Ontario Set to Criminalize Amateur BJJ And Grappling Competition As Of July 1, 2017

Flickr/Creative Commons: Samuel Coe

According to ontario.ca, July 1st, 2017 will mark an extensive change in Ontario law regarding amateur BJJ and grappling. On May 31st, 2017, the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport approved Order in Council 1087/2017 which designated what amateur combative sports are considered legal. The ministry’s list of legal combative sports included sports like karate, grappling, jiu-jitsu, judo and wrestling among others. Essentially, these sports are legal as long as the Provincial Sport Organization, which is recognized by the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, approves of the combative contests.

While this sounds like a good thing, only some of the legal sports have Provincial Sport Organizations that are authorized to approve of contests. So, while contests involving sports like boxing will be approved due to the existence of the organization known as Boxing Ontario, contests involving sports like BJJ, grappling and pankration will actually be considered illegal due to the lack of organizations that are approved to permit these types of contests.

While this does not make the practice of sports like BJJ and grappling illegal, it simply would make contests involving them illegal. This means that any event that is recorded for broadcast, requires participants to pay to participate, or admits spectators cannot exist, as this is what the Ministry considers to be a contest. However, according to some, Ontario’s ability to make grappling sports illegal is rather questionable, as the intent of the law seems to be to make combative striking sports illegal. As grappling is not necessarily a striking sport, this leaves the province’s ability to make grappling in muddy water. In fact, Senator Robert Runciman explained that the illegalization of grappling is “inconceivable.”

Regardless of the language used in the law, participating in amateur grappling and BJJ contests may be legally dangerous after July 1st. We will have to wait and see if this new law suppresses the existence of contests involving these types of sports.


  1. Why are you talking to Bob Runciman about this? He is a sitting Senator, which is Federal. You need to be talking to a sitting MPP. Preferably Liberal.

  2. That’s Crazy. BJJ is a part of military training and is a fundamental of MMA.How can you justify making it illegal. Having done BJJ for a long time now, I also believe females should learn BJJ and have experience given the fact that most attacks on women end up with them on the ground and on their back and in that case Boxing or Mauy Thai isn’t going to help them in that situation. How are they going to get their experience and confidence.

  3. Ontario will take your kid away if you don’t agree with their “gender identity”. Banning BJJ tournaments is not even the worst thing they’ve done. This is leftism.

  4. Don’t sit back. Go after the Ministries. Go after the PM. Get yourself included under Section 83 of the Criminal Code. Join Sandra & Wolfgang in their organizing a ‘fight back’ program.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here