What is Combat Jiu-Jitsu?
Let us begin by understanding this martial art form that sounds quite similar to BJJ or, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Long story short, Combat Jiu-Jitsu or CJJ, upholds the very limitation that binds BJJ from real-life fights, striking.
Combat Jiu-Jitsu is a perfect blend of old-art Jiu-Jitsu and modern times MMA or Mixed Martial Art. The aim is to redefine the ancient principles of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu self-defense through lethal strikes.
And this is possible due to CJJ’s professional open-palm strikes. These strikes are only legal while the opponents are grounded, either on their back or their butt.
This new form of BJJ competitive approaches took over the world by storm in 2017 through the hands of Eddie Bravo. His focal aim was to bring back the crowd’s attention to sports Jiu-Jitsu by incorporating more offensive tactics and actions to the fights.
Moreover, these tactics deemed CJJ, a more suitable martial art for street fights, over BJJ’s monotonous defensive moves.
These strikes are more than mere slaps and can act as finishers within seconds.
CJJ has slowly paved its way into submission martial art that involves grappling and has incorporated carefully curated open-palm strikes for lethal and entertaining take-downs.
But where did it all begin? Read on to know more:
How it Began
Combat Jiu-Jitsu or CJJ was the brain-child of Eddie Bravo, who earned his initial fame by creating the 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.
Bravo believed that the ancient Jiu-Jitsu culture should have more relativity in modern-times combat style that strives towards real-life self-defense.
He acted upon his principle by initially creating the EBI or Eddie Bravo Invitational. He wished to convey that the current BJJ format relies mainly and predominantly upon grappling and choke-hold submission.
These tactics look great inside a ring but have no place in real-world combats. Moreover, the no-strike, only submission tactic does not fare so well especially against much stronger enemies.
Although people disregarded his idea of open-palm slap Jiu-jitsu back in 2013, the year 2017 saw the emergence of Combat Jiu-Jitsu through the Eddie Bravo Invitational that drew its very first strong wave of attraction and interest.
Bravo has worked hard through the years, to cut off all the strings of limitation that BJJ created by prohibiting strikes and kicks that clarified the harshness of Japanese Jiu-Jitsu.
Bravo took inspiration from the BJJ ground-grappling and MMA strikes, stringing them into a submission-based martial art.
Combat Jiu-Jitsu is Bravo’s re-introduction of the old-school lethal defensive martial art that had no strings attached for the opponent’s safety.
Combat Jiu-Jitsu Techniques
The CJJ techniques are in sync with the modern-day MMA rules, of course keeping in mind to only attack with open palms instead of elbows, fists, and knees.
The technique of the open palm, although initially criticized and named as the “slap Jiu-Jitsu” was a calculative approach. Open -palm strikes are the best finishers when it comes to attacking a “downed” opponent.
The array of choke-holds and grappling tactics in CJJ provides for a larger striking ground. And of course, open palm strikes and slaps are only allowed when both the parties are on the ground in either a dominant or submissive position.
A CJJ match ends with either opponent in submission, EBI-overtime, or TKO. TKO or technical Knockout depends on the referee to deem a grounded opponent, unable to escape or fight back.
Here is where CJJ differs from other martial arts. The priority to equalize the battle between two opponents holds higher ground over the point-based winning system.
Unlike BJJ, where the point system determines the winner, CJJ checks on an opponent’s escape timing to hail the victor.
The recent CJJ tactic does allow kicks but is still debatable on its permanent status in the discipline.
Combat Jiu-Jitsu also shares certain BJJ tactics such as joint-locks and strangulation from below. Doing so allows the grounded fighter to take control and escape the leg-entanglement that can choke them out.
Overall, the CJJ combat techniques depend on an intriguing rule set with complex move-sets that can retain spectators’ attention on the action inside the ring.
The Rules of CJJ
The rules of a CJJ competition are methodical yet simple. The initial rules are of course, similar to that of the EBI rules, with additional points to attract and engage a large crowd.
They are as follows:
- Each fight is a maximum of 10 minutes round.
- The winning does not depend on a point system, unlike in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
- All forms of submissions are legal.
- Open slaps are permitted only after both opponents are on the ground.
- The permissible areas for strikes are the head and the body.
- The groin region is a prohibited zone for any kind of hit or harm.
- Closed fist strikes are prohibited.
- A competitor is only “downed” if they are on their knees or butt touches the ground.
- The standing grappling time limit is 1 minute. After that 1 minute, the referee blows his
whistle, notifying the opponents of the 2nd round.
- When there are 0 groundings taken place within the first one minute, this is under effect.
- The referee will then enforce the “get down rule” by tossing a coin to have the winner of the flip choose between the position to be in, or initiate the butterfly/spiderweb position.
- The Purgatory Position rule comes in when one grappler is initiating a spiderweb position from the ground and the standing grappler makes no move. This is permissible within 30 seconds, after which, every second clocked-in goes into overtime consideration.
- If the standing opponent can escape from the leg entanglement, they will receive an additional 10 seconds to re-engage before the 2nd purgatory time limit.
- Submission is possible when the opponent is on top or even the bottom position.
- Winning the matches is possible only through submissions, TKO, or EBI-Overtime.
- Winning also depends on how fast an opponent was able to disengage themselves from spiderweb or leg entanglement position.
Although these rules might seem complicated, the methodical approaches set through these help in fuelling the ongoing excitement on who can win the match.
Comparison with Other Martial Arts
Now, Combat Jiu-Jitsu’s popularity rose during the time where Martial arts and combat systems such as Krav Maga, BJJ, and MMA were already establishing their positions.
CJJ vs. BJJ
As one of the most popular arguments to form in the martial arts field, the CJJ vs. BJJ debate is ongoing. There are some striking distinctions between the two.
In a BJJ competition, striking and kicking are prohibited and can lead to disqualification. However, for CJJ, open-palm striking and slaps form a vital part of the curriculum.
Not to forget, male competitors have no permission to wear rash guards during CJJ matches.
All the submission tactics are under the IBJJF’s coordination for BJJ matches. Hence there are various restrictions such as no-leg touch, heel-hooks, and so on. Fortunately, all forms of submission are legal under CJJ fighting tactics.
BJJ’s point factor takes away the realistic approach of submitting an opponent. It also cancels out the original Japanese Jiu-Jitsu’s principle to dominate an opponent for self-defense, and not to earn a point.
And Bravo had his strong opinions against BJJ practices, hence his CJJ matches do not follow any point system for ultimate victory.
CJJ vs. MMA
While CJJ has various move-sets respecting the MMA principles, it is easy to note the differences in the competitive background between the two.
MMA is mixed martial arts, allowing the attacker to throw their strikes while standing and also while grounded. Combat Jiu-Jitsu of course, only imbibes the ground where the match begins.
Additionally, MMA comes with its popular name, the “Art of 8 Limbs” from Muay Thai inspiration, using the elbows, palms, knees, and feet to attack. In CJJ on the other hand, the only kind of strike allowed would be the open-palmed slaps.
MMA matches can go on for long periods with 5 rounds, each being 3.5 minutes long. In that place, a CJJ championship match goes on for no more than 10 minutes.
At the end of an MMA match, the judge is the decision-maker on who wins the competition. However, there are no judges involved to declare winners at the end of a CJJ match.
CJJ vs. Krav Maga
Krav Maga and CJJ both depend on realistic situations. However, CJJ follows a competitive ring pattern of tackling an opponent. This is as the primary objective of Krav Maga is self-defense and for CJJ, it is to train in centuries-old military-combat.
Arms management is a popular tactic among Krav Maga trainees who can deter a knife or gun threat by breaking or twisting the attacker’s arm. CJJ on the other hand, opts for complete enemy submission, taking away their freedom to use any form of armaments.
In terms of popularity, the Israeli Krav Maga is a combat tactic most popular among women for self-defense. Similarly, the JJJ-inspired Combat Jiu-Jitsu has been earning its name through multiple competitions throughout the world.
CJJ depends primarily on control and leverage, while Krav Maga opts for striking pain if attacked. Hence, both have slightest similarities and distinctive differences as self-defense principles.
Combat Jiu-Jitsu Tournaments
The popularity of Combat Jiu-Jitsu depends primarily on competitions and featured interviews where Bravo had spoken passionately on his pet-project.
Some of the most popular and frequently-spoken of competitions well-heard of would be:
EBI(Eddie Bravo Invitational) Combat Jiu-Jitsu
Eddie Bravo’s CJJ journey began with a different martial arts tournament in action, the EBI or Eddie Bravo Invitational. This was a no-gi tournament, inviting in the most popular Brazilian Jiu-Jitsukas from Craig Jones, Danaher Death Squad, and Bravo’s very own 10th Planet Freaks.
Here, Bravo made sure to add 0 restrictions on submission tactics and allowed MMA fighters to utilize all their strengths to imbibe CJJ’s teachings into their fights.
The first matches had garnered a large crowd and enthusiasm, allowing Bravi to realize the much-needed change in martial arts approach, i.e., to be back to the age-old tactics.
And after the immense popularity of EBI tournaments, Bravo was set to build his dream project, Combat Jiu-Jitsu.
Combat Jiu-Jitsu Worlds
CJJ Worlds was Bravo’s most famous idea to promote the martial art style to the public. For this, he planned to have two 8-men tournaments that included the best names on the field.
These known names included but not limited to:
- Nathan Orchard
- Ben Eddy
- Vagner Rocha
- Wilson Reis, &
- Chad George
These tournaments were set to be in the lightweight and bantamweight categories. Bravo planned the tournament styles to follow IBJJF’s BJJ fights but with his spin on the submission rules.
Most matches during these competitions were won by TKO, with fights such as Chad George vs Sidemar Honorio in the bantamweight final. Every spectator can still recall the much spoken-about Vagner Rocha lightweight tournament where he made an unforgettable identity of himself.
The competitions had etched the way of Combat Jiu-Jitsu to take over the modern martial art principles with the traditional approach.
The Drawbacks of Combat Jiu-Jitsu
The Combat Jiu-Jitsu fighting style comprises limited disadvantages due to Bravo carefully curating the art.
Nonetheless, there are a few notable errors such as the need for purgatory timing and wait for the referee to flip a coin. Such activities had faced hard criticism for taking too much time, stalling the entire fight process for around 30 seconds.
And if one opponent does not make any particular moves for 10-20 seconds, their match might become mundane with no sides picking to escape.
Additionally, the concept of TKO being popular for CJJ due to the high risk of being harmed strikes. These strikes are open-handed with the ability to stun an enemy and also cause internal damage if hit too hard in a particular area.
Should you learn Combat Jiu-Jitsu?
Combat Jiu-Jitsu has been encouraging experimentation with various MMA formats before mastering one. Its flexible learning plan can help you understand the overall evolution of Jiu-Jitsu from Japan, all the way to America.
However, it is advised to learn the fundamental basics of other Jiu-Jitsu styles before investing your energy and to learn the basics.
CJJ’s heavy influence from various other MMAs can help you learn more on an array of self-defense approaches to use in your daily life.