What Is Submission Wrestling Vs. BJJ?

There are all types of martial arts, each with subtle and not so subtle differences. Each one has a different name. If you’re comparing submission wrestling with BJJ, you’ll notice there are a great deal of similarities. That’s be because submission wrestling is often called no-gi BJJ. That’s because it’s practiced without a gi—the traditional loose fitting belted jacket and pants worn in Judo. However, it’s more than just a subset or breakoff from BJJ. It has some other differences, with influences from other grappling arts.

Expect some moves in submission wrestling you won’t find in BJJ.

The heel hook isn’t allowed in traditional BJJ tournaments, but it is big in the submission wrestling world. It’s a must in the no-gi world of submission wrestling. Right along with no heel hook is the rule that is quite controversial. It’s the one about no reaping. Most gi tournaments don’t allow reaping, even for those with higher belts, despite the fact that many people think it may be appropriate for that level of proficiency.

Submission wrestling has more variety of submissions.

It only makes sense that there would be more submissions, since it’s submission wrestling. Besides the heel hook, hip locks and submissions like the spinal crank are banned from traditional BJJ gi tournaments. While you won’t find a formal set of rules for all BJJ tournaments, you’ll find more moves are allowed in these tournaments, unless it’s an IBJJF no-gi one.

There normally aren’t advantage points in submission wrestling.

Advantage points are tie breakers and do a great deal in keeping the competition fast moving. The points are accumulated based on the positions or actions that are important in Jiu Jitsu and help shorten the match by making it less likely for overtime to occur. However, nobody wants to win by leading in advantage points when they’d prefer a clear victor in the sport. Submission wrestling doesn’t use these and its all about submission. The matches are normally longer. It’s like comparing a sprint to a marathon in some cases.

  • While you can grab the gi in traditional BJJ, grabbing clothing is not allowed in no gi submission wrestling.
  • Rash guards and spats are allowed in no gi competition, but not in traditional gi BJJ. You can also wear a gi if you’d like in no gi competition, but it’s mandatory in gi BJJ.
  • While submission wrestling is interchangeably known as no-gi BJJ, it has elements of other grappling sports. People involved with other sports can do well in it, but it’s dominated by BJJ devotees.
  • There are far less strict dress rules for no gi as there are in gi. While there are general rules, like wearing black shorts and a black or white top with the level color, gi tournament participation has more specific requirements for the gi.

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