BJJ 24/7 Liverpool: Sub Only


A question was posed to the competitors who frequent BJJ 24/7‘s events earlier this month – should the Liverpool competition be the traditional IBJJF point scoring system, or should it be sub only, with EBI overtime rules? The consensus came down on the side of submission only by quite some margin, and people seemed very happy with the decision. It’ll be interesting to see whether it makes any difference to the names of the entrants, whether some will choose not to compete because it’s not their style.

I was ambivalent to which type I wanted. I’ve done both types of competition before. I guess I would’ve preferred points, because it’s the system I’m most familiar with (having been brushing up on my refereeing skills lately), yet it doesn’t matter a huge amount to me. Sub only competitions can be a lot of fun, it means I don’t have to be concerned about things like sweeping myself, because it’s not worth anything to the other player if I do. This is especially important when it comes to footlocks. Hunting for footlocks is a key part of my game, but if you’re the top player in a points match, and don’t manage to finish the submission, it can actually give your opponent the advantage, because by ending up on the bottom, you’ve effectively swept yourself.

Submission only competition is definitely becoming more popular in BJJ, with many people claiming that it makes for more interesting matches. I certainly think they can be exciting, it depends on the rule set, but I’ve also heard people claim that it makes for more sloppy jiu-jitsu, as people are less concerned by technique and can be caught up in aggression.

The last time I did a sub-only competition I won gold. The first match I won by armbar, the second by rear naked choke. It was good fun, without having to be concerned about points, I started to see sub attempts more than I usually would. It’s going to mean switching up the game though. I think that’s what some athletes will find hard; lots of people are used to the IBJJF points system and how to play it. Suddenly changing that for a different rule set means that standard game approaches are probably going to have to be adapted. In my last sub only comp the matches were also longer, in order to give the players more time to hunt the sub. They were ten minutes matches, not including any overtime. That’s the longest I’ve ever intensely rolled for, except perhaps once or twice when Michael has forgotten to call time on the mat because he’s been distracted. It’s pretty intense trying to keep up that level of energy. My second match was a war and it went to nearly ten minutes, but I managed to sink in the choke with about thirty seconds to spare. I was absolutely exhausted by the end of it, but it felt pretty amazing.

Early entry opens soon and I will be entering both the gi and the no-gi categories. Sub only in gi will be very interesting for me, because I will have to be even more switched on to gi chokes that I’m not overly familiar with. Hopefully my competition in Newcastle in a few weeks will get me more used to the idea. Michael’s advice on this one is any grips I don’t really understand; stop what I’m doing, address the grips, and then proceed. We’ll see how that works out!

Anyway, excited to sign up and see what my competition is like,

Until next time,



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