EXCLUSIVE | Combat Grappling, Jiu Jitsu's Evolution Feat. Eddie Bravo

August 8, 2012 6:21 am by Sean McClure

Combat Grappling is making a surge. It is a combination of striking and grappling disciplines like Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, and Judo that are a natural fit for the grappling portion of the sport. It’s not all that different from mixed martial arts really. In some cases the competitors wear protective gear much like a kickboxing match, and others simply wear what a mixed martial artist would wear in to the cage. The similarities are there, but there are differences enough to make it unique.

Jiu jitsu pioneer Eddie Bravo believes that this fledgling sport has a purpose greater than – to put it bluntly, just putting butts in the seats.

“There’s a lot of talented jiu jitsu players out there with amazing jiu jitsu technique, but we’re never going to get to see them in a combat situation because they just don’t want to learn striking”, Eddie said. “What this does is prepare grapplers for MMA”.

While the idea is credited to Eddie Bravo he doesn’t feel he is necessarily the moving force behind its expansion.

“One thing I want to make clear is that I don’t want to try to own combat jiu jitsu”, Eddie said. “It’s just an idea I came up with”.

There have been similar tournaments where strikes to the body may have been allowed, and other sports like Pankration possessing similar rules. None of them truly represented the next step in jiu jitsu like Bravo feels Combat Grappling does.

“For the longest time I had this idea and nobody would take it seriously because it was too whacky”, stated Bravo. “Maybe it was too new and people were afraid to touch it. I kept pushing to make it happen so we could put a video on Youtube like I did and let people see it. I don’t have the physical time to do all of the leg work myself so I asked Turi Altavilla, the guy who founded the University of MMA, if he wanted to be the Dana White of Combat Grappling. I didn’t have time to go to the commission and fight for it as a sport. I said make it happen and we’ll put on shows together”.

With the addition of strikes the sport became one that required regulation by the Athletic Commission. It wasn’t as hard as one might think to get their backing because the sport, again, was so similar to MMA. The success of the first outing has prompted national interest and Eddie is okay with that.

“Now that they’re sanctioned we can piggy back them on Turi’s amateur show”, Eddie said. “The original plan was to have three matches on his show, but people got hurt or fell out. I just wanted to show people what was possible and now I’m getting promoters all over wanting to jump in. They ask us for permission. You don’t have ask for permission. Just go do it on your own”.

To see what Combat Grappling is all about Eddie and his partners released a video on Youtube.

The staff of BJPenn.com firmly supports the sport of Combat Grappling. The benefits of better preparing amateur fighters for their first MMA fight is immeasurable.

Recently, BJPenn.com covered an event where the rules were modified somewhat to fit their particular situation. Adam Gomez of Kentucky’s Georgetown MMA held a tournament of his own that he called “Ultimate Grappling”. There were over 30 competitors and 100 standing room only spectators. The venue was barely large enough to hold it all so Gomez has planned a much larger facility for the next event. Over 100 competitors are anticipated to compete in this tournament.

In what will be a regular occurrence on www.bjpenn.com we will be providing results of Combat Grappling events as they are provided to us.

Results from July’s Ultimate Grappling Unleashed 2 held in Georgetown, KY:


1. Cameron Blankenship
2. Dakota Stephen
3. Brian Koettel


1. Linda Mihale
2. Gabby Rickey

145 & under:

1. Sky Sparks
2. Josh Chambers
3. Joey Donohew

205 & under:

1. Chris Sizemore
2. Que Parks
3. Eric Jarvis

Teen Heavyweight:

1. Jacob Todd
2. Trent Waltenburg
3. Jacob Koettel

175 & under:

1. Bruno Amorin
2. Eric Jarvis
3. Ethan Goss

Under 10 years:

1. Brandon Jaggers
2. A.J. Flathers

18 and Under ABSOLUTE:

1. Cody Dowers
2. Bryan Koettel
3. Dakota Stephen

18 and up ABSOLUTE:

1. Chris Sizemore
2. Jacob Todd
3. Eugene Perrin

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