to create a healthy medium. A CJJ match is

If MMA and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu had a baby it would be Combat Jiu-jitsu. We believe this form of BJJ gives the community something to fall back on when naysayers say comments like “BJJ won’t work for self-defense situations”. CJJ is a great way to dispel that rumor and offers a “more realistic” form of the sport that we have grown to love. 

eddie bravo bjj game


Combat Jiu-Jitsu was established by 10-time World Champion Jiu-Jitsu Athlete Eddie Bravo. When Eddie began developing Combat Jiu-jitsu, he criticized the moves of competitors at higher levels.

Eddie has remained firm in promoting a newly developed hybrid form of jiu-jitsu. It began relatively slowly and has gained a huge following since then. Nowadays it is easy to see elite jiu-jitsu athletes on top stage trying to hit palms to their opponents with an ensuing choke.

FAQs About CJJ or BJJ

Is jiu-jitsu effective in a fight?

Yes, jiu-jitsu is effective in a fight. Is it going to save you from every situation? Probably not.

A true martial art will give you every opportunity to prepare you for that situation and BJJ will do just that.

Is jiu-jitsu a combat sport?

Yes, jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts are considered combat sports. Combat Sports is a general term that encompasses most martial arts ranging from Muay Thai to Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Mixed Martial arts is a term used to describe the type of fighting that takes place in the UFC and is not a true martial art. Athletes combine martial arts and that’s where the term MMA (mixed martial arts) comes from.

Where can I watch combat Jiu-Jitsu?

UFC Fight pass is the best place to watch Combat Jiu-Jitsu Matches.

mma athletes - martial artists - ufc fight pass

Final Thoughts

The best way to understand CJJ is by looking through a no-gi lens. CJJ is no gi competitions with only open palm strikes. Closed-fist striking techniques are prohibited in CJJ.

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  • Cameron

    Cameron is the Founder of Grapplers Graveyard. He is an athlete, a life-long learner, and a combat sports enthusiast. His goal is to build websites that help people become smarter, healthier, and happier.

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