Posted By: Rob-Kassy
Posted On: 05 Nov, 2023

Rules of Etiquette for Competing in BJJ Tournaments

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a rigorous martial art that involves grappling and ground fighting techniques for simulated combat. The intensity of it naturally invites high emotions and adrenaline, making gym etiquette, or BJJ etiquette, as important as any physical skill. Disregarding these ground rules risks potential conflicts with training partners and unwanted scrutiny from mat enforcers.

This guide offers a complete breakdown of BJJ etiquette that newbies should know when participating in training or competitions, particularly in Jiu Jitsu Newport News. From maintaining personal hygiene and punctuality to understanding the regulations for rolling, competing, and guest appearances at other schools, we cover all areas of conduct.

Pre-Competition Etiquette 101

The practice of BJJ extends beyond mere knowledge of moves and techniques—it involves a full awareness of the values that govern the BJJ community.


As with any other professional setting, arriving on time for classes and competitions is a sign of respect for your instructors and peers.


This is non-negotiable when it comes to BJJ etiquette. Always ensure your Gi (uniform) is clean, your body is clean, and your nails are trimmed to prevent accidental injuries during a match. These are necessary for your health and safety and for the comfort of your training partners.

Learn the Rules

Lastly, understanding and adhering to the specific Jiu-Jitsu competition rules or rolling rules are everything. This includes tapping out when necessary, avoiding illegal moves, and respecting the hierarchy on the mat. These guidelines differ slightly between competitions, so you should familiarize yourself with the specific rules of any tournament you participate in, like Jiu Jitsu in Newport News. Remember, BJJ is not just about physical prowess but also about building camaraderie, respect, and discipline.

During the Match

Follow the Rules

In the heat of a match, remember and abide by the ground rules of Jiu-Jitsu to ensure a fair contest.

Respect Your Referee and Opponent

Respect in BJJ isn’t limited to your training partners; it extends to the referees and opponents. Regardless of the match’s outcome, always demonstrate courtesy and respect towards the referee and your opponent. That means no arguing with the referee’s calls, no inappropriate language, and sportsmanship at all times.

Manage Your Emotions

The intensity of Jiu-Jitsu competitions can stir up various emotions, but managing these emotions is crucial to good sportsmanship. Win or lose, remember that the essence of Jiu-Jitsu is growth and learning. Celebrate your victories with humility, accept your losses with grace, and always be open to learning from each match. This mentality strengthens your character and creates a positive atmosphere within the BJJ community.


In the aftermath of a Jiu-Jitsu competition, how you conduct yourself is just as important as your behavior during the match. Accept the match’s outcome gracefully, whether you’ve won or lost. Respect is a core tenet of BJJ, which extends to your competitors, coaches, and referees, even post-match. Use the competition experience as a learning opportunity, analyzing your performances for areas of improvement and strength.

In the BJJ world, every experience is a stepping stone towards growth, and every competition is a treasure trove of lessons to be learned. Embrace this continuous learning and improvement journey, and remember that true victory lies in the journey, not the destination.

Now that you have a better understanding of BJJ competition etiquette, why not put it to the test? At Breakaway Jiu Jitsu in Newport News, VA, we offer a variety of programs tailored to suit different fitness levels and martial arts experiences. 

Visit us at 11861 Canon Blvd Suite F, Newport News, VA 23606, or call us at (757)-798-3380 to start your Jiu-Jitsu journey with us today.

Be Kind, Be Humble, Be Ready! Begin your Jiu Jitsu journey with Breakaway Jiu Jitsu.