There have been a few rumours floating around this week about the inclusion of heel hooks and leg reaps finally coming next year and finally the IBJJF have confirmed that these rumours are true.
In 2021, brown belts and black belts will officially allow leg reaping and heel hooks for their NoGi competitions for 2021.
The rumour was originally published at the beginning of the week by BJJEE and how now been confirmed by Flograppling that the new 2021 season will allow heel hooks and leg reaping. However, these rules will not feature at their upcoming NoGi Pan Americans in November.
Too Little Too Late?
Organisations such as Grappling Industries have allowed heel hooks in the advanced division and leg reaps in both Gi and NoGi, competitors are already familiar to this ruleset in a round-robin format.
But is the leglock game already a dead meta?
If you look at the high-level sub only competitors such as Gordon Ryan, Craig Jones and many of the other DDS members, you can see that while heel hooks are still a part of their submission arsenal, the meta has moved on from leg entanglements to a more “up wrestling” style of jiu-jitsu that focused more on front headlocks and guillotines to attack and submit.
The level of leg lock defence from the high-level competitors is so superior, it’s going to be interesting to see whether or not this ruleset change will change who will be NoGi champions at IBJJF.
It will be interesting to see gyms such as 10th planet entering into the IBJJF scene, where they have been mostly absent from, plus it will also be interesting to see if local competitions who adopt the IBJJF format will be introducing the news 2021 rules into their own events.
Risk vs Reward
While Grappling Industries is attended by high-level competitors, normally by invitation, the elephant in the room that needs addressing is “will more submission-only guys start to attend more IBJJF competitions when there is little to no prize money?”
I have my own personal experience with the IBJJF, I have worked for them as a photographer and as an organisation to work for they are great, but for competitors, there still needs work.
So are you excited about the introduction of this new ruleset for NoGi? Will you be attending more IBJJF events now that you can leg reap and heel hook?