There are a lot of different competitions in BJJ. Unlike many other sports, professional competitions are generally open to all, not just the pros. With so many disagreements regarding rules and governance, it can be difficult to know exactly what organization hosts what. In the world of professional BJJ, there are 3 organizations which are held in greater esteem over the rest. They are the Internationally Brazillian Jiu Jitsu Federation (IBJJF), the Abu Dhabi Combat Club (ADCC) and the UAE Jiu Jitsu Federation (UAEJJ). These bodies provide the highest level of competition on the most consistent basis.


Seen as the primary body in world BJJ by many, the IBJJF was founded by Carlos Gracie Jr in 2002. The organization has a stronghold over much of the jiu jitsu world. They run competitions all over the world culminating the World Championships (Mundials) in May every year. Each tournament earns a competitor points on the IBJJF rankings. These points are weighted based on the competition (e.g. Mundials are weighted much heavier than the Seattle National Open Tournament). IBJJF offers different tournaments for Gi and No-Gi, normally they run side-by-side. In addition to national tournaments, the IBJJF also runs continental tournaments including the Pan-Americans and the European Championship. The IBJJF has faces controversy for charging high entry fees. There is unlikely to be a revolt against them however as IBJJF tournaments are considered the gold standard of traditional tournaments.

IBJJF Professional Competitions in BJJ


The ADCC has traditionally been seen as a more hardcore grappling organization than the IBJJF. As the name implies, ADCC tournaments are open to all grappling arts including Sambo and Catch Wrestling. These days however, the tournaments are almost always contested by BJJ competitors. The ADCC World Championship takes place every 2 years. Contestants can qualify in 3 ways. Either they are returning champions, they win a qualifier or, they are invited to compete. ADCC tournaments are contested solely in No-Gi. There are some differences to IBJJF tournaments. The most notable being the penalty for pulling guard. This is supposed to encourage a more fluid and exciting competition but many BJJ purists criticize the rule. In the BJJ world, the ADCC Championship is considered the pinnacle of No-Gi jiu jitsu.


As implied by the ADCC, the UAE has a well respected history in grappling tournaments. Established in 2009, the World Pro Jiu Jitsu Cup was a tournament founded for professional grapplers. The tournament is contested in the Gi. The prize money separates this tournament from the others. The World Pro has a prize purse of close to $750,000. This incentive attracts some of the best talent from around the world each year. There are trials to compete in the tournament but, uniquely, there can only be 2 competitors from the same country compete in each category. Another difference from other tournaments is that grapplers can weigh in the day before the event allowing for weight cuts and potential size advantages in competition.

The Jiu Jitsu world offers an innumerable amount of competitions for both professionals and amateurs. For professional grapplers, the opportunity to compete on a big stage can be hard to come by. Apart from professional-only tournaments like EBI or Polaris, the IBJJF, ADCC and UAEJJF provide the most consistent competition for high level competitors.