ARE BICEP SLICERS ILLEGAL IN BJJ?
The art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has become one of the most iconic forms of combat in all of the world today. The grappling art has an outstanding systematic approach that incorporates many transitional components, dominating positional controls, and an elaborate series of high quality submission maneuvers, including choke holds, and joint locks like armbars, arm cutters, kimuras, heel hooks, kneebars, and ankle locks. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has an intricate arsenal of really basic to highly advanced submission moves. With the rise of international Brazilian Jiu Jitsu across the globe, competitions like the ADCC, the IBJJF world's, Who's Number One, Fight 2 Win, and even the UFC in Mixed Martial Arts, are all showcasing a high level of proficient submission skills.
What This Article Covers:
- Are Slicers Effective in BJJ
- Are Bicep Slicers Legal in BJJ
- How Dangerous Can Illegal Moves Be
- Illegal Moves in BJJ
- Why Practitioners Should Stick to the Foundations
Different competitions adhere to different rulesets, this includes different rulesets for different levels of rank in BJJ. The higher the belt rank in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu means the more submission moves that become available to the athlete. Some competitions open up higher levels of submissions to lower belts, this is a way of offering the student a higher level of competition experience. Students will often ask are slams allowed in bjj, and even though they are executed in Mixed Martial Arts, high impact movements like slams are illegal in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitions.
ARE SLICERS EFFECTIVE IN BJJ
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu there are submissions called bicep slicers, and calf slicers. These submissions can be extremely effective, as they can be relatively easy to secure. There are many different ways to set up these kinds of submissions, with the most common platform to launch from is when a practitioner is inside the closed guard. There are other ways to set up the bicep slicer, like after a practitioner attempts an armbar, their opponent may decide to defend it by grabbing their own bicep, and then feeding their hand underneath the hamstring of the practitioner. If an opponent defends this way, then it will open up an opportunity to switch their legs, forming a triangle over the top of their opponent's forearm, as they squeeze pressure into the bicep, securing the tap. This can be an extremely effective submission, and it is really easy to secure. Setting up the calf slicer can be just as simple, as this submission can be executed from a range of different positions. A common entry into the calf slicer is when the practitioner moves into the truck position, as they will secure a lockdown style of hold on their opponent's leg, to finish the submission they can reach forward pulling the foot downward, as they apply pressure to the calf muscle. Although these submissions won't do any structural damage to an opponent, they can cause some significant pain, and injury to the muscle, making this a really effective way to submit an opponent.
ARE BICEP SLICERS LEGAL IN BJJ
A bicep slicer is an extremely effective submission that can be executed from a number of different positions. One of the most common positions that a practitioner will achieve this submission from is the open or closed guard. An opponent will need to be extremely careful when they are defending an arm bar, as this is a common position that can lead into a bicep slicer. Conceptually a bicep slicer is when a practitioner uses the crook of their elbow inside the elbow of their opponent, while they are attacking an armbar. They will then use their legs to form a triangle over the top of the forearm, as the crook of the elbow then becomes a formidable weapon, as the practitioner squeezes forcing their opponent to tap out to the bicep slicer. This move can also be executed by slipping a shin in between an opponent's elbow, as they pull down on the forearm, applying significant pressure to the bicep muscle.
There are many maneuvers that can be deemed illegal bjj moves in the grappling art. As for a bicep slicer this move is illegal for an athlete at the beginner or intermediate stage. Under the guidelines of the IBJJF and the UAEJJF, which is the national standard of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu rules across all competitions. The rules do clearly state that a practitioner must be at the brown belt level or above to be allowed to execute a bicep slicer. If a student that has a lower level of rank attempts to execute this move, it will certainly result in an instant disqualification from their competition. It is extremely important for athletes to learn the rule sets of all the different competitions before they enter, so they do not get caught off guard during the middle of a fight. This is apparent with other competitions that do allow certain techniques at a lower belt rank stage. Grappling Industries is one that comes to mind, as their organisation allows bicep slicers to be executed at the intermediate level, which can start from the blue belt rank.
HOW DANGEROUS CAN ILLEGAL MOVES BE
There are some serious considerations to think about, if students are executing illegal maneuvers. The first factor is have they learnt the maneuver correctly, if a student just washes over some of the intricate details involved in a submission, this could be the difference between someone getting injured or not. Practising dangerous moves must happen with caution, as a student must look after their training partners inside their academy, this is one of the main directives that students must adhere to. If a student is researching You Tube, and then is practising advanced submissions inside the gym, you would have to ask the question, has this been sanctioned by an instructor. Sometimes newer students can get carried away with trying to be impressive on the mats, as they look to mimic some of their higher level heroes on the international stage. It is extremely common for students to ask are neck cranks legal in bjj, as they will often do this by mistake as they attempt various choke holds. To be successful in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the smartest move a student can make is to stick to the basics, or what their instructor is teaching them.
The second aspect of a student learning an illegal maneuver, is the fact that they should not be learning this at all. If a student cannot legally apply the submission in a competition, then there's no real sense in mastering it in training. In some cases it is important to learn many positions in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, for example it may be illegal for a blue belt to execute a toe hold, calf slicer, or a heel hook, but it is important for them to understand the mechanics of the leg lock game, and begin developing the position, including understanding how to defend the position. It can be quite common to see a beginner, or intermediate students attempting high level, and illegal submissions, which can cause significant injuries to their training partners. Students that are unaware of how the mechanics work are destined to be reckless in the moment of submission. This is also apparent in the student that is being submitted, as they may be somewhat stubborn, forcing them not to tap quick enough, as this can result in long term serious injuries. Beginner students will always ask the question, are heel hooks legal in bjj, and just like the scissor takedown, bicep slicers, calf slicers, and any other spinal or neck cranks, these moves are illegal, and can be extremely dangerous to execute.
ILLEGAL MOVES IN BJJ
There are a multitude of illegal moves in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition, and even though some of these moves are legal at the higher levels, it does take a long time to be allowed to use some of these maneuvers. It is understandable to see a black belt practitioner that is allowed to use nearly all of the submissions available, as they have a wealth of knowledge, and have had a lifetime of training and experience in the Brazilian art. There are some moves that are completely illegal in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu at every belt level. A common question that is asked is can you kick in jiu jitsu, and the answer is no, practitioners are not allowed to punch, kick, headbutt, or eye gouge, in fact they cannot use any form of striking in bjj at all, as it is illegal and will result in instant disqualification if a student executes any of these moves. Slamming an opponent is also an illegal move in all divisions and all levels of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this includes suplex's, and is forbidden even while in an opponent's guard or if they are trapped in a submission.
There are different rulesets between different organisations, as the IBJJF is the general standard throughout the industry. In the IBJJF, brown and black belt practitioners are not allowed to execute heel hooks, knee reaping, toe holds with outward pressure, or any other kind of spinal cranks without choking, while they are wearing the GI. In the No Gi division, knee reaping is still illegal, as are spinal cranks, finger manipulation, and scissor leg takedowns. Blue to purple belts are not allowed to execute toeholds, knee bars, bicep slicers, or calf slicers, meaning they have to be at the expert level to attempt any of these submissions. There are also moves that white belts are not allowed to do on top of all of these, which includes no jumping guard, and no wrist locks.
In certain competitions like Grappling Industries, and other new aged tournaments there are a lot less illegal moves in the rulebook. In the No Gi division the only illegal move for brown and black belts in these competitions is slamming their opponent, as they are allowed to knee reap, heel hook, and do all of the other highly advanced submission movements. The only illegal submissions is when a competitor is wearing the Gi, and that includes heel hooks, and the scissor leg takedown. Blue to purple belts are also not allowed to execute the twister, neck cranks, heel hooks, or the scissor leg takedown. This kind of competition does open up more of an extensive weaponry for practitioners, and even though some of these moves can be dangerous, if they are practised correctly then no injury should occur.
WHY PRACTITIONERS SHOULD STICK TO THE FOUNDATIONS
One of the most important aspects of becoming exceptional in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, is by building a strong foundation. Understanding the basics is the best way to build a strong core for practitioners moving forward. Too often practitioners get caught up trying to be too tricky, or too fancy, when really all they need to do is execute the simple things. You just have to look at some of the world's best athletes in the sport, as they are all about doing what is needed. BJJ can be extremely high intensity, so it is important to be conservative and not waste unnecessary energy.
To build an extensive game style of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, practitioners need to build a rock solid base, as this will help to propel them to a higher degree of grappling as a higher belt. Quite often during a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fight, practitioners will be tested and face new challenges, so having a strong foundation to rely upon is crucial to their survivability within the fight. There will always be opportunities to utilise fancier movements, but if a practitioner wants a game that will hold up under pressure, and for a longer jeverdy, then foundation is vital.
Training in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can be one of the most rewarding and challenging Martial Arts in the world. The high intensity, and rigorous training regimes of the grappling art will give practitioners a significant core strength, and help them become more flexible, dexterous, and fitter versions of themself. Learning a comprehensive Martial Art like Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, is fun and can be achieved by people from all walks of life.
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