Understanding BJJ Scoring System: Rules, Points, and Strategies

Are you a beginner? 

Or are you a seasoned practitioner looking to brush up on your knowledge of BJJ competition rules

Look no further, because, in this blog post, we’ll be diving into everything you need to know about the BJJ scoring system. 

From takedowns to sweeps, submissions, and advantages – we’ve got it all covered! 

So whether you’re gearing up for your first tournament or just want to expand your understanding of this exciting martial art, keep reading for an in-depth look at BJJ scoring.

So, Ready to dive into today’s topic? Let’s Continue!

The Evolution of the BJJ Scoring System

The BJJ scoring system has evolved significantly over the years, adapting to changes in the sport and reflecting shifting priorities among competitors and promoters. 

Originally, matches were scored based on submissions only, with no points awarded for positions or techniques. 

As techniques and positions began to dominate the sport, a points system was introduced to reflect the importance of controlling one’s opponent and maintaining advantageous positions. 

More recently, some competitions have begun to experiment with alternative scoring systems, including modified point systems and submission-only formats. 

These changes reflect ongoing efforts to balance the art and sports aspects of BJJ while ensuring that the scoring system remains fair and effective for all competitors.

Curious to know more? Keep reading!

BJJ Scoring System

Understanding the BJJ Scoring System

The best and most famous feature of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is its complex scoring system. 

Understanding this system is important for any practitioner who wants to compete. 

BJJ matches are scored on a point system, with points awarded for various techniques such as sweeps, takedowns, and submission attempts. 

In addition to points, referees can award advantages for near-submissions or dominant positions. 

Success in BJJ competition depends on having a firm grasp of the scoring rules as well as having sound technique, strategy, and physical preparation.

The Basic Rules of BJJ

Let’s dig into the specifics of this subject! The fundamentals of BJJ are as follows:


In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, A submission is a move used to force a competitor to concede defeat by pressing or hurting a joint, stopping blood flow to the brain, or restricting breathing. 

Common examples of submissions include arm locks, chokes, and leg locks. In BJJ competitions, a submission victory is considered the most decisive way to win a match, as it demonstrates complete control over the opponent. 

However, submissions can be difficult to achieve as they require precise technique and timing. 

Additionally, some techniques that are considered dangerous, such as certain types of neck cranks or small joint manipulations, are not allowed in BJJ tournaments.


In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, points are awarded for various techniques used during a match, such as takedowns, sweeps, guard passes, knee on belly, back control, and mount positions. 

Stalking or engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct can also result in a deduction of points. 

Points enable referees to determine a winner of a match should neither fighter submit their opponent, or if the match reaches its time limit without a submission. 

Understanding the point system is important for competitors who want to win on points rather than submitting their opponents, as it allows them to develop a strategy to accumulate points throughout a match.


In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, advantages are awarded to a competitor who demonstrates a near-submission or a dominant position but does not score enough points to warrant a full point. 

For example, if a competitor nearly secures a chokehold on their opponent but is unable to complete the submission, they may be awarded an advantage. 

Advantages are also awarded for other actions that demonstrate technical skill, such as setting up a submission attempt or escaping a difficult position. 

Even if these advantages do not affect the ultimate score of the match, they can occasionally determine a winner or a loser, particularly in close encounters where both participants possess a similar degree of technical proficiency.


Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu penalizes competitors who violate its rules or spirit. 

You may receive a penalty if you stall or refuse to engage your opponent, use unsportsmanlike conduct, curse or insult your opponent, or perform illegal moves such as manipulating small joints or slamming your opponent. 

Penalties can result in a deduction of points from the offending competitor’s score, which can affect the final outcome of the match. 

Let’s take a short break, Lemme take a quick sip of water before we continue.

Yup, Let’s continue!

In severe cases, repeated penalties can even result in disqualification from the competition. 

It is important for practitioners to be familiar with the rules and regulations of BJJ to avoid receiving penalties during matches.

BJJ Point System

The BJJ Point System

In BJJ competitions, matches are scored using a point system that rewards various actions. Let’s take a closer look at the BJJ point system and the actions that earn points.


A takedown is a move used to control your opponent while lowering them from their standing position to the ground. 

Takedowns are a crucial component in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu because they enable practitioners to create dominant positions on the ground. 

In BJJ, several different takedowns are employed, such as single- and double-leg takedowns, hip throws, and foot sweeps.  

A successful takedown will usually earn you 2 points in a competition.


A sweep is a technique used to reverse an opponent’s dominant position on the ground. 

The goal of a sweep is to move from being on the bottom of the guard to being on top, in a dominant position such as a mount or side control. 

Sweeps can be accomplished in a variety of ways, such as with a butterfly sweep or scissor sweep. A successful sweep will usually earn you 2 points in a competition.


This is a transitional position where you place one knee on your opponent’s stomach/chest and use this position to control their movements before moving into a more dominant position. 

The knee-on-belly position is effective for controlling your opponent’s movements and setting up strikes, chokes, or submissions. 

From this position, you can also transition to a more dominant position like mount or back control. This position is worth 2 points in a competition.

Guard Pass 

Guard passing is a technique used to move past an opponent’s guard to establish a more dominant position on the ground, such as the mount or side control. 

The guard is a defensive position used by the opponent to protect themselves from being submitted or controlled. 

Guard passing is a critical skill in BJJ as it allows you to negate your opponent’s guard and gain an advantage in the match. A successful guard pass is worth 3 points in a competition.

Back Control

The back control position is one of the most dominant positions in BJJ. It occurs when you have your opponent’s back and are positioned behind them, usually with one or both arms around their neck. 

From this position, you can attack with chokes, arm locks, or other submissions, while your opponent has limited options to escape. Back control is worth 4 points in a competition.


The mount is a dominant position where you sit on your opponent’s torso, basically straddling them, with your weight pressuring them into the ground.

From here, you can attack with strikes or submissions, while your opponent has limited options to escape. 

The mount is considered one of the strongest positions in BJJ and is worth 4 points in a competition.

Common Scenarios in BJJ Matches

Wondering what can be the common scenarios in BJJ Matches? Buckle up!

BJJ matches are thrilling and intense, and there are various common scenarios that can occur during a match. 

Here, we’ll discuss some of the most frequent situations that take place in BJJ matches.

How are close matches decided?

In BJJ matches, the winner is decided using a point system. 

If both fighters have the same number of points, the winner is typically chosen based on the number of advantages that each fighter has. 

Advantages are awarded when a fighter is close to submitting their opponent or is nearly achieving a dominant position. 

If the tie persists after calculating advantages, the referee may choose the winner based on the fighter’s level of activity and aggression during the match.

What happens in a tie?

In case of a tie, the match proceeds to overtime or sudden death. The first fighter to score a point in overtime wins the match. 

The overtime period can have a set time limit or can be unrestricted until one fighter scores a point.

What if there is a submission?

If a fighter successfully executes a submission, the match ends immediately. 

A submission is when a fighter forces their opponent to tap out by applying a chokehold or a joint lock. 

When the opponent taps out, the fighter who applied for the submission is declared the winner. 

Even if the fighter continues the game, the match is stopped by referee intervention. This is done to save the fighter for serious injuries.

Basic Rules of BJJ

Scoring in Team Competitions

The score in team competition is allocated based on the performance of each player of the team. 

Sounds familiar?

Each member earns points for their wins, with the number of points varying based on factors like the opponent’s rank and whether the win was by submission or points. 

In addition to individual points, teams can also earn points for achieving certain feats like most submissions or least points against them. 

The team with the most total points at the conclusion of the contest is crowned the winner. 

Because each team member’s performance affects the team’s overall performance, scoring in team competitions promotes cooperation and friendship.

Criticisms of the BJJ Scoring System

You might be assuming so many things right? Hear us out.

The BJJ scoring system has faced criticism over the years, particularly for its points-based approach. 

Critics argue that the scoring system tends to favor a defensive approach, leading to a lack of action and stalling techniques. 

Some also argue that the point system can be arbitrary and subjective, leading to inconsistency in scoring between different judges or competitions. 

Additionally, the scoring system does not take into account the aggressiveness or intent of the competitors, leading to situations where an athlete dominates their opponent but still loses based on points accumulated. 

However, proponents of the system argue that it rewards technique and positional dominance and that it is effective in creating a fair and consistent way to determine winners in matches.


So, we’ve reached the end together.

I appreciate your time and hope you enjoyed my content.

The scoring system is a crucial component of the sport that has a major impact on the overall game.    

Knowing how points are awarded and what techniques earn the most points can help you understand how to win in the competition. 

To maximize your score and prevail, it’s also essential to understand when to employ particular tactics or locations.  

With practice and dedication, the BJJ scoring system will quickly become second nature!

And lastly, this is the list of the most gorgeous female BJJ fighters!