Controversy Surrounding the NABJJF/SJJIF Uniform Policy

Photo: Team Shark

The NABJJF/SJJIF circuit is in hot water due to possibly questionable practices.

From Reddit to the Facebook reviews section on their Facebook page, the national circuit that has ties to Break Point FC (and by association to Contract Killer/Fight Life) is coming under fire from its participants.

With several negative reviews on Facebook pouring in over the past 48 hours, the circuit is finding itself under the scrutiny of the BJJ interwebs, raising the question of whether or not brand owners should endorse their products by starting competition circuits.

“Complete racket!!! Failing people on purpose just to make them buy new gear at the tournament. Hope this shit show goes under. Please do not support this organization. They are out for money!” one frustrated reviewer proclaimed.

One reviewer from April 11th of 2016 had this to say:

While I certainly appreciate the core principles and the goals of the NABJJF/SJJIF and its governing body (SJJIF), I am very dissatisfied with the excessive flagging of the competitor’s uniforms in both gi and Nogi. Coincidence or not, both the BP & CK booths make a pretty hefty profit as competitors scramble to get “proper” equipment to avoid disqualification. This is the 4th time in 12 months I’ve noticed this. I would really like to continue my support of this Federation, but something needs to change. And at least in the Phoenix area this is the general consensus between many Academy owners and instructors.

The responses on Reddit were pretty much the same:

NABJJF is trying to scam you

Someone in another thread had this to say:

The day NABJJF came to town (Phoenix area coaches are all done with NABJJF)

And one more from October 2016

Multiple coaches complaining about NABJJF/Breakpoint forcing kids to buy gis to compete. Happening right now at Nationals in Phoenix.

The OP of the first link described his experience:

I competed at the Grand Canyon State Open yesterday as a way to keep in the circuit before the IBJJF Vegas International Open, San Diego Open, and Worlds.

Early into my day of coaching some of the kids, I see that some of them are wearing new Gi’s, they were BreakPoint kimonos. I ask one of the parents about it, and they said that their original kimonos did not pass inspection, and they were told if they did not buy from their conveniently placed BreakPoint booth, they would be disqualified.

This tournament can be expensive if you do not sign up early. This is normal. What is not normal is that the kimonos that these kids were wearing that did not pass inspection DID pass inspection at IBJJF Pan Kids. I took the time to watch the check station and how they check the gi’s, and it really does seem like they are going above and beyond to deliberately find something wrong with them.

I was not fully convinced of this until it happened to me the very same day, but this time in No-Gi. I am slim, so an XL rashguard fits me lengthwise but not widthwise. It is a bit baggy, but it passed inspection at not only an IBJJF tournament, but even an NABJJF tournament 2 months prior to this. I walk up to get inspected, and immediately they give me what seemed to be an almost pre-practiced spiel that ended in trying to get me to buy a BreakPoint product.

I am a sponsored athlete, and I am supposed to wear Kingz Kimonos gear. I can’t be seen wearing BreakPoint gear, otherwise I would be cut from my sponsorship. They basically gave me a damn ultimatum, saying either I could buy the BreakPoint rashguard, or be disqualified from a tournament I signed up for months ago.

I am not saying you shouldn’t compete at NABJJF/SJJIF, I am just saying that based on my shitty experience, I will never compete for them again.

As always, Happy Training.

Instances like this are problematic because jiu-jitsu as a sport needs competition circuits to truly grow effectively, and the NABJJF/SJJIF has the potential to be a strong circuit.

Have you competed at their events?  Leave your experiences in the comments.

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Emil Fischer is an active black belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training at Strong Style Mixed Martial Arts and Training Center near Cleveland Ohio ( and teaching at Ararat Martial Arts and FItness Center. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at and Emil is sponsored by Meerkatsu (, discount code EmilKatsu), Eddy's On Coventry, North Coast Cryo ( NottaRookie, YM ( discount code COOKIES), Defense Soap ( discount code COOKIES) Impact Mouthguards ( discount code EMILIMPACT), and North South Jiu Jitsu Underwear


  1. All the comments are spot on. They made the parents of kids competitors and adult competitors buy their gis because of the inspection process. They certainly won’t last in AZ as this is the second year in a row they have done this

  2. I competed at last years event and they flagged my gi as being to baggy and pointed me to the breakpoint booth to get a new one. What’s crazy is I have used that GI at all the events including theirs for about a year. They said I get a BP GI those are for sure approved gis. THEN to make it even worse when I got done with the tournament that day I I went home and measured my old gi to the new Breapoint GI and my old Tatami Estillio 5.0 was LESS baggy then the one they made me buy to compete. I chose not to do Grandcanyon this year because of that.

  3. We are very aware of their practices so coach tells everyone to bring several gi’s and be prepared for them to not pass you. Happened to me too with a Gi I’ve been wearing at IBJJF tournaments for 2 years. But I luckily always bring a spare. It’s aweful and I don’t know how they can’t feel horrible doing this to people. Sad!

  4. I totally agree with this. I always tell people to bring extra gis. I also notice they will make kids buy different belts too. It has to have a black bar on it or they can’t compete. This has been going on since day one!

  5. They just emailed an letter to participants. They are offering a future credit for those affected. What is goin to do if you decided never to compete at their tournaments again? If they truly want to own this mistake, they wold reimburse those affected. I have only attended and participated in 2 events and both were full of issues. I flew in twice from Chicago for this garbage…never again.

  6. My kids have been competing for a year now and we have not ran into this problem. They have measurements allowed posted on the site. I have been pleased with the competitions, they run on time and seemed fair to me.


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