1990s Japanese MMA jiu jitsu tournaments (originally posted in my blog)

Vince Millett

White Belt
Aug 17, 2017
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Croydon, England
It's the mid 90s and the martial arts world has discovered Brazilian Jiu Jitsu after the launch of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It's going to be a while before BJJ becomes part of the martial arts scene back in the source of jiu jitsu, Japan, but Japan already has some mixed martial arts events.

Here are three YouTube videos of tournaments that are described as jiu jitsu but are more like MMA in some ways.

The fighters appear to be from various martial arts backgrounds. There is clearly some karate (some obvious kyokushinkai, I think), and a lot of judo and maybe some sambo and shooto too. Some fighters wear a gi, some don't, some wear half a gi.

I've tried to figure out the rules. It's unclear to me what is allowed in terms of strikes to the head. Despite kicks and strikes being allowed generally, most fights get to grappling pretty quickly. There are some great knockouts, though! A tap out doesn't seem to end a fight; in some cases they stand the competitors up to carry on. Maybe it's time or some kind of point system.

The fights vary a lot so it's worth watching. For those of us with a few years of BJJ under our belts (no pun intended) some of the groundwork is appalling but there are moments of brilliance too. There are some great throws but single-legs and double-legs aren't as ubiquitous as they later became in MMA and BJJ circles.



Sr. Grandmaster
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MT Mentor
Jun 27, 2011
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Welcome to MartialTalk, Vince. :)

I look forward to watching those vids when time permits.