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Don’t Train For Rules
Train To Get The Submission...No Matter The Rules
Since many matches in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition fail to end in submissions, various promotional organizations have set-up unique rule sets that allow them to measure which grappler performed better. Promotions that have a points-based system generally have a lot of the same rules while submission-only formats tend to differ. Most tournaments also have limits on which submissions can be attacked, especially for lower-ranked grapplers. For example, many tournaments do not allow leg locks, bicep slicers, twisters, and so on. Many promotions have also prohibited the leg reap position as they believe it to be widely dangerous, albeit this rule is quite controversial.
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As a result of having many different rule sets to worry about, many academies developed their curriculum based on what can allow them to be most effective in the tournaments they compete in. For example, schools that compete in a lot of IBJJF tournaments train little to no leg locks. Also, if academies compete in mostly points-based tournaments, the balance between focusing on earning points through guard passes and positions becomes biased against submission training.
There are consequences to training for rules in grappling. The ultimate goal of any grappler regardless of the situation is to submit their opponent. Winning by points, although it is necessary at times, is not a true win is in regards to what the sport is. As a result of the monotonous style of points-based tournaments, more fans and grapplers are flocking to submission-based competition as it is more entertaining, more fun, and is where the money is for the elite grapplers. There is a reason promotions like EBI, Polaris, and Kasai have exploded in the last few years and are able to pay out good money to competitors.
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Generally, I would not recommend developing a training regimen that favors winning by points. We should be spending most of our time focusing on winning by submissions. Submissions are faster, more conclusive, more effective, and more exhilarating than winning by a last second transition from side control to mount. However, if you do want to win the points-based tournaments and get your money’s worth, you should modify your training only a few weeks in advance but focus on submissions outside of that.