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Competition BJJ is heating up across the globe. Understanding the rulesets and weight classes you will be in is important to anyone who wants to take Brazilian jiu-jitsu more seriously. In this article, we break down reaping and answer the question of what it is!
What is IBJJF Reaping and Why It Matters
In IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) rules, reaping refers to a leg entanglement technique that involves placing one’s foot or leg over the opponent’s knee in a manner that puts pressure on the knee joint.
From what the rules say a reap is when you entangle a leg from the outside of someone’s hip to the inside position. Going from the inside to the outside of someone’s leg/hip is considered legal. Knowing about the reaping rule in BJJ is very important. If you ae competing you should not want to put your match on the decision of a referee, they are humans and may make a bad (or good) call. A reap will get you disqualified from the match and you will lose.
Understanding the Reaping Rule in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
This technique is considered dangerous and can result in knee injuries if not executed properly. As a result, reaping is prohibited in IBJJF competition below the brown and black belt levels. If a competitor below these belt levels performs reaping, they may be disqualified from the match. Above the brown and black belt levels, reaping is allowed but with certain restrictions and specific guidelines for its execution.
Reaping is much more prevalent at high belt levels because it is allowed with certain restrictions in competitions. Many may get exposed to learning the technique before they hit the brown belt stage but be sure to not apply your teachings until you are at the necessary rank.
Reaping in IBJJF Competitions: How It’s Enforced and What It Means for Competitors
In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the legality of reaping depends on the ruleset being used and the practitioner’s belt level.
In general, reaping is allowed in most grappling competitions, including some Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournaments, submission-only events, and ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) rules competitions. However, in IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) tournaments, reaping is only allowed at the brown and black belt levels, while it is prohibited for all other belt levels.
The reaping rule in competitions will be enforced by the referee. Chances are if the ref misses the call or the illegal technique in play a coach or someone in the crowd will be screaming to have it come to their attention. If caught reaping it will result in an immediate DQ (if you are below the rank of brown belt). Even at the brown or black belt level you may get disqualified if you reap in an illegal manner.
To avoid penalties and disqualifications, you need to be aware of the rules surrounding this technique.
The Debate Around IBJJF Reaping
Jiu-jitsu is a sport that is no stranger to controversy or a good debate with alternative views surrounding the technique.
Reaping is a powerful technique that, when done properly and effectively, changes the tides of the match but many people in the community argue about dangerous it can be when people get caught in the technique and may not have an effective strategy to get themselves out.
Knee injuries are the main concern with reaping. If the technique is not performed properly your opponent can have a serious injury on their hands. Some people beleieve that the technique should be banned altogether regardless of how effective it can be even at the higher belts. The other side of this coin that gets argued is that the technique is essential to the Martial art that we have all grown to know and love and that taking it away would only cause more harm in the long run.
What are your thoughts? Should reaping be banned or allowed and just kept to the higher belts? Have you faced any kind of knee injuries while training BJJ?