For those of you who didn’t catch it, JM recently posted on his Instagram a screenshot of a text with Eddie Bravo where Eddie informed him that he finally got upkicks approved by the athletic commission for use in future combat jiu jitsu events. JM also discussed the change and how it came about a bit more in depth recently on Brandon Mccaghren’s Podcast BMac’s Audio Adventure.
This is quite a game changer for the combat jiu jitsu ruleset, which consisted of your typical EBI rules – an all submissions legal 10 minute round and up to three overtime rounds starting from either the back or spiderweb position – but also allowed for open hand palm strikes when an opponent is on the ground. At Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds we started to see people try to game this ruleset a bit more, by doing things like dropping forward to one knee in order to consider themselves “grounded” enough to strike someone from that lunging position.
JM’s match against black belt Sidemar Honorio in particular brought up the question of whether or not upkicks should be allowed when you are on the ground and your opponent is able to strike you. As you can see in the video below, unlike his first combat jiu jitsu match against Chad George, JM makes an effort to stay on the feet and hand fight a bit with Honorio instead of going straight to pulling guard. In fact, they stayed standing for over a minute and a half into the round before JM sat to guard. However, rather than follow JM to the ground and try to pass his guard to go for a submission, Honorio seemed content to stay mostly standing and just use palm strikes from there. JM attempted to implement techniques such as the kiss of the dragon sweep to get Honorio to the ground and force the action, but a majority of the match was conducted at a bit of a distance due to Honorio’s strategy of striking over submissions.
As evidenced in the match, from the guard position on the ground in combat jiu jitsu you are able to be easily struck by a standing opponent, however there is limited offense for you as far as striking goes in return. After JM’s match, he brought up the idea of upkicks being allowed for the competitor who is on his back playing guard. It seemed only fair, since the person standing is able to strike you, and it is a lot more realistic in terms of a real self-defense situation. Obviously Eddie was on board for the idea of upkicks being added and now, with it being approved by the commission, we can look forward to seeing this rule change implemented in future events. JM is quite the combat jiu jitsu pioneer after being in the first ever combat jiu jitsu match, the first combat jiu jitsu worlds event, and now having a huge part in developing the ruleset based on his experience. If you haven’t already, make sure to check out the full Combat Jiu Jitsu Worlds youtube video and JM’s episode of BMac’s Audio Adventure.