Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a martial art form that consists with many dangerous and risky moves. A BJJ practitioner should be aware of the own safety when inside the ring because of the usage of those dangerous moves inside the ring. And also, in the real-life situations there too there will be some situations that these dangerous and risky moves should be applied to survive the situation. The word ‘slam’ is not a new word in BJJ. If a slam is applied to a person, the person will end up with an injury.
A slam in BJJ can be defined as picking the opponent up from the mat and then returning opponent to the mat with force or drop the opponent to the mat again. Because of that slamming is considered as a bad practice and it will cause major injuries. If someone applies slams in a BJJ tournament that is guided by IBJJF (International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation) rules that player will be disqualified from that event. There are legal ways to apply a slam in BJJ tournament, that is gently placing the opponent on the ground. If the BJJ fighter applies double leg or single leg takedown and lift the opponent, the player will be disqualified. A takedown can also be considered as a slam when the player throws the opponent on their head or mid takedown pause and then with force return the opponent to the mat.
A single slam can cause a serious damage to the opponent in a street fight. But in the sport, slamming is not allowed by many organizations due to the health and safety of the players. In the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu slamming is a divisive subject. Some are saying that slamming should be allowed in BJJ under strict circumstances. But most of the others believe that slamming should be banned from every sport.
In some competitions slamming are allowed and in some it is prohibited. It differs from fight to fight because of the rules and regulations that they are going to be considered in each fight. According to the rules of the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation, slamming is illegal. Because it is dangerous and if someone use this technic to take down the opponent that particular fighter will be completely disqualified from the event. Slamming can injure the neck, spine, fractions of the bones and sometimes internal damages also. There are instances where the people were paralyzed because of one single slam.
If a BJJ player do any type of slam, that player will be disqualified. There is a slam called as ‘baby slam’ which is done by slightly picking up and slamming, normally this may be about 10 inches above the floor level. These baby slams are also considered as illegal in BJJ. There are other types of slams such as slams from the armbar or triangle and the slams from the back. All those slams are illegal too in BJJ competitions.
Where can you train slams?
In a gym setting slamming can be trained under a good supervision as a self-defense technique. But it is to be considered about the protection of your partner if you are training these slams. Using of the mattresses will be really helpful to keep the health and safety while you are training the slams. It will help to minimize the injuries of the partner.
Why slamming is illegal under International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation rules?
It’s illegal to use the slams in BJJ in order reduce the damages of the players during a competition. Slamming is very dangerous and unhealthy technique to use sometimes it can bring severe injuries and major damages to the players. Because of that IBJJF has named slamming as an illegal technique. Many BJJ competitions follow these IBJJF rules and slamming are prohibited in these competitions also.
But in the rules of ADCC (Abu Dhabi Combat Club) slamming is ok. In the rule book of ADCC it says that slamming is allowed when the fighter is locked in a submission. ADCC has many roots in wrestling and slamming. Likewise slamming is legal in different martial art sports such as in wrestling and MMA.
In BJJ they have prohibited this slamming because these slams can even paralyze the player in such situations. So, as they want to ensure the protection of the BJJ players they have banned this slamming technique from their federation. Based on the rules the BJJ practitioners have the responsibility for putting the opponent on the mat safely.
Many people start a martial art to protect their selves and as a sport. They don’t want to have long term injuries of their bodies from the martial arts they have chosen. BJJ is a combat art and a self-defense system that comes from the roots of Judo.
Where can you apply slams?
In a street fight or as a self-defense technique a person can use this technique. In a sport ring MMA is the place to apply this technique legally to a BJJ player. In MMA with a single slam a fighter can finish the match.
Finally, slams are legal in ADCC and in certain other rule sets. If someone is interested in slams, they can participate to the ADCC competitions and MMA fights to compete while using the slams. But in ADCC rules too, slamming is considered as legal under a set of rules. They can use slamming only when there is a need to prevent submission, if not the slam will be illegal in ADCC too. In the rules of IBJJF it is considered slamming is very sensible and fair to the practitioners for their own safety of life. BJJ has many dangerous other techniques and risks of their own and they are enough for the BJJ practitioner. Throwing slams only gives a knockout to the opponent with heavy damages and injuries. BJJ is a good and standard martial art which is built with respect and self-controlling. Being such a martial art, banning of this technique ‘slam’ is very reasonable.
- Abu Dhabi Combat Club. (2021, November 12). ADCC Rules & Regulations • ADCC NEWS. https://adcombat.com/adcc-rules-regulations/
- A Legal Takedown vs an Illegal Slam. (2022, April 3). Bjjrefspot. http://bjjrefspot.blogspot.com/2012/08/a-legal-takedown-vs-illegal-slam.html
- Wolf, A. (2020, October 25). Can You Slam In BJJ? Fluentbjj.Com. https://fluentbjj.com/can-you-slam-in-bjj/