Combat Jiu-Jitsu – What the French, Toast?

May 5, 2013 // BJJ

Come on now. Combat jiu-jitsu sounds like a joke right? It sounds like one of those phony, spammy ads you see that will allow you to disarm and subdue 17 Navy SEALs plus 11 Shaolin monks. With just your thoughts and 1 fingertip.

I started hearing about combat jiu-jitsu maybe 2 years ago but only knew it as a form of bjj that allowed some striking while on the ground. I also knew Eddie Bravo was behind it. You see I interviewed Eddie probably close to 4-5 years ago, all the way back when I was a blue belt and trying to get on as a writer for Fight! magazine.

One thing that still sticks out in my head about that interview is Bravo’s take on bjj and mma and how they are connected. In my own words, bjj has been around for several decades with the Gracie’s.  However, Brazilian jiu-jitsu has only really gotten big exposure since the UFC first introduced us to the Gracie family and the evolution since.

Back when Royce started out, some fighters had never seen a triangle. In 2013 that is week 1 stuff at a bjj or mma gym. Everyone now has seen a triangle, knows how to apply and defend one. I’m not saying you won’t get caught in them or be unable to snag someone with one but with the evolution of mma over say the last 20 years, some aspects of Brazilian jiu-jitsu are kind of outdated or have been surpassed by superior mma techniques. Like a standard triangle or a guillotine. I mean they still work but a competent grappler or fighter should see them coming.

When all of this changes is when striking is allowed. There is a saying in mma/bjj about belt levels, I’ll share it even though I think it’s stupid. It goes – punch a bjj black belt in the face and they become a brown belt, punch them again and they become a purple belt. It generally means that since grapplers don’t like getting hit their grappling games change as a result. But this is where Bravo and combat jiu-jitsu come into play. Bravo came up with combat jiu-jitsu for a couple different reasons which you can find below.

What is Combat Jiu-Jitsu?

If I had to put into words what I think combat jiu-jitsu is without having talked to Bravo, I would guess that it is a form of submission grappling (bjj, wrestling, no gi grappling, sambo) that allows strikes once it hits the ground. I would imagine some strikes are banned like elbows. Bravo himself said to think of combat jiu-jitsu like either really tame mixed martial arts, or extreme no gi grappling/bjj.

It is sanctioned by the CSAC I guess so it is pretty legit, and safe. It took the UFC forever to get sanctioned.

From Eddie himself:

“I just thought that theres so many good jiu-jitsu guys out there, so many that won’t do mma because they don’t want to learn kickboxing. So we never really get to see what their jiu-jitsu looks like when there are punches. A lot of great jiu-jitsu players don’t need to learn kickboxing, they don’t need to do mma. With combat jiu-jitsu you don’t have to learn kickboxing, just punching on the ground, no elbows.”

combat jiu-jitsu

Bravo catching Royler.

Why did Bravo come up with Combat Jiu-Jitsu?

We can probably answer this with one statement or question Bravo asked himself prior to all of this starting:  what can we do to get our bjj as combat, or mma, ready as possible?

In an interview, he stated that he was curious as to how bjj guys could adapt their grappling games when now strikes on the ground were allowed. Does that stupid saying about getting punched in the face hold true and people really do drop belt levels?

  1. Prepares grapplers better for mma. – “It is also great for people preparing for mma because grappling in combat jiu-jitsu will prepare you for an mma career way better than like a regular grappling tournament.” – Eddie
  2. Prepares wrestlers to be better ground and pounders.
  3. A forum for talented grapplers to test themselves. – “I think that this sport would be perfect for these jiu-jitsu match masters that don’t want to learn any striking. This would be like the ultimate form of grappling you know what I mean?” – Eddie Bravo

I know Bravo has said his style, the rubber guard/mission control, twister, is the best for mma. As this still has not been proven, this is a method for him to test it out and see how well his controlling stle works. In case you haven’t seen it, the mission control position basically controls the other person’s posture so that they are unable to raise up and generate any or enough momentum to create force behind a strike.

“I think there was a big hole between grappling and mixed martial arts – that is a giant hole and that giant hole is combat jiu-jitsu.  I’m just saying this is something different.”  – Bravo

Rules of Combat Jiu-Jitsu

Think of combat jiu-jitsu as wrestling while on the feet and amateur mma once one of the fighters are on the ground. If one person is on the ground at all, on their back, stomach, whatever, the other fighter can strike. No elbows on the ground are allowed either, just found out :-).

Some other random rules are: the fights are three 3 minute rounds (Bravo wanted one 10 minute round but was shot down by the CSAC), no heel hooks or toe holds allowed.  Bravo said once combat jiu-jitsu gets established a little, he can meet with the CSAC again and maybe modify/add/delete some rules.  He wants all submissions allowed.

Combat Jiu-Jitsu Video – 1st Fight Ever!


combat jiu-jitsu

Tell me this is not the ugliest belt in all the land.

Who to Contact about Combat Jiu-Jitsu

Eddie Bravo

Does combat jiu-jitsu sound at least a little bit like the old Gracie challenge matches to anyone else? It does to me and I kind of like it. If you watched that combat jiu-jitsu video, you probably recognized the Gracie head slaps at the end that opened up the rnc.

And that’s not all there is on Eddie Bravo or his bjj on the site.  I have done a review of Mastering the Twister which you can check out by using the link.  If you need a purpose to your game, Mastering the Twister may give it to you.  If not, it will give you solid advice that will help your combat jiu-jitsu lol!

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