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Sport or Gracie Jiu jitsu? How did GJJ cope in Sports Competition?

Can GJJ students deal with Sport BJJ students?

There has been so much discussion about the difference between Sports Jiu Jitsu & Gracie Jiu Jitsu and that has already been covered in the following blog if you care to take a look later.The BJJ Hour & Jiu Jitsu Times Present: Verbal Grappling

Testing the system

After listening to the argument and hearing that the sports BJJ community felt that Gracie Jiu Jitsu students would never be able to compete against sports clubs of the same level, I was intrigued and after being told that the ADCC (A prestiges Sports Jiu Jitsu competition) was being held in the UK, I decided to take part along side two of my students that have only been training for 3 years in Gracie Jiu Jitsu system, this would be a great test to see if we could survive against veterans of sports Jiu Jitsu.

It was a risk but you will never know how good you are until you test yourself.

The format

What interested me is that the matches were 6 minutes long with the 1st 3 minutes being submission only and no points (what we train for) and the next 3 minutes you would be given points for various moves etc (we don’t train for points at GJJ), so the plan was to survive and go for the submission but don’t worry about the points.

Difference of GJJ & Sports BJJ

For those who don’t understand points / sports Jiu Jitsu here is an example: if you sweep your opponent and there back remains on the ground for 3 seconds you gain points (ADCC rules) and you can win the fight if you have more points than your opponent at the end of the match.

Points are not what Gracie Jiu jitsu is about and the main emphasis on Gracie Jiu Jitsu is to be able to survive against a striking / larger or more athletic opponent and later in the system any opponent be it Street or any another martial art including Sports BJJ.

So What Happened?

Before anyone says it this is not a blog knocking Sports BJJ as I loved watching the pro division and learnt a lot from the day but Gracie Jiu Jitsu is mostly submission / survival only with no points and thats the way we prefer it.

Below are all of the fights (Video) and how they went down, but before you watch them read the bullet points below.

  • At no point was any of the Gracie members in any danger of a being submitted and not one submission was even attempted on a Gracie Jiu Jitsu member.
  • Gracie students attempted several submissions listed below:
  • Ashley miller 
    • Triangle choke (winning technique)
  • Fran Zuccala
    • Guillotine from Guard
    •  Leg in Guillotine from guard
    • Straight foot lock
    • Darce choke
  • Dan Jones
    • Straight foot lock
    • Standing straight arm lock

Watch the video’s and make your comments as we would love to hear them.

Fran Zuccala straight foot lock
Fran Zuccala straight foot lock
Ashley miller Triangle Choke
Ashley miller Triangle Choke
Danny Jones in Action
Danny Jones in Action

A huge congratulation to Ashley Miller who took gold (Via Submission) against a purple belt! and Fran Zuccala took Bronze in his section.


Fran was in control of fight.

Ashleys opponent tried to keep him down but Ashley finished it with a triangle choke with 5 seconds to spare!

Dan fought a tough MMA / Wrestler style fighter but dealt with it like a pro.

GJJ Parent

Hi. So what belt were these GJJ practitioners?

Fran Zuccala

Blue belts.

Fran Zuccala


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