Does BJJ Have Weight Classes? The Answer Might Surprise You!
When it comes to martial arts, one of the most common questions that people ask is whether or not there are weight classes. In BJJ, the answer to this question is a little bit complicated. Let's take a closer look at what you need to know about weight classes in BJJ!
Does BJJ Have Weight Classes?
For competitions, there are weight classes in BJJ. The International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) is the main governing body for competitive BJJ, and they have a detailed set of rules and regulations regarding weight classes.
However, things are a little bit different when it comes to training. In most BJJ academies, there are no weight classes. This means that you could be training with someone who is significantly heavier or lighter than you.
So, why are there no weight classes in BJJ training?
There are a few reasons for this. First of all, BJJ is a martial art that emphasizes technique over brute strength. This means that even if you're training with someone much bigger or stronger than you, you can still use your technique to defeat them.
Another reason why there are no weight classes in BJJ training is that it helps to build character. When you're training with someone bigger and stronger than you, it forces you to step out of your comfort zone and push yourself to the limit. This can help you to become a better person both on and off the mats.
So, there you have it! Now you know the answer to the question, "Does BJJ have weight classes?" As you can see, things are a little bit different when it comes to competitions and training. However, both are essential parts of the BJJ journey!
It's also important to note that open weight/absolute divisions do exist in some competitions. This means that there are no weight classes and anyone can compete against anyone else, regardless of their size or weight.
In training, instructors might also match students up based on their size and weight. However, this is usually only done if there are an odd number of students in a class or if someone is new and needs a partner of a similar size.
At the end of the day, weight classes are just one small part of the big picture when it comes to BJJ. So, don't let them stress you out! Just focus on training hard and enjoying the journey.
Why are there weight classes?
The main reason for weight classes is to create a more level playing field. In other words, it's designed to give smaller competitors a better chance against larger ones.
Weight classes also help to keep things fair when it comes to matches. For example, if two competitors are the same size and weight, they're likely to have a more even match. However, if one competitor is much larger than the other, the match might not be as fair.
Weight classes can also help to keep things safe. In some cases, competitors of different sizes can have a big size advantage which could lead to injuries. By having weight classes, this danger is minimized.
What are the different weight classes in BJJ?
Each competition has its own set of weight classes. However, the IBJJF has a standard set of weight classes that are used in most competitions. For adult male competitors, the weight classes are:
- Rooster (57.5 kg / 126.8 lbs)
- Light-feather (64 kg / 141.1 lbs)
- Feather (70 kg / 154.3 lbs)
- Light (76 kg / 167.6 lbs)
- Middle (82.3 kg / 181.4 lbs)
- Medium-heavy (88.3 kg / 194.7 lbs)
- Heavy (94.3 kg / 207.9 lbs)
- Super-heavy (100.5 kg / 221.6 lbs)
- Ultra Heavy (No Limit)
- Open Class (All Weights)
Juveniles and female divisions have different weight classes. It's best to confirm with your specific competition for the weight classes they'll be using.
Adult and masters share the same weight classes. Age does not matter unless you are a juvenile which is anyone under 16 years of age. There are only two age divisions. Master/adults and juveniles.
Female and male weight divisions differ. Here is what the weight division looks like for adult and masters female IBJJF tournaments when it comes to gi weight classes:
- Rooster (48.5 kg / 106.9 lbs)
- Light-feather (53.5 kg / 117.9 lbs)
- Feather (58.5 kg / 129.0 lbs)
- Light (64 kg / 141.1 lbs)
- Middle (69 kg / 152.1 lbs)
- Medium-heavy (74 kg / 163.1 lbs)
- Heavy (79.3 kg / 174.8 lbs)
- Super-heavy (No Limit)
- Ultra Heavy (Not Available)
- Open Class (All Weights)
What Are The IBJJF No Gi Weight Classes?
When it comes to no-gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu, there are also different weight classes to be aware of. Here is what the adult and master female no gi IBJJF weight classes look like:
- Rooster (46.5 kg /102.5 lbs)
- Light Feather (51.5 kg / 113.5 lbs)
- Feather (56.5 kg /124.6 lbs)
- Light (61.5 kg / 135.6 lbs)
- Middle (66.5 kg / 146.6 lbs)
- Medium Heavy (71.5 kg / 157.6 lbs)
- Heavy (76.5 kg / 168.7 lbs)
- Super Heavy (No Weight Limit)
- Ultra Heavy (Not Available)
- Open Class (No Weight Class Limitations)
The gi weight class differs slightly when it comes to female no gi Brazilian jiu-jitsu. This can be confusing for some people but at least adults and masters are in the same weight division. For adult males, here is what the no gi weight classes look like:
- Rooster (55.5 kg / 122.4 lbs)
- Light Feather (61.5 kg / 135.6 lbs)
- Feather (67.5 kg / 148.8 lbs)
- Light (73.5 kg / 162.0 lbs)
- Middle (79.5 kg / 175.3 lbs)
- Medium Heavy (79.5 kg / 175.3 lbs)
- Heavy (91.5 kg /201.7 lbs)
- Super Heavy (97.5 kg / 215.0 lbs)
- Ultra Heavy (Available To All Weight Classes)
- Open Class (No Weight Class Limitations)
This guide has a complete rundown of the different weight classes in BJJ for other tournaments. As you can see, there are a variety of different weight classes in BJJ. So, whether you're a small or large competitor, there's a class for you!
What are the weight classes for IBJJF kids?
For IBJJF kids, the names such as rooster, feather, light feather, light, middle, medium heavy, super heavy, ultra heavy, and open divisions still apply. However, the weight itself is different from adult and masters weight division.
Here is a more in-depth article that is designed to provide more information on the rules and different IBJJF weight classes for juvenile practitioners.
As a review, the age division is 16. This means everyone younger than this age would be considered juvenile regardless of being female or male. If you are searching for a juvenile gi, make sure to check out this collection of limited edition BJJ gis.
IBJJF Weight Classes
This organization has a set of weight classes that are used in most competitions. It is known as the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation and its weight classes are the standard for many tournaments.
Which Weight Class Is Right For You?
When deciding which is the best Ibjjf weight class for you, it can be a difficult decision if you are right in between two different divisions.
Taking the ibjjf weight classes as an example, if you are in between medium-heavy and heavy, it can be difficult to decide which weight division is right for you. In this scenario, it can be helpful to consider the following factors.
Your weight: Obviously, this is the most important factor to consider. You want to make sure that you are in the weight class that you are comfortable with.
Your height: This can be a factor, especially if you are taller than average. In general, taller competitors tend to do better in heavier weight classes. This is because longer limbs give you an advantage when it comes to submissions and guard passes.
Your strength: This is another factor to consider, especially if you are a strong competitor. If you are very strong, you might do better in a heavier weight class. This is because you will have an advantage when it comes to takedowns and submissions.
Your experience: This is something to consider if you are a newer competitor. If you are new to the sport, you might want to start in a lower weight class This is because you will be at a disadvantage when competing against more experienced competitors.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider when deciding which weight class is right for you. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which weight class you prefer.
Remember that the maximum weight limit for each class is there for a reason. If you are close to the maximum weight limit, it's important to make sure that you are still within a healthy weight range.
Important Information Before Weigh-Ins
Now that you know the answer to the question, "Does BJJ have weight classes?", it's important to understand the weigh-in process. Here are a few things you should know before stepping on the scale:
Weigh-ins usually take place the day before or the morning of the tournament. This means that the rules about weight classes are usually quite strict.
Competitors must weigh-in wearing a gi. The gi must also be within the regulations set by the competition. For example, some competitions have a maximum of how much embroidery art can be on the BJJ gi.
Competitors must make weight. This means that they must weigh in at or below the maximum weight for their weight class. If they don't, they'll be disqualified from the competition.
There is usually a grace period for weigh-ins. This means that competitors can weigh in up to a certain amount over the weight limit for their class. However, they'll be penalized with a disadvantage in their first match.
This is why gi weight is important. The heavier the gi, the more weight you'll have to lose to make weight. So, it's important to choose a gi that's the right weight for you. Submission Shark BJJ gis are designed to provide a light feather feeling while also being durable and comfortable.
Of course, when it comes to no-gi divisions, there are no-gi restrictions and competitors can wear whatever they want (Usually a rash guard or spats).
How early can you weigh in for IBJJF?
Weigh-ins for IBJJF tournaments begin about 30 minutes before the match begins. You can't weigh in the day before because weigh-ins are required to be on the same day as competitions.
What happens if I don't make weight?
If you don't make weight, you have a few options. First, you can try to cut weight. This is where you attempt to lose enough weight so that you fit into the weight class you want to compete in.
However, cutting weight for BJJ can be extremely dangerous if not done properly. It's important to speak with a doctor or nutritionist before attempting to cut weight. Dehydration and malnutrition are real risks when cutting weight. It's best to optimize your hydration and nutrition as a martial artist because this sport is already taxing your body.
Your other option is to compete in the next weight class up. This is usually the safest and most sensible option. For example, if you're a middleweight and you don't make weight, you can compete as a heavyweight. Competing in a higher weight class isn't ideal, but it's better than risking your health right before a physical competition.
Of course, you can also choose not to compete if you don't make weight. This is a perfectly valid option. Some competitions may not even let you compete if you don't make weight. So, it's always best to check with the specific competition you're planning on competing in.
Another option is to compete in an open class. This is where all competitors of all weight classes compete against each other. The open class is usually only available in larger competitions.
So, there you have it! Those are the basics of weight classes in BJJ. As you can see, they're not as complicated as they might seem at first. As soon as you understand the range of weight classes and how they work, you'll be ready to compete in no time!
Are there weight classes in BJJ training sessions?
As mentioned before, weight classes are mainly used in competitions. However, some training sessions may have weight classes as well. This is usually the case in larger training facilities where there are a lot of people of different sizes training together.
In these cases, weight classes can help to keep things safe and fair. For example, if two people are sparring and one person is much larger than the other, it might not be a fair match. Having weight classes can help to create more even matches.
However, not all training sessions have weight classes. In smaller groups or private sessions, weight classifications aren't usually necessary because the competitors are often similar in size.
Generally, practitioners will naturally try to pair up with someone of a similar size in training. This is because it's easier to learn techniques when you're sparring with someone of a similar size and strength. However, if you are significantly larger or smaller, don't worry. You can still train with people of all sizes. You might just need to make some adjustments.
For example, a smaller person might need to use more speed and technique when sparring with a larger person. A larger person might need to use more control when sparring with a smaller person. As someone much stronger, remember that your training partners are trusting you to control your strength.
Sparring with people of all sizes can actually be beneficial. It can help you learn how to apply your techniques against people of different sizes. So, don't be afraid to mix things up and spar with people of all sizes!
What Is The Absolute Class In BJJ?
The absolute class in BJJ is the division where weight is not accounted for. It's the place where champions from all divisions can participate to prove who is the true champion. In recent years, absolute divisions have become more and more popular in BJJ tournaments.
This is because as the name implies, the absolute division is a true test of skill, strength, and technique. There are no weight classes in the absolute division, which means that anyone can compete against anyone else, regardless of weight.
This can be an advantage or a disadvantage, depending on your perspective. On one hand, it means that you don't have to worry about cutting weight or being at a disadvantage because of your weight. On the other hand, it also means that you might have to face someone who is significantly larger and stronger than you.
However, if you win the absolute division, it truly is an accomplishment because you beat everyone, regardless of size. It's a tribute to your complete abilities as a martial artist. Only a few will ever experience what it's like to be an absolute champion in BJJ. Absolute champions are the true masters of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions.
What Is Rooster Weight BJJ?
Rooster weight is the lightest weight class in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The rooster weight limit is typically around 125lbs (56.699kg). Being the lightest weight class, rooster weight is often considered to be at a disadvantage when competing in absolute classes
This is because the smaller competitors often have to face larger opponents. However, don't let this discourage you! There are many successful rooster weight fighters out there.
One of the most successful rooster weights in BJJ is Caio Terra. Caio Terra is a multiple-time world champion in both gi and no-gi divisions. He has a long list of accomplishments in the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Caio Terra proves that size doesn't matter in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you have the skill, technique, and heart, you can be successful at any weight class, even rooster weight.
What is Light Feather Weight In BJJ?
Light feather is the second lightest weight class in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The weight class of light feather has a limit is around 133lbs (60.325kg).
Why Don’t Some People Like Weight Classes?
Some people don’t like weight classes because they think it takes away from the true spirit of martial arts. They believe that martial arts should be about skill, not size.
Others believe that weight classes are necessary to keep things fair. They think that it’s unfair to pit two people of different sizes against each other because the larger person will always have an advantage.
Regardless of your opinion, weight classes are here to stay. At least for now, they seem to be here to stay. So, if you want to compete in BJJ, you need to understand how they work and what they mean to you.
Now that you know all about weight classes in BJJ, are you ready to compete? If so, start training and get ready for the competition of a lifetime! Who knows, maybe one day you'll be the absolute champion!
If you haven't competed in Brazilian jiu-jitsu yet and you are unsure if you are ready or not, make sure to check out this guide on when to start competing in BJJ. This can help you decide whether or not you are ready to take the plunge and compete.
Competing in BJJ can be a great experience. Even for children in the sport. If you are a parent, coach, or guardian and wondering how to prepare for your child's first BJJ tournament, this guide can help!
What Weight Should I Compete At BJJ? (conclusion)
The first step to deciding which weight to compete at would be to weigh yourself before the tournament. The rules for most tournaments state that you must weigh in at or below the weight limit for your desired division.
For example, if the light featherweight is 133lbs (60.325kg) and you weigh in at 132lbs (59.87kg), you would be able to compete in that weight division.
The weight division you decide to compete in matters but not as much as you think. The most important thing is that you are having fun and enjoying the experience. Make sure to check out some more of our recent posts to learn more about Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and other martial arts!
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or contact us. We would be more than happy to help!
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