Does the Eddie Bravo Invitational Rule Set Promote An Action Style?

In 2014, Eddie Bravo launched the Eddie Bravo Invitational. The submission grappling league features a unique set of rules that does not rely on points or decisions to determine winners. If after a ten-minute period there are no submissions, the fighters engage in an overtime that includes both getting an opportunity in a dominant position. Bravo does a much better job of explaining the rules.

In theory, the rule set should result in a more dynamic style. The idea is that grapplers can’t sit on a lead or rely on a late takedown or advantage to seal the victory. Does this turn out to be the case? That is, has there been a higher rate of submissions inside regulation in EBI than in other grappling competitions? The answer is yes.

EBI has hosted six events and 128 matches since its inception. Of those 128 matches, 93 or roughly 73 percent of those matches have ended via submission during regulation. The remaining 35 were decided via overtime.

Let’s compare those number to the most recent edition of the Abu Dhabi Submission Wrestling World Championships. The tournament featured 108 matches. 33 of those contests ended via submission while 23 were decided by decision and another 50 were decided by points.

For the 2015 IBJJF No-Gi World Championships, 43 percent of bouts ended via submission.

Finally at the 2015 IBJJF World Championships (Mundials), 37 percent of the matches finished with submissions.

Obviously these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. The numbers are likely affected by several mitigating factors. For example, many of the EBI competitors hail from 10th Planet schools and the overall talent level, while very high, is still not at the level of some other competitions. This leads to homogenization of style and skill level not seen in the other competitions listed here. Also, IBJJF rules forbid heel hooks, and leg knots and reaping are automatic disqualifications.

With that being said, EBI deserves a ton of credit for implementing a rule set that encourages action and fair competition. Anyone who has followed international wrestling’s struggles after being dropped from the Olympics knows how much damage can be caused by a non-intuitive set of rules that does not encourage an action orientated style.