The BJJFP utilizes weight divisions to help minimize injuries and remove weight advantages. Contrary to popular belief, size is as important to Jiu-Jitsu as it is to other competition sports. Although a highly skilled small person may defeat a larger less skilled opponent, the usual result historically has been of some physical injury or injuries to the smaller opponent. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a size factor sport, weight divisions have been established to minimize becoming the prime determinant of the winner. We do however host open divisions at tournaments and participation in these divisions are optional for Juvenile, Adult, and Master participants. Competitors will not be grouped in age divisions by their actual age, but by the year in which they were born. The BJJFP will not place kids, boys and girls, together after the age of 12.
Competitors, or parents of children competitors, are responsible for ensuring that the weight is met with GI and/or rash guard already on. Any athlete that is over their registered weight is subject to disqualification.
As far as weight reduction for competition is concerned, the BJJFP strongly discourages the practice of dehydration or excessive caloric restriction; the use of diuretics, laxatives, and self-induced vomiting. The BJJFP strongly recommends that children compete at their natural weight and do not support or encourage any form of weight cutting for competition.
Weigh-in guidelines for competitors is as follows:
- All Athletes must clear weight prior to their first match.
- Athletes must have their uniform for competition on for weigh in.
- Athletes are allowed to weigh in without knee or elbow braces, but they will have to be wearing them at the time of the uniform inspection.
- The athlete cannot step on the scale with shoes or any item besides his/her regular uniform and equipment permitted for use during matches.
- Each athlete shall only mount the official scale of the event to have his/her weight taken once unless authorized.
Kid Weight Divisions for GI and No GI competitions are as follows:
Juvenile & Adult Belt System (16 years of age and older)
Adults may be promoted through belts in the following order: white, blue, purple, brown and black. Each belt has 5 levels, a clear belt and then 4 stripes that may be awarded for time, knowledge, behavior, and tournament performance.
Instructors decide how long it takes for a student to be promoted, as long as the minimum times required for each belt are fulfilled. However, a competitor will not be authorized to compete for a 3rd time at the same belt level if the competitor has been the champion of the same tournament for 2 years in a row in a given belt, with the exception of black belts.
The BJJFP recognizes the following additional guidelines to the juvenile and adult belt system:
- Any grey, yellow, orange, or green belt automatically becomes a blue belt at the year of turning 16 years of age.
- In order to be graded a purple belt at 16 years of age it is required that the athlete has spent at least 2 years as a green belt.
- In order to be graded a purple belt at 17 years of age, it is required that the athlete has spent at least 1 year as a green belt and 1 year as a blue belt.
- In the case where an athlete was graded from green belt straight to purple belt, then the minimum time required before he can be awarded the brown belt is 2 years
The following is the criteria for which instructors may promote students:
- A black belt may promote students from white belt to purple belt.
- A 1st degree black belt may promote students from white belt to brown belt.
- A 2nd degree and higher black belt may promote students from white belt to black belt.
Black Belt System
Only athletes 19 years of age or older may be awarded a black belt.
In order to request a black belt certificate, it is necessary to be currently affiliated with the BJJFP. To be awarded degrees as a black belt, it is necessary that the black belt be a current BJJFP member and listed as a main instructor or assistant instructor at an BJJFP member school. To be awarded grandmaster belts, it is necessary that the black belt be a current BJJFP member and listed as a main instructor or assistant instructor at an BJJFP member school.
Black belts have seven levels, a black belt plus 6 degrees that can only be awarded by the BJJFP according to the following guidelines:
Black Belt System
Belt integrity refers to the accuracy in which an athlete’s belt reflects their skills and knowledge of the art. The BJJFP believes in the importance of all practitioners following the above minimum time in a grade prior to promotion and verifies all members’ belt promotions with their professor in an effort to preserve belt integrity and lineage.
The BJJFP has implemented Belt Integrity rules to avoid the practice of professors not promoting athletes to the next rank or when an athlete competes at a skill-bracket deemed less rigorous than their actual level of competitive ability, commonly referred to as “sandbagging”. The BJJFP will have no tolerance for “sandbagging” at any sanctioned event. Every competitor is subject to the BJJFP investigating their belt with academies and coaches or examining past official and unofficial tournament results.
The BJJFP will not allow an athlete who has proven to be a Judo or Ju Jitsu Black Belt and/or has experience in wrestling competing at the college level, national level, Olympic wrestling level, or in Greco-Roman, Sambo, or that has fought MMA professionally to compete in any competition as a white belt.
Athletes who do not meet the requirements put forth in championship guidelines or those in the BJJFP Rulebook may be disqualified at any moment prior to, during, or following the competition.
The athlete may only compete as the belt they are registered with under the BJJFP (or its affiliates). If the athlete is promoted before the minimum age or the minimum time requirement of the previous belt is met, he/she cannot compete in the current belt or the previous one.
Once an athlete’s gradation occurs, the athlete cannot compete in the previous belt anymore. If an athlete gets promoted during a competition after the division is done, the athlete will be unable to compete in the open weight division.
A competitor cannot compete in an BJJFP event for a 3rd time once he or she has placed in 1st place twice for the same event, in same belt rank, except for black belts.