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Grappling Report: IBJJF causes a stir by keeping heelhooks out of masters divisions

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A rundown of the biggest headlines and news from the world of competitive grappling.

bloody elbow grappling report

The IBJJF managed to get a wave of support in 2020 when they announced that they were finally going to legalise heelhooks and reaping the knee in no gi events. While the relaxation in rules would only apply to brown and black belts, it still presented an opportunity for the world’s premier BJJ organisation to attract the latest generation of high-level no gi grapplers who specialist in leglocks.

Now that that the dust has settled and they’ve had time to release complete clarification on the rule changes, the IBJJF has left older grapplers out. They’ve now announced that heelhooks and reaping the knee will still be a banned technique in all masters (30+) divisions, regardless of belt level. Alongside this, the Kani-Basami or Flying Scissor Takedown will still not be allowed at any age bracket or belt level.

BJJ Stars Announces a Star-Studded Heavyweight Grand Prix

BJJ Stars are back in action with their fifth event on February 6th and they’ve managed to arrange a superb Heavyweight Grand Prix alongside several high-profile superfights. The GP will feature huge names like Lucas ‘Hulk’ Barbosa, Felipe Pena, Nicholas Meregali, and Mahamed Aly. There will also be a few dark horse competitors like Gutemberg Pereira, Erich Munis, and Luis Panza.

Perhaps the most unusual entrant however is Erberth Santos, who famously caused a brawl at the very first BJJ Stars event and was reportedly banned from the promotion. The superfights will then be headlined by Roberto Jimenez v Isaque Bahiense, Thamara Ferreira v Beatriz ‘Bia’ Mesquita, and Gustavo Batista v Leandro, along with several other supporting matches.

New App ‘BJJ HI’ Allows for Private Lessons With Elite Instructors

The Coronavirus pandemic has pushed businesses across the world to develop in new and interesting ways either to cope with changes or take advantage of them. That’s now taking place in the BJJ world as well, as fourth degree black belt and MMA veteran Augusto Frota has pushed a new app to market that offers it’s users seminars and the ability to book virtual private lessons with some of the best grapplers on the planet.

BJJ HI already has a number of elite athlete signed up and available like Renzo Gracie, Braulio Estima, Leandro Lo, and Marcus ‘Buchecha’ Almeida. Elsewhere, the competition scene is also evolving in order to cope with the lack of contact allowed in many places around the world as the International Grappling Federation is set to produce their first ever ‘Technique Demonstration Tournament’ online as well.

Kron Gracie Moves to Montana to Set up a New Gym

He’s been out of the spotlight for quite some time after suffering the first defeat of his professional MMA career at the hands of Cub Swanson, but Kron Gracie is packing up his things and leaving California. As a result of the restrictions put in place to combat the Coronavirus pandemic, he’s been unable to train and teach consistently so is now moving to Montana to open up a new gym.

The UFC’s most prominent flat-earther has taken some time away from MMA after hitting the first pothole in an otherwise flawless career so far, not competing since the end of 2019. Now it seems like it’ll be a little while longer before he makes his return to the UFC as he’ll no doubt have his hands full trying to grow the new school that he’s establishing in his former home-state of Montana.


Quick Hits


Technique Corner

K-Guard to Backside 50/50, to Heelhook, and Counter, then Re-Counter

Counters to the Double Guard-Pull

Lapel Choke Counter to the Knee-Shield